Best Bike Front and Rear Lights for this Fall Season
With the days getting shorter, and the nights getting longer, you need a light if you’re going to be riding at night. Not only do you need a white light at the front and a red one at the rear legally, it’s dangerous to not have these.
They’re even more important during the fall and winter months due to the sun setting earlier. It’s also sensible to use lights to help with visibility, since if the sun is too bright, many motorists might not see you. Bike lights give the rider more visibility when it’s bright outside.
But what’s the best bike light to choose? Well, here are the best recommendations for you.
Spotlight: The ReeLight Nova
This is probably one of the best rear lights on the market, in that it is powered without any friction, so it’s super efficient. You won’t ever need to worry about batteries or charging, so it will always be one when you’re ridding, and also when you do stop at red lights.
It has about 80 lumens of power, and is the right choice if you want a cone light of light, and if you want to have it on a bike that’s easy to mount, it contains a mounting system, which is easy to put on and not easy to steal due to the assembly that requires a tool that comes with it.
It’s a constant light that uses no batteries, and it’s powered by a rotating magnet. It is also great because it is a high-powered road light too. It’s available as both a front and rear light, and the Reelight products often are known for being quality products that will get you the illumination you need.
Best Front Lights
Front lights are the ones that essentially are the “see and be seen” lights. They will mark you out on the road, and also will help you see. Typically, they are anywhere from 100 lumens to 30000 lumens, which means you get varying amounts of exposure.
Some are also seeing lights, and they’re made for those who want to ride on roads that are unlit, so they typically are anywhere from 7000-1000 lights as well. Whatever the case, read about all of the different front lights that are offered.
This is a front light that offers enough brightness so that you're marked on the road, and many commuters use this as a supplemental light. Plus, it requires only AA batteries to work, and it’s got 180-degree visibility on the sides.
This is a commuter light that gives great illumination from further away, which is critical for urban environments. It puts out 375 lumens, so you will be seen, and it will mark you out. However, you can’t use it for seeing what’s ahead of you, or lanes that are unlit, so keep that in mind.
This is another very bright light, emitting about 800 lumens, which is great for commuting on roads that don’t really have much light, in order to see where you’re going. However, it’s not bright enough to show up like a headlight on a car, so make sure that if you purchase this one, you’re not going too fast. The cool thing about this one, is how much you can adjust it, and usually, the battery lasts anywhere between 2-80 hours, depending on the mode you use, and for charging, it only takes about 5-9 hours for a full charge.
This is probably one of the best out there, putting out about 1000 lumens, along with a “safe pulse” beam pattern that is perfect if you want to be seen on the road, even without the aid of streetlights. It’s got a large output, and lasts about an hour and a half, so it’s perfect for a quick nightly bike ride or a commute home.
This is a very powerful bike light, putting about 3300 lumens out. It is great for being seen on country roads and in the city, and it will give you more visibility. As a precautionary measure, if you know cars are coming through, don’t run it at the top settings. It’s got a tight and focused beam though, and it has about 2 hours of power and doesn’t weigh all that much.
Rear Bike Lights
Here are our picks for rear bike lights, and why each of them are great. They are easier for classification, since they do mark you out from behind. Here are some we recommend.
This one has many different modes, and 150 lumens, which is a great amount for a rear light. It only uses 2 LEDs, so the flash isn’t super jarring, but it is bright enough for you to be seen, and doesn’t take long to charge.
While this one is pricer, it puts out about 250 lumens, and it also incorporates some laser beams to be shown on each side of the cyclist, so help reduce how close some cyclists get and improves the experiences.
This is a decent rear light, but it’s a little more basic than the other models. It is bright, has different modes, decent battery life, can be charged via a USB, and it can fit into most aero seat posts, so it’s a good one if you want something simple to use, and efficient.
This is one that is relatively cheap, but it is quite small compared to some of the other lights on the market. However, despite how small it is, you can still get 75 lumens from this, which makes it a great rear light, and it does contain a tool-free mount for those of us who hate putting things together.
This one is a little bit different, in that it’s a 30 lumen rear light, but you can use this to shoot HD footage of what is behind you, similar to how cars have those backup cameras. It’s got an accelerometer built into it as well, so that if you do get into an accident, it will automatically record footage to give to the police for evidence.
What to Consider on Front Lights
Front lights often require a couple of obvious factors. The ability to see and be seen, LED lights rather than old-school bulbs, the right amount of light powder that’s necessary, and also how you charge it, because some people like to have a charger that uses a USB cord rather than batteries. You also may want to consider the different modes, especially if you’re riding on roads that are lit up, since you don’t want something super bright since it will blind motorists in some cases.
What to Consider on Rear Lights
While you probably will want a different level of power for a rear light, you need to have an adequate one. Usually, these run about 30 lumens minimally, and typically either have a steady, flashing, or combination form of light for the two. You may want to consider a flashing mode if you want a battery life that is longer, and uses less energy. Some will use a rear bike light in the daytime because it will help drivers see you from behind, and if possible, you should double up on these lights. While it is unlikely, you won’t be aware if the rear bike light fails on you if you have a backup rear light, so in turn, it will give you extra security.
Bike Lights are the Law
In order to ride at night, you need to have bike lights, and clothing that is highly visible and reflectors don’t make up for the usage of bike lights. You need to have illumination mounted onto your bike in order to keep you safe and so you can follow the law. It can make a difference between a safe ride home, and not making it at all. Your reflectors need lights on the front and back, and the lights will need to be mounted on the bike in a central location, or on the offside, positioned at least a meter and a half from the ground, and must emit at least four candela. All of the lights listed here follow this law, so finding one that fits you based off this list shouldn’t be a problem. A good rule of thumb is as long as you get decent lights, put them on properly, and make sure to turn them on, then this shouldn’t be a problem, and you can ride safe at night.
Here, we highlighted some of the top bike lights out there for you to try. Which one is your favorite? Which one did you think didn't hold up so well? Let us know in the comments!