In this article we review and feature the best bike lights for evening and urban cycling, which would also be ideal for commuting. We narrowed down this list of top 5 front bike lights based on their features, overall quality, user feedback, price, and brightness level.
Most cyclists at one point of time or another ended up riding at night on unlit roads. Without proper bike lights, this experience is not a pleasant one. We want you to stay safe and enjoy riding your bike even at night and that’s why we prepared this review so you can choose the best option for yourself!
In general, bike lights fall into two categories: “lights to be seen with” and “lights to see with”. Here we focus on the second one and review the best bike “lights to see with”, which are perfect for night cycling, commuting and also will not cost you all the money in the world.
When choosing the best light for you, keep in mind a few things.
First, the kind of riding you plan to do. For example, if you plan to commute or exercise for 3 hours at night, then you need a light with a battery that can last this long. So definitely consider battery power, its charger type, and the time it takes to charge.
Second, decide how much brightness you need, which is measured in lumens. For evening commuting, urban cycling, or cycling through dark alleys and parks we suggest a minimum power of 400 lumens. But we strongly encourage you to go higher than this number. Most lights will have different modes anyway, and you can select appropriate brightness based on your needs.
Third, you should also consider mounting options, especially if your bike has oversized handlebars, but this does not apply to most riders. Also, if you plan to lock your bike outside you would need a bike light that can be easily taken off and put back on.
We hope you will find our reviews and suggestions helpful.
1. Nite Rider Lumina Micro 650 Front Light
NiteRider Lumina Micro 650 light is another great option to consider for commuting or evening cycling especially at its price point. This light is capable of producing a maximum output of 650 lumens, which is more than you usually get with other lights in this price range. At maximum brightness the battery can last for 1.5 hours, however, changing to 350 lumens mode will extend its life to 3 hours.
There are 5 modes in total to choose from, which are operated with a large button on the top. Button size is great for charging modes in gloves and on the go without stopping.
NiteRider Lumina Micro 650 has an in-build low battery life indicator, which will light up red when battery life is below 20-25%. In addition, it is USB rechargeable and water resistant (IP64 Rated).
This light can be fitted to standard and oversized 35mm in diameter handlebars and the mounting system is built with a quick-release option in mind so you can easily take it off or clip it back on.
The one downside we wanted to highlight is the weight, which comes up to 130g. It is around 20-30% heavier than most lights at a similar price range.
2. Lezyne KTV2 Lite Drive 700XL Front Ligh
Lezyne KTV2 Lite Drive 700XL is not only a great option for commuting, but would also work perfectly for evening training sessions. The amazing 700 lumens brightness will give you better visibility and more time to break or prepare for obstacles ahead. That’s why you can ride quickly with this light on and your training session will be safer.
On the maximum brightness level this light can last for 1.5 hours, however, you have 8 different modes to choose from and can easily extend your battery life by toning down the brightness level. Among these modes you also get day flash options to be safer during daytime as well.
Lezyne KTV2 Lite Drive 700XL has an in-build multi-colour battery life indicator, which will display when the battery is at 100%, 50%, 10% and 5%. In addition, it has a special thermal protection feature, which will lower lumen output when the operating temperature is too high. Last, but not least, it is equipped with an automatic light mode memory. Basically, the light will remember which mode you were on before it was turned off.
This light can be fitted to standard and oversized 35mm in diameter handlebars. It does not have the most secure mounting in our opinion, so if you plan to ride on rough terrain and bumpy roads you might need to consider some alternative mounting options.
3. Cateye Ampp 500 Front Light
Cateye Ampp 500 is a perfect option for most commuters and urban cyclists. It has a lot of cool features to offer at this price and is extremely simple to use. The light is capable of producing a maximum of 500 lumens output with a runtime of 1.5 hours. You can easily switch to a lower 250 lumens mode and double your battery life. In addition, it comes with an in-build low battery life indicator, which glows red when battery is at 20%.
There are 4 different modes in total, which include a daytime one. Overall, this light is very easy to operate, however, it would be nice to have an additional brightness mode, for example, 350 or 400 lumens. The light is USB rechargeable and it takes from 4 to 8 hours to fully charge.
Cateye Ampp 500 is water resistant, but not fully waterproof so make sure not to drop it in water.
Mounting option is also great. With this light you get a FlexTight mounting bracket, which allows you to quickly and easily install or remove your bike light. The versatile strap works with up to 35mm bars and some selected aero ones as well.
4. Ravemen CR500 USB Rechargeable Front Light
Ravemen CR500 is another great commuting light that we had to include in our review since it offers a lot of cool features and would be a great choice for many. The light is capable of producing a maximum of 500 lumens output with a runtime of 1.6 hours. You can easily switch to a lower 250 lumens mode and increase battery life to 3 hours. In addition, it comes with an in-build low battery life and charging indicators.
There are 6 different modes to choose from, which could be easily changed with a wired remote button. This feature is great since you are able to change light mode with a button click and without stopping your bike. Also, it is equipped with an automatic light mode memory. Basically, the light will remember which mode you were using before it was turned off.
We also like Ravemen CR500’s DuaLens optical design. This technology is very similar to a car’s low beam headlight, meaning you will get great close range light distribution and will not dazzle oncoming traffic.
Cateye Ampp 500 has a high water resistance level (IPX6), but it is not fully waterproof so make sure not to drop it in water.
This light can be fitted to handlebars of 22.2mm to 35mm in diameter and the mounting system has a quick-release design so you can easily take it off or clip it back on.
5. Light and Motion Urban 500 Citraveza Front Light
Light and Motion Urban 500 Citraveza is another great commuting light, which would be ideal for those looking for a fully waterproof and very durable option. The light is capable of producing a maximum of 500 lumens output with a runtime of 1.5 hours. You can easily switch to a lower 250 lumens mode and increase battery life to 3 hours.
There are 4 modes in total to choose from, which are operated with one button. In addition to different modes, this light has a special amber side lighting that will make you visible on intersections and in heavy traffic.
Light and Motion Urban 500 Citraveza has an in-build multi-colour battery life indicator. It is fully waterproof so you can easily use this light in any kind of rain. The casing is extremely strong and can withstand being dropped from a height of up to 1 meter.
This light can be fitted to standard and oversized 35mm in diameter handlebars and the mounting system is built with a quick-release option in mind, so you can easily take it off or clip it back on.
Each of the lights above has some pretty amazing features and offers a great deal of functionality. We highly encourage you to analyze your needs and price range to choose the best option for you. For example, if you plan to ride on rainy days then the waterproof feature is really important. However, if you like to ride fast, then you will need extra brightness to eliminate the path ahead and prepare you for obstacles ahead.
We hope you found this article helpful.
Why should you trust us?
In order to feature and review any products on our website we do extensive research, read user feedback, carefully review forum threads, look at search trends, brand popularity, try to actually use and test as many products as possible ourselves, and evaluate other factors depending on the product category. By doing extensive research and incorporating it with our own experience we are able to shortlist only a handful of products out of thousands of options.
We want to bring value to our readers and help them find answers to questions and buy the most appropriate cycling products. Brands and cycling professionals always try to innovate and improve to get the best possible outcome. Unfortunately, innovations and product improvements these days result only in marginal gains, but the price increase for these gains is not equally proportional. In economics, this behavior is defined as “diminishing returns”. Knowing this we focus on featuring the best value for the money products that are affordable, but at the same time have a lot to offer. We don’t want our visitors to overspend on something they will not benefit from.