6 Top Bike Lights 

April 07, 2015
6 Top Bike Lights

It’s bike light time and there are plenty of options on the market.

Deer in Bikelights
Rather than feeling like a deer in headlights trying to figure out what light’s right, here’s a few great ones that’ll light your way...

Get the low-down on bike light law here

Moon Front Light

Moon X-Power 780

Road or mountain?

Both

Our feedback:

The Moon X-Power 780 has a 100 degree beam angle, which makes it great for seeing the wider picture. It features specific cuts in the tips of the light to give you maximum sideways viewing power. A great feature is its self-protection mode; if it senses it’s heating up too much then it automatically kicks into reducing the light intensity. I personally wouldn’t have it on its highest lumens when road riding – for sure when out on the trails at night though this intensity is great to have.

Lighting:

There are seven lighting modes in total; over-drive is at 780 lumens and will last 90 minutes down to low, which is 200 lumens and will last 7 hours 30 minutes. Flashing and strobe modes provide 5 hours and 20 minutes.

Charge time:

Approx four hours. There’s a USB as well as a quick release rechargeable lithium ion battery. Features an automatic fully charged cut-off system as well as an indicator (which also serves as the on/off button) letting you know when the battery is low, charging or fully charged.

Weight:

177g

Buy the Moon X-Power 780 here

Exposure Helmet Light

Exposure Axis Mk2 Helmet Light

Road or Mountain?

Both

Our feedback:

I’m a big fan of just how easy this is to affix to the helmet and/or the bar if you really want. That said this light sends out a very direct beam, so if you’re after something that gives you more of a peripheral vision then you’d be best going for another Exposure light (check out the Six Pack in this article!).

TAP technology from Exposure allows the rider to just tap the light to move between three sensitivity modes without having to muck around. It’s user programmable, but can also be turned off. It’s great as it means you’re not only tailoring the lighting to suit the terrain and the conditions, but you’re potentially saving power easily.

Something I found pretty interesting – Exposure lights are all handmade. In a world of computerised manufacturing I thought that was an added bonus. Worth keeping in mind is the two year warranty.

Lighting:

Three modes of lighting ranging in intensity for solid beam (up to 850 lumens) and burn times (from 1.5 hours through to a full day). A pulse mode is available in every programme.

Charge time:

Four hours from flat.

Weight:

91g – light only

Buy the Exposure Aix MK2 Helmet Light here

Bontrager Flare R Light

Bontrager Flare R Tail Light

Road or mountain?

Both

Our feedback:

Bontrager state that this little number, launched globally this month, is visible from over 2-km! We didn’t put that exact claim to test but certainly when we gave it a go it was super visible (in clear night conditions) from at least 100m back.

The light apparently has a 270 degree visibility ‘from near or far’ – we found it was visible from either side of the bike but that it also really lit up the area directly behind. It was a total cinch to fix onto the seat post and stayed securely in place – didn’t feel at all as though this was a light that might end up on the road after the bike goes through a surprise pot hole.

The charging process keeps you fairly well informed – when the light is green it’s more than 25% charged; when it’s blinking red it’s down to less than 5%.

Lighting:

Reaching a maximum 65 lumens, the Bontrager Flare R Tail Light offers four lighting modes– day steady (Bontrager point out that day visibility is critical given 80 of cycling accidents occur during the day), day flash, night steady and night flash, burn time for which ranges from 4.2 hours to 23.

Charge time:

2.5 hours

Weight:

60g - light and mounting bracket

Buy it here

Buy the Bontrager Flare R Light

Exposure Six Pack

Exposure Six Pack MK5

Road or mountain?

Our recommendation – mountain.

Our feedback:

We’re surprised the dear didn’t blow up this light is just so powerful…!

When turned off the OLED Status Display (OSD) provides you with a battery percentage update panel, so you can see exactly where it’s at, which we thought was pretty handy. When the light is turned on, that same panel then switches to showing you what programme you’re in, before telling you the burntime countdown. Big fan of that kind of specificity. Once you’re riding you can change the light programme with the simple touch of the back, which becomes one whole big button and makes it super easy to therefore control if you’re wearing bulky gloves, or you’re just on the go and don’t want to stop.

There’s no cables and straps required for fixing this light to the bars – just a range of brackets that helps keep the overall set-up as clean and hassle-free as possible.

Reflex technology is basically an intuitive feature enabling the light to adjust its own brightness. It does this by factoring in your acceleration, cornering forces and the gradient and responds accordingly, whilst still taking into consideration the burn time you entered in before you took off.

This intelligence also extends to the temperature of the LEDs – patented technology that manages LED temperature, therefore managing power and preserving LED and battery lifespan.

As already mentioned, Exposure lights are handmade (which I think is a plus) and LEDs come with a lifetime warranty.

Lighting:

At 3200 lumens this is one serious light, and it comes with a pretty in-depth menu of ten programmes.

Charge time:

16 hours from flat.

Weight:

362g

Buy the Exposure Six Pack MK5 here

Moon Rear Light

Moon LX 70

Road or mountain?

Both

Our feedback:

I’m a big fan of the shape of this tail light; it’s narrow and doesn’t sit all clunky-looking on the seat post. The Moon claim is that it will sit nearly on a variety of posts; I only used it on my bike but it that’s exactly what it did.

The USB makes it an ideal commuter light – just leave the chord at work and charge it at your desk so that you never get caught in the dark.

The only caution – when I first got this light out I actually thought the on/off button was the cover for the USB portal, so I took it out. Was surprised how easily it did come out – don’t make the mistake I did! Not that it really matters – it worked just fine once I returned the button to its place!

Lighting:

There are six modes; standard is 15 lumens and runs for 7 hours and 20 minutes, whilst over-drive is 70 lumens and runs for 60 minutes.

Charge time:

Approx three hours. There’s a USB as well as a rechargeable lithium polymer battery. Features an automatic fully charged cut-off system

Weight:

57g

Buy the Moon LX 70 here

Exposure Trace Front Light

Exposure Trace Front Light

Road or mountain?

Both

Our feedback:

We like the traffic light system telling you where battery life is at and the USB makes it great for leaving in the office to charge if you’re a commuter.

By holding the function button down (when the light is off) you can start programming the light; the number of flashes corresponds to what programme you want to set (eg programme two gives you 6 hours of light in constant mode, and 12 hours in flashing).

Lighting:

Modes include three levels of brightness and a choice of steady or flashing. On a flashing or low level, the light will last around 24 hours whereas at its maximum 110 lumens on high or steady it will provide about three hours of burntime.

Charge time:

Two hours from flat.

Weight:

78g

Buy the Exposure Trace Front Light here

Bike Lights Deer

More, more, more! Check out more lights here