The Best Bike Lights

Bike safety is of vital importance and can mean the difference between life and death. You’d never let your child ride their bike without a proper bike helmet, so why would you ride at night without bike lights? Whether you’ll be riding on busy roads or quiet cycle paths, bike lights give you the visibility you need. Both to be seen by other road-users and pedestrians, and to see your surroundings more clearly.

We reviewed dozens of bike lights to identify the best of the best. In order to find the most useful bike lights out there, we compared various features including battery life, charge time, brightness, ease of use, and average customer reviews.

Top Pick
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Cycle Torch Shark 500 USB Rechargeable Bike Light Set

You’ll most definitely be seen with this super bright bike light set.

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$38.99 USD

After some careful comparison, the Cycle Torch Shark 500 USB Rechargeable Bike Light Set stood out to us as the clear top pick. With both a headlight and tail light included, it covers all the bases. It’s also a big seller with over 1,500 reviews at the time of writing, most of which are positive.

The 5 Top-Rated Bike Lights

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best OverallCycle Torch Shark 500 USB Rechargeable Bike Light Set4.5
Runner UpCycloving Rechargeable LED Bike Light4.6
Best Budget BuyREFUN Front and Rear Silicone LED Bike Light Set
4.5
Best Bike Wheel LightsBright Spokes Premium LED Bike Wheel Lights4.5
Best Bike Tail LightStupidbright SBR-1 Rear Bike Tail Light Strap4.3

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Our Top Pick: Cycle Torch Shark 500 USB Rechargeable Bike Light Set

If you often ride down unlit or dimly lit roads, or go off-road at night, you need bike lights that will truly illuminate your surroundings, so you can see where you’re going. The Cycle Torch Shark 500 USB Rechargeable Bike Light Set ticks that box, and more. The headlight has a maximum brightness of 500 lumens, but you can also set it on medium or low, if you don’t need so much power. Plus, there’s an additional flashing mode. The battery lasts for 1.5 hours on the high setting, 3 hours on the medium setting, 15 hours on the low setting, and 30 hours on the flashing setting.

The set also comes with a tail light, which emits red light at a brightness of 10 lumens. It lasts for 5 hours on high mode and 10 to 15 on flashing or pulsing modes. Both front and rear lights are easy to install with no tools required and can be recharged via a micro USB cable, either with a mains adapter or running from a computer.

Retailing at $40, it’s certainly on the higher end of the price spectrum, but the brightness and overall quality makes it well worth the money.

Cycle Torch Shark 500 USB Rechargeable Bike Light Set Key Features: 

  • Water and dust resistant
  • Headlight fits any handlebar
  • Reaches 80% charge from flat in 2 hours

Our Runner Up Pick: Cycloving Rechargeable LED Bike Light

Runner Up
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Cycloving Rechargeable LED Bike Light

This versatile headlight comes with a free tail light included.

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$39.00 USD

While it’s not as powerful as our top pick, the Cycloving Rechargeable LED Bike Light is still a fine choice for people who don’t need such impressive illumination. It still produces a respectable 400 lumens at full power and offers five lighting modes, including S.O.S. and strobe. The battery life is decent, managing around 2 to 3 hours on high.

While the headlight features an internal battery that’s recharged via USB, the free tail light that’s included isn’t rechargeable, and takes two button batteries. Both lights are easy to mount and lightweight, yet sturdy.

This light set will set you back around $21, which is much more affordable than our top pick, which is good news if you’re on a budget.

Cycloving Rechargeable LED Bike Light Key Features: 

  • Water resistant
  • Easy to switch between modes
  • Quick release mount

Best Budget Pick: REFUN Front and Rear Silicone LED Bike Light Set

Best Budget
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REFUN Front and Rear Silicone LED Bike Light Set

Basic LED bike lights at a bargain price.

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The REFUN Front and Rear Silicone LED Bike Light Set shows that road safety doesn’t have to come at a premium. Sure, they aren’t the brightest bike lights out there, but they’ll greatly increase your visibility to motorists and at less than $10 for four lights (two headlights and two rear lights), you can’t argue with the price.

The front lights emit a total of 120 lumens a piece. While this is bright enough to make you visible, they don’t project a lot of light, so they’re not ideal for lighting your way down pitch-black paths, but they are suitable for roads with streetlights. Both front and rear lights have three modes; continuous, flash, and slow flash. They take two CR2032 batteries each and 16 are included, so you have spares.

The flexible silicone design makes them easy to fit to a wide range of bikes, though they’re not completely universal.

REFUN Front and Rear Silicone LED Bike Light Set Key Features: 

  • Battery life of between 45 and 70 hours
  • Not tools required for fitting
  • Waterproof design

Best Wheel Lights: Bright Spokes Premium LED Bike Wheel Lights

Best Wheel
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Bright Spokes Premium LED Bike Wheel Lights

These nifty wheel lights give you even more visibility.

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Not only do the Bright Spokes Premium LED Bike Wheel Lights make you easier to see when riding, they look cool, too! So, they’re a great way to encourage kids and teens to use bike lights. They’re essentially a string of rechargeable LED lights in a protective silicone tube that you fit around the spokes of your wheel.

You can set these lights to one of seven colors: red, blue, green, white, purple, yellow, or cyan. Or, you can put them on color-change mode so they automatically switch between colors. There’s also a pattern shuffle mode for different lighting patterns, instead of just steady on.

These LED lights cost roughly $15 for one string (enough to go around a single wheel), so you’ll need to buy two sets if you want to light up both your front and rear wheels.

Bright Spokes Premium LED Bike Wheel Lights Key Features: 

  • Fits wheels between 12 and 29 inches
  • Easy to install
  • Suitable for all-weather use

Best Tail Light: Stupidbright SBR-1 Rear Bike Tail Light

Best Tail Light
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Stupidbright SBR-1 Rear Bike Tail Light

A rugged tail light that you can fit almost anywhere.

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$24.90 USD

If you’re looking for a bright tail light that doesn’t feel like an afterthought to the headlight, check out the Stupidbright SBR-1 Rear Bike Tail Light. Its universal fittings means you can attach it to practically any seat post, seat stay, fender, helmet, or almost anywhere else you choose. It’s specially designed to be among the brightest tail lights of its size on the market.

While some people like the convenience of rechargeable lights, you can’t get as much brightness from them. So, instead, this light is powered by CR2032 batteries, which last for around 50 hours of continuous use and are easy to switch out when they need changing. This rugged little light is waterproof, so you can use it in any weather conditions.

Costing $10, it’s a little more expensive than some bike tail lights available, but we think it offers great value, considering the quality.

Stupidbright SBR-1 Rear Bike Tail Light Key Features: 

  • Visible 180 degrees
  • Easy to fit with no tools needed
  • Three lighting modes

Who Should Buy a Bike Light

If you own a bike, you should most definitely buy a bike light. It’s irresponsible to ride your bicycle without lights, as you could pose a danger to yourself and other road users, especially when you ride at night.

Bike lights not only illuminate the way for you, so you don’t bump into anyone or anything on your path, they make you more visible so that cars know where you are and won’t hit you.

Top Pick
Buy Now
Cycle Torch Shark 500 USB Rechargeable Bike Light Set

You’ll most definitely be seen with this super bright bike light set

buy now
$38.99 USD

Important Features to Consider

A bike light should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a light for your bike:

  • Brightness. The brightness level of bike lights is generally measured in lumens. Headlights can be found anywhere between about 10 and 1,000 lumens, and tail lights between 5 and 100 lumens. You shouldn’t need a headlight of more than 100 to 200 lumens for riding on well-lit roads, whereas 500 or 600 will suffice for most cyclists, even when cycling on unlit paths.
  • Battery type. The majority of lights on the market today have internal rechargeable batteries, but some still use single-use batteries.
  • Battery life. As a rule, bike lights with rechargeable batteries have a much shorter battery life than those with single-use batteries. Between 1 and 15 hours for rechargeable options versus 40 to 100 hours for single-use batteries.
  • Daytime running. Some bike lights are also visible during the daytime, which is great for overcast days, fog, or cautious cyclists.
  • Waterproofing. A quality bike light should be waterproof so that you don’t have any problems riding in the rain.
  • Mounting. Check the mounting type of any bike lights you’re considering buying and make sure they’ll fit on your bike. Many modern bike lights have universal mounting, which should fit any bike.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are bike lights?

As the name suggests, bike lights are lights that attach to bicycles. The main types are headlights (which attach to the front of your bike) and tail lights (which attach to the rear of your bike). Headlights emit white light and are designed to illuminate your path, as well as making you more visible to other road users. Tail lights emit red light and are designed solely to make you more visible. In addition to headlight and tail lights, you can also buy wheel lights for bikes, which add an extra dimension of visibility, as well as being an aesthetic choice.

Is it against the law to ride a bike without lights?

There are no federal laws regarding use of bicycle lights, but many states have laws requiring cyclists to use bicycle lights. If you’re unsure, check your state laws. However, we’d highly recommend you use bicycle lights, regardless of legal requirements. Likewise, it’s a good idea, particularly for kids, to wear a bike helmet for safety.

Do you have to have lights on a bicycle at night?

As mentioned above, this requirement varies by state. In many states, it is a legal requirement that you use bicycle lights at night.

How many feet must a bike headlight be visible from when riding at night?

In states that do require cyclists to use lights on their bike, a common requirement is that the bike headlight should be visible to cars from 500 feet away.

Other Bike Lights We Reviewed

Top Pick
Buy Now
Cycle Torch Shark 500 USB Rechargeable Bike Light Set

You’ll most definitely be seen with this super bright bike light set.

buy now
$38.99 USD

We looked at 20 other bicycle lights. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best bike lights list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your bike. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Bike Tail Lights

BLITZU Ultra Bright Bike Light

BLITZU Ultra Bright Bike Light

The 260 degree wide angle design of this tail light lets other road users see you from all positions.

Key Features: 

  • Visible in daytime
  • USB rechargeable
  • Easy to mount

 

BrightRoad The Original LED Rechargeable Bike Tail Light

BrightRoad The Original LED Rechargeable Bike Tail Light

This extremely bright tail light can be seen from as far as 650 feet away.

Key Features: 

  • Goes up to 24 hours between charges
  • Three lighting modes
  • 220 degree visual angle

 

Canway Bike Tail Light

Canway Bike Tail Light

Unlike the majority of bike tail lights, you can set this one to emit blue light, in addition to the standard red.

Key Features: 

  • Can be mounted horizontally or vertically
  • Rechargeable via USB
  • 2 to 4 hour battery life

 

MEILAN X5 Wireless Remote Control Smart Bike Tail Light

MEILAN X5 Wireless Remote Control Smart Bike Tail Light

You can control this tail light from a wireless remote attached to your handlebar, making it might simpler to switch between modes on the go.

Key Features: 

  • Visible from up to 150 feet away
  • Can be used as a turning light
  • Rechargeable

 

Nkomax Smart Bike Tail Light

Nkomax Smart Bike Tail Light

This tail light doubles up as a brake light and automatically senses when you’re braking or decelerating.

Key Features: 

  • Automatically switches on in low light and off in bright light
  • Waterproof
  • USB rechargeable

 

Bike Light Sets

Akale Rechargeable Bike Light Set

Akale Rechargeable Bike Light Set

This affordable light set gives you a headlight with four lighting modes and a tail light with two lighting modes.

Key Features: 

  • Easy to mount
  • Water resistant
  • USB rechargeable

 

AKASO USB Rechargeable Bike Light Set

AKASO USB Rechargeable Bike Light Set

With a headlight packing a 700-lumen punch, this is a powerful light set, but it feels flimsier than some.

Key Features: 

  • Universal mounting
  • Waterproof
  • Rechargeable

 

BLITZU Gator 390 USB Rechargeable LED Bike Light Set

BLITZU Gator 390 USB Rechargeable LED Bike Light Set

The rugged headlight is visible in the daylight, but the tail light feels a bit like an afterthought.

Key Features: 

  • 390-lumen headlight
  • Easy to fit
  • Recharges via USB

 

Cycle Torch Bolt Combo

Cycle Torch Bolt Combo

A compact, affordable set of bike lights from a respected manufacturer, best for well-lit areas where you need minimal illumination.

Key Features: 

  • 20-lumen headlight and 10-lumen tail light
  • Universal mounting
  • Three lighting modes

 

Cycle Torch Shark 550R USB Rechargeable Bike Light Set

Cycle Torch Shark 550R USB Rechargeable Bike Light Set

A more powerful option from Cycle Torch, with a 550-lumen headlight and 25-lumen tail light.

Key Features: 

  • Excellent battery life
  • Universal fit
  • Replaceable rechargeable battery for longer rides

 

LX LERMX Bicycle Headlight with Two Bike Tail Lights

LX LERMX Bicycle Headlight with Two Bike Tail Lights

This set includes two tail lights of different colors and a powerful headlight that can be rotated 360 degrees.

Key Features: 

  • 450-lumen headlight
  • USB rechargeable
  • Runs 4.5 hours on high

 

Mevel Cruiser USB Rechargeable Bike Light Set

Mevel Cruiser USB Rechargeable Bike Light Set

If you’re concerned about daytime safety, this is the light set for you. These lights run twice as bright as other brands when used in daylight.

Key Features: 

  • Easy to fit
  • Headlight output 200 lumens
  • Tail light output 10 lumens

 

TeamObsidian Bike Light Set

TeamObsidian Bike Light Set

If you’d prefer to go without the hassle of charging, this bike light set runs off standard batteries.

Key Features: 

  • 200-lumen headlight
  • Three lighting modes
  • Good battery life

 

Usione Bike Lights Front and Back

Usione Bike Lights Front and Back

If you want a powerful headlight, this set is for you. It emits a huge 800 lumens!

Key Features: 

  • Runs up to five hours on brightest setting
  • Choice of three lighting modes for headlight and tail light
  • USB rechargeable

 

Vont Bike Light Set

Vont Bike Light Set

With an 80-lumen headlight and 40-lumen rear light, this isn’t the most powerful set on the market, but it’s inexpensive and good for cycling in well-lit areas.

Key Features: 

  • Durable and weatherproof
  • Easy to fit
  • Charges via included USB cables

 

Bike Wheel Lights

Activ Life LED Bike Wheel Lights

Activ Life LED Bike Wheel Lights

You can buy these single-color wheel lights in a choice of seven hues.

Key Features: 

  • Runs on AAA batteries
  • Constant and flashing modes
  • Fits wheels up to 29 inches

 

Bodyguard Bike Wheel Lights

Bodyguard Bike Wheel Lights

These multi-color wheel lights feature 20 lights to a string, which is more than many competitors.

Key Features: 

  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Easy to fit
  • Low-battery indicator

 

Brightz WheelBrightz LED Bicycle Wheel Accessory Light

Brightz WheelBrightz LED Bicycle Wheel Accessory Light

Unlike most other brands, you get two strings of lights in this set, one for each wheel.

Key Features: 

  • Choose from 13 color options
  • Runs on 2 AA batteries
  • Protective tubing included

 

CYCPLUS Bike Wheel Lights

CYCPLUS Bike Wheel Lights

These programmable spoke lights can project a range of fun designs on your wheels. Costly, but worth it!

Key Features: 

  • Easy to install
  • App programmable
  • USB rechargeable

 

GlowRiders Ultra Bright LED Bike Wheel Light String

GlowRiders Ultra Bright LED Bike Wheel Light String

These affordable wheel lights aren’t quite as sturdy as some brands, but they’re fine for occasional use.

Key Features: 

  • Uses 3 AA batteries
  • 48 hour battery life
  • Suitable for wheels up to 20 inches

 

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Lauren Corona