Even if you almost never ride when it's dark, a set of decent bike lights are essential for all cyclists. In this guide we'll help you choose from some of the best bike lights, front and rear, and offer some handy tips to help you decide which type and price point will be best for you.
Best front bike light under £50: Ravemen CR450 USB Rechargeable front light
Best cheap front bike light: Cateye AMPP 400 Front Light
Best compact front light with a big beam : Giant Recon HL 1800
Best value big beam front bike light: Magicshine Ray 2600 Smart Remote Bike Light
Best compact front bike light: Bookman Curve Front Light
Best front light with a camera: Cycliq Fly12 Sport
Best front dynamo bike light: Supernova E3 Pro 2 dynamo front light
Best front light for space-saving: Ravemen FR160 Pro USB Rechargeable Out-Front Front Light
Best headlamp-style front bike light: Knog Bilby Headlamp
Best super bright rear bike light: Cateye Viz 450 Rear Light
Best value rear bike light : Moon Cerberus rear light
Lightest road.cc-recommended rear light : Knog Plus Rear Light
Best cheap rear bike light: ETC R65 65 Lumen USB Rear Light
Best money-no-object rear bike light : Exposure Boost-R with ReAKT and Peloton
Best wearable rear bike light: Cateye Wearable X Rear Light
Best lightweight rear bike light with lots of power: Giant Recon TL 200 rear light
Best rear light with a brake light function: Magicshine SeeMee 200
Best rear light with smart features: Bryton Gardia R300L Rear View Bike Radar Tail Light
Best rear bike light with a camera: Techalogic CR-1 Rear Light with HD Wide Angle Camera
Another excellent cheap, lightweight bike light: Oxford Ultratorch Slimline R50 Rear LED
Best helmet-mounted light for extra visibility: Exposure Link+ Mk3 Front and Rear Combo with DayBright
Best light set with smart connected features: Lezyne Connect Smart 1000XL/KTV Pro Smart Lights
Best value helmet light: Brightside Topside Helmet Light
If you're returning to cycling after a very long hiatus, you'll be pleased to know that bike lights have come a long way this century! The rechargeable, LED light is now king, and unlike the notorious Ever Ready lights that were popular in the '70s and '80s, you don't need to spend a fortune on batteries to get your feeble beam to work for a couple of hours.
Nowadays, you can pick up front lights that can illuminate an unlit path like it's daytime, rear lights with various different settings that can be as bright as car tail lights, and they're all relatively inexpensive. There's also dynamo lighting, that converts the energy from your wheel into charge for your lights so you never need to recharge them, and even lights that double up as action cameras.
The idea of this guide is to provide you with a solid introduction to the different types of bike lights out there, so you can leave this page armed with the information you'll need to inform your choice, and (hopefully) a front and rear bike light from our top recommendations that are suitable for you. Bear in mind these are our top 10 picks, front and rear, from a rather large archive of bike lights we've reviewed and beam tested over the years; so if you want to refine your search you can always check out our more detailed guides to the best front bike lights and best rear bike lights.
To further help you inform your choice when deciding on a front light, we'd also recommend checking out the very handy road.cc Beam Comparison Engine. Our annual tradition sees us head out onto a country lane with a selection of bike lights, capture the strength and shapes of the beams and then express the beam shape data on a graph that uses a logarithmic scale to display the output of the lights. If that doesn't mean much to you, first and foremost, the beam test simply allows you to see still images of the beam shapes as they would look when mounted to your bike. There are other considerations, such as mounting, charging/run time and how easy your light is to use, but we think our Beam Test is a super handy extra tool to help you decide.
As the lights from this year's beam test get dished out to our reviewers, we'll have new front light reviews go up as well as some new rear lights, so be sure to check out our reviews section on front lights and rear lights in the coming months. We'll also update this guide with any outstanding additions that deserve to be included amongst our top picks.
Right then, let there be light(s)!