The Exposure Link+ Mk3 Front and Rear Combo with DayBright is a helmet-mounted light that offers 360-degree visibility, with a front light offering 450 lumens and a rear delivering 50. Typically for Exposure, the construction quality of the UK-made light is excellent, and it proved reliable over months of testing, making me feel a bit safer on my urban commutes. I was so impressed overall that it has made me reconsider my views on helmet-mounted lights.
Helmet-mounted lights are quite niche and if you're looking for more traditional lighting, it's worth checking out our best bike lights buyer's guide.
Before testing this I'd always felt helmet-mounted lights were pretty pointless and a little cumbersome. However, the directional and powerful front lighting and neat mounting of the Exposure Link+ has changed my mind.
On opening the Exposure Link+ box it's clear that this is a very well-made light that's constructed with durability in mind. This is backed up with a two-year guarantee for the light and battery, and a lifetime warranty for the LEDs.
It weighs 90g (13g more than claimed), the anodised aluminium construction is simple, and the light is designed to fit vented helmets using a circular screw mount, which lets you adjust the direction once it's mounted.
We'd still suggest checking that it works with your specific helmet or helmets, as some lids may not have vents in the correct place or of sufficient size, and the clamp could also potentially interfere with the action of a Mips liner.
Simple to use
The light is very simple to operate, with a single top-mounted button controlling both brightness and mode. The front offers three different lighting levels, and various modes allow you to use solely the front or rear lights, or both together.
While some riders have criticised the size of the single button, I had no issues with it and felt it was a clever way of controlling what is effectively 24 different settings.
The light was sent to me for testing with a handlebar mount, but you don't get one supplied in the box as standard, just the helmet mount. You can buy this simple QR bar mount for £14.99. I didn't feel it was particularly sturdy, though it was fine when I used it for my 20-minute commute.
I tested the light primarily on my helmet, using the white front light on its full 450-lumen setting and the red in a constant pulsing mode, which I felt offered maximum visibility without annoying other road users.
Charging & run-times
I did find recharging it a little fiddly as it took a fair bit of effort to prise open the rubber dock cover to insert the USB charging cable. That said, I'd much prefer that minor difficulty to having a charging port that's easily exposed to the elements. Technically speaking the light's IP65 rating means it's water-resistant rather than fully waterproof, but unless you're planning to submerge the light in water (our advice: don't!) it should survive any rain and road spray it encounters.
Once charged, battery life is excellent. I was getting over three hours with both lights on full power. This should cover just about every daily commute, and in my case the battery never ran out during an entire week's commuting – though your mileage may vary, of course. And Exposure claims running times of up to 32 hours at lower power settings.
Value and rivals
Selling for £90, the Exposure Link+ Mk3 isn't what you'd call cheap – but you are getting a high-quality, reliable and versatile helmet-mounted light with Exposure's usual impressive toughness.
There aren't many obvious rivals in the market, though Brightside's Topside is a reasonable alternative, costs just £30 and Shaun really liked it when he reviewed it. The Topside is much less powerful, though, with the front light firing out just 50 lumens or 100 lumens in flash mode.
Exposure itself also offers a 'mini' alternative, the Link Daybright at a slightly less expensive £70, which received similarly good scores when Simon reviewed it a few years ago.
There really is little fault about this light. I feel that it's at its best when mounted on your helmet, but you do also have the option of fitting it to your handlebar. The quite hefty price may be a deterrent, but I did genuinely feel safer on my commute using this – and it's very hard to put a price on that.
Tough, bright and versatile, the newest incarnation of Exposure's Link+ is a genuinely impressive piece of kit.
A really brilliant helmet light that made me feel safer on my commute
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Make and model: Exposure Link+ Mk3 Front and Rear Combo with DayBright
Tell us what the light set is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The Exposure Link+ Mk3 is a front and rear combo light which is mounted to the helmet. Mounting on the bike is also possible, with the light modes allowing versatile uses for different mountings.
You could use this light for any cycling situation, but the 360 visibility positions this mainly with commuters in mind.
A front and rear combination helmet light that now has been upgraded output to 450 lumens front and 50 lumens rear has the options of being either front, rear, or both. The Link+ sits high above the traffic with 360-degree visibility and the power to be seen over a kilometer away. Prominent illumination whether commuting, training or just riding, day or night.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light set?
Weight - 77g
Runtime - Claimed between 3-32 hours depending on the mode used
Lumens - Front up to 450, Rear 50
Modes 24 in total (8 modes at 3 different levels of brightness), including front only, rear only, both and various pulse modes
Mounts Helmet and handlebar mounts included
Charging cable micro USB cable
LEDs 1 x White XPG3 x XPE-RED
IP Rating IP65
Battery 3,500 mAh Li-Ion
Charging Time 5 Hours
Material: Anodised 6063 Aluminium
Head Diameter 28mm
In The Box: Link Plus DB MK3, Helmet Mount, Micro-USB Charge Cable, QS Guide
Rate the front light for quality of construction:
Rate the rear light for quality of construction:
I could detect absolutely no flaws in the aluminum construction.
Rate the light set for design and ease of use. How simple were the lights to use?
The light modes were simple to understand and operate, even while riding.
Rate the front light for the design and usability of the clamping system
Rate the rear light for the design and usability of the clamping system
The helmet mounted clamp was tight and didn't wobble, while offering directional adjustment.
The aftermarket bar mount was fairly standard, although I have used others that are more secure and sleek.
Rate the front light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
Rate the front light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
I had no issues with it, even when getting drenched multiple times.
Rate the front light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
Rate the rear light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
The light took around four hours to recharge, though I mostly recharged it overnight.
Run-times depend on the brightness and modes, but the absolute minimum is three hours, which is more than sufficient for me.
Rate the front light for performance:
Rate the rear light for performance:
Rate the front light for durability:
Rate the rear light for durability:
In two months use I've detected no deterioration. I'd imagine the high-quality aluminium outer would last much better than a bunch of the other plastic lights on the market.
Rate the front light for weight:
Rate the rear light for weight:
At 77g, not including the mount, it is certainly not the lightest, but feels OK when mounted on my helmet.
Rate the light set for value:
It's clearly expensive, but this is a product that justifies it with its quality and safety-boosting credentials.
Tell us how the lights performed overall when used for their designed purpose
The modes were perfect for commuter use.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the lights
I liked the feel and quality of the aluminium; it's really converted me to appreciate a head-mounted commuter light.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the lights
I didn't dislike much, but the charging port could be easier to access.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's more expensive than the competition... but is very good quality and has more functionality.
The Brightside Topside helmet light is a cheaper alternative at £30.
Exposure itself offers a 'mini' alternative at a cheaper price point of £70, which received a similarly good review.
Did you enjoy using the lights? Yes
Would you consider buying the lights? Yes
Would you recommend the lights to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The price is the only drawback with this light. It operated really well, and is very bright. Exposure clearly has experience of making good bike lights and the third iteration of the Link+ is really high performing in all areas.
Age: 32 Height: 182cm Weight: 69kg
I usually ride: S-Works Tarmac My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, club rides, Gravel on a CX bike
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