Bicycle Light: Top 4 Front & Rear Bike Lights

product photo of a front light attached to a blue bike

Comparison Chart

Product

Rechargable

Lumens

Mount

Price

Light & Motion Urban 500 Front Bike Light

product photo of Light & Motion Urban 500 Front Bike Light

Yes

500

Helmet or handlebars

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Cygolite Hotshot Pro

product photo of Cygolite Hotshot Pro 150 USB Rechargeable Bike Tail Light

Yes

150

Rear seat post

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Cygolite Metro Pro 1100

product photo of Cygolite Metro Pro 1100

Yes

1100

Handlebars

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Cygolite Streak 450 Hotshot SL Bike Light Combo Set

product photo of Cygolite Streak 450 Hotshot SL Bike Light Combo Set

Yes

450 (front), 50 (back)

Handlebars (front), Rear seat post (back)

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Many people are going green and using their bicycles as commuter transport, forsaking the car at home. And why not? Using bicycles is a great way to ensure that you are getting a workout into your schedule without having to go to the gym. It’s great for the planet, and great for your health. However, if you have to bike home in the dark occasionally, it’s important for you to have a bicycle light. In many jurisdictions, you can even get ticketed if your bike isn’t properly lit after dark.

Having a good bicycle light ensures that you can see the road if you are going through an area that is not well-lit, and more importantly, that drivers in cars can see you. This is very important if you bike in the street. This is why we have come up with this list of the top 4 commuter bicycle lights of 2018.

Product FAQ

a cyclist walking alongside with his bicycle equipped with bicycle light

What does a bicycle light do?

How do I tell how powerful my bicycle light is?

What kind of bike lights do I need?

How We Reviewed

We wanted to include both front-mount and rear-mount lights, as both of these are necessary. Some lights are sold individually, but we did also include one rear-front bicycle light combination. We wanted to pay attention to quality, lumens, and ease of use. Whether you are looking for something big and bright or shopping for something economical, we have all sorts of options for you.

Price Range of the Product

Technically, bike lights can cost up to several-hundred-dollar, but the ones that we picked here are all under $$. Most commuters don’t need more powerful lights than what we have listed. The lights on our list can get the job done right and protect riders while they are on the road.

The Top 4 Commuter Bicycle Lights of 2018

Light & Motion Urban 500 Front Bike Light

product photo of Light & Motion Urban 500 Front Bike Light

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The Light & Motion Urban 500 Front Bike Light is one of the most loved bicycle lights. This is because the Urban 500 produces a lot of light from a little bit of power and at a relatively low price. If you’re looking for a functional, flexible, affordable front light for your bike, the Light & Motion Urban 500 Front Bike Light is a great choice.


Key Features

The Urban 500 light has high, low, and medium pulse settings that you can adjust to be maximally visible during the day and at night. It also has an incredibly accurate battery reader, so you’ll know exactly when it needs to be recharged. Since the Light & Motion Urban 500 Front Bike Light uses rechargeable batteries, you won’t be chewing through disposables left and right.


Where to Buy

You can buy the Light & Motion Urban 500 Front Bike Light from REI, but it is so popular it’s also available in a large number of specialty bike shops.

Pros

  • The Urban comes with an easy handlebar mount, which is generally the best choice for commuters, as opposed to helmet-mounts. However, if you want to mount it to your helmet, you certainly can. It also comes with its own micro-USB for charging.

Cons

  • However, this light takes five hours to get a full charge, which may not be the best option if you’re heading off to work in the morning and realize that the Light & Motion Urban 500 Front Bike Light won’t turn on. Plus, the Urban 500 does not come with a rear bicycle light.

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Cygolite Hotshot Pro 150 USB Rechargeable Bike Tail Light

product photo of Cygolite Hotshot Pro 150 USB Rechargeable Bike Tail Light

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Are you looking for a great rear light? Then the Cygolite Hotshot Pro is a great choice. It’s an affordable option that has a wide beam light and also projects an impressive 150 lumens. This is probably the most powerful bike tail light in its class at this price point. The Cygolite Hotshot Pro also has adjustable beam settings.


Key Features

One of the most impressive features of the Cygolite Hotshot Pro is that it will work for a whopping 210 hours on a single charge. This probably puts this light at the top of its class for use. The Hotshot Pro includes six different settings, some for use during the day and others for use at night.


Where to Buy

The Cygolite Hotshot Pro is available on Amazon and at fine bike shops around the country.

Pros

  • One of the biggest pros to the Cygolite Hotshot Pro is the fact that it lasts a long time on a single charge. In fact, many commuters might consider this to be a bit of an overkill, but the Hotshot is also designed for people who are hardcore mountain bikers, and they often need long hours of dependable light use. The Hotshot is waterproof, and the fact that you can adjust the settings for day or night makes it a powerhouse. You’re sure to be noticed when you have the Hotshot strapped onto the rear of your bike. The Cygolite Hotshot Pro is also made in the USA.

Cons

  • The main negative is probably that the Hotshot may indeed be a bit too powerful for most commuters. If you don’t need either the hardcore nature of the Cygolite Hotshot Pro or its extremely long charge hold (though, the fact that you don’t have to charge it often isn’t a negative on its own), then there are cheaper options out there on the market.

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Cygolite Metro Pro 1100

product photo of Cygolite Metro Pro 1100


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The Cygolite Metro Pro 1100 is definitely designed for commuters who might have to take darker, unlit roads back to their homes. The light on the Pro 1100 is basically like a tiny sun and drivers will be able to see bikers from hundreds of yards away. It will also illuminate the space in front of the bike spectacularly for top-notch visibility.


Key Features

The key feature of the Cygolite Metro Pro 1100 is definitely how powerful it is. This is a bicycle light that is made with a professional in mind. However, the price point is reasonable enough that the light could be used on a commuter bike, especially if your commute involves some poorly-lit roads. This is a great light for a commuter who might live in a more rural area.


Where to Buy

You can buy the Cygolite Metro Pro 1100 from Amazon or from specialized bike shops around the country.

Pros

  • The power of the Cygolite Metro Pro 1100 can’t really be overestimated because the 1100 lumens it projects will make you extremely visible and contribute greatly to your safety as a cyclist. This is especially important if you ride an electric bike or some motorized device that goes faster than a typical bicycle. Most motorists aren’t going to recognize that you are moving as fast as you are without a proper light.

Cons

  • However, the main con is that the Cygolite Metro Pro 1100 might be more power than you need if you are an average urban commuter that has lit roads to ride on. If this is you, then it’s likely you can get a cheaper light that will do the job you need it to do.


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Cygolite Streak 450 Hotshot SL Bike Light Combo Set

product photo of Cygolite Streak 450 Hotshot SL Bike Light Combo Set

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If you’re a commuter who stays on well-lit roads and wants to maximize your bang for your buck while not sacrificing quality, then you should look into the Cygolite Streak 450 Hotshot SL Bike Light Combo Set. Generally speaking, Cygolite is a very trusted name in the bicycle light business (if you couldn’t already tell by our recommendations), and in this combo set, you’ll get both a rear and a front light.


Key Features

The 450 Hotshot’s key feature is probably that you get both the front and the rear light in the same package. This makes it an incredible value. It has a 450-lumen front light and a 50-lumen back light, which is probably more than enough for the average commuter who doesn’t need to go that far and has a well-lit path.


Where to Buy

You can buy the Cygolite Streak 450 Hotshot SL Bike Light Combo Set from Amazon, or from specialty bike shops around the country.

Pros

  • A definite pro to the Cygolite Streak 450 Hotshot SL Bike Light Combo Set is the fact that it comes with both the front and back light. There aren’t too many high-quality combo sets out there, and this is probably the best one. They are both charged via USB-micro, so you won’t need to worry about going through disposable batteries.

Cons

  • However, the lights you get in the 450 Hotshot set are considerably less powerful than the individual ones we have posted above. They will also last less time between charges. It’s also recommended that you keep both the Cygolite Streak 450 Hotshot SL Bike Light Combo Set on the higher settings to ensure that you are visible by motorists.

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Our Verdict on the Best Commuter Bicycle Lights of 2018

close-up photo of a front light of a bicycle

While all of the lights on our list are great choices, we have to hand it to the Cygolite Streak 450 Hotshot SL Bike Light Combo Set. Since you do need both a front light and a back light, this is a very cost-effective way to pick both of them up. Of course, the main negative to the 450 Hotshot is that neither light is very powerful. If you do need a front light to light your way down a dark path, then we do recommend you get something with more lumens.

The average commuter is going to need something to ensure that they are maximally visible to motorists. The Cygolite Streak 450 Hotshot SL Bike Light Combo Set does this very well, and it comes with the quality you can expect out of a brand like Cygolite. If you are just getting started with commuter biking and you want something that is affordable, we can’t recommend the Cygolite Streak 450 Hotshot SL Bike Light Combo Set enough.

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