No matter where you’re biking, it’s essential to make your presence known to those around you. The city lights can flush you out at night, and the dark back roads emit no light whatsoever. At night, drivers cannot see you. You need safety gear like reflectors, reflective clothing and a bike light.
Whether for a commute or simply because the breeze of the night feels nice, many bikers find themselves biking at night. Without a proper bike light, however, this becomes a dangerous task that puts your safety in the hands of drivers and anyone else out on the road at night. Bike lights enable you to be seen on the road before it’s too late. With a bike light, that driver speeding along the back road will have much more time to hit on the brakes.
With such a vital difference, it’s crucial to have only the best tools working with you. To help alleviate the stress of finding the perfect bike light for you, we’ve researched, tested, and picked our five favorite bike lights of 2021. These are the cream of the crop in the “affordable” price range, and each product will provide you with light that will protect you while biking in the night.
Although bike lights have made many advancements over the past decade, not all bike lights are equal, and there is a wide range of quality and price for bike lights. Some bike lights cost as much as $300. However, this article will summarize all the best affordable bike lights for around $20 – $30. There are still good bike lights in this price category, as we discuss below.
What Matters Most?
Brightness is the most important factor when judging bike lights. Brightness is measured in lumens, so the more lumens, the better. How many lumens do you need for a bike light?
Daytime running lights to be seen in daylight = 100+ Lumens
Urban commuting lights to be seen in town = 50 to 200 Lumens
Rural riding lights to see where you are going = 400 to 600 Lumens
Trail riding lights to see everything = 600+ LumensCycles UK
The next most important diagnostic to look at for bike lights is beam pattern, which is how wide and far the light reaches.
In addition, a good bike light should be sturdy and attach/detach easily to the bike. Thus, material quality and build quality is another leading indicator for comparing bike lights.
Lastly, when comparing bike lights, it’s important to review the specs of the “bells and whistles” offered by the various bike light brands, like battery power time, whether there are battery indicator lights/sounds and water-resistance rating.
How We Tested
We researched the market on Amazon for bike lights in and around the $10 – $40 dollar range, ordering and then testing the products at night, reviewing user reviews (all of these bike lights have at least one thousand reviews), reading online forums and using our experience with bike lights over the years.
Protect yourself and stand out against the dark background of the night with any of the five best affordable bike lights of 2021.
Top 5 Best Bike Lights Reviewed
Most of these inexpensive lights have around the same level of lumens, and around the same battery life, so the ranking is based on whose specs are slightly better relative to the price, which ones were easier to mount on all bikes, and which ones looked better.
All of these bike lights can be affixed to a bike without any tools, which is another great thing about the more affordable range of bike lights.
Each of the products on our list has been tested among many others and have proven to be the best that 2021 has to offer. They include advanced features as well as customization options to keep you safe and bright, even on the darkest back roads in the night. If you’re looking for a great way to keep yourself lit on the back roads or to stand out in the bright city, our list of five bike lights have you covered.
1. Vont ‘Pyro’
The Vont ‘Pyro’ Bike Light Set takes your safety as well as the safety of others into consideration with their ‘Pyro’ bike light set and wraps it up in a very affordable price. It comes with a front light and a backlight so that not only can you see where you’re going in the night, but other drivers will be able to see you well before it’s too late. This affordable bike light has all of the features of the industry’s most expensive products but will not break the bank. Anyone looking for a cheap, yet effective way to light up the night needs to look no further.
This device was designed for the city. At 80 lumens, it is enough to power to stand out in urban commuting (it feels a lot brighter than 80 lumens). It employs super-bright LEDs in both lights with four modes each. The lamps are small and compact, but their spread will cover everything in front of you and can easily be switched to accommodate your surroundings with the click of a button. With biking, the elements come into play as well – luckily these little lights are waterproof and built to handle any light collisions.
We were shocked at the strength of these bike lights. For their size, they have an incredible spread and completely cover the entire road when needed. If you’re in a smaller area where less light is needed, simply press a button, and the lights will change to another setting.
The rechargeable batteries lasted well over 10 hours and kept us biking much longer than any other lamps. The lights are waterproof and can handle a beating (though we didn’t test them against a truck which the company claims they can withstand.)
- Waterproof and nearly indestructible
- Four brightness and blinking settings (switch between low and high brightness from dusk to complete darkness at night, or between slow and fast flashing modes for high-traffic roads).
- Compact with an incredible spread
- Batteries last 10+ hours each charge. Recharge with USB.
- Battery life depletes quicker when on the highest setting
- Not bright enough for rural and mountain riding at night
2. Ascher Ultra Bright
Similar to the Vont light, the Ascher Ultra Bright USB Rechargeable Bike Light is a front and backlight set that keeps you safe from drivers behind you as well as drivers in front of you. Ascher makes reliable and durable products that are designed to keep bikers safe and to create enough light as not to blind the others on the road. These rechargeable bike lights employ 300 lumens in the front, and around 100 lumens in the back all powered by an industry-leading 1800mAh lithium battery in the front and a 330mAh lithium battery in the back, so you won’t have to worry about dimming or burning out.
On top of their strong batteries, the Ascher lights include four different brightness and blinking settings to help you adapt to your surroundings. If you’re on a dark back road with no cars around, turn it up and see far enough ahead of you. The taillight uses five bright red LED chips to alert other drivers to your presence faster. The easy installation of these lights enables you to detach and use the device for another bike or simply for hiking purposes.
This is a very similar product to the ‘Pyro’ listed above with a few minor differences. It handles the USB charging aspect much better than their competitor as they’re able to keep battery life up longer, even on the brightest setting. The light isn’t as bright as the ‘Pyro’, but it does offer a sturdy and lasting life. We loved the look and feel of this light and would highly recommend it to anyone taking the city roads or paths deep into the night.
- Long-lasting rechargeable batteries
- Tall taillight provides ample light for traffic. All reviewers said this product was easily enough light for night and early morning riding.
- Four brightness and blinking settings
- Perfect for urban roads at night
- Some users have reported it not fitting their handlebars
3. Wastou Super Bright
The Wastou Super Bright Bike Light is specially designed for low-light biking where encounters with others are more likely. Their bike light is designed to make you visible without blinding others which will increase your safety as well. Wastou has made a strong product at an affordable price that can withstand any extreme types of weather that might come your way. Wastou’s affordable front light is ready to keep you cycling throughout the neighborhood deep into the night.
This bike light is mainly focused on the front beam with the taillight being much smaller and less powerful than other products on our list. With that being said, Wastou has focused on this front beam to make it one of the best options available and the taillight continues to host enough brightness to make you visible as you ride through the night. This device is waterproof and durable, with six different brightness settings to adjust to your surroundings.
If you’re looking for a fantastic bike light set that’s specifically designed for neighborhoods and low-light areas, then this is the perfect light for you. However, if you’re looking for a versatile light that also works on mountain paths and back roads, then this might not be a great option. It’s designed to avoid blinding others by lowering the angle at which the beam radiates while still providing ample coverage for the space around you. We loved this device, but the taillight seems to be lacking in power.
- Designed for neighborhoods and low-light areas
- 1200 Lumens, so it’s great for back roads and mountain paths and cities alike
- Lower angled beam avoids blinding oncoming traffic. Plus, the beam has a wide spread (85 degrees) and a long path (330 feet).
- Waterproof and durable
- Almost all the power is in front light
- Low battery time (2 hours at full strength).
4. BrightRoad Rechargeable 800 Lumens
While the BrightRoad Rechargeable 800 Lumens Bike Light might be the most expensive product on our list, the quality and versatility are well worth the price its listed at. Few other products are designed for both city biking and country biking, but BrightRoad implements the perfect mix of brightness spread and low-angle beams to make you stand out in both environments. This 800-lumen bike light is a fantastic way to continue biking throughout the city as well as the back roads between.
This bike light offers one of the furthest warning distances any taillight can offer in a set deal. Cars will be able to see your taillight up to 650 feet away and will know to slow down. Your front light has the same beam distance of 650 feet in front of you and is angled as to warn oncoming traffic, not blind them. There are five different brightness and blinking settings for further customization options. You’re also receiving a waterproof product to keep you safe in all-weather situations. This bike light’s body is made from aluminium, not plastic.
For a transitional situation, this bike light is unmatched at this price point. It can work wonders on back roads and yet makes you stand out in some of the brightest backdrops in city life. When testing this light out, we were shocked to find how effective the backlight was, even in low-visibility areas. We will say that the taillight tends to blend in with similar reds in large cities, but that shouldn’t be a problem as most drivers will know to stop or slow down. The front light is a quality product, but the taillight is what sells this device.
- Up to 650 feet of warning distance both front and back
- Up to 18 hours of battery life
- Great for city biking and country road use
- USB charging can take a while as its a bigger battery than the others listed here
- More expensive
5. NP Night Provision BX-300
While it’s not as bright as the BrightRoad or the Wastou, the NP Night Provision BX-300 Bike Light will easily get the job done and make you visible to cars at night. The NP Night Provision Bike Light is a 300 Lumen device that offers great illumination for almost all situations. This lamp is transferable for city biking, low-light neighborhood biking, and even some back-road biking at night.
With this affordable bike light, you’re getting ample coverage in both the front and back with quality light spread that isn’t too much for oncoming traffic. This lightweight lamp is easy to affix to your bike and can be switched out and moved from bike to bike as needed with little hassle. The long-lasting battery will be able to host a bike ride up to six hours on the highest setting.
While this device isn’t as powerful as others on our list, it certainly is a dependable little light. It will last long enough to get you a long nighttime bike ride in and will protect you from any oncoming traffic. It works well in low-light areas as well as the flushed-out environment of a busy city. With this little lamp, you can go biking at night in almost any situation.
- 300 Lumens is perfect for most biking situations
- Works great for busy cities and back roads
- Up to six hours of battery life on the highest setting
- Not as powerful as other devices on our list
- Rigging system broke for some people
Choosing The Right Light For Your Bike
Before you settle on your bike light choice, it’s important to take into consideration some personal factors that could affect your choice. Things like the type of cycling you do, speed you’re typically going, and placement intent of the bike light will make a drastic change in which light is best for you.
In terms of what type of cycling you do, it’s essential to make a note of where you’re going to be doing your biking. If you’re out on a busy city street with plenty of other lights and cars, you won’t want to buy the brightest bike light you can find as it will simply be drowned out by the splash of all other city lights. If you’re on a wooded back road or a country path, you might want a brighter light that doesn’t necessarily blind other drivers.
The five lights on our list are diverse with some suiting city use more while others focus on the back roads.