Ten of the best bike light sets for commuting
Compact, rechargeable front and rear light sets perfect for the ride to/from work
If you plan on cycling at this time of year, then bike lights are a must – though that doesn’t necessarily mean you should go out and grab the biggest and brightest you can find.
While long training rides under cover of darkness require something more powerful to illuminate your route, if it’s commuting lights you’re after then – generally speaking – you need only lights to be seen with, rather than to see by.
That’s to say, if your commute is on well-lit roads, there’s not a great need for anything more than a set of dedicated commuter lights to make yourself visible to pedestrians and other roads users.
A good set of commuter lights should be bright enough to do just that. They should also be weatherproof, ideally offer some side-on illumination, be easy to attach to the bike and, for added convenience, be USB rechargeable so you can stick them on charge as you work.
So, with that in mind, here are ten of the best commuter light sets with options to suit different budgets.
Handmade in the UK, Exposure’s Trace and TraceR are super-compact but super-bright commuting lights which put out 110 lumens and 75 lumens respectively.
They are, essentially, the same light except the TraceR, being the rear light, comes with a red casing whereas the Trace features a black casing.
Weighing just 35g apiece, the lights feature three brightness modes with solid or pulsing beams, with the latter offering a claimed 25-hour run time.
A patent-pending ‘fuel gauge’ displays how much battery you have left, while Exposure claim a charge time of two hours.
Website: Exposure Lights
Lezyne Hecto Drive 350XL/KTV2 Set
Lezyne’s Hecto Drive 350XL packs a fair punch for its price point, with a 350-lumen output more than sufficient for your commuting needs.
The CNC-machined aluminium front light features seven modes, with memory function returning to the selected mode after turning off.
The rear light in this set, the KTV2, is a compact unit which puts out just nine lumens with four different modes to choose from – flash ½, flash 3, pulse and solid light.
Both a recharged via an integrated, cable-free USB stick and, according to Lezyne, should recharge fully in two-and-a-half hours.
Website: Upgrade Bikes
Bontrager Ion 100 R/Flare R City Light Set
These lights from Bontrager are designed to be equally effective whether used during the day or at night. Built specifically for city cycling, Bontrager's 'Focuss' tech amplifies the beam to help ensure you can’t be missed on the road, whether using the lights during the dead of night, or on a murky winter's day.
Those focussed optics are complemented by an interruptive flash pattern and a broad range meaning these very much fall into the ‘be seen’ category of lights.
The 100-lumen Ion 100 R features a built-in ambient light sensor for brightness control, as does the 35-lumen Flare R City.
Website: Trek Bikes
CatEye Volt 100 XC/Rapid Micro Set
We’re fans of the more powerful Cateye Volt 1200 front light, and the Volt 100 XC is the pared-down version, perfect for commuting. The light puts out 100 lumens in either constant or flash modes, with the latter lasting five hours and the former one.
At the back, the Rapid Micro features a triple LED, putting out 15 lumens with a choice of four modes – constant, flashing, rapid and pulse, with the latter lasting up to 30 hours.
If you want a bit more power up front, there’s also a Volt 200/Rapid Micro light set, and if you happy to go with 80-lumens, you can buy the Volt 80/Rapid Micro set.
Website: Zyro Fisher
Electron F150 and Pod Set
The Electron F150 and Pod set is compact but still offers plenty of power for commuting.
Up front, as the name suggests, it’s 150 lumens, while the compact, cube-shaped Pod rear light puts out 20 lumens.
Both lights feature multiple modes, and the set comes with an RRP a penny under the £50 mark.
FWE USB Rechargeable 150 Lumen Front/15 Lumen Rear Light Set
We’ve already extolled the virtues of the FWE USB Rechargeable 500 Lumen Front light for dark training rides, and the 150 Lumen equivalent is the commuter-ready option lower down the range.
While it lacks an imaginative name, it does essentially do exactly what it says on the tin and is easy to mount and easy to operate too.
There’s no memory mode as you flick through the four modes for the front light and three for the rear, but that’s splitting hairs and the only thing we thought could be improved was the output on busier streets.
It’s handy then, that Evans Cycles’ in-house components and apparel brand also offer a 300-lumen/50-lumen set if you think this 150/15 combo won’t suit your riding needs.
Website: Evans Cycles
NiteRider Swift 350 and Sabre 50 Light Set
NiteRider’s Swift 350 front light utilises a fibreglass-reinforced plastic casing and Collimator Lens to offer a compact light offering a more-than-adequate output for commuting and a wide field of view.
Four light levels and a daylight flash mode, plus a battery-level indicator and the reassurance being backed by a lifetime warranty offers, all combine for a good commuter light.
Paired with the Sabre 50 rear light, which at 50 lumens packs plenty of punch and a multi LED pattern designed to make it highly visible, this is a very good commuting light set.
Knog Blinder Mob Four Eyes Twin Pack
The Knog Blinder Mob Four Eyes lights take their name from the four LEDs which put 80 lumens at the front and 44 at the rear.
Knog claim that, paired with the reflective faceplate, the lights are visible more than a kilometre away, and, needless to say, for urban commuting purposes that’s plenty good enough.
Two constant and three flashing modes feature on each, with the Eco Flash mode claiming more than two-days solid run time.
The lights are also extremely easy to attach to the bike, thanks to the rubber strap and cam clasp.
Moon Gemini Front and Rear Set
Moon come with the experience of more than two decades in the business and specialise in urban bike lights. This Gemini set is a great value option.
Two high brightness LEDs feature in each, with the front lamp offering seven modes in all – including daylight flash – and a maximum output of 80 lumens.
At the back, the maximum output on the 28g rear light is 30 lumens, and both feature mode memory and an auto safe mode, which offers a guaranteed one hour of riding from the moment you first get the alert telling you the battery is on its last legs.
If you want something more powerful, meanwhile, Moon offer the Nebula set – it will cost you £82.99 but for that you get up to 240 lumens at the front, and up to 100 lumens at the back.
Specialized Stix Sport Combo
The Stix Sport Combo take up very little space on the bike, but still put out up to 70 lumens from the front light and 14 lumens from the rear.
Six light modes on each offer anything from a steady mode to what Specialized have called ‘flashing and brilliant’.
The compact front light sits inconspicuously on the bars, but packs enough punch to keep you safe and seen out on the road.