Bike lights can set you back as little as $10, or as much as $350. The difference in price has as much to do with quality as it does production levels. The most expensive bike lights are undoubtedly superior products made for enthusiasts that require the best equipment. That being said, you do not have to spend a small fortune on a bike light to get one that will suit for your needs and last a long time.
Judged on their makeup, wattage, bulb type, ability to illuminate, durability and cost, these five commuter bike lights are all good quality choices. There are many practical considerations to make before purchasing a bike light, including how much you ride at night, where you ride at night, how much you want to spend and the importance of safety. For commuters who end up riding frequently at night during the winter months in possibly heavy traffic, the most visibility and illumination possible is desirable to help ensure their safety.
Planet Bike Alias HID Bicycle Light
Equipped with a high intensity discharge bulb, this 10-watt bicycle light is the top of the line. While using less energy than similar models, it nonetheless is able to produce an extremely powerful beam ideal for commuting. With two settings, high and low, it uses an Li-ion battery that lasts between 2.5 and 3.25 hours, depending on the setting. It is recommended for commuting and dark night cycling. Although it costs nearly $350, it comes with a lifetime warranty.
Light and Motion Vega 200 Bike Light
This $150 bicycle commuter light is lighter than the Planet Bike Alias and comes with three settings: high, medium and low, in addition to a flash setting. Equipped with a 4-cell NiMH rechargeable battery, one charge lasts anywhere from 2 to 8 hours, or 24 hours if only the flash is used. Its output is between 50 and 200 lumens and is for use in non-lit areas and commuting. Its mounting system is suitable for all handlebar types.
NiteFLUX VisionStick Commuter 4 Bike Light
At around $135, this commuter bike light easily converts to a handheld flashlight that helps make changing flats a little easier on the road. There are no cables required to mount it; it simply slides into the looped bracket. The bracket fits handlebars with 21 to 31.8mm diameter. It uses a single cell rechargeable Li-ion battery with a charge indicator light built in. It has a 4-watt high beam and flash mode that is picked up by road markers.
Yukon Extreme Bike Light
Costing about $50, this bike light operates with an external battery pack that requires 8 AA batteries. The pack attaches either to the frame or sits in the water bottle rack. With 3 bright LEDs, it uses a xenon bulb and has two settings. Either rechargeable or standard alkaline batteries are used. It is small and can be easily mounted either to the handlebars or the helmet.
NiteRider UltraFazer 5.0 Headlight
This is an LED bicycle light with beam and flash settings. To power it, use alkaline or rechargeable NiMH batteries. Capable of fitting handlebars up to 31.8mm, it requires no tools to install. This battery runs approximately $35.
There are numerous other brands of commuter bike lights, some as low as $10. If you ride your bike to and from work, invest in a quality light setup for the sake of visibility and safety.