How Many Lumens For Bike Lights: The Best Bike Lights

The best lumens for bike lights help you see and ensure other people can see you. If you ride often, you’ll probably want a front light and a backlight to ride when it’s dark, at night, or when the weather is terrible. However, how many lumens for bike lights?

So, if you want the best bike light, choose two lights. If you want to upgrade your bike lights now that the seasons are changing, keep reading to find out what we think are the best ones.

A lot of bike lights come in kits, which is good. You’ll get a front light, a backlight, a charging cable, and suitable mounts in one package. A front and the rear kit is the best way to get everything you need in one place. But if you like bike lights best, you’ll probably want to combine different kinds.

That’s because so many bike lights are on the market that does more than giving off light. Some bike lights have radar systems, video cameras built in, and even Bluetooth to talk to your phone. 

how many lumens for bike lights

How Bright Should Lumens For Bike Lights?

If you’re riding a bike in a well-lit area, you should try to get a 100 or 200-lumen light. Suppose you need to see better while cycling through dark areas. In that case, a higher lumen count of 200 and 600 lumens is good, especially for commuting people.

Your front lights should have twice as many lumens as your backlights. Most of the time, the backlights are not as bright as the front ones. Most range from 100 to 180 lumens.

The essential thing to consider before buying a bike light is how you ride. Remember that well-lit areas automatically make you more visible, so you can install lights with a lower lumen count without worrying.

You’ll need to stand out like a sore thumb in rural areas where there isn’t much light. The higher the lumen count, the safer you’ll be on the road, with fewer light sources and more blind corners.

Can Lumens For Bike Lights be too bright?

Yes! If lights aren’t used or put in the right place, they can make it hard for other people to see, including drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.

Pedestrians can see a headlight pointed straight up because it will be in their line of sight. To avoid this, you must point your beam in the right direction.

Begin by deciding whether your light should be on your handlebars’ right or left side. Your beam should be bright enough to light up an area 10 to 20 meters in front of you. Your beam should always be angled to hit the curb when pointed down.

If you’re going faster, your light should be at a higher angle. When riding at a slower speed, your light should be positioned lower to let you see pedestrians and other vehicles easily.

How many lumens for bike lights?

When it comes to lumens, no one size fits all. The correct number will depend on whether you’re riding at night, during the day, through cities, or on roads without lights.

You can also divide bike lights into two groups: lights that help you see better and lights that make you stand out. If you choose lights with more lumens, you can use them for both purposes without buying two different sets of lights.

The conditions you’re cycling in will also affect the proper lumen count. Look at the best lumen number for the most common cycling conditions.

how many lumens for bike lights

The Best Lumens For Bike Lights For You 

We put some of the most popular bike lights on the road to see how well they work. This will help you choose the best lights for you. 

We looked at how bright they were, how long the battery lasted, how long it took to charge the lights, how much they weighed, and how easy it was to place them on and take them off the bike. 

Read on to learn about the best bike lights we tested. While you’re here, you might even want to look at our best bike helmets and electric bikes.

Light & Motion Seca Comp 2000

Seca Comp 2000 has established itself as an unequaled cross-over light, combining great power in a compact, battery-integrated design. Seca Comp 2000 is one of the rare cycling lights on the market that can generate high output without soon fading by employing two battery cells.

Custom-engineered optics squander little light and are mainly designed to offer bikers a broad beam suited for handlebar lighting, one of the best lumens for bike lights.

A penetrating LED array produces a bright spot beam in combination with a diffused flood beam suited for both road and trail usage, resulting in a fantastic range of vision for severe rides. Amber sidelights and a daylight pulse mode improve road visibility.

Still, a separate button turns off the side lighting while on the path.

Key Features:

  • The output of 2000 Lumens is certified to the FL-1 Standard.
  • Engineered with a three-LED array of the best-quality CREE LEDs
  • Waterproof design tested to 1 meter for all-weather dependability.
  • The beam pattern was designed to optimize high-traffic visibility while providing enough beam distance lead time and the most significant beam angle for the sharpest turns.
  • Secondary Race Mode allows you to select between high power with a run of 2 hours and low power with a run of 4 hours.
  • The power button is illuminated with three distinct colors to represent the remaining battery life with four levels.
  • Run times range from 1:30 to 9 hours across six settings.

PROS

  • Balanced beam width and depth
  • Excellent dependability and weather resistance
  • Strap bar mount that is universal and has a low profile.
  • Durable and small battery
  • Extra-long helmet-compatible cable
  • Race mode with two functions
  • GoPro mount available

CONS

  • Reach is adequate but not exceptional.
  • Aside from a last-minute notice, there is no run-time feedback.
  • There is no remote control.
  • Extra-long cable tangle
  • It is not USB rechargeable.
  • Seca Comp is more compact and offers greater value.

LEZYNE Macro Drive 1300XXL Bicycle Headlight

The Lezyne Macro Drive 1300XXL beat the NiteRider 1200 OLED Boost as the lumens for bike lights headlight. Both are perfect lights, but the Lezyne is $70 cheaper than the NiteRider.

At its brightest setting, the Macro Drive lasted longer than any other headlight in the test. It lit up for just under three hours. At 450 lumens, the Macro Drive worked for a little less than eight hours.

The mount is a stable system that is easy to adjust to fit handlebars of different sizes. It’s a thick band that looks like it will last a long time. It’s so thick that it can be hard to pull it to the right length to hook it to the hook on the other end of the mount. But once it’s in place, it’s easy to change the angle, and the light stays put.

The beam puts a wide light in front of you, with a bright spot in the middle. It’s great if you need to see as much as possible while riding on dark roads and trails. With 1,300 lumens, you’ll never be without light.

You can add a remote switch that mounts closer to the grips of your handlebars for $15. This lets you change the brightness and pattern of the light without taking your hands off the bar.

The Lezyne Macro Drive 1300XXL’s only fundamental flaw is its size. It weighs 208 grams, which is pretty heavy for a light, and the mount is a little wider than the one on the NiteRider 1200 OLED Boost.

Key Features:

  • Construction Material: Machined Aluminum
  • LED light source
  • 1300 Lumens Maximum Output
  • Optics: Tri-Focus optics
  • Up to 148 hours of battery life
  • Micro USB Charging Cable 
  • Time to charge: 3.5 hours
  • Handlebar Attachments: 31.8 cm Mount, Silicone Strap
  • 208g in weight Waterproof

PROS

  • Long battery life.
  • Construction that is bombproof
  • dependable mounting system
  • Simple to use
  • A broad light beam

CONS

  • With 1300 lumens, the light is almost too bright to use on city streets.
  • It doesn’t come with a helmet mount, but you can order one separately.
  • Bulky 

NiteRider Lumina 1200 Boost USB Rechargeable Bike Light

The NiteRider 1200 OLED Boost nearly missed first place in our lumens for bike lights headlights. The only drawback was the price, which is $70 higher than the Lezyne Macro Drive 1300XXL.

The OLED panel on top of the device displays essential information you may use while riding. The screen also displays the light setting you are currently in.

The light beam of the NiteRider 1200 OLED Boost is broad and even. It may be somewhat less bright than the Lezyne Macro Drive 1300XXL, but the Lezyne has an additional 100 lumens. It was impossible to see the difference between the two lights; both provided more than enough light in front and to the sides.

At the maximum setting, NiteRider claims an hour and a half of battery life. I had it set to medium, which produces 550 lumens; NiteRider claims three hours of life at this level. I got 5 hours and 10 minutes out of it.

This headlamp is a top pick because of its good battery life, excellent mount, bright beam, and handy LCD. It’s a little pricey, but it’s well worth it.

Key Features

  • Five light levels and one flash mode for daylight
  • FL1 IP64 standard, dust and water resistance
  • dependable on- and off-road handlebar mount
  • It fits 35mm standard and larger handlebars
  • Ideal for helmet mounting (Helmet Mount sold separately)
  • IntelliChargeTM – Cut charging time in half!
  • USB rechargeable convenience
  • Low-battery warning
  • Lock Mode is ideal for storing and transferring light.
  • Hold the power button for 7 seconds to disable the light’s functionality.
  • Lumen 1200 output
  • Time of Operation: 1:00 – 18:00 hrs.
  • Charge Time: 3 hours at 1 amp
  • Charge Time: 6:00 hours at 500mA
  • 172g in weight
  • Li-Ion battery

PROS

  • Concentrated power
  • Tough and compact
  • dependable universal mounting
  • Immediately Increased
  • Optional OLED display
  • Lock for safety
  • Rapid charging

CONS

  • Peripheral restrictions
  • There are no side shiners.
  • Small power source

Light and Motion Sola Dive 1200

Lumens for bike lights are simple to operate, and the option to wear them on your hand enables you to accomplish more underwater. The light has three brightness settings for the flood and pinpoint beams. It is also long-lasting. Someone’s tank landed on mine, bending the bezel. The light is still operational.

Unfortunately, when this occurs, the light will go into sleep mode and will not charge. It must be awoken, which might be difficult. You’ll also need to look at how to wake it up without sending it back to Light and Motion.

It also loses its ability to charge after a time. Mine won’t operate for more than 30 minutes without recharging. I can only do one dive before it requires another charge.

It boasts an easy-to-use sliding mechanism, even with thick gloves.

Key Features:

  • FL-1 approved output of 1200-lumen flood and 500-lumen spot
  • The regulated output guarantees that the light does not fade while in operation, and the unique programming maintains the lumens stable.
  • You can easily adjust between 12° spot and 60° flood beams with a single touch.
  • Custom optics provide a smooth beam with no distracting hot spots or rough edges.
  • Colored Status LED for battery and mode indicator, making power management simple.
  • The factory-sealed body guarantees flood-free operation and long-term dependability.
  • Recharging is rapid and reliable thanks to the external wet charge interface.
  • Travel-friendly design with little weight or bulk that is suitable for carry-on or check-in baggage
  • The included universal hand strap attaches to the wrist with or without gloves for hands-free movement.

PROS

  • Exceptionally small and light.
  • The light that is powerful and uniform
  • Long duration of combustion
  • No upkeep required
  • Charger for small devices
  • 6500 Kelvin is the color temperature.
  • Excellent craftsmanship

CONS

  • There is no separate power switch.
  • Permanent standby circuit self-discharges during storage
  • After each dive, you should examine the spring.

What to think about when buying a light

Lumens For Bike Lights: Brightness

Lumen is the most common way to describe light. It doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about how bright it is, but it’s an excellent place to start. The more lumens a light has, the more light it gives off. Many things besides the number of lumens affect how bright something is. Still, if everything else is the same, the higher the lumen count, the higher the intensity. Bicycle lights can have as few as 30 lumens and as many as 2,000 or more.

how many lumens for bike lights

For regular commuters, it’s essential to have a bright light that can be seen day or night and doesn’t blind people coming the other way. So, if you choose a light with a high lumen count, make sure to tilt it down a little, so it’s not right in front of the eyes of the driver coming the other way.

Another idea is to use two sets of lights: one bright light that can be turned off or dimmed when traffic is coming and a second, less bright light that is always on and flashes. A light that “flashes” makes it easier for drivers to tell you apart from street lights. It also saves power so the light can last longer between charges.

Lumens For Bike Lights: Mounting

Most lights made for bicycles are easy to attach to most handlebars and seat posts, but it’s much harder to attach to aero bars or aero seat posts.

Most lights are attached with velcro, a screw that tightens a bracket around the handlebar or seat post, or a rubber strap that you can stretch. As was already said, if you have a standard circular bar to attach to, this won’t be a problem.

However, surfaces that aren’t circular or larger than standard circular diameters, like double-wrapped handlebars, could be a problem. Because of this, it’s important to ensure that each light and its mount fit your bike.

People often attach a second rear light to the seat stays to make the bike more visible. If you do this, you must ensure the mount is secure and won’t turn and hit your wheel. Look for mounts that make it easy to tighten or loosen the grip for a secure hold. Also, look for lights with mounting straps that you can change to fit the different diameters of the seat post and handlebars.

Also, think about whether you’re attaching to aluminum or carbon. Overtightening a carbon frame can cause it to crack, so you should always use a torque wrench when working on a carbon bike. Instead of a screw and bracket, a stretchable rubber strap or velcro mount is safer.

Lumens For Bike Lights: Battery

Most modern lights have a Lithium-Ion or similar battery that you can charge through a USB port. This saves you cash because you don’t have to buy batteries, and it’s also easy and convenient to keep them charged. For lights that need batteries, it’s a good idea to ensure they’re easy to get at a store or gas station.

For some powerful lights to work, you must carry a battery pack and plug it into the light. If you need such a light, make sure you can mount both to your bike or mount one and carry the other. If you already have a light, GPS computer, and bell on your handlebars, there may not be much room for anything else. Tom thinks this option could be good for mountain bikers because “using an external battery helps keep the weight of the light down and off the rider’s head.”

Simply put, the size and weight of a battery will be bigger and heavier the more power it needs.

Lumens For Bike Lights: Bulb types

Most of the light in modern lights comes from LEDs, which have replaced halogen bulbs. LED lights are much better than halogen lights because they use less energy to make the same amount of light. High-end bicycle lights used to have high-powered HID bulbs for a short time.

Lumens For Bike Lights: Weight

The weight of light depends on how bright and big its battery is. A “be seen” light can weigh as little as 15g, while a “see with” light can weigh as much as 150g. You can expect the front lights to consider a little more than the back ones because they usually shine brighter.

Lumens For Bike Lights: Budget

Below, we explain what you can expect from your light if you spend a certain amount of money on it. Even though these ranges give a good idea of what’s available, it’s important to remember that different manufacturers may put different things first. Hence, it’s essential to look at all aspects of the light. Some may place more value on lumens, while others emphasize beam angle or battery life. Before making your final choice, you should always compare the lumens, beam angle, battery life and type, mount compatibility, and design.

how many lumens for bike lights

Final Thoughts

Bicycle lights may sometimes be excessively bright and blind or dazzle people. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t get a bright light. You should aim your light appropriately and utilize it in the appropriate setting for the segment you’re riding on.

This way, you won’t have to worry about blinding people, and you’ll always be able to see where you’re going.

FAQs

What is the point of lumens?

Yes, but it also depends on how much light is in the room and what mode you’re using. A 10-lumen rear light that flashes can be better at getting you noticed than an 80-lumen steady beam.

How many lumens should the light on the front of my bike be?

Between 400 and 1000 lumens is a good range for general road use. For use off-road or on roads without lights, you should get a light with 1000 lumens or more. Just be careful not to blind other people on the road.

How many lumens should the light on the back of my bike be?

A bike light on the back can have anywhere from 5 lumens to 300 lumens. Remember that your backlight is more for being seen than showing you the way. Instead of a super high lumen rating, keep an eye out for flashing patterns and modes that break.

How many lumens do I need for nighttime cycling?

You need 50–200 lumens for the backlight, and for the front light, you need 400–2000 lumens.

How far does an 800-lumen light go?

Up to 200 meters away can see the light with 800 lumens. It’s the same as lighting 800 candles. With this much light, you can do any work outside.

Is 200 lumens enough light to bike with?

Yes, 200 lumens or more is enough to ride at an average speed on the road with no lights. But on rough roads where there are a lot of obstacles, it might not be enough.

What does lumen mean?

The word lumens comes from the field of physics. The amount of light a light source gives off is measured in lumens. Most bike lights use an LED or a group of LEDs as their light source.

If there are more lumens, the light is brighter. If there are fewer lumens, the light is not as bright. So I’m sure we need a lot of lumens, and everything will be fine. Not quite. It’s not quite as simple as that.

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