The Best Rechargeable Bike Lights

Rechargeable lights come with green credentials and are wallet friendly, saving you from having to keep replacing the batteries. There is a downside though, in testing, they don’t tend to last as long as bike lights that use standard, non-rechargeable batteries.

With that in mind, we’ve summed up a handful of our favourites from the low, mid, to high-end price range.

Oh, and two caveats, before we look at our selections:

  1. We’ve only discussed rechargeable lights here and not dynamo hub lights. We’ll cover those in a separate post.
  2. As posted by Amoeba in the comments in a previous post titled “Are cyclists using dangerous bike lights?” since 2005, flashing lights are legal on bikes. Just make sure you are using common sense to not blind fellow cyclists or drivers.

VeloChampion Bike Lights USB Rechargeable Front & Rear Set £29.99

velochampion bike lights

This model is designed with the typical urban commuter in mind. The charge won’t last as long as some, but if you need these full beam for a two hour commute or less then they’re a fantastic, cheaper alternative. They also come with lithium ion batteries, which are the longest lasting available on the market (and can’t be ‘overcharged’ either). Though slightly less versatile than the Lezyne, I could still clip both the front and rear lights to my helmet (as well as handle bars and back of saddle). For the price, it’s a great value option; it satisfies way beyond the basics and performs really well, too.

Lezyne Zecto Drive LED Light Set £40-45

Lezyne bike lights

I mentioned these in an earlier post (here) but the Lezyne are a great model so deserve another plug. Lightweight, tough, and waterproof, it’s a set that will really weather the storm. With 180 degrees of visibility and multiple side LEDs, you can feel confident of your road-presence at night. It also comes with a versatile, easy-fit bracket that can clip to pretty much anywhere on your bike (and person). Plus you can charge it from any USB plug – though worth noting that for those who require longer duration on the battery lights, you’ll need to recharge reasonably frequently.

Cateye Volt 300 / Volt 50 Front & Rear set £80

Cateye volt

The Cateye set sits at the higher end of the price spectrum and goes a step further, with more power, sturdiness and versatility overall. The Volt300 (headlight) contains five modes: High, Normal, Low, Hyper Constant and Flashing. The Volt50 (tail light) contains four: Constant, Flashing, Rapid and Pulse. Combine the two and you can be sure nobody’s going to miss you. The batteries last an impressive amount of time, and both the rear mount and front mount strap are incredibly secure on the bike.

You can opt for just one of the lights if your budget doesn’t stretch to the set; both are sturdy and bright with multiple modes, so it comes down to personal preference. Commuters might opt for the tail light, off-ride cyclists might prefer the headlight.

Blaze Laserlight £125

blaze bike light

If your budget’s more sizeable, then an option to consider would be the Blaze bike light. This is made by the same manufacturing company producing Apple products (as is evidenced by its sleek design).

At £125, it’s not cheap, but you won’t skimp on quality in the long-run; the nifty silver-bullet has a bracket made of marine-grade steel. Meaning? You’ll never lose your light to bike rust. The lights are rechargeable via a magnetic USB so no need for rubber bungs or caps to unscrew either, which would compromise the waterproofing.

The real USP is the fact this model offers two visibility products in one – a white CREE LED front light and a laser projector. These increase your visibility, so you’re far more apt to be seen in typically low-visibility areas at night; whether that’s by large vehicles, parked cars or distracted pedestrians wearing headphones. And if you’re a fan of the Apple aesthetics, it looks pretty swish too.

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28 Responses to The Best Rechargeable Bike Lights

  1. Mark 01/04/2015 at 9:11 pm #

    The Volt 50 is an outstanding light, but the mounting bracket shipped with it is an issue for a lot of people: it doesn’t fit if your saddle is mounted forward on the seatpost, is difficult to combine with a saddlebag and is also rather heavy. You can buy a better mount separately, but it is pricey….

  2. Alan Moore 02/04/2015 at 1:41 pm #

    I see a lot of people commuting with a decent rear light which is obscured by their coat, skirt, bag etc. Do any of these fit elsewhere on the bike than the seat tube? E.g. a rear rack if present, or slightly lower/further back on the rear frame?

  3. TnF 02/04/2015 at 2:02 pm #

    blaze laser light still gets admiring looks from other cyclists, pricey but it’s already paid for itself in being seen!

  4. Vincent 03/04/2015 at 12:11 am #

    Andreas > the Lezyne are a great model so deserve another plug

    Those lights are nice* , but their gummy bands aren’t: After a few months, both are broken and I’ll have to find a way to fasten them to my bike after the very last bit goes:

    http://s15.postimg.org/l4ap9gcnf/Lezyne_lights_gummy_bands.png

    * To be seen in the city; They’re not meant/bright enough for use on non-lit roads

    • Fern 25/04/2015 at 9:27 pm #

      I have knog blinder on the front that has been going for a few years now.
      I live in central London commute about 3 miles and back everyday winter and summer

  5. thepalefox 03/04/2015 at 11:25 am #

    I have used the Blackburn Flea 2.0 front and rear USB rechargeable lights on my commute for the past five years. They are lovely and small yet bright enough for my needs (40 lumen front light). The fact that I can easily remove them and charge off the laptop at work or at home with the the included USB adaptor is great. They have a visual colour change indicator on each unit to show you battery levels. Various operative settings like steady, flashing etc. Various Velcro attachments for bike or helmet mounting. Big on/off button for ease of use with gloved hands. The biggest benefit I enjoy is that they come with a manufacturer lifetime warranty. I have sent each original unit back once to the retailer I bought from at different points as they wouldn’t hold their charge. After a week I had new unit returned. Nice.

  6. Dave 03/04/2015 at 5:19 pm #

    I have the above Cateye front with the flea rear. Brilliant and trouble free

  7. Jon 03/04/2015 at 6:11 pm #

    I am a big fan of the Exposure Trace and TraceR lights and combine them with the Cateye Volt at the front for extra forward illumination.

  8. YW 04/04/2015 at 4:32 pm #

    Any suggestions for solutions for mounting rear lights on pannier racks?

  9. Roger 05/04/2015 at 5:34 pm #

    I have the Cat Eye Volt 300 and love it. Very bright, lasts a good while and uses the standard Cat Eye flex tight bracket which means I can swap the light between my bikes which all have same mount. So far (almost a year) very resistant to the weather.

    On the back I have the Cat Eye TL-LD610 (£15), a basic AAA battery light which last for ages, and also uses a standard mount.

    I also have a TL-LD1000 which gives great side visibility.

    The thing about the Knog-style elastic strap lights is that there’s little opportunity to alter the angle of them – seat posts aren’t all at the same angle, and of course those fixing offer little options for racks, child seats etc.

  10. James 09/04/2015 at 1:13 pm #

    The Knog Blinder is by far the best rechargeable light i have come across… http://www.cyclesurgery.com/pws/UniqueProductKey.ice?ProductID=CKNO0039RR&gclid=CJ3snPOY6cQCFaSWtAodXSUAfg&gclsrc=aw.ds

  11. Andrew Hagen 10/04/2015 at 11:45 pm #

    Fly6 rear light and HD video camera deserves a place in this list. Particularly now we have made it available in the UK via Wiggle for £99 http://www.wiggle.co.uk/cycliq-fly6-integrated-rear-light-with-action-camera/

  12. Chris2dhs 14/04/2015 at 2:24 am #

    +1 for the Exposure Trace and TraceR, but I also highly rate the Smart Lunar R1…using rechargeable AAA batteries…

  13. Nick 16/04/2015 at 12:57 pm #

    So what you suggest where to buy them Chain Reaction, Evan Cycles, Ribble? I like Cateye Volt 300 amazon showing ts price £66.98. I think they have reduced its price.

  14. Thomas 21/04/2015 at 9:40 am #

    Best lights I have every used for all round visibility has to be the See.Sense bike lights.
    I find traffic is riding around the beam them through out on the road and not around me.
    The best part is they get brighter when a cars headlights come in contact with them. Really fills you with a lot more confidence out on the roads. http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/see-sense-2-0-front-160l-rear-95l-light-set/rp-prod120898

  15. John 21/04/2015 at 10:12 am #

    I’m with Thomas – See.Sense lights are fantastic. Backed them on Kickstarter for the original version, very pleased (also liked the way they upgraded my light for free to higher spec). Nice British company with very clever ideas. They really do respond to my movements, turns, in/out of dark places. And last a long time between charges.

  16. Colin 21/04/2015 at 10:27 am #

    It’s got to be Sparse lamps – cool as anything and securely fixed with great performance from the USA – get them via http://nrg4.co.uk/lights/Sparse-fixed%20lights

  17. Jeremy Curlew-Fisher 21/04/2015 at 11:02 am #

    See.Sense lights! I can’t rate them highly enough because cars definitely give me more space on the road when I’m using them. I’ve been riding for years and used all types of lights and these are by far the best. Not sure how they can work out when I am at roundabouts, road junctions, filtering in traffic etc. but they do!

  18. Vivek 21/04/2015 at 11:54 am #

    As in today’s market, technology also play an important role, you might want to check out

    htttp://www.magniclight.com/MagnicLight/

    Very well done.

  19. Tony 21/04/2015 at 2:11 pm #

    Now that cycle lamps can compete with car headlamps it’s time that some regulations on beam pattern was brought in. I use an Exposure Torus at the front for country lane cycling at night and it is good enough to see the potholes with enough time to avoid them at up to 20mph.
    However, after repeatedly being flashed by on coming cars I have fitted a lamp dimming button on the side of my brake lever. What is really needed is a dipping button.
    The source size of LED lamps is not super small, something that would allow good beam profiling without a large lens/mirror and its associated drag.

  20. Sebastian 21/04/2015 at 7:30 pm #

    Have to agree with the guys above regarding the See.Sense lights.
    have used many lights over the last 25 plus years cycling and these have somehow gained me the most respected from other road users.
    I really love the auto on off feature, I can fit them after a full charge and not touch them again for 1 – 2 weeks depending on how much cycling I will be doing. They turn themselves off after a couple of minutes if my bike is sitting still and when I came out the next morning, just jump on my bike and boom there back on again like magic.
    The side visibility on these is second to non. Any other lights I have used over the years become near invisible from side on but my seesense lights are nearly just as bright from side on.

    Love them!

  21. Chris 22/04/2015 at 3:25 am #

    The start of the article begins with “Rechargeable lights come with green credentials”. This is the same promotional strategy used to promote electric bikes and electric cars and hybrid cars.

    There are upsides to rechargeable lights, less landfill (from batteries) but it is usually overlooked that energy comes from somewhere, it could be coal, perhaps nuclear or a renewable energy source.

    While a bike light is a fairly small product, cyclists have to resist and criticise green-washing. A viable strategy is for each product (from a light, to a bike, to a car) which is rechargeable, that there is also a commercial and perhaps political obligation to shift energy production to renewable energy.

    Back to the lights, interesting that the knog rechargeable lights didn’t make the cut, they have probably been out-priced.

  22. Barry 04/05/2015 at 8:33 pm #

    Hi a light that I used for the whole of last winter that is extremely bright. Is by solarstorm they are really bright and are now really cheap off of eBay. So bright nearly as bright as my cars headlight.

    Great info thanks
    Barry

  23. Adam Jackson 16/05/2015 at 1:03 am #

    I have used the Lezyne Zecto Drive LED Light Set. Really, a good quality set of lights. Lightweight, easily chargeable, perfect for my bike. They feel well made and give out a bright light. I liked its feature “state of charge” LEDs down the side of the lights which is very handy. You can clip them onto clothing or rucksacks and the rubber band gets fixed to the handlebars or the seat posts.

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