What bike lights are you using?


It’s always good to do little informal surveys on Twitter. You find out what setups fellow cyclists are using. As visibility and the short days are on people’s minds I asked what bike lights everyone is currently relying on.

MikeyPaul SDulwich ParagonJoao da CostaPhilippe GodefroidSteve MorrisStephen HayJessica WardMartinGamage

ROUNDUP: What bike lights London’s cyclists are using


In the more budget bike light range are the Knog lights (£13.90 Amazon) which are proving very popular. Moving up the price range a few people have opted for the slightly more expensive Knog Boomer (£31.92 Amazon) to provide extra light. Right up there at the top of the market I counted a total of 3 that said they opted for the Hope Vision 1 (Evans currently have this on sale at £71.99 – £10 less than anywhere else).

Of course the most popular brand was CatEye. Quite a few people said they have more than one bike light on the back to be sure they get seen.

My bike light setup


I’m currently using the Knog Frog Strobe Bike Lights. I’m enjoying the portable, shove in your jacket pocket and forget about it, size. The Knogs are the easiest bike lights to clip on and off with their unique design. The only complaint I have is that I would like them to be a little brighter. Therefore, I’ve coupled my Knog setup with some Cateye lights that have lasted me years. If I was to splash out on a more expensive light then I’m a big fan of the B&M Ixon IQ.

Also a bike light question I couldn’t answer in-case someone knows…

ehu @londoncyclist do you know of a make that has a constant light, with strobe at the same time? Saw one in Glasgow, but can’t find anywhere.

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25 Responses to What bike lights are you using?

  1. GL 09/11/2010 at 2:44 pm #

    No one seems to mention Torch lights. They are over half the price of Cateye and just as bright. Also the ones I have have a constant light with strobes either side.


  2. Philip 09/11/2010 at 2:51 pm #

    Cateye front and back! Though I am considering a bigger torchlike light for better visibilty of the road ahead as we enter the winter. The ‘Age of Austerity’ threatens worsening surface conditions with (even more) untreated potholes etc methinks.

  3. Paul M 09/11/2010 at 3:26 pm #

    My Brompton has a hub dynamo with charge capacitor on the rear but not the front. The headlight is in any case inadequate to see potholes ahead, so I have an Exposure Joystick mounted on my helmet. Pricey but brilliant (in more senses than one) it lights up the road properly, and if I suspect an oncoming car is not paying attention, turning my head so they get the central beam straight in the eye for a sec certainly grabs their attention!

    It is also home-produced (Petworth, in Sussex).

  4. K 09/11/2010 at 3:46 pm #

    Does anyone else find it annoying when people set their lights to point at eye level? It makes it painful to follow someone, and it’s downright dangerous on two-way cycle lanes when people with aircraft-style twin blinking lights go past you.

    Anyway, I have a Nite Rider Ultrafazer 3.0 as a front light, and the rear light I bought from Decathlon – Sigma I think – which has 5 LEDs pointing in different directions. Both are great for side visibility as well as for being seen straight ahead or behind you. I set both lights on a constant beam.

    Also have a small blinking red LED on my helmet and reflective stickers at the front, back and side of my bike and helmet.

    • Andrew 09/11/2010 at 4:09 pm #

      I ride through Hyde park and in the low light it can be really confusing as most leave their lights on strobe setting.

      Also there are an amazing amount of people with really weedy back lights – come on people you’re worth a new set of duracells!!

      I run Cat-eye Uno on the front which is effective in the dark but am not convinced in more dusky conditions. Back is a Cat eye TL 1100 which has 10 LEDs and worth every penny I think.

      I have been very impressed by the Cat eye EL135 – for the price this looks very bright.

    • Evan 09/11/2010 at 7:53 pm #

      I go down the aircraft-style lights route. I figure I have as much right to bright lights as a car. However, I am conscious of how bright they are and do what I can not to blind other cyclists.

  5. Evan 09/11/2010 at 7:50 pm #


    Super bright, super light constant lights designed for off-road mountain biking. Very popular in Australian endurance mtb circles. I use them for commuting day and night in London (I’m a shift worker.)

    They’re designed by a UK expat. His service is excellent and he’ll gladly post here.


    • Tom 21/12/2010 at 6:34 am #

      + 1 for the Ay Ups. I’m buying myself a set for Christmas! I use a Basta Superflash on the rear, the flash it produces is incredible.

  6. Meadowend 10/11/2010 at 9:40 am #

    I use two Halfords (bikehut) front LEDs, the 4 lumen one I generally have on strobe, and I use the other 10 lumen one as a spare, or on constant to see the road in dark conditions (not normally necessary in London, but definitely useful in rural Buckinghamshire).

    At the back a CatEye LD600 fixed to the rack, and a bikehut red light on the dirt bag under the saddle. Usually one strobing and the other constant.

    I have two both back and front for both visibility and redundancy – if one fails (dead battery, or the battery terminals disconnect due to being bounced around on London’s appalling roads) then the other should keep working so I’ve always got one working light front and back.

  7. James Holden 10/11/2010 at 12:17 pm #

    I’m using the Halfords super bright front/rear set. They seem bright enough, I tend to have them on strobe in poor light, and constant when dark.

    Bike lights are crazy expensive in my opinion. You can get big bright LED torches for a few quid, but once you involve a plastic clip and call it a bike light, the price seems to rocket.

  8. wee folding bike 10/11/2010 at 10:57 pm #

    Pashley Roadster 26 Sovereign with a Sturmey Archer hub generator and Lumotec front light. Battery LED and steady Reelite on the back.

    Brompton M6R with SON hub generator, Edelux and B&M Standlicht on the back.

  9. Diana 10/11/2010 at 11:01 pm #

    RSP Asteri 3 Watt 1 LED for the front – Bright, has 3 modes (bright, less bright and flashing), weight is OK and being rechargeable at the mains is better than batteries, and it shows a red light when it is nearing the end of its light life. BUT it has no lights on the edge, nor the top, which means there’s a lack of visibility from the side, plus I can’t see if the light is actually on or what mode it’s on. So, I also use a Knog Beetle for a bit more peace of mind. A big fault, imo.

    I cycle in the city, so can’t comment on if it’s good for non-city riding.

    RSP rear light 2 x 1/2 watt LEDs. Light, bright, flashing and constant modes, no real complaints. Uses AAA batteries.

    Both have mounting brackets that don’t need actual tools to put on and are waterproof or resistant.

    I paid £50 for the pair and £10 for the Knog, buying new on ebay.

    I have bought cheaper and not-as-good lights in the past (£10 or under) but found that proper lights were a must to feel better about cycling in the night.

  10. Lost 11/11/2010 at 10:02 am #

    I use 2x cree torches on the front – 220 lumens per torch give me superbright lights that are able to be set on bright, dimmer and superfast strobe. I do, however, when setting them up stand and squat in front of my bike and set them to shine below eye level so I don’t blind anyone. On the rear I have 2x knog frogs, 1x cateye on the bike and 5x leds on a reflective strip on my helmet. I like to twinkle like a christmas tree from behind, makes me feel safer 🙂

  11. thereverent 12/11/2010 at 9:24 am #

    Cateye TL-LD600 on the rear, Cateye HL-EL220 on the front, with Knog frogs front and back on strobe. I also have an old cateye LED rear light on my rucksack.

    I might upgrade to a new front light as sometimes I now go through Richmound Park in the dark, so I would like something more powerful to illuminate more of the road ahead.

  12. Nigel 12/11/2010 at 10:42 am #

    On my Brompton P6R-X I have abandoned the bottle dynamo system as inadequate (the headlight is too low and not bright enough) and have two Smart 1/2 Watt lights on the rear and a Cateye 610 Single Shot plus mounted on a Minoura T- Bar Extender. The Cateye is bright with a good spread especially on the dark country lanes here in Somerset. I am considering an Ay-Up set as they’re as bright as car headlights. A fellow cyclist down here has them and they really are excellent and gives you really good visibility on unlit country lanes.

  13. robbie craig 12/11/2010 at 11:03 pm #

    I have a range of lights – christmas tree for me. In London I use a Knog bullfrog combination on the front and rear set to strobe, the bike has a hub generator powering a 2.5 light forward and I have a spoke light.

    In the country, I also use a renison torch light mounted on my handlebars. I bought these for about £25 and they have the cree diode so give around 250lumen and i can see the road.

  14. Andreas 14/11/2010 at 11:20 am #

    In answer to my question in the post:
    ehu @londoncyclist do you know of a make that has a constant light, with strobe at the same time?

    My Exposure Strada does this. It has two LEDs and in flash mode one is constant while the other strobes. It’s a light can highly recommend, although it is certainly not cheap.

  15. Adam 15/11/2010 at 9:21 am #

    3 x 3 point LED “cupboard “lights attached to front bicycle basket.
    Cost 99p for 2 @ pound shop, secured with zip ties.



  16. alien8 29/11/2010 at 6:31 pm #

    depends on which bike but mostly:

    Fenix LD20 front – 180+ lumens of clear ‘I can see’ light. flashy clipon white thing further down the frame.

    Back a combination of Smart 1/2 Watt, Cateye long & thing thing and a clip on thing depending on bag choice for the day.

    for more front spread I’m thinking Magicshine 808/816 in addition to the Fenix 🙂

  17. Philly353 08/12/2010 at 4:23 pm #

    I use a Blackburn Voyager 3.3 it is excellent, bright, solid, and lasts for ages on 4 AAA batteries. Unfortunately they have stopped selling it here in the UK :o(
    Would definitely recommend getting your hands on one of them!

  18. cybatrix 02/02/2011 at 9:30 am #

    I’ve used many lights over the years. Including Hope Vision HIDs, Hope Vision LEDs and Lupin Bettys. But none of them come anywhere near as good as my “Full Beam Night-Nemesis”.


    These are super bright and the batteries last for ages. The build quality is excellent.

    However these lights are mainly designed for off-roading. If using them on road I highly recommend turning the brightness down on them otherwise you blind fellow road users.

    But to be honest I would rather have the security of knowing i’m being seen than risk being flattened.

    Lets face it there is not a single road based bike light out there which is any good. They all seem to be invisible to other road users. Especially by pedestrians, Taxis & Buses.

    On one of the lower brightnesss settings the batteries will last for days. Which makes them perfect for commuters (nothing worse than having to remember to charge your lights up each night read for the next day).

    If you are looking for the ultimate front bike light then these should be top of your list.

  19. Lanell Warton 04/07/2011 at 9:50 am #

    A Waste of their time. When the battery is actually dead, I use a pair of small side cutters to help open the old electric battery case and use battery terminals to produce connections on various battery pack operated items. It’s less costly than buying them in Radio Shack. Lanell Warton

  20. Dave 28/11/2015 at 9:24 am #

    I bought a Cateye Volt 400 for £29.99 (Save 50%) yesterday from H2 Gear to replace my Smart – Lunar 25 Lux front light.

    I feel like I’ve been riding around ‘in the dark’ for the past 3 years!

    The Volt 400 is truly amazing.

    High mode 400 lumens: 3hrs
    Middle mode 100 lumens: 8hrs
    Low mode 50 lumens: 18hrs
    Hyper Constant mode 400/50 lumens: 11hrs
    Flashing mode 50 lumens: 60hrs

    Battery: Recharge time: Approx 3-6 hrs

    (USB 2.0 recharge)

    Low battery indicator

    I use a Smart E-Line, 3 LED rear light.

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