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:
- We’ve only discussed rechargeable lights here and not dynamo hub lights. We’ll cover those in a separate post.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.