Staying visible and safe should always be the priority when it comes to riding a bike, and one good way to do so is to ensure you have a good front bike light and rear bike light. Explore the options below and discover what’s best for you and your ride.

Between sunset and sunrise, having a functioning front and rear light is a legal requirement, but we’d recommend it at other times too, be that on bright days or when it’s grey and rainy. Whether it's a light to purely be seen, or a light to see, on the road or off-road, here at Sigma Sports we stock a large range of bike lights and have experts on hand to help you choose.


What do I need to consider when choosing a bike light?


A key detail, the number of lumens indicates the light's output, so how powerful it is. Rear lights normally go up to about 50, whereas front lights can be anything from 100 to 1000s of lumens. Where you ride will determine what you need, so in built-up, well-lit areas you’ll need far fewer lumens than in rural places or when heading off-road.

Run time and charging

Rear lights generally have a very long run time and front lights can range from as little as one hour to over 20 hours, depending on the light and mode selected. The higher the output, the faster the battery will empty and so some lights will switch modes automatically to save power as it gets low, to get you back safely.

Most bike lights are rechargeable via USB, and you should look for enough battery life to easily cover a few days of commuting, so if necessary you can charge during the day or overnight. The charging port in the light is likely to be micro USB or USB-C, and if charge time is important, USB-C is the one to go for. Some brands such as Exposure have their own system and some plug directly into a USB port with no cable required. 


Choose a bike light with at least a few different flashing and static modes, ensuring it's versatile enough for a range of conditions. If you plan to use it during daylight, many are available with a specific daytime pulse mode that emits more lumens than the light’s constant maximum, cutting through distractions particularly well.

Other features to look out for

Most lights have a waterproof casing for reliability, and those designed for off-road use are built to be more rugged and resistant to potential knocks.

Bike Lights Guide what you need to consider

Urban cycling bike lights - to be seen

In brightly lit and urban areas, the priority is being seen by other road users, as you don’t need huge amounts of lumens to see where you’re going. Aiming for 100-200 lumens and a wide beam is sensible, and some lights have side cutouts so you can be spotted from more angles of approach.

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Urban Cycling Bike Lights

Rural cycling bike lights - to see 

Ensure you have 400 lumens as a minimum, although we would recommend more, as the more lumens, the more detail you will be able to pick out in front of you. Look for long run times, as the brighter the light, the more power is used.

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Rural Cycling Bike Lights

Bike lights for riding off-road

Riding off-road at night can be a thrilling experience, and if you’re lucky enough to have a commute route that takes you into woods and onto trails, a decent light will improve visibility for more control, more speed and more fun. Look for 1500 lumens or more; some models emit over 4000, and can be as bright as car headlights on their strongest modes. Run times will be limited at these higher outputs, but should give you at least an hour before you need to switch modes.

Think about the beam pattern, as a more focussed beam is generally better off-road if you're helmet mounting and a wider beam better suits handlebar-mounted lights; a combination of the two is fairly common. Most off-road-specific lights give you the option to attach them to the handlebar or helmet and the latter points the light where you are looking, and therefore aiming.

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Off Road Bike Lights Guide


What type of lights are best for me?

Your commute will very much determine what you need. In cities and lit-up streets, you’ll get away with something smaller, but on rural lanes and off-road, being able to see exactly where you are going is vital. If you’re unsure how much power you need, or if your commute will be in a mix of different areas, remember that most lights have a number of different modes and will offer lower lumen options so get the light best suited to the darkest areas of your ride.

What Bike Lights are right for me

Maximise safety out on roads and trails by picking a suitable front and rear bike light. In addition to lights, we have many other accessories available to enhance comfort on the commute.

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