Best LED Headlights For All Bikes, Motorcycles And Scooters

Every cyclist needs a pair of the best LED headlights. Whether you want to stand out against a bright urban backdrop or find your way along a dark alley, this little accessory can be a life-saver – not just figuratively.

LED headlights are becoming increasingly popular in bikes due to their energy-efficient design and longer lifespan compared to traditional halogen bulbs. They are also generally brighter and have a more modern appearance.  

Over the years, we tried more than 50 best-brand LED headlights to find the most suitable options for your commute. We tested each of them according to our unique criteria not limited to types, sizes, and prices. 

How We Pick The Best LED Headlights For Bikes

The Water Test

We prefer waterproof (or at least water-resistant) bikes. While you may not plan to ride in the rain, nature may surprise you. So, you should be ready for all such surprises. 

The Brightness Test

Only some people may need 20000-lumen led headlights. If you are in the city, you can use slightly less bright LED lights. So, we picked LED lights that just make you visible to others. 

The Power Test

The lights should have enough power to get you through the ride. Powerful LED headlights provide brighter and more focused illumination, improving visibility for the rider and other road users.

The Group Test

You may have to ride with friends every once in a while. Therefore, a good LED tail light should have a group ride mode. Such a mode helps with group rides as it avoids blinding your co-riders with too much brightness. 

Best LED Headlights For Cyclists

1. Garmin Varia RTL515 – Best Safety Features

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The Garmin Varia RTL515 combines a radar with an LED rear light. The light is shiny and bright, while the radar effectively warns of any ‘objects’ overtaking. You get visual and audible alerts for vehicles up to 153 yards away. On day flash mode, the quoted battery life is 16 hours.

In real-life conditions, a recent 300km eating contest ride confirmed that to be just about right. The radar uses Garmin’s quarter-turn mounting interface and comes with a rubber band-on mount to go on a Seatpost.

And if you have other mounts from Garmin and third parties, you can attach them to your saddle, saddle bag, child seat, etc. Although it’s a bit expensive, it’s not as expensive as being hit from behind. 

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    • Pros: Increased sense of safety, Battery life. Reliability, Peloton mode
    • Cons: Expensive, compatibility issues with non-Garmin devices

    2. Lezyne LED Femto Drive Rear – Best Compact Design

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    The Lezyne LED Femto Drive Rear is a compact and lightweight LED rear light designed for everyday use. It has a small, simple, straightforward, and well-built design. We love that you can easily remove and attach it to another bike in seconds. Another big plus is its anodized aluminum housing that looks like it belongs on a metal bike.

    In addition, it uses common-size batteries that you can buy in bulk for other equipment. The only downside is that it’s not bright enough for daytime use. But if you already have a Lezyne front light, this rear light will make for a great combo. 

    • Pros: Side visibility, rechargeable, compact yet powerful
    • Cons: Not as bright as others on this list

    3. BONTRAGER ION 200 and FLARE RT – Best Daytime Lights

    Bontrager Ion 200 RT/Flare RT Light Set

    The Bontrager is known for making the brightest bike lights, and this combo is no different. The new design offers fore/aft brightness by adding a side-to-side glass that further increases visibility. The company has also packed some additional features, like ANT+ and ambient light sensors.

    These sensors can auto-adjust the brightness based on outside lighting. During our tests, this was crazy good during pitch-black conditions but not as good at dawn. You can easily override the light sensor by holding the power button for 8 seconds. 

    • Pros: Wicked-bright, Super-blink mode, Mount them all over the place, Additional side visibility, ANT+ (not tested), Simple charge indicator LED
    • Cons: Expensive

    4. Light & Motion SECA 2500 ENDURO – Best for Mountain Biking

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    The Light & Motion Seca 2500 Enduro offers exceptional visibility with a smooth beam pattern thanks to its custom reflector. Regarding brightness, SECA 2500 leaves no dark spots, making it one of the best LED headlights for mountain bikes. It utilizes a unique oval-shaped 4-LED lamp unit and a 6-cell Lithium-ion battery pack.

    You can mount it to the frame using a heavy-duty Velcro strap, which is fantastic because you can get it super tight. It offers two light modes, simple and race. You can easily access these settings via a short/long press of the on-off switch. The Race mode has 2 settings: 2,500 high and medium (1,250 lumens medium beam). 

    • Pros: Very bright, smooth beam pattern, easy to fit, wide angle
    • Cons: lacks battery padding

    5. Light & Motion VYA PRO SMART – Best Smart Technology 

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    Light & Motion goes against the conventional headlight design with mode selection options and comes with a unique option, the VYA Pro Smart. We’ll be honest here. Initially, we were hesitant about its button-less design. However, a few rides later, we wondered why all headlights weren’t made like this.

    The automatic day and night selection takes all the stress from cycling through different modes and remembering all the other brightness interfaces. As for its output, the light is Very bright, and the pulsing light option is exceptional for daytime riding.

    At only 250 lumens (max), though, the Vya Pro Smart works best for urban riding only or as a secondary headlight if you ride on dark country roads.

    • Pros:  Compact, Extremely well made, Button-less design, Bright, waterproof
    • Cons: Only for Urban riding

    6. NITERIDER LUMINA OLED 1200 BOOST – Best Focussed Light 

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    NiteRider has been evolving its Lumina range for years, and the OLED 1200 Boost feels like a real upgrade. It’s a great option for riders who favor power and practicality over fancy bells and whistles. It has a highly focused beam that works great for faster roads and less tech off-road travels.

    The innovative OLED multifunctional display screen delivers concise battery run times as a percentage of its nine lighting levels. The 1200 boost keeps tech minimal and practical for a good power-to-price ratio. 

    • Pros: Separate mode selections, wide flat beam pattern, digital display, compact & tough
    • Cons: Bulky bracket, no side shiners

    7. Cygolite Hotshot PRO – Best Value Taillight

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    The Cygolite’s Hotshot Pro is a powerful 150-lumen rear bike light that clips behind the rider’s seat. It’s tiny, red, and features six different day and night modes. This can be very helpful if you are biking in a region with unpredictable weather. Even though it’s small, it casts an extra wide beam of light.

    It does a much better job of lighting the road directly behind you and the road area behind you to the left and right. As for the battery, expect up to 210 hours of non-stop operation on a single charge. At just 35 $, the Hotshot Pro is the best value taillight you can get today. 

    • Pros: Excellent brightness ⋅ Solid run time ⋅ Competitive price
    • Cons: Clumsy bracket attachment

    8. Blackburn Luminate 360 – Best Full System

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    This set of lights is a head and shoulder above other full bike light systems. Yes, you can find alternative cheaper light online, but you won’t get the quality of a Blackburn. We love this system because of three things. First, it’s easy to attach to the bike, thanks to a built-in wire clip.

    Second, they’re very easy to use. You can easily turn them on and off or to a higher or lower lumen while driving. Third, they have a unique flashing pattern visible from a long distance away. Overall, the Blackburn Luminate 360 are highly functional and quality lights. If you want a full system for your bike that gives 360 visibility, don’t look elsewhere. 

    • Pros: up to 400 lumens front, easy to charge with any USB port, unique flashing pattern
    • Cons: Mada in china

    9. LEZYNE MACRO Drive 1300XXL –  Best Front Bike Light

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    With its 1,300-lumen Overdrive mode, this front bike light delivers a beast of an output. It lights up the reach, wide angles, and tree canopy if you are taking an off-road excursion. But it may need to be more friendly to incoming traffic. Thankfully the Lezyne Macro drive has seven different modes to adjust according to your situation.

    The light turns off automatically if you’ve stopped for a while to prevent overheating. Mounting it is also simple due to the silicone stretch strap. You can easily attach or remove it if necessary.

    Recharging is also simple with a standard USB cable. This makes LEZYNE MACRO DRIVE 1300XXL another great option. It’s powerful, offering enough reach and spread to take you off-road confidently. 

    • Pros: Powerful Overdrive beam; multiple brightness modes; Versatile
    • Cons: Weak mounting strap

    10. GYHUEGO USB Rechargeable Bike Light – Cheapest Headlight

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    If you want the best LED headlight on a budget, the GYHUEGO bike light should be on top of your list. It’s a USB rechargeable light set with a pre-built powerful battery pack. That means no need to lug around wires or external battery accessories anymore.

    The front light can switch between three and five modes, while the taillight has just five. They’re easy to install with bare hands, offering a 360-degree rotation to illuminate any direction you want. However, the rubber mounting for the rear light looks flimsy.  

    • Pros: Very bright, multiple adjustable working modes, easy to install, decent battery life
    • Cons: flimsy rear mount

    Do You Need A Rear Light Only or A Full Set?

    Both rear and full sets of lights (front and rear) can increase visibility to other road users and improve safety while riding. 

    Many jurisdictions legally require rear lights when riding a bike at night or in low visibility conditions. They help to make the bike more visible to drivers of other vehicles from behind and can also serve as a signal to indicate the rider’s intended direction of travel

    A full set of lights, including a front and rear light, can provide even greater visibility and improve safety. The front light can help the rider see the road ahead and make the bike more visible to drivers of other vehicles from the front. 

    Consider your specific needs and preferences when deciding whether to use a rear light only or a full set of lights on a bike. 

    Where To Mount Your Light

    The location where a bike light is mounted will depend on the bike’s design and your preferences. Some common areas for mounting bike lights include:

    Handlebars: Lights can be mounted on the handlebars, either on the stem or on the handlebar itself. This is a convenient location as it allows the rider to aim the light where it is needed easily.

    Forks: Lights can also be mounted on the bike’s forks, either on the crown or on the legs of the forks. This location can be particularly effective for illuminating the road ahead.

    Frame: Lights can also be mounted on the bike’s frame, either on the top tube or the down tube. This location can conveniently mount a light used primarily as a rear light.

    Helmet: You can also mount some of the headlights on your helmet for better track visibility – especially during off-road travels. 

    What To Look For, What To Avoid

    When choosing a bike light, there are several factors to consider and some pitfalls to avoid. Here are a few things to look for and avoid when selecting a bike light:

    Look For:

    Brightness

    Choose a light with sufficient brightness for your needs. Consider the intended use of the light and the local lighting conditions when determining the appropriate brightness level.

    Beam Pattern

    Choose a light with a beam pattern appropriate for the type of riding you will be doing. For example, a light with a wide flood beam may be more suitable for commuting, while a light with a narrower spotlight beam may be more suitable for road cycling.

    Battery Life

    Consider the light’s battery life and choose a light with a battery life that is sufficient for your needs. If you plan to do long rides or may not have access to a power source to recharge the light, a light with a longer battery life may be more suitable.

    Durability

    Choose a durable light that can withstand the rigors of cycling, including exposure to weather elements and vibrations from the road.

    Mounting Options

    Make sure the mounting options for the light are appropriate for your bike and your preferences.

    Price

    The price of a bike light may be a factor for some riders, especially if they are on a budget or purchasing multiple lights.

    Avoid:

    • Cheap, low-quality lights
    • Lights with narrow beam patterns
    • Lights with short battery lives
    • Lights with inadequate mounting options

    Best LED Headlights – FAQs

    What are the advantages of using LED headlights on a bike?

    LED headlights are energy efficient and have a longer lifespan than traditional halogen bulbs. They are also generally brighter and have a more modern appearance.

    Are LED headlights legal on bikes?

    Using headlights on bikes, including LED headlights, is typically required by law in many jurisdictions when riding at night or in low visibility conditions. This is to increase the bike’s visibility to other road users and improve safety for the rider.

    Is Brightness All That Matters

    Brightness is an important factor when choosing a bike light, as it can affect the rider’s ability to see the track ahead and be seen by others. However, there are other factors to consider such as beam pattern, battery life, durability, mounting options, and price. 

    Can I use an LED headlight on any bike?

    You can use LED headlights on any bike, including road, mountain, and electric bikes. Take into account the specific needs and preferences of the rider when selecting a headlight, as well as any local laws and regulations regarding bike lighting.

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    Best LED Headlights For All Bikes, Motorcycles And Scooters — Bike Hacks