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We test beam strength, shape, and penetration to help you find the right light for the riding you do + an illuminating list of bargain light deals (sorry)

Is it that time again? One minute you're sitting outside the cafe in the sun, soaking up the rays, then next you're digging out your emergency blanket and whistle. Winter is coming, folks. And the nights are drawing in. You'll be needing some lights.

Fortunately, there are loads out there. And even better for you, we got our hands on over 50 of this year's lights and tested them back to back. The result of all this standing in a dark lane, and subsequently in a dark room with a light meter, is this: the big road.cc light beam engine.

We'll be testing a lot of these lights over the next few weeks, and we'll update our buyer's guide to reflect this year's crop. In the meantime, you can pit one against the other in a sort of lumen deathmatch. Obviously the beam engine doesn't give you the whole picture – you need to know what the battery life is like, how good the bracket is, whether a light is waterproof, and so on – but it does give you a handy reference on what kind of illumination you can expect.

And now in widescreen...

If you're on a nice big monitor, head over to the widescreen version which makes it a bit easier to see everything at once.

2017 lights already tested

We've already tested some of these lights: click through for a full review (which includes the beam engine, where applicable):

Model Beam tested? Rating RRP
Ravemen CR500 DualLens No £59.99
Ravemen PR1200 DualLens Yes £99.99
Moon Meteor Vortex Pro Yes £69.99
Moon Mizar No £15.99
Xeccon Spear 600 Yes £43.99
Xeccon Spear 900 No £59.99
Niterider Lumina OLED 1100 Boost Yes £140.00
Niterider Lumina 1100 Boost Yes £110.00
Niterider Lumina 900 Boost Yes £85.00
Niterider Swift 450 Yes £38.00
BBB BLS-110 Sniper Yes £189.95

Grab a bargain

With a bunch of new lights out, there are plenty of deals on last year's stock. We've compiled a handy list of discounted lights we've found from around the web, if you want to pick up a bargain.

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

10 comments

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Disfunctional_T... [277 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

The best bike light is a regular flashlight... specifically the 1,000 lumen Nitecore MH10 ($45) with an Exposure Quick Release Mount plastic bracket ($20).

It is USB rechargeable, uses a standard 18650 battery, puts out a lot of light, and is more compact than most all of the options presented here.

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janusz0 [84 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

Nice project!
Could you report which of these lights conform to BS6102/3, or an EU equivalent, please?

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DaveE128 [981 posts] 4 months ago
4 likes

The beam shape is a great addition! Please could you include some StVZO compliant lights? ie those with a proper road beam that lights up the road evenly but doesn't blind oncoming road users? Eg B&M Ixon IQ Premium. You wouldn't drive a car with only full beam headlights. Why should bike lights be different on road? https://www.cyclinguk.org/blog/chris-juden/bobby-dazzlers

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Bigfoz [144 posts] 4 months ago
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Not hugely useful as we don't have the scale. How far away is the car? How far away is the person? What is the gap between the cones? 

 

The car doesn't show up that well with even the biggest power lights. Is it 20m or 200m away? I'd also like to see the beam patterns on a straight road so you get a better grasp of how much spill into the eyes of oncoming drivers. 

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BarryBianchi [419 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

Ain't no list of bargain lights showing up via any of those links for me...

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userfriendly [621 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes
DaveE128 wrote:

The beam shape is a great addition! Please could you include some StVZO compliant lights? ie those with a proper road beam that lights up the road evenly but doesn't blind oncoming road users? Eg B&M Ixon IQ Premium. You wouldn't drive a car with only full beam headlights. Why should bike lights be different on road? https://www.cyclinguk.org/blog/chris-juden/bobby-dazzlers

 

I second that.  103

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Ad Hynkel [164 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

What would be nice if there was a rating built into this for how good these beams were at reducing dazzle to oncoming traffic. Feature request, now submitted (hopefully).

Ms Hynkel has been compaining about this getting worse on her commute back from work, on a fully lit urban cycle path too. Dotards.

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IHphoto [119 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

Seconded on lights with a proper road beam like a dipped head light. Any chance of including ones like my Schmidt Edelux II which has an excellent road (STVZO compliant) beam?

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BehindTheBikesheds [1328 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

One thing that isn't mentioned is how lights stand up to vibration from uneven road surfaces.

I've just bought a brighter light, a Axenda 60 (lux), a former Philips Saferide light now made by a dutch company Spanninga . Although it has a longer beam and is a bit brighter than my Sigma PAVA, it's nowhere near as good when it comes to not flickering all over the shop. it's the one thing I found dissapointing, also the PAVA has a very tight beam.

Also you might consider talking about the brackets, ease of fitment, ease of removing the light from the bracket and also how easy it is to shift through the modes with a thick gloved hand in winter.  How do they stand up to being dropped from x height or from X speed.

Going to stick with the PAVA, it's simply the best pound for pound light, great beam, massively easy fitment/removal, excellent run time on full beam and good enough for 30mph runs on unlit roads.

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kingleo [26 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

I wonder how long it will be before the anti-cycling louts start complaining about the bright lights that cyclists use.