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TECH NEWS People's Choice: Your favourite front lights revealed

Five bright lamps to light up the road

USB recharging FTW — that's the clear message from your responses to our recent call for your favourite front lights. While a few rear lights with old-fashioned batteries made the list of rear flashers, the extra battery drain of a white light makes the economy of rechargeables a must.

Without further ado, the envelope, please.

1 Exposure Strada — £241.99 (23%)

Strada mk 6.jpg

Road riders who need serious light love the Strada for both the sheer amount of light it puts out and for its friendliness to other road users. The the beam is shaped so it doesn't dazzle oncoming traffic. The votes were mostly for the Mk 5, but it's just been replaced by the Mk6 which has more output and an LED display to show remaining battery charge

Like other Exposure lights it's an all-in-one unit with battery and emitters in one shell.

Read our review of the Exposure Strada

2 Cateye Volt 300 — £34.99 (10%)


The most popular small light in the survey, the Volt 300 puts out a claimed 300 lumen beam, powered by a swappable battery so you can carry a spare for long rides.

Read our review of the Cateye Volt 300
Find a Cateye dealer

3 Cateye Volt 800 — £79.99 (8%)


The Volt 300's big brother shares its interchangeable battery feature but outs out a lot more light — a claimed 800 lumen.

Find a Cateye dealer

3 Radial Pharos 3-Watt USB Rechargeable — £19.99 (8%)

Radial Pharos 3-Watt USB Rechargeable.jpg

The cheapest light in the top five plugs straight into a USB port or charger so you don't have to dig through your desk drawer for a cable. (I can see three of the damn things from where I'm sitting though — where do they all come from?). It's very simple and tidy; just the thing for a well-lit commute or as an emergency spare.

3 Cateye Volt 1200 — £109.99 (8%)


The Volt 1200 goes up another step, putting out a claimed 1200 lumen from a pair of emitters. Cateye says it'll run for 17.5 hours in low mode, which should be enough for a week's commuting.

Read our review of the Cateye Volt 1200
Find a Cateye dealer

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for Along with founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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