Bestmodo: The Five Best Bike Lights for Christmas

By Simon Munk on at

This lot will have you lit up like the proverbial Christmas tree to avoid "Sorry, mate, I didn't see you" (or SMIDSY) excuses. Lighting for your bike is vital at this time of year: much of your riding will likely be done in darkness.

Some of these lights won't just help you to be seen though – they'll also help you see. A growing number of riders are raging against the dying light by strapping on super-bright lights to cope with mountain biking night-rides and through-the-night distance road races.

Whatever your needs are, these are the best products on the market to light up your bicycling life.

5.) Veglo Commuter X4

A great new idea to maximise visibility for cyclists, the X4 has already been shortlisted for, or won, several invention awards. The idea is a central rear LED sends light backwards, while four fibre-optic "light guides" add illumination not just to the road, but side also.

The result is a high-vis, light harness that is wearable over a jacket or 35-litre backpack, which massively enhances rear- and side-visibility. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the idea came from a bloke who was knocked flying off his bicycle from behind. [Buy now for £49.99]

4.) Knog Blinder range

These rechargeable lights are fairly cheap and have great features: they are waterproof, easy to attach and detach, and are incredibly bright when on flash mode. Australian brand Knog make the hipster-friendly bike kit, and while these pocketable lights won't illuminate a country lane at high speed, for being seen around town they're perfect: reasonably tough, well-designed and with a good range of blinky-blinky options.

The only downsides are their USB connector can be awkward to plug in and they're not quite as tough as some of the smaller but slightly pricier Exposure commuter lights. [Buy now from £20]

3.) Exposure Six Pack Mk5/MaXxD Mk7/Toro Mk6

There are brighter off-road mountain biking lights, but very few riders on the planet really need more lumens than these. And for an absolutely winning combination of one-box simplicity, rugged design and amazing customer-service, bright bike-light specialists Exposure are way out on top.

Not only are these seriously bright, tough lights, they're also full of cutting-edge tech including the ability to custom-programme how bright they run versus how long they last. The end result is a light that can turn a midnight forest into daytime for shorter blasts, or let you see everything you need to for a whole night.

These three are the top-of-the-range – choose between them on the basis of budget (warning: they're not cheap) and need. Exposure also do brilliant (literally) headtorches for cyclists, which are handy off-road for looking ahead around a corner, and on-road for directly reminding seriously errant drivers of your existence. And road-specific superbright lights too, as well far cheaper commuter lights that are still sealed, tough and bright for their size (but a tad pricier than Knog). [Buy now from £309.95]

2.) CatEye Volt1200

The CatEye the light you can buy to cover all bases. It's not as tough, bright or simple as Exposure's top-of-the-range efforts. But it's a third of the price. This 1,200-lumen light is bright and long-lasting enough for nearly all off-road and road adventures in the dark hours; its all-night setting is plenty bright enough for country lanes and cross-country trails, for instance. And it's relatively small and weatherproof.

The only major negative with this light is the sheer amount of time the battery takes to recharge: hours and hours. [Buy now for £149.99]

1.) Moon X-Power 780

Not quite as bright as the CatEye, this will handle off-road duties OK, but what it really excels at is being an incredibly bright commuting and/or road-riding light. It's far smaller than the CatEye or Exposure lights, built to be tough (including water-resistance) and cheaper. It's also bristling with nice design features.

The metal body parts, for instance, are designed to vent heat very efficiently. There's also side-window cutouts for maximum visibility. And it's got a really good range of light power and flash modes to choose from – it recharges quickly too. Unless you're going off-road, this is probably enough light for nearly all uses. [Buy now for £99.99]