In reviewing dozens of lights, we've come up with some favorites. Our top-recommended headlights and taillights showcase the best lights for different price ranges and needs. In all lights, we look for some of these key features:
- Rechargeable. With many affordable options now for rechargeable lights, there's no need to throw away batteries. Rechargeable lights reduce waste, and we consider them to be more convenient. That's not to say a non-rechargeable light will never make it on the list, but it would need to be a pretty special light.
- Daylight visible. Most people associate lights with riding at night, but a good light can help you be seen during the day, too. We prefer lights that are still visible and attention-grabbing even in broad daylight, so that you can be visible no matter when or where you're riding.
- Easy to use. It doesn't matter how many fancy things a light can do if you can't figure it out when you need it. We like lights that are self-explanatory, and can be used when you have gloves on, and aren't difficult to mount and remove from your bike.
- Good Value. Everybody's definition of "affordable" is different, and a few of our favorite lights are a bit pricey. We promote lights that give you the best performance and features for the cost, and every list has some lights specifically chosen for their affordability.
- Truthful. Some manufacturers – espcially of generic, nameless lights like those you find on eBay – make greatly exaggerated claims of their brightness and runtime. Manufacturers that test their lights to the FL1 standard with an integrating sphere are more likely to win our approval. You can learn more about light testing and standards on our FAQ.