A helmet light is an essential piece of equipment for every rider. It is arguably one of the most important things necessary when riding a bicycle, right next to a helmet. If you’re fond of riding outside until the sun sets or if you like riding your bike at night time, then you should always have a light with you.
Unlike other pieces of protective gear, helmet lights are meant to prevent disaster rather than reduce the impact of one. These will help you navigate through dark areas but more importantly, they’ll make other people on the road aware of your presence.
Here’s a short guide on how to pick a good bike helmet light as well as the best ones you can get.
This is first thing you should look for in a bike helmet light, but keep in mind that brighter isn’t exactly better. Light intensity is measured in lumens, and the amount that you need mostly depends on your location.
For well-lit cities, 200 lumens should be enough to offer enough light for the occasional dark street or alleyway. On the other hand, off-road or mountain trails will require lights that are over 1000 lumens bright to ensure maximum illumination. Very high lumen ratings are best used for pitch-black environments for obvious reasons, while low-intensity lights are better for urban environments; they’re bright enough to offer good visibility while keeping other motorists on the road from being blinded.
Helmet lights are generally made to be compatible with most types of helmets, but there are some that may not fit the helmet you own. Be sure to check out if a mounted torch can be installed on your helmet before you get one.
Additionally, some bike helmet lights come with handlebar mounts as an alternative mount location. They essentially work the same way as headlights in other vehicles do. Mounting lights on your handlebar may be more favorable in some situations but if you’re creative and really want a helmet light, don’t be afraid to try out alternative solutions to make sure any light that you have won’t go to waste.
The battery life of a helmet light should be able to last a few dozen hours’ worth of run time, or as long as your usual trips would require. There is no standard duration for a helmet light’s battery, but anything that can last for over 12 hours should suffice.
If you’re the type of person who loves biking at night, then a long-lasting battery is best. When looking for a light that can last an entire night, look for its milliamp hour (mAh) rating. High-mAh batteries will last longer than ones with lower ratings, assuming the brightness output is constant.
Another thing you’ll need to look for in a helmet light is durability. Your light should be able to withstand drops from significant heights without cracking its chassis or damaging its internal components, but you should also be aware of any dust or water-proofing that a light may have. These features will be especially useful when riding on dusty dirt roads or during the rainy season.
You should also be aware of the durability of your helmet light’s mount. After all, your light won’t be of much use if it falls off while you’re cycling. Take note of the type of straps that secure your light to your helmet or handlebars. If you feel like they aren’t as secure as you would like them to be, feel free to try out some homemade solutions.
There are two main types of bike helmet lights: high-output lights and safety lights. The difference between them lies in their brightness level.
High-output lights, as the name suggests, have very high lumen ratings. These can easily reach 1000 lumens and are perfect for off-road or trail biking. They are also much more useful in low visibility conditions.
Safety lights, on the other hand, are more suited for urban environments where you can rely on other light sources for navigation. Safety lights are used for alerting other motorists of your position in order to prevent roadside accidents.
Be sure to pick a light that suits your needs. There are some high-output lights that come with safety lights but you can also consider getting a dedicated taillight to your bike instead.
In a hurry? Checkout the winner
The TANSOREN Bike Headlight is a military-grade bike helmet light with an extremely bright LED that can last for a surprising amount of time. It is very versatile and you’re going to have to try very hard if you want to break this one.
This helmet light is very easy to install on your bike or a helmet light mount, and it’s also remarkably small and lightweight despite its sheer output strength. It’s made out of waterproof, military-grade plastic that’s enough to withstand any type of accident that might happen during a trip.
The TANSOREN bike light uses two LED lights powered by an 18650 battery pack to produce its signature bright light. The light has four different modes: high, low, middle, and strobe so you can adapt according to your environment and to make sure you aren’t unnecessarily wasting battery power. The short wires that connect the light and the battery make it a little hard to mount, but it’s doable.
This bike helmet light can last for 6-8 hours depending on the brightness setting, which is rather impressive considering that it can emit a light that’s almost four times stronger than other bike lights. It might be a bit excessive to some, but it certainly has its uses. Overall, it’s a great choice for its durability alone but if you want something that can really light your way, then you can’t go wrong with the TANSOREN bike light.
The NiteRider Lumina Micro 750 is a high-output bike light with excellent form and function. The Lumina Micro 750’s housing is made of a sturdy nylon reinforced with DuPont fiberglass, making it incredibly tough and impact-resistant. This paired with its innate IP64 water and dust resistance makes it one of the most durable bike lights in the market today.
The light has a 750 maximum lumen brightness level ideal for areas with very few light sources, with five light modes for versatility. It also has a Lock feature that keeps the light turned off when it’s not being used to ensure that precious battery life isn’t unnecessarily used up. In addition, it has a unique aluminum heat sink fitted into its design to allow for efficient heat dissipation, greatly reducing the risk of its internal components being damaged.
Speaking of battery, the Lumina Micro has a low-battery indicator that alerts you know when it needs to get recharged. The indicator goes off when the battery reaches about 20% of its max capacity, which is still plenty of juice to get you home in case the battery dips to critical level. Just be careful since this feature can actually end up draining the battery instead of preserving its charge.
The Serfas Safety Light is a simple-yet-elegant bike helmet light that is as straightforward as it gets. It’s a small safety light that can be easily mounted on to any helmet or bike mount and it provides decent visibility for cyclists on and around city streets.
This bike light uses three red LEDs as its primary source of illumination. The lights are arranged in a triangular pattern to help create a more visible picture for other motorists on the road, and it also has a built-in reflector for even more visibility. The lights can be set in either steady, flash, or chase modes for extra versatility.
The Serfas Safety Light uses CR2032 batteries to power its LED lights. They aren’t rechargeable, but they commonly found and affordable. This actually makes this bike light very power-efficient and well worth the money if you find yourself needing a safety light to help you during early morning or evening rides home on your bike.
The Ascher USB Rechargeable Bike Light is your standard helmet-mounted safety light with a few twists. This bike helmet light has a rechargeable battery that you can plug into any USB charger for quick and reliable charging. This feature lets you draw energy from portable power banks, which is great for emergencies for outdoor charging.
This bike light’s brightness rating is approximately 20 lumens, which means it’s more suited for well-lit or urban environments instead of precarious off-road trails. The lights can be set to full brightness, half brightness, fast flashing or slow flashing settings to fit a variety of situations. Each light is also waterproof with an IPX4 rating.
It’s very easy to mount with its simple strap brackets. You’ll be able to easily install these lights on your bike, helmet, or anything else that might need illumination when you’re out and about.
These lights use rechargeable lithium batteries for power. They can last for 3-10 hours depending on the brightness setting that the lights are on, and they can be conveniently charged via micro USB. This is a great feature that can come in very handy in a pinch. You’ll be able to charge these lights while at work before going home or even during a camping trip by using a power bank.
This light from Bright Eyes boasts of a very high brightness with a lengthy battery life per charge. It can be easily mounted on helmets and handlebars alike, and its waterproof design can protect both the LED and the battery from being damaged by water.
The Bright Eyes bike light is perfect for off-road cycling thanks to its impressive 1600-lumen Cree T6 LED light. This LED can freely swap between five different beam modes: high, medium, low, slow strobe, and fast strobe to suit different situations. Maintaining a 1600-lumen beam of light is going to need a lot of power but thankfully, this light comes with a rechargeable 6400mAh battery. It can store enough power to allow the light to remain on for 4-16 hours depending on its brightness setting.
The package includes a handful of useful items, including a set of Velcro straps, light diffuser, and o-rings for easy adjustments, as well as a head mount. This flashlight is easy to mount on either helmets or handlebars but since it uses an external battery, it may be better off mounted on handlebars.
If you’re looking for a high-output bike light, this one from Maketheone should be on your radar. This handheld flashlight can be attached to your helmet or your bike’s handlebars for hands-free illumination on the road. It has five different lighting modes for various circumstances and its adjustable focus complements its very high brightness rating, making it great for cycling in dark, off-road trails.
This flashlight is ideal if you want a light that can be used for many different situations, not just biking. It can output up to 1200 lumens at maximum power with its Cree XML-T6 LED which can be set to high, medium, low, SOS, or strobe settings. The width of the light beam can also be adjusted to be as wide or narrow as you need.
The flashlight uses a proprietary 18650 li-ion battery that can last up to three hours of constant activity, which is very impressive for such a small device.
Additionally, this bike helmet light comes with a red rear light for extra visibility. This rear light has four light modes and it even uses its own set of CR2032 batteries. It’s also waterproof like the main flashlight, so you won’t have to worry about the rain causing malfunctions.
The Topside by Brightside Bike Lights is a reliable helmet light with a long battery run time and sufficient brightness for urban environments. It’s a durable mounted torch ideal for city dwellers who primarily use bikes for transport.
The Topside is a small torch that’s very light yet sturdy, weighing in at only 5.6 ounces. Its frame is roughly 3 inches long too, making it very unobtrusive. This bike light can sit comfortably on top of your helmet without adding much weight.
This torch comes with a rechargeable battery with a runtime of 43 hours, and the light itself is a Cree LED with a 100-lumen output. This brightness level makes the Topside less useful for off-road cycling and more attractive as a safety light for cycling inside a city. It can cycle between flash and constant lighting modes and it can be configured for front lighting, rear lighting, or dual lighting modes, which adds a layer of versatility.
The Topside is also waterproof, dustproof, and can resist frost, making it useful in all weather conditions. It can be a little tricky to mount on your helmet since the cables that come with it are a bit short, but overall it works very well.