Adding some lights on your bicycle wheels is a great way to make you more visible in dark areas while also adding a little bit of flair to your bike. Bicycle wheel lights come in many shapes and sizes, and different models can form a wide variety of unique patterns.
While the pretty lights are enough of a reason for some people to get wheel lights of their own, the added visibility at night can be a lifesaver, especially in very dark areas. If you’re looking for bike wheel lights that are both stylish and functional, then here’s a short guide on how to pick one for your bike as well as a list of some of the best wheel lights you can buy right now.
Keep in mind that bike wheel lights are not to be used as replacements for a headlight. While these lights increase the rider’s own visibility, they are not very useful for lighting up your way.
That being said, increasing the rider’s visibility is the main practical function of bicycle wheel lights. They are bright enough to be seen by other people on the road without blinding them. In theory, the worst they can do is distract a few pedestrians on the sidewalk with their pretty patterns.
Bike wheel lights are also great for adding an extra personal touch to your bike. If you’re looking for more ways to personalize your bike, then you can’t go wrong with adding lights to your wheels.
As mentioned previously, wheel lights aren’t meant to illuminate your path. That job is reserved for headlights. Because of that, wheel lights don’t have to be super bright to be useful, but they shouldn’t be too dim either.
Wheel lights that are around the 100-200 lumen range should suffice. For reference, most bike tail lights max out at 100 lumens while headlights shine at 400-600 lumens.
Since these lights will be directly attached to your wheels, they’re going to be moving around all the time. It’s important to get a set of wheel lights that can firmly attach to your wheels so they don’t pop off mid-ride.
You should also consider their resistance to weather, especially against water. Wheel lights that aren’t waterproof may break if water seeps into the electrical components inside of them.
The battery life of bike wheel lights typically lasts for up to three hours when used at full potential, but some can last for longer depending on their efficiency and settings. Wheel lights with longer-lasting batteries will also require less charging, allowing you to travel between two or more destinations without worrying about them losing power completely.
If you intend to use wheel lights to simply brighten up your commute, then any light with a decent battery should suffice. However, if you prefer going out for long rides at night, then be sure to select a set of wheel lights that can last for as long as you’re out.
In a hurry? Checkout the winner
The Activ Lites promise easy installation, high durability, and extra bright lights for maximum visibility at night. They may not have as many fancy features like some other options in the market, but these bike wheel lights can still make heads turn.
The lights are designed to be visible from all angles, including the front and the back, to make riders more visible in the dark. They can also be set in either constant or flashing modes.
The Activ Lites can fit anywhere between 12-inch and 29-inch bikes, making them very adaptive when it comes to wheel sizes. Each string contains 21 durable, waterproof LED lights.
Each box is good for one wheel but they only come in one color, so you’ll have to choose wisely before buying.
Bright, stylish, and long-lasting; these three words perfectly describe the GlowRiders spoke-mounted bike wheel lights. Each string is seven feet long and contains 20 bright LED lights to maximize your visibility in the dark while giving your rims a sleek and vibrant outline every time you ride out.
The light strings are very durable and sit snuggly on your spokes, minimizing the risk of snagging and other external forces. The LED lights are waterproof and are tightly secured along the string.
The LEDs shine brightly and they can last for over 40 hours even when running continuously. The power efficiency of the GlowRders is incredible, especially considering that runs on AA batteries. The one downside regarding the lights is that their colors are fixed.
That being said, though, you’ll have to purchase a few battery packs to keep these lights operational, or you can purchase a pair of rechargeable AA batteries instead.
These LED lights from Brightz is an excellent way to add some flair to your bike. With decent durability, great energy efficiency, high brightness, and wide compatibility, WheelBrightz LED lights won’t let you down.
The 7-foot long strings hold 20 different LED lights together. Simply attach them to your bike’s spokes and turn them on whenever you’re ready to go. They can easily fit onto most 20” bike wheel or larger but it largely depends on how many spokes are on your wheels.
These bike wheel lights use three AA batteries as its power source (which you’ll have to provide yourself). Luckily, these lights can stay on for 48 hours straight before completely draining its batteries, allowing you to save some money and a few trips to the store.
The LED lights are bright but they only come in one color per light string.
BRIONAC’s spoke-mounted LED wheel lights are perfect for minimalists or those who prefer less extravagant lights on their bikes.
These bike wheel lights are bright, vibrant, and can illuminate both sides of your bike with seven different colors. You can choose between four different lighting modes, including an automatic mode that periodically switches between all different colors as you ride.
The different colors and lighting modes makes the BRIONAC lights adaptable to different lighting conditions. They’re great for riding along city streets where light levels tend to differ between areas.
The lights are durable and can withstand bumpy roads. They’re also lightweight and waterproof, making them great for rainy seasons or crossing over small puddles.
The included lithium batteries are rechargeable and it comes with an indicator that lights up when the power drops to a critical level. Installing the battery may require a bit of fiddling around, though.
The Monkey Light M232 is one of the more popular bike wheel light options in the market. With high brightness, vibrant colors, and durable construction, there’s very little left to ask for.
It features 32LED lights that are 200 lumens bright, making it the perfect choice for nighttime cycling. The lights are waterproof, so you won’t have to worry about any sudden downpours or trekking over puddles of water. These lights will be safe from any form of damage that water may cause.
The M232 has 42 themes to choose from that can be easily swapped around with a single button press.
These lights run on three AAA batteries. They aren’t exactly rechargeable (unless you get ones that are), but the lights are very efficient when it comes to power management. A single set of batteries can last up to 20+ hours if properly managed.
The CYCPLUS Bike Spoke Lights have a very unique feature: the lights can be configured using a proprietary app. You can pick what type of image or pattern these lights will display through the app like GIFs and pictures from the internet. The app can also directly control the wheel lights, serving as a remote control of sorts. Various settings can also be adjusted through the app.
As for the lights themselves, they’re bright and don’t require cyclists to pedal at particularly fast speeds to create a full picture; the recommended riding speed is 8km/h. They’re also rainproof and are good for most types of terrain so long as it’s not too rough.
However, the app can be a little confusing to use at first and it can only run on Android 4.3/iOS 5 and above.
Evaduol’s LED bike wheel lights lack the pretty patterns found in other similar attachments but it makes up for it with high visibility, wide compatibility, range of colors, and selectable lighting modes. If you’re aiming for a more minimalistic setup or if you prefer a sleeker look for your bike, then these are for you.
This new, 2018 model sports a USB-chargeable battery instead of the usual AAA batteries that other wheel lights use. It can be easily charged via power banks to ensure that you never ride without wheel lights on. Also, you won’t have to spend money on spare or replacement batteries anymore.
The lights are meant to be attached by the rim of your wheels, which creates a colorful outline effect. While the lack of creative patterns may disappoint some, bright lights along your wheel rims are still able to create a mesmerizing effect that isn’t too distracting.
DAWAY’s bike lights are equal parts stunning and practical. These wheel lights are very bright and they can create several different patterns to increase your bike’s visibility and style points. They’re light, easy to attach, durable, and convenient to use.
The wheel lights can be activated either through its built-in motion sensor or a manual button press. The motion sensor is great for hands-free operation and it can automatically shut the lights down when you’re stationary, making these bike wheel lights very energy-efficient.
There are 30 different patterns to choose from and all of them are visually pleasing. Each LED light can flash eight different colors and the patterns change every four seconds. You’ll need to pedal quite hard to reach the recommended 18.6 mile-per-hour speed in order to fully complete each pattern, however.
These are compatible with standard bike spokes for 16-inch bikes and larger.