Bike light Database

Maybe people just like to boast about how much they spent on their lights, but to me, the major brands are a waste of money. You can buy brighter lights at a fraction of the cost. They are just as reliable, and if you ever need to replace a battery or any other part, they are much cheaper too.

Below are a selection of lights from the top brands, and cheaper alternatives.
To enable direct comparison of brightness, all beam photographs on the road are taken at: 6400 iso, f2.8, 1/8 sec

Click on the images to enlarge.

Cateye Uno - maximum lux at 1mt: 540

 










Very weak centre spot.
At around £15, a complete waste of money.



Exposure Flash - maximum lux at 1mt: 210






Very dim beam that spreads wide. 
At around £25 it may be bright enough to be noticed by other road users, but I wouldn't risk it. It doesn't put any light on the road.


Cateye EL135 - maximum lux at 1mt: 1,880
  



 






Very dim centre spot.
Save around £20 by not buying this light.


Knog Blinder Arc 1.7 - maximum lux at 1mt: 950

A fairly narrow beam with an even spread of light.
At around £25, it's an excellent commuter light and puts a reasonable amount of light on the road. 

Electron F-300 - maximum lux at 1mt: 3,240



A bright spot with no light in the wider areas.
At around £20, this is a good commuter light. It looks well short of the claimed 300 lumens, and won't illuminate your journey to any great extent.

  
 Xeccon CS01 - maximum lux at 1mt: 2,010











A good spread of light with a large central illuminated area.
At around £30, a light that's bright enough to light your way at a half decent speed, and will get you noticed by other road users.


Exposure Spark Mk3 - maximum lux at 1mt:  1,930

Centre spot with no light in the wider areas.
At around £60, you would be entitled to expect more. Ok as a commuter light, but limited for any other use.

Cateye Volt 300 - maximum lux at 1mt: 3,130



A large centre spot with little light in the wider areas.
At around £40, the design looks similar to other brands. But turn it on and it's a big disappointment. Bright enough to be seen by other road users, but not bright enough for unlit roads.


Lezyne Micro Drive 400XL - maximum lux at 1mt: 1650
An even spread of light  across a medium beam.
At around £30, it's bright enough to get you seen by other road users and puts a decent amount of light on the road for such a small light.

Fluxient U2 Mini - maximum lux at 1mt: 3,510









A lwide beam with a large centre spot and an even spread of light in the wider areas.
At around £50, it's a good looking light with performance to match.
Exposure Joystick Mk10 - maximum lux at 1mt: 2,870




Medium beam with fairly even illumination.
At arond £125, Exposure have finally managed to get half decent light output from the Joystick at the 10th attempt. But you can get much better lights for a lot less money.
 Xeccon Striver 600 - maximum lux at 1mt: 4,950
Large centre spot with good illumination across the beam.
At around £40, a light that is bright enough to llow a decent speed on or off road. Illuminated side panels give all round visibility to other road users.

Smart 700 - maximum lux at 1mt: 2,700
 








An even spread of light with alarge centre spot.
At around £40, Smart finally make a serious light. Plenty of light for road or mtb, and reasonable price.


Moon X Power 780 - maximum lux at 1mt: 5,950


A wide spread of light with a small centre spot. 
At around £100, performance is disappointing, which is unusual for Moon. There are cheaper alternatives that will give out more light.

Lezyne Macro Drive 600XL 900 - maximum lux at 1mt:3250
A large centre spot and even illumination in the wider areas.
At around £40, it's a neat package and puts out a lot of light for the money.

Electron F-650 - maximum lux at 1mt: 3830


One spot and one wide makes for a nice beam pattern.
At around £40, this is excellent value. Nice spread of light and reaches reasonably far up the rod. The mount only fits oversize bars. I had to use a packing strip from another light to fit it on 26mm bars.
 

Fluxient Elite S3 - maximum lux at 1mt: 8960


A large pool of very bright light with just enough light ahead of the front wheel.
At around £50, the Elite S3 is very much a light for the road, with a reflector designed to put all of the light on the road. Amnd a good job it does too, much better than the Specialized Flux.


Xeccon Striver 900 - maximum lux at 1mt: 2,790


At around £50, it gives versatility in beam selection, with three brightness levels and separate switches for the wide and spot beams. Illuminated side panels give all round visibility to other road users.
Three beam options: 
Wide

Spot

Wide + spot


Exposure Axis - maximum lux at 1mt: 2030
 
Wide spread of light across the beam. 
At around £140, the price is similar to the Joystick, but the beam is much better. 


Torchy BK O1ne -  maximum lux at 1mt: 12,370






A very bright spot that reaches far into the distance.
At around £30, this light is best suited to the road. The beam puts enough light ahead of the front wheel to see any hazards while the spot gives good visibility into the distance.
 
Hope Vision R1 - maximum lux at 1mt: 4,471

A large centre spot with little light in the wider areas.
At around  £100, I would want to add another light to illuminate ahead of my front wheel and in the wider areas.
Torchy BK 2wo Mkllmaximum lux at 1mt: 6,450

A good balance of bright spot and illumination in the wider areas. 
At around £40,it's a good all round light for road or mountain bike. Tiny size, would be a great helmet light.

Volkslight My Tiny Sun - maximum lux at 1mt: 3,540

 
At around £130, the design is quirky. The output is impressive. The batteries are removeable, so you can carry spares. You'll either love it or hate it. I love it.
Three beam option:
Wide
Spot
Wide + spot

Torchy BK Thr33 - maximum lux at 1mt: 5,300






A bright spot with a good level of illumination across the whole beam.
At around £50, it's as bright as you need for fast road use.

Lezyne Deca Drive 900 - maximum lux at 1mt: 3,590
 
A wide spread of light with a small centre spot. 
At around £100, it produces a decent output for road or mtb.  Lezyne may have to up their game with Cateye finally producing similar lights.

Moon X Power ADJ 1300 - maximum lux at 1mt: 6,450
 










 
One flood beam and one spot beam that can be separately angled vertically.
At around £150, this is an impressive light. Tiny size, big output.

Cateye Volt 1200 - maximum lux at 1mt: 7,130



Bright central illumination with not much light in the wide areas. 
At around £120, Cateye have finally produced a decent bike light for serious night riding. 

Torchy BK 6ix - maximum lux at 1mt: 3940


A wide spread, even beam.
At around £50, it gives even illumination in the near to mid distance. More suited to off road.



M-Tigersports MT-1600 - maximum lux at 1mt: 6200



A wide spread of light with a decent hot spot.
At around £80, this light will be a decent choice for the road, bur the wide spread of light in the near to mid distance make it ideal for off road.

Specialized Flux Expert - maximum lux at 1mt:7380





 
A wide even spread of light.
At around £200, it's supposed to direct the light down and forward, but doesn't quite succeed in contrilling the beam as well as the Fluxient Elite S3. Disappointing brightness and run time considering the price.

M-Tigersports MT-3000 - maximum lux at 1mt: 11440

A very bright, large spot.
At around £100, a far reaching very bright spot and light weight (lamp + mount = 140g) are very well suited to fast road use.

Torchy BK 7even - maximum lux at 1mt: 7940
 
A good spread of light and large bright spot.
At around £60, a good light for on or off road, giving even illumination from close to the far distance.
 

M-Tigersports XCR Evo 3500 - maximum lux at 1mt:8140

Wide, even spread of light.
At around £170, I think this is the brightest light I have tested so far. Perfect for off road, will annoy oncoming traffic on the road, but sure to be seen.

Hope Vision R8 - maximum lux at 1mt:20,800


Wide spread of light with brighter centre area.
At around £250, it's as bright as anyone should need. Plenty of light in all areas.

Exposure Six Pack Mk6 - maximum lux at 1mt: 4,710
Medium wide beam with very large bright centre area
At around £350, it puts out a lot of light, as you would expect. The Hope R8 looks better value for the amount of light you get / £.