Kryptonite Incite X8
Whereas most lights focus on total output of light, Kryptonite’s Incite X8 focuses on Lux, a measurement of how much light falls on an area at a specific distance. Kryptonite concentrates the light pattern in front of you to reveal potholes and guide your way—and the light is angled so it doesn’t blind oncoming traffic. And an LCD screen provides easy to understand battery life and lets you know which mode you are in. At $145, this light carries a premium price, but it’s thoughtfully designed and built for the long haul.
The Cateye AMPP800 delivers up to 800 lumens in a compact and durable alloy body. Making use of something called OptiCube lens technology, this light projects a powerful wide beam to light up your path with 200, 400 or 800 lumens. Constant light modes will get you 1.5 to 4 hours of runtime, while flashing mode yields up to 30 hours of runtime. A battery level indicator shines in three different colors depending on charge, letting you know which mode to run to get all the way home and when to recharge. And for added safety, the AMPP800 also puts out light on the sides for multi-direction visibility.
Bontrager Ion 200 RT
The Bontrager Ion 200 RT front light has been a favorite of ours since our first ride with it. This daytime running light provides visibility up to 2 kilometers away, and runs for up to 12 hours in daytime flash mode. Plus it does all that in an unobtrusive package no bigger than the charging block for an iPhone. When it comes to nighttime riding, it has you covered as well, outputting up to 200 lumens. When it’s time for a recharge, just plug it in via micro USB.
Knog Mid Cobber
When you need to be seen in all directions, reach for the Knog Mid Cobber. This cylindrically shaped light puts out 330 degrees of light for full wrap-around visibility. It puts out 200 lumens when you need it, but can run for up to 120 hours in eco flash when you want to preserve battery life. And for easy charging, an integrated USB plugs directly into USB ports. You can also make it fully your own with custom light patterns thanks to Knog’s Modemaker app.
Specialized Stix Switch
This little light from Specialized does double duty, switching between a white and red light as needed. Get two and you have a very capable front and rear setup (and there’s a discount for the two-pack). Or get one and have an extra light that’s easy to carry around as a backup or as security for those times when you didn’t expect to be out past dark. It recharges in just 2 hours and provides up to 16 hours of flashing light.
Niterider Lumina Dual 1800
When you want to make day out of night, reach for the Niterider Lumina Dual 1800. Packing a whopping 1,800 lumens, this light is guaranteed to reveal every imperfection in the road. The brightest Boost mode is good for 45 minutes to add extra light to the darkest areas—and the Low setting provides a still bright 350 lumens for an impressive 6 hours. And just in case a light this bright doesn’t catch someone’s attention, side lighting adds additional visibility.
Lezyne KTV Pro Smart Pair
The Lezyne KTV Pro Smart Pair is a set of lights, one front and one rear, that connect together so that one light can control the other. After they’re paired together, all you have to do is press the power button on the front light and both turn on—you can even toggle through light settings on both from the front light. It’s that easy. And the light patterns are customizable through the Lezyne Smart Connect app. With 200 lumens front and 75 rear, there is plenty of brightness in this $70 set.