The Best USB-Rechargeable Bike Lights
Bontrager Ion 700 USB
The smallest model in our test delivers 700 lumens of bright light that is wide in scope and long-reaching, rivaling that of the 800-lumen Light & Motion Urban 800 Fast Charge at $80 less. We love the stretchy silicon band that quickly and easily mounts to anything from a beach cruiser’s steel bar to a mountain bike’s oversize 31.8mm riser. Small marker lights on the sides increase visibility and safety. The Ion is not perfect—some testers thought its irregular-strobe mode was distracting to the rider (and, potentially, oncoming traffic), adding what seemed to be an unnecessary setting to toggle through on the bar. And it’s the only light in this test that doesn’t come with a helmet mount.
Battery Life: 700 lumens, 1.75 hours; 450 lumens, 3 hours; 200 lumens, 6.75 hours
Niterider Lumina 750
Light output for the Lumina 750 is similar to the other two finalists, but the beam is narrower and projects farther. Its light has a cooler, bluish tint that tends to wash out colors a bit more than the other two, making it the least desirable for riding off-road, where you read terrain conditions according to shades of light and dark. Testers found the wing-nut-style handlebar clamp difficult to install initially and transfer between bikes, but once in place, it’s secure. An included quick-release easily allowed us to slide the light on and off, and the helmet mount is the better of the two tested here.
Battery Life: 750 lumens, 1.5 hours; 350 lumens, 3 hours; 200 lumens, 5.5 hours; 40 lumens (“walk mode”), 18 hours
Light & Motion Urban 800 Fast Charge
This light has the greatest output of the three at 800 lumens, the best beam pattern, and a warm and natural light that’s pleasant to the eye. Its rubber-strap handlebar mount is stable and easy to secure. When attached to a helmet with the included mount, the 122g Fast Charge feels noticeably light. Amber side lights offer additional visibility. But in the end, value edged this most-expensive light out of the win.
Battery Life: 800 lumens, 1.5 hours; 350 lumens, 3 hours; 175 lumens, 6 hours