We test six small lights that could make a big difference to your riding safety day or night.
From left to right:
Moon Meteor 210
86g; 210 Lumens; Batt: 1hr40-8hrs
This fits any bar. It gives a centre spot for unlit roads then it’s quite a step down to lower power visibility mode. The power menu and flash menu are separate so you won’t lose vision. It has power and battery life indicators and recharges fast.
Niterider Lumina Micro 250
139g; 250 Lumens; Batt: 1hr30-4hrs
This gives an impressively punchy beam for unlit road riding. The big bar clamp keeps it secure. Peripheral spread is dim though. Battery indicator and three power modes help nurse run times. It’s bundled with the powerful Solas rear light for £85.
Cateye Volt 300
133g; 300 Lumens; Batt: 3hrs 10-18hrs
This is a bargain for all-round riding. It delivers a powerful centre beam with gradual step down peripheral. There are three power modes plus flash and hyper constant (11hrs of pulsing light) and side cut-outs for traffic visibility. Run times are long. The secure strap fits most bars.
Hope 1 LED
245g; 300 Lumens; Batt: 2hrs 50-12hrs
Hope’s CNC machined barrel body comes with brass hardware to stop rust. The lens gives a bright centre with smooth outer edge diffusion so it’s easy on the eyes. The mount only works with round bars. Run times depend on what type of AA battery you plug into the removable four-clip.
Guee Sol 200
56g, 200 Lumens;Batt: 2hrs20-6hrs
This super light is light on your pocket too and straps on to any sort of bar. There are three power modes plus slow and fast flash options. It lasts long enough for most commutes. Power is correspondingly low though so it’s a ‘be seen’ option.
Knog Blinder ARC 1.7
102g; 170 Lumens; Batt: 1hr15-4hrs15
The Blinder’s rubber strap fits a conventional or semi-aero bar. There’s an indicator for the three power modes and a low battery indicator. The lens gives a broad spread light but short reach makes it a ‘be seen’ light. Battery life is short.
How we test
There are bike lights for seeing by and there are bike lights for being seen by. Once upon a time if you were going for a more compact light you’d be looking at the latter, but now you can buy tiny front lights that pack a surprising punch. Our first job on this test was to find out which category these six little lights fell into. Luckily our Yorkshire test base is perfect for pitch black testing so we were easily able to discern which lights are bright enough to see the road ahead, without creating disconcerting glare when standing to heave up a hill, or focusing their spotlight so brightly that the contrast with the dark edges of your vision is dizzying. We tested these in dull light as well as full dark conditions, in traffic and in poor weather; we weighed them and tested the all-important battery run and recharge times for each model.
Words Guy Kesteven Photos Dave Caudery