Bike lights

We tested 61 bike lights costing $100 or less.

17apr bikelights heo smaller

Serfas

Thunderbolt - rear

score

68

Price

$45

Member Reviews

    Test results

    • 68
      Performance
    • 60
      Steady 0°
    • 65
      Steady 20°
    • 90
      Steady 45°
    • 68
      Ease of use
    • 68
      Fitting
    • 80
      In-use
    • 57
      Convenience

    Why is this free?

    This report is free thanks to funding from Wellington City Council.

    Consumer NZ is non-profit. To help us get a fairer deal for all New Zealand consumers you can become a Consumer member or make a donation. We’ll use your contribution to investigate consumer issues and work for positive change.

    Donate

    Good points

    • OK light output at 0°
    • OK light output at 20°
    • Excellent light output at 45°
    • OK to mount to bike
    • Very easy to use on the bike
    • OK to remove and refit light
    • Passed water testing

    Bad points

    • Somewhat difficult to charge

    How we test

    Overall score:

    Light performance (65% of overall score)

    We measure lux at 0°, 20° and 45° in our lab. Many manufacturers claim a light output in lumens, the total amount of light available, but we think lux (lumens per square metre) is a better measure of light performance as it shows the quality of light, not just the quantity.

    A good front light should make you visible to drivers at junctions, so we calculate light performance combining 40% of the score at 45°, 40% at 20° and 20% at 0°. A good rear light needs to be most visible to drivers overtaking from behind, so we calculate light performance combining 40% of the score at 0°, 40% at 20°and 20% at 45°.

    Ease of use (35% of overall score)

    “In-use” performance (50% of the ease of use score) includes turning the light on and off and selecting the mode (with and without gloves), usefulness of the battery indicator, and robustness of the mount to knocks and vibration. Daily convenience (30%) includes removing and refitting the light, charging or changing batteries and carrying it in a bag. Ease of fitting and versatility of the mount adds the final 20%.

    Water resistance

    We thoroughly doused the lights with a garden sprinkler. We checked they all worked correctly while soaking wet, then inspected for any water inside the lens and battery compartment or charge port. We don’t include water resistance in our overall score, but we won’t recommend lights that show signs of water ingress.

    Burn time

    We measured the burn time of USB rechargeable lights on their maximum steady setting. We noted if they switched to low-power mode before the battery ran out.

    Model

    • Type

      Rear

    • See or be seen

      Be seen

    • Price

      $45

    • Lit area size

      Large

    • Lit area quality

      Even

    • Water test pass

      Yes

    • Weight (g)

      48

    • Battery or USB

      USB

    Features

    • LEDs

      Long strip

    • Steady modes

      2

    • Flash modes

      2

    • Pulse or chase modes

      -

    • Mount to bike

      Direct

    • Mount type to bike

      Multi-fit ladder (2x)

    • Mount type to bracket

      n/a

    Specifications

    • Batteries or USB

      USB

    • USB type

      Female

    • Charge time (hr:min)

      3-6:00

    • Burn time to off (hr:min)

      1:40

    • Shape

      Strip

    • Bought as a set
    • In set with

      -