The Brightest LED Bike Lights Of 2011

by Justin Thomas •


In A Nutshell

Update: This article has been updated for 2015!

We list the some of the brightest LED Bike lights available below. However, the Niterider company has come out with the NiteRider Pro — this bike light shines with an amazing 3600 lumens! This makes it the brightest bike light available.

Personally, my favorite bike light is the Niterider Lumina. It’s as solid as a rock and shines with 700 lumens, and is priced below $100 on Amazon.

Brightest Headlight – Lupine Betty 12

The Lupine Betty 12 produces up to 2,600 lumens from a seven-lens LED array that can be mounted on a bike or on a helmet. The Betty 12 is available in three beam angles: the 16° version that produces 2,050 lumens for maximum range, the 22° version that projects 2,300 lumens with a balance of range and peripheral illumination, and the 26° version, which emphasizes side illumination and outputs 2,600 lumens. All versions weigh about 19 ounces (with battery), have aluminum bodies, and are waterproof.

This headlight has high- and low-beam modes. High-beam mode will automatically dim if the airflow around the lamp isn’t sufficient for cooling. The Betty 12 comes with handlebar and helmet mounts for the LED engine and a Velcro strap to mount the battery. The battery has audible and visual indications of remaining life, plus its five red indicator LEDs can be programmed to stay on continuously to act as a taillight. Due to the low beam’s adjustable output, maximum operating time varies. At full power, the Betty 12 will run for about 3.5 hours; when the Betty 12 is running at its lowest output (250 lumens), operating time is approximately 84 hours. This headlight also ships with charger and carrying case.

The Lupine Betty 12 retails for around $1,200 and can be purchased through the manufacturer’s website. Also available for slightly less money is the Betty 6, which comes with a half-size battery.

The NiteRider Pro 3000 LED is available for $599 on Amazon.

Brightest Headlamp – NiteRider Pro 3000 Lumen

Niterider Pro 3000 LED

The NiteRider Pro 3000 LED is another great option for a super-bright lamp that mounts on a helmet. This light pours out 3,000 lumens from its six LEDs—three spot and three flood. Like the Betty 12, the Pro 3000 LED ships with a rechargeable battery, mounts for helmet and handlebar, and programmable output modes. At nearly 29 ounces, the Pro 3000 LED light and battery system weighs noticeably more than the Betty 12, and its 1½-hour run time at maximum output is two hours less than the Betty 12’s. The Pro 3000 LED will run up to 36 hours on its lowest output setting. Unique to NiteRider bike lights is the D.I.Y. software, which allows you to create your own run times, light outputs, and flash modes. Use the included docking station to interface with the headlamp via your PC and save four custom light profiles. This unit’s 8-cell battery has an onboard charge indicator.

Brightest Taillight – DiNotte 400R

 The two red LEDs of the DiNotte 400R taillight output 240 lumens. Customers unfailingly comment on the extraordinary brightness of this taillight, with some expressing concern that it may be too bright for use in traffic at night. The 400R can be mounted on a post or flat surface. It ships with a 4-cell rechargeable Li-ion battery pack (with charge indicator), charger, extension cable, battery straps, and mounting hardware. It has three flash modes—slow, steady with strobe, strobe and pause—and three steady modes—low (10% power), medium (50% power), high (100% power). With a full charge, operating time is anywhere from 5 to 48 hours. A low-battery indication occurs with 20% life remaining. Its battery weighs 7.8 ounces and the light engine weighs 4.2 ounces.

You can purchase the DiNotte 400R with 4-cell battery for $259 from the manufacturer. This light is also available for $229 with a 2-cell battery, which cuts operating times approximately in half.

Comments 1

  1. ViennaCLS

    Lupine claims Betty12 has seven XM-L and 8 cells battery and outputs 2600lm and 3.5hours runtime.
    On the other hand, Niterider claims Pro3000 has six XM-L and 8 cells battery and outputs 3000lm and 1.5hours runtime.
    These are very different.
    I think Lupine is very optimistic for runtime or NiteRider is very conservative for outout.

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