When commuting by bicycle, it's very important to have good bicycle lights. Most people use weak lights that only help with others taking notice of you, but they don't illuminate the street in front of you.
Doing so is important, both for being able to see holes or objects on the street and for people noticing you from your light beam illuminating the street in front of you, which helps a lot at crossroads.
Bicycle lights that are strong enough to truly illuminate the street in front of you to that degree are often very expensive though. Expect paying 70-200$/€ for a good one, and that's often only for the light itself, without any battery for powering it.
Fortunately, there are very many LED bicycle lights available on AliExpress and similar websites that are similarly bright as these expensive ones, but only cost about 6-25$/€, and that's often with a battery included!
The quality and features of these lights vary a lot, though. The review systems on AliExpress etc. are not sophisticated enough to allow for meaningful on-site comparisons, so I want to provide that here.
I will evaluate all aspects that I consider important. If there are things that I missed, but you still find important and want me to re-test, please send me your suggestion to kadanossbm (email address on Google's famous mail service).
|Light model name||Device photo||Beam photo||Prices and listings||Cable plug type||Handlebar mount rotation||Voltage||Watt (max)||Watt (min)||Auto-shutdown||Mode cycle||PWM used?|
|Wosawe BCD-004||7€ AliExpress Jacky Peng||USB-A||Not possible||5.2V||7.1W||2.1W||Yes||Off→Low→Mid→High→Off||No|
|Deroace 3x||18€ AliExpress Outdoor Fan Zone||5.5mm||Possible, endless degree||?V||?W||?W||No||Off→Middle light only→Side lights only→All lights→Strobe→Off||?|
So far, I like the Wosawe products best. They are very well-made, use PWM-free DC modulation (flicker-free), are free from annoying strobe modes to cycle through (strobe mode is hidden, access it by holding the power button for three seconds) and have a really good beam distribution. The only minor complaints that I have about them are that none of the Wosawe USB lights allow for a proper handlebar mount rotation and that the headlamps are all undipped (completely round lightbeam).
If you require handlebar rotation, the Deroace-3x light is a good solution, at least while the H1E1 is unavailable. The necessity of disconnecting the light whenever it is not used to prevent quick battery emptying is unfortunate, but not too problematic if you have a way to disconnect the cable quickly.
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