Lights are compulsory! In Germany, Austria and Switzerland, bicycles must be equipped with front and rear lights. GIGA editor Stefan presents recommended battery-operated LED front and rear lights with USB connection and explains what to look out for when buying.
Bicycle lights are not an optional accessory, but part of the mandatory equipment . All bicycles in Germany must be equipped with "forward-looking headlights for white low beam" (front light) and a "tail light for red light" (rear light) – this is what the Road Traffic Licensing Regulations require (StVZO § 67 Lighting equipment on bicycles). Comparable requirements of the respective legislature also apply in Austria and Switzerland.
The best battery bike lights 2022: All test winners and recommendations at a glance
Amazon bestseller price-performance tip front light test winner front light test winner rear light model Fischer LED lighting set Cateye GVolt 50 Trelock LS 760 I-Go Vision Sigma Blaze price approx. 20 euros approx. 39 euros approx. 100 euros approx. 20 euros advantages top price Performance ratio Good value for money Technically excellent With brake light function Disadvantages No battery indicator on the rear light Light duration and intensity only average Too expensive for occasional cyclists Silicone strap as attachment Offer for Amazon for Conrad for FahrradXXL for Amazon Price comparison Compare prices Compare prices Compare prices Compare prices
Amazon bestseller: Fischer LED lighting set
Twin pack of front and rear light at an attractive price 360 degree "circle of light" on the ground (rear light)
Rear light without battery display (indicator)
Front and rear light with approval from the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA), in a set for around 20 euros – at the low price it is no wonder that the Fischer LED lighting set is at the top of the Amazon bestseller list for bicycle lamp sets is. Incidentally, the full name is "Fischer 50363 battery light set 30 lux front light & 360° twin rear light light set" – that's how it's listed at MediaMarkt, for example.
Amazon customers rate the Fischer bicycle light set with an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars. The red light circle on the ground, which is generated by the rear light, is praised – however, this has no battery indicator for a low charge level. Criticism also has to put up with the rubber attachment, which according to individual reports has only a limited shelf life. Annoying, but you have to cope with the low price. At least you can find universal replacement rubber rings for bicycle lights on Amazon.
Price-performance tip front light: Cateye GVolt 50
Good value for money Lightweight and compact
Light duration and intensity are good, but not outstanding
The Cateye GVolt 50 was able to take third place among 13 headlights tested at Stiftung Warentest (issue 09/2020) with a grade of 2.0 (“good”). A remarkable success, because it places itself directly behind models from Trelock and Busch+Müller, which are more than twice as expensive – the Cateye is equal to them in terms of "light and visibility".
According to the Stiftung Warentest, the lighting duration of the Cateye GVolt 50 is between 3:30 hours (highest level) and 18:20 hours (lowest level) – these are good, but by no means outstanding values. Particularly persistent front lights have a burn time of more than 5 hours at the maximum setting. There are a few complaints on Amazon about the pointed release button that releases the bike light from its attachment. With 36 × 106 × 44 mm (dimensions) and 92 g (weight), the Cateye GVolt 50 is relatively compact and lightweight – you can also think about a second use as a handy flashlight for evening walks.
Test winner front light: Trelock 760 I-Go Vision
Bright + good illumination of the road Display with battery level
Too expensive and feature-rich for occasional cyclists
Anyone who travels frequently by bike should not make any compromises when it comes to lighting. The Trelock 760 I-Go Vision is a front light "Made in Germany", which as a real high-tech gadget shows what is technically possible today. It has as much in common with the flickering and dynamo-powered lightbulbs of old bikes as a Trabi has with a Porsche Taycan. Nothing against the good old Trabi – but the technology is developing rapidly. The progress in bicycle lights in the last 30 years is really that tremendous.
The Stiftung Warentest awards the excellent final grade of 1.3 ("very good") and appoints the Trelock 760 I-Go Vision as the clear test winner. It doesn't matter whether it's "light and visibility", "durability" or "handling" – the Trelock 760 I-Go Vision shines in all sub-disciplines with the rating "very good" – none of the competitors managed that. The technical features are extensive and well implemented. First and foremost is the display on the top, which shows the charge level (accurate to a percentage) and helps with the correct attachment of the lighting.
Here is the official manufacturer video showing all the benefits of the Trelock 760 I-Go Vision:
Serious disadvantages of the Trelock 760 I-Go Vision have to be looked for with a magnifying glass. The lack of an auto on/off feature could be one such point. Ultimately, though, it's the high price that might put off casual drivers. We are dealing here with a professional model that can only fully exploit its many advantages with regular use (commuters).
The Trelock 760 I-Go Vision is currently hard to come by – apparently it's selling so well that stocks are always empty. Anyone who trusts the brand will find an interesting alternative in a price range below. The smaller sister model is called the Trelock 660 I-Go Vision Lite . This is a bit cheaper and doesn't shine quite as brightly – but at least it's immediately available from several online retailers. The "Lite" model also offers the most important advantages of the Stiftung Warentest winner, such as the display and the minute-by-minute display of the remaining battery life.
Test winner rear light: Sigma Blaze
Bright + good illumination With brake light function
Silicone strap for attachment
We do not include a "price-performance winner" for the rear lights in this overview, because the Stiftung Warentest winner 2020 is extremely cheap. The Sigma Blaze costs less than 25 euros and can convince with the test grade of 1.7 ("good"). The mechanical resilience (durability) is very good.
The robust Sigma Blaze is also used almost every day in the GIGA editorial team, and one of our editors can fully confirm the findings of the Stiftung Warentest. Above all, the integrated brake light function is a useful additional feature. The burn time is almost 11 hours. The charging time of the Sigma Blaze is a bit long at 3 hours, and you have to attach the rear light with a silicone strap. An acceptable mounting method in the price range – but it can be broken or lost.
Bicycle lighting test 2022: This is how I selected the recommendations
I have included my own experiences and extensive research in trade journals (including Stiftung Warentest issue 09/2020, Velomotion, ADAC, Ebikeers) in this summary. Current bicycle light models will be presented, which have received special praise from the press and customers and are therefore recommended for purchase. The test procedure for bicycle lights used by Stiftung Warentest is also explained on the relevant website.
Rechargeable bike lights: what to look out for when buying?
In general it can be said: If you are still on the road with a dynamo and light bulbs or do not have any bicycle lights at all, you will take a huge step forward with today's selection. We would advise against overly cheap products from no-name manufacturers, as the above recommendations are priced attractively enough. After all, it's about safety on the road – you really shouldn't save and use inferior technology.
Bicycle lights: the most important features
You should definitely take a look at the following properties before buying a bicycle light:
Luminosity and illumination Duration of the light Duration of charging the battery Bracket on the wheel (fixed or rubber band?) Water resistance Power supply: Batteries or integrated battery? Approval from the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA): “K number” available?
We show you the best e-bikes in our detailed purchase advice :
See and be seen – but don't dazzle
The German StVZO stipulates: "The headlights must be set in such a way that they do not dazzle other road users." The best way to find out is to check the light cone and the illumination on the street or on a house wall before driving. Which setting is optimal depends on the lighting, because each model illuminates slightly differently. The above test winner Trelock 760 I-Go Vision has a sensor that helps with the adjustment, as can be seen here in the user manual (PDF):
Wear part: integrated battery
You know it from smartphones and Bluetooth headphones: the battery is permanently installed in more and more TECH gadgets – including some bicycle lights. The downside is obvious: over time, the battery ages and loses power. That doesn't happen overnight, but after around two years many cyclists will find out that the battery runs out faster. An example: In the operating instructions (PDF) for the GVolt 50 model, the manufacturer Cateye mentions around 300 charging/discharging processes – then the nominal capacity drops to 70 percent.
Don't forget reflectors!
Not only bicycle lights, but also reflectors are mandatory equipment on every bike in Germany. According to ADFC Munich, this means:
1 white reflector in front 1 red large area reflector yellow reflectors on the pedals yellow spoke reflectors or white sticks on the spokes
Just in case – you can find the best bicycle helmets in the GIGA purchase guide:
Are headlamps, flashlights and flashing lights allowed?
Flashing bicycle lights are not permitted in Germany. A briefly brighter "brake light" (as with the Sigma Blaze), on the other hand, does. Headlamps, flashlights or mobile phones are out of the question as lighting, since bicycle lights have to be firmly attached to the bike.