Recommended front light

I’ve had a look at some of the similar posts but they are all from a few years go.

I’ve got a Garmin 530 and the Varia rear light which all seems to work brilliantly. I certainly wouldn’t want to be without the radar.

I just wondered if there was a front light that measured up. I think my Garminmount has a clip underneath so it’s ready for a Garmin but before I buy I just thought I’d see if there was anything else?

Thanks in advance

Existing thread worth a look:

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What do you want your light for, to be seen or to see and what is your budget?

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Thanks very much @mcneese.chad the latest post is from December ‘21 so I just wondered if there were newer models or maybe a good light that had lasted that long?

The higher priority is to be seen, and the budget is £100.

I tend to go out for long rides when I get out so a battery that lasts would be preferred.

That’s a decent budget you might get something that does both. I quite like the NiteRider lights for that. I use a couple of their Nite Rider Swifts they are just a fraction of your budget the Swifts arent able to clip onto a garmin/ go pro mount though. But with a built in rubber clip you can clip them anywhere and move them bike to bike.

For finding lights I quite like this site.

Lol, despite it saying its a 2023 update, the lights tested are 2022

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I bought the fancy Garmin front light that connects to the 530 and forms a light network along with the varia and frankly it just seems overly complicated and the battery life isn’t amazing.


I have a cygolite metro. I bought a gopro adapter on ebay to fit under my garmin mount, works great. 700 lumens is more than I’ll ever need.


If primary purpose is to be seen and you want something lightweight, this will do the job well.

10 hour runtime. GoPro mount available.

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You have to specify if you want a light for others to see you (be seen) or for you to see stuff around you. Also there’s a big difference in priorities for lights to see with for road and mountain biking.

For being seen you really want a daytime flash light with a non-steady flashing pattern. That really grabs driver’s attention and makes them pay more attention to you.

For lights for seeing, road bikes want far throw but don’t need a huge beam spread. MTB needs a wide beam to see to the sides well because you need to see the various lines and where you might be about to turn. Is also really nice to have a second light mounted to your helmet to allow you to see where ever you look. In fact that’s where I mount my be seen light so I can look to the side and get the attention of drivers approaching the intersection from the side.

Beware that several brands (MagicShine, Outbound, others) quote something like 3 hours of run time at “high” and that “high” is 2000 lumens, but really it’s 2000 lumens for the first 30 minutes, then it’s 1200 lumens for 1.5 hours then 400 lumens for 1h. I’d rather have a solid run time at a medium lumens than short run time at high lumens. I also prefer a fully integrated light over one with an external battery pack and wires.

I bought a Lezyne Macro Drive 1300XXL. Low cost and great runtimes at good lumens. You can get bigger lumens in a light but run times are going to be a lot shorter unless you go with a separate battery pack. Great for the road. Works well as a be seen light too. I haven’t taken it mountain biking yet but I think it will do great there also.

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I looked at quite a few front lights to put under a garmin mount last autumn.

I wanted something with a decent battery life (at least an hour on a reasonably high setting), a good beam pattern for the road to avoid blinding oncoming traffic, enough power for light gravel/trail and a decent garmin mount.

It was surprisingly hard to get all of these. A number of light can be fitted upside down to garmin mounts… but then the beam pattern can be the wrong way up too - not really a problem for eliptical beam shapes, but pretty bad for T-shapes or beams that are shaped only on the top.

I ended up with a Ravemen CR1000. Decent price, really good beam shape, OK battery life, OK power and crappy plastic and rubber band attachment that at least keeps it the right way up. (I actually quite liked the remote control too, although I hadn’t been looking for that).

I’m sure there are better alternatives now - the new Blinders that Knog have just released look like they have a much better mount.

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I’ve done the same thing and used it to bike pre-dawn a bunch of times. That was on quiet, wide, flat roads that I knew very well, most had street lights but not all. Overall this is a good option IMHO.

The Gravel Ride did a podcast with Outbound Lighting on their products that use a lot of tech from automobile headlights. Not sure how much is real vs hype. IIRC their lights likely exceed your budget though.

Optics are important, but given the runtimes and lumens vs battery capacity they have vs the competition, their optics aren’t making their performance much better than the competition, so why should I care?

I say this as someone that seriously considered buying their stuff too. It just wasn’t a significantly superior product and not a good value, IMO.

No argument. I moved from my previous location and dont ride at night. Their prices for what I need are outside my budget.

i’d rebut you on this. I really like my garmin front light. I agree it’s a bit complicated, but once it’s set up and working well i like it. Not saying either of us are wrong or right, just that it suits some folks but not others.

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Seems you are in the UK, so I’d be looking at Exposure, probably the Sirius but the Trace and Boost will also have excellent be seen pulse modes. Plenty of options to mount under an out-front-mount out of the way. On full power the Sirius is plenty bright enough to get home in the dark (if you ever get caught out).

They’ve even got some slightly older models in their outlet store. I’m still running a MK6, along with a Trace and Strada.

Edit: I also have one of these, accidentally purchased, yours for postage only, if it helps.

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I have had one of the tabs break on two Varia front lights so far…never had it happen on any other light. Dunno if it is a tolerance issue (causing excessive bending when tightened) or just a poor alloy spec, but I would avoid their lights as a result.

I like it and it works but I’m really not sure how it’s better than a non-smart light.

I did have a dark ride through a tunnel in the mountains one time and I feel like I could have had the same experience with something that cost a lot less :slight_smile:

Mine is screwed in really tight to keep it from pointing down during gravel rides so I can see how that could happen. It would have been better for me if the mount point was closer to it’s center of gravity but some people might have issues with clearance depending on stem length and type of mount.

I think there’s a couple Garmin front lights but I have the UT800 and have been really happy with that one. I like the way it mounts under my head unit and how I can reach down and adjust the angle pretty easily if needed for better visibility or to not blast oncoming traffic in the face, it’s easy to angle up or down as long as it’s screwed on right.

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