Wheel lights are a fun addition to any bike. They will brighten up everything around them on even the dullest day. They are great for kids and adults and make for an excellent gift idea.
Happily, these days there are now more choices than ever. Plus, even the best bicycle wheel lights don’t need to cost a fortune. Whatever your budget, or kind of bike you ride, we have plenty of exciting options to choose from.
So, let’s get take a look at a selection of what’s currently available and find the perfect wheel lights for you and your bike…
- 1 Why you need Bicycle Wheel Lights?
- 2 Top 5 Best Bicycle Wheel Lights For All Budgets In 2021 Reviews
- 2.1 1 2 Pack LED Bike Wheel Lights, Remote Control Bicycle Tire LED Light – Best Remote Controlled Bicycle Wheel Lights
- 2.2 3 Bike Wheel Lights (2 Tire Pack) – Waterproof LED Bicycle Spoke Lights Safety Tire Lights – Best Budget Bicycle Wheel Lights
- 2.3 4 PRUNUS Rechargeable LED Bike Wheel Lights Waterproof Bicycle Spoke Lights – Best Value Bicycle Wheel Lights
- 2.4 5 KUWAN Rechargeable Bike Wheel Light – LED Bike Spoke Lights – Best Kids Bicycle Wheel Lights
- 2.5 5 QANGEL Bicycle Spoke Light Waterproof 36 LED Lights Display Bright 32 Patterns – Best Full Pattern Bicycle Wheel Lights for Adults
- 3 Best Bicycle Wheel Lights Buying Guide
- 4 How to Decorate a Bicycle with Wheel Lights
- 5 How to Install Bike Wheel Lights
- 6 Other Cool Bike Accessories?
- 7 So, what are the Best Bicycle Wheel Lights?
Why you need Bicycle Wheel Lights?
Bicycle wheel lights are so much fun and make everyone around them smile.
We all need a bit of joy in our lives, and we all need time for a few light-hearted moments. Bike wheel lights can undoubtedly do all of this.
Now, who wouldn’t want that?
However, bike lights also have a more serious side to them than just being able to ride around like you’re straight out of a Tron movie. Using bicycle wheel lights can significantly increase the chances of you being seen in the dark and so improve your safety.
Even if you regularly use daytime running lights at the front and rear, bicycle wheel lights can still help. This is because they dramatically increase your visibility to other road users from the side. So, as well as being a fun accessory, they really are something that might also save you from a nasty accident.
Top 5 Best Bicycle Wheel Lights For All Budgets In 2021 Reviews
1 2 Pack LED Bike Wheel Lights, Remote Control Bicycle Tire LED Light – Best Remote Controlled Bicycle Wheel Lights
These are so cool! And will fit a large range of bike wheel sizes from 12 inches right the way up to 29 inches. This means it doesn’t matter if you’re a kid, or a kid at heart; these lights can still be destined for your bike.
You get a set of two lights. The lights come with a battery pack and a remote controller. That battery pack fits onto your spokes, and the good news is that you don’t even need any tools to fix it firmly in place.
The lights can also be fixed around your spokes without tools. You simply twist them around, and they will stay in place. The whole process takes a matter of minutes.
Yet, the best feature is, without a doubt, the remote light controller. It allows you to change the colors of the lights, and you can even program them to fade. Plus, with a range of effects and 16 colors to choose from, what’s not to like?
The remote’s range?
The remote can be operated from a distance of 16 feet, which should be plenty.
Once installed, you should have little to worry about as the battery life from the three AA batteries will give you up to 75 hours of running time. You also have no worries about riding in the rain as the lights are water-resistant as well as shockproof.
- Remote controllable lights.
- 16 colors and multiple effects.
- Easy to install.
- Up to 75 hours of battery life.
- Batteries are not rechargeable.
3 Bike Wheel Lights (2 Tire Pack) – Waterproof LED Bicycle Spoke Lights Safety Tire Lights – Best Budget Bicycle Wheel Lights
The best bicycle wheel lights are available to everyone, even if you’re strapped for cash! These are very affordable lights that come in a set for your front and rear wheel. They can be installed on almost about any size of bike wheels and have some great features considering their low price point.
What do you get for this low price?
One of the best features is that they can make a series of complex and complete patterns. There are a total of 30 patterns. The patterns change automatically every four seconds. We’re sure you’ll all agree that’s a huge amount of fun.
The only thing we should probably point out is that to get a complete pattern; you do need to be cycling at a minimum speed of 13 miles per hour. Even if you don’t reach this speed, there’s no need to worry since you still get a highly colorful display. However, if you get to 13 miles an hour and you get the complete pattern, then even better.
What more encouragement could you need to pedal a little harder?
The lights are easy to fix and don’t require any tools. The controller and battery are integrated into one unit and fixes around your spokes. The system can be fitted to your bike in minutes.
The controller can be set to either manual or automatic mode. If you set it to automatic, the lights will come on and off as it detects motion. They switch off after 30 seconds if they don’t detect any motion, thereby saving battery life.
What powers them?
The lights run on only a single AAA battery that will run your lights for between eight to ten hours. This is a lot less than a lot of other wheel lights. However, we think the patterns you get are worth the sacrifice.
These are weatherproof and shock resistant lights. They have an IP66 rating, so they’ll be fine for riding when it rains. Just don’t immerse them in the water, though!
- Lights form complete patterns.
- Automatically switches between 30 patterns.
- Auto mode motion sensor saves battery life.
- Easy to install.
- IP66 rated.
- Poor battery life.
4 PRUNUS Rechargeable LED Bike Wheel Lights Waterproof Bicycle Spoke Lights – Best Value Bicycle Wheel Lights
Prunus bike lights are inexpensive and, when combined with the fact that they have rechargeable batteries, make for a good deal. They run on a lithium battery, which gives approximately 20 hours of battery life.
The lithium battery is recharged via USB…
We love that it has a rechargeable battery but since taking off the control unit from your wheel is impractical, recharging means a trip to your garage with a charger. Not the most convenient of solutions but by no means a deal-breaker.
To help increase your battery life, the controller has a switch-off mode when it detects that there is no motion. You have to be in auto mode, and the cut off will happen after 90 seconds. Some units turn off after just one minute, but either way, we think is fine.
OK, but are they cool to look at?
Once you get well up to speed, you will be rewarded with a series of 30 colorful patterns. These are displayed in a combination of eight different colors. You need to get to around 13 mph to get a complete pattern. Otherwise, you will get an incomplete but never the less colorful illumination of your wheel.
The lights are easy to install and are maintenance-free once they’re on your wheel. They are IPX5 rated, meaning they will be fine in the rain. It also means that they are OK in dirty and dusty conditions too.
Please, sir, can we have some more?
The only real issue we have is that these are a single set and so can only be placed on one wheel. We prefer a set for both. However, if it’s a single set you’re after, these are very hard to beat.
- 30 solid patterns.
- Eight different colors.
- Rechargeable lithium batteries.
- IPX5 rated.
- Battery life could be better.
- They are only a single set.
5 KUWAN Rechargeable Bike Wheel Light – LED Bike Spoke Lights – Best Kids Bicycle Wheel Lights
Kuwan lights are fixed to your bike by attaching them around the hub. The hub diameter should be at least 3cms. Most bike hubs will easily measure over this. However, it’s worth getting out the ruler first, before you order, to make sure.
What’s the benefit of a hub fitting?
There’s no doubt that one of the most significant advantages of seating the lights on the hub is that they are less vulnerable to getting damaged or knocked off. It takes a little extra time to properly fit them, but we think it worth the time and effort.
The light uses a rechargeable lithium battery and has a useable life of around ten hours. Frankly, that’s a little disappointing. Even more so when you consider you’ll have to take your USB charger down to the garage to do the recharge.
The controller allows you to select a variety of seven different colors to match your mood and bike. You can set these to auto change, and you can also select flashing modes too. It should be noted that the lights will only display solid colors and cannot display multi-colored patterns.
So are they worth it?
Whilst this is not as exciting, they are still very colorful. Plus, they have the advantage that the intensity is modified to not over stimulate your eyes. We think this is a particularly excellent feature where children are concerned.
Another positive is that they are also highly water-resistant. Together with the placement in a well-protected position, this makes them the best bicycle wheel lights in terms of all-around durability.
Cheap enough to buy two…
Finally, be aware that these are a single set of lights for just one wheel only. However, luckily, they’re also the least expensive on our list. So, if you do decide to buy a pair, they shouldn’t be too hard on your wallet.
- Strong and durable.
- Fixed position reduces the chance of damage.
- Don’t overstimulate the eyes.
- Great for kid’s bikes.
- Do not form multi-colored patterns.
- Poor battery life.
5 QANGEL Bicycle Spoke Light Waterproof 36 LED Lights Display Bright 32 Patterns – Best Full Pattern Bicycle Wheel Lights for Adults
The QANGEL lights come in one solid long strip that is almost 24” long. Consequently, it’s only suitable for bikes with wheels that are at least 24” in diameter. Sadly, this will leave a lot of kids unhappy since the majority of kids’ bikes are likely to have smaller wheels.
But for us adults…
The lights fix straight across the wheel’s hub and also attach to the ends of the spokes. They are easy to attach, and happily, the position leaves them mostly protected from getting accidentally knocked off or damaged.
The lights run on three AAA batteries. This means no hassle having to recharge them by USB, but it does add to the running costs. What’s more, since you only get 25 hours of running time, the costs could be significant.
When they are running, you have a total of 36 LED lights, and you get 32 random patterns, which is more than any of the other lights we’ve reviewed. The lights form solid patterns, though you do have to get up to speed to achieve it. Happily, this is achieved at just 15kph. A much lower figure than most alternative lights.
They have a waterproof level of IP55, so they are fine to ride in the rain, snow, and generally poor weather. As long as you don’t go riding through streams, then you’ll be fine.
The lights have plenty of good qualities to justify their price tag. However, these are just a single set of lights and are also a long way from being the most affordable. For the highly budget-conscious shopper, they may not be the best choice.
- Fixing position minimizes accidental damage.
- 36 LED lights.
- 32 solid patterns.
- Low speed required to achieve the full pattern.
- IP55 waterproof rating.
- Easy to fit.
- No rechargeable batteries.
- Price is for a single set.
Best Bicycle Wheel Lights Buying Guide
How should they be used?
These are a fun item that is not only for kids but fun for adults too. There are plenty of more mature riders who can vouch for the fact that rides on cold, dark, and miserable days are greatly improved by doing their rides lit up like a Christmas tree.
It’s easy to see the attraction for both kids and adults alike. So, in what circumstances can they be used, and can they replace standard bike lights?
Yes, and a definite no…
The answer to that first question is that they can be used by anyone in any circumstances. If you want to use them, day or night, go for it. Though using them in the daytime is likely to cause a much less dramatic effect.
As far as using them to replace your exiting bike lights, you should not do this under any circumstances. Bike lights are specifically designed to help get you seen. Whilst there’s no denying that wheel lights will significantly increase your chances of being seen from the sides, this is not the case directly from the front or rear.
The coolest bicycle wheel lights, in our opinion, are those that can make complete patterns. They add even more to the wow factor. However, they are not completely trouble-free.
One of the biggest problem areas is that you do need to reach a certain speed to make a full pattern. If you don’t reach it, you don’t get one. Though you still get a lot of colorful lights flashing on your spokes.
Typically, you need to reach a speed of around 13mph, or 20kph, to achieve this. Fortunately, for the less fit amongst us, QANGEL Bicycle Spoke Lights can achieve the same effect at just 15kph.
Most lights will give you the choice of being able to choose between different patterns, colors, and have an automatic mode that will switch between them. This can all be done via the controller.
When switching between modes, the 2 Pack LED Bike Wheel Lights, the first on our list, are by far the simplest to use as they come with remote control. For the best choice of different modes, although the lights don’t make complete patterns, the KUWAN Rechargeable Bike Wheel Lights are a clear winner.
Battery life is an important consideration. If the batteries have a short life and are not rechargeable, this could lead to prohibitively high running costs if you intend to use them regularly.
What’s our recommendation then?
We favor rechargeable lithium batteries over either standard AA or AAA batteries. Despite the hassle of having to charge them more frequently, we think the cost savings make it worthwhile.
The first 2 Packs of LED Bike Wheel Lights we reviewed would be our choice. Being able to stay running for an impressive 75 hours undoubtedly gets our attention.
One more tip…
One feature you should look for, regardless of having either chargeable or non-chargeable batteries, is an optional auto switch-off. This cuts off the lights when the controller can no longer sense movement. If you regularly stop and start, it could be a big help.
How to Decorate a Bicycle with Wheel Lights
We’re sure you’ll agree that bikes with flashing wheel lights look great. They may more often find themselves onto the bikes of younger riders, but that doesn’t stop us from wanting them on our bikes too.
So, wherever they end up, how do you get the best effect?
The first obvious choice is to either decorate a single or both wheels. Very often, when you make a purchase, you’ll get a set for both the front and rear wheel. If you want to decorate both wheels, you should read the description carefully to check if this is the case. If not, you’ll need to order two.
Whatever kind of lights you use, we would lean towards buying lights for both wheels. They light up the whole bike, so will be much more fun. They will help you or your little one to get seen better too.
How about the patterns?
Some lights create solid patterns whilst others will simply flash on and off. If you want to get the maximum lighting effect, you can combine two sets of different lights to create the ultimate wow factor. Just be careful not to mix two sets of pattern style lights.
You can, of course, decorate your bicycle wheels with as many flashing non-pattern lights as you like.
How to Install Bike Wheel Lights
The good news is that all the bike lights in our review are easy to fix. Additionally, none of them need any tools to do it. This potentially saves a lot of time and trouble looking around the garage for the right size of hex keys or the right kinds of screwdrivers.
All of the lights have a controller. This will allow you to turn the battery on and off and also change the different light functions. It’s also where the battery is housed.
The controller is either installed on the spokes or the hub.
What’s the difference?
If it is installed on the spokes, it simply involves twisting two locking pins into place. This can be done in just a matter of seconds. A system over the hub either involves resting the controller over the hub and then fixing the entire unit at the ends of the spokes. Or, alternatively, the unit is fixed in one piece over the hub, which takes a little more time but is still relatively quick and easy.
What else to know?
The lights will either be directly integrated into the controller or attached via cable in the case of string lights. If you have an integrated unit, you simply attach the one unit, and you’re done, it’s honestly that easy.
If the lights are attached by a cable, you will need to twist the lights around the outside of the wheel between your spokes. Still a reasonably quick job.
The only other thing you then have to do is ensure the controller has batteries or that they’ve been charged.
Other Cool Bike Accessories?
Oh, if only you’ll allow us to show you!
For adult riders, check out our reviews of the Best Cycling Sunglasses, our Best Bicycle Seat Review, the Best Bike Helmets, and the Best Bike Camera for your money in 2021!
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OK, back the best lights for bicycle wheels…
So, what are the Best Bicycle Wheel Lights?
There you have it. We hope you now have a better idea of either the specific wheel lights you’d prefer or at least the general kind. We also hope we’ve shown that great bicycle wheel lights can be budget-friendly too.
We’d be happy to put any of these lights on our bikes. However, if we had to choose just one to brighten up our bike, it would be the…
QANGEL Bicycle Spoke Light Waterproof 36 LED Lights
We like these because they provide 32 solid patterns that can be automatically changed. Additionally, the patterns can be achieved at a low speed. Plus, their fixing position leaves them less susceptible to accidental damage.
Enjoy your bike and enjoy your bright rides!