Best Dynamo Bike Lights: Self-Powered Bicycle Lighting [Top 5 in 2020]

If you’re particularly conscious about saving the environment (and we all should be, really, shouldn’t we?) then, of course, regular cycling is a great start as an alternative to driving.

But if you really want to go that extra mile – pardon the pun – then why not fit your bike with self-powered, dynamo bike generator lights?

What Are Dynamo Bike Lights?

A dynamo is an energy-generating hub that’s built into a bike’s front wheel, primarily to power lights. 

Image result for dynamo bike light

Bicycle Lighting System Powered by Wheels

Early dynamos were tyre-driven, having first become popular between the First and Second World War, when English bike component manufacturer Sturmey Archer introduced the ‘Dynohub’, which moved the generator inside the hub of the front wheel.

Initially quite clunky designs, they’ve come on leaps and bounds since then, yet although they’re more commonplace in cycling hotbeds like Germany and the Netherlands, they remain quite unfashionable elsewhere, in places like North America, in particular.

How Does Bicycle Dynamo Lighting Work?

With dynamo lighting, there’s no need to fidget around trying to flick your bike light while cycling at the same time. They run on pure pedal power.

It’s quite simple to explain, really. Using the rotation of the bicycle wheel to generate electricity, the dynamo can then produce an electric current which is then delivered to the lights. The faster you cycle, the more power generated, and so the brighter the light.

How to Fit a Bicycle Dynamo?

Installing a dynamo hub on to your bike is a pretty straightforward process. You just attach it to your front tyre, lining it up in such a way that it runs on the white part of the tyre, before fastening on tightly with a screwdriver. This YouTube video should explain it all to you in less than a minute:

Pros and Cons of Bike Dynamo Lights

PROS OF DYNAMO LIGHTING

  • Never needs re-charging
  • Safe, powerful and extremely visible form of lighting, using durable LEDs
  • Environmentally friendly and recyclable
  • Far more difficult to steal than standard bike lights
  • After initial investment, you may find they’re more cost-effective (no purchasing new lights, batteries, no need to pay fines if you forget your lights one night)

CONS OF DYNAMO LIGHTING

  • Friction dynamos (or ‘direct contact dynamos’) can make bikes a little harder to ride because they slow them down when they come into contact with the tyre
  • Friction dynamos also cause increased wear and tear on the tyre, and may slip in wet conditions
  • Maintenance can be a problem – you may find strips of metal stuck in your bike or worse, you may sever the electrical circuit if assembled incorrectly

Bike Pedal Powered Lights

Image result for dynamo bike light

Best Bike Dynamo Lights:

NOTE: This page contains affiliate links, meaning I may receive commissions for purchases made through those links, at no cost to you. This helps to keep the wheels of Discerning Cyclist turning.

Best Set
Reelight SL150 Bicycle Light Kit
Busch & Müller Toplight Flat Plus LED Dynamo Rear Light
Brightest Light
Busch & Müller Lumotech Self-Powered Bike Front Light
Kingtop LED Dynamo Front Bike Light
AXA LED Dynamo Rear Bike Light
Reelight SL150 Bicycle Light Kit
Busch & Müller Toplight Flat Plus LED Dynamo Rear Light
Busch & Müller headlight Lumotec IQ-X black, 164RTSNDI-01
Headlight bicycle approved by German road traffic licensing regulations, KingTop LED bike light, LED bike light, 40lux.
AXA Unisex's Blueline 80 Rear light, Red, One Size
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£45.63
£14.25
£116.26
Price not available
£12.99
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Best Set
Reelight SL150 Bicycle Light Kit
Reelight SL150 Bicycle Light Kit
-
£45.63
Busch & Müller Toplight Flat Plus LED Dynamo Rear Light
Busch & Müller Toplight Flat Plus LED Dynamo Rear Light
-
£14.25
Brightest Light
Busch & Müller Lumotech Self-Powered Bike Front Light
Busch & Müller headlight Lumotec IQ-X black, 164RTSNDI-01
-
£116.26
-
Kingtop LED Dynamo Front Bike Light
Headlight bicycle approved by German road traffic licensing regulations, KingTop LED bike light, LED bike light, 40lux.
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Price not available
-
AXA LED Dynamo Rear Bike Light
AXA Unisex's Blueline 80 Rear light, Red, One Size
-
£12.99

Reelight SL150 Bicycle Light Kit (£45.63)

A brilliant little bicycle dynamo light that mounts on to the hub quickly and easily. Suitable for all bikes with V-brakes and coaster brakes, it causes no friction and, once attached, requires no further maintenance.

Reelight SL150 Bicycle Light Kit
  • Quickly and easily mounted on the hub.
  • Light produces its own environmentally friendly induction current by means of a coil inside the light and magnets attached to the wheel spokes, with no batteries at all. Light is mounted on the...
  • Continuous lighting: the lighting is continuous while cycling.

Busch & Müller Toplight Flat Plus LED Dynamo Rear Light (£14.25)

This self-powered bike light goes on the front and rear of your bicycle, with an extremely long LED lifespan and no need for batteries.

Busch & Müller Lumotech Self-Powered Bike Front Light (£116.26)

If you want the brightest front dynamo bike light, you won’t get much better than this one which provides a 100lux rating and can light up your path for around 40 metres with ease.

Easy to assemble and one of – if not the – best dynamo front light around with bright LEDs guiding you the way.

Busch & Müller Lumotech Self-Powered Bike Front Light
  • Design headlight with aluminum housing. Extremely wide, wide and homogeneous IQ-X illumination with up to 100 lux
  • With daytime running lights at the front and additional LED`s with lateral radiation. Rear, blue background, on / off button
  • Switching sensor and parking light as standard

Kingtop LED Dynamo Front Bike Light (Price not available)

An on/off button comes on the back of this battery-free bike light, as well as electric cables to connect the light to the dynamo.

Kingtop LED Dynamo Front Bike Light
  • Original Cree LED lamp with 40lux brightness and good light coverage area for better visibility in the dark. With anti-glare design.
  • 2 configurations: the lamp is equally suitable for general bicycles as well as mountain bikes with the Nirosta holder. The Nirosta holder (diameter: 31.5 mm) can also be used as a stand for a Go Pro...
  • Holds a variety of bicycles: 6 V-48 V wide range design, for electric bikes, dynamos, and hub dynamos with surge protector.

AXA LED Dynamo Rear Bike Light (£12.99)

A similarly reliable dynamo light for the read of your bike, it provides high-quality visibility while you cycle, and also comes with connectors to connect your hub dynamo electric cables.

AXA LED Dynamo Rear Bike Light
  • Steady light, 4 minutes light while standing still
  • Automatic light/dark sensor
  • High power 50 lux LED light, more than 50,000 hours life span

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