The best StVZO bike lights — those that meet German Road Traffic Registration Regulations — will provide powerful illumination on the roads without dazzling oncoming drivers.
We’ve already outlined the best bike lights to help you be seen and to see with during winter, but although it’s certainly important to get noticed, you shouldn’t really do so at the expense of other people’s safety. Namely, those with who you share the road, whether it’s car drivers, other cyclists or pedestrians.
The majority of bike lights in the UK don’t conform to any regulations, so the light they emit can be blinding, more so if they’re improperly installed.
Step forward StVZO (which stands for Straßenverkehrs-Zulassungs-Ordnung). Bicycle lights that are certified with StVZO are specifically designed so that the beam of light is focused on the road ahead, rather than everywhere else.
The advantage of this is twofold: one, it doesn’t blind other road users, as already mentioned, and two, there’s minimal light wastage, so you get a much better lighting experience overall.
In the majority of cases, the output of StVZO lights is measured in Lux rather than lumens. Lux is used because it’s a measure of how much light is projected onto a surface (called luminance), whereas lumens simply refers to how much light can be produced. Lumens is all about potential, but Lux is about how much light you can actually use in the real world.
So, why aren’t there more StVZO lights out there? Well, obviously countries outside of Germany don’t have to comply with this certification. UK law says steady lights should be marked to BS6102/3 or BS3648, or an equivalent EC standard, but as long as you do have lights at night, then that’s all that the police would care about, unless you blind them.
You tend so see StVZO lights in the wild (in the UK, at least) either fitted as standard to ebikes, or fitted aftermarket by those using a dynamo hub.
As time goes on, more and more manufacturers are producing lights with StVZO-certification, so there’s quite a few to choose from, whether you want a front or rear unit, a light that’s bigger and more powerful, or something more compact for fast riding.
If you want to improve your road (or off-road) lighting and keep other road users happy, then don’t go for the most lumens you can afford — get a StVZO light instead, and here’s our roundup of the best, both front and rear.
Best StVZO bike lights
Lezyne offers a wide range of StVZO lights, which is surprising given that the company is based in the USA — but then you can use StVZO lights wherever you are based.
This StVZO combo ensures your lights won’t blind other road users, whether they’re in front of you or behind.
The front light offers up to 115 Lux (or 290 lumens), which is just about enough to use the light as a ‘seeing’ light as much as a ‘be seen’ one, though on really dark roads at speed you might want a bit more lighting power. During bright daylight, the extra power is perfect for getting noticed from a distance.
There are three lighting modes in total, keeping things simple: Blast (115 Lux), Enduro (70 Lux) and Economy (15 Lux), with runtimes of 2:15, 3:30 and a decent 13:30 respectively, which is good for those all-day rides.
The Lite Drive StVZO Pro 115 also works with the optional Remote Switch, enabling you to control it without taking your hands off the bars.
At 166g it’s not the lightest front light out there, but it’s certainly competitive given the decent power output. Its CNC machine aluminium body is quite compact, too, so it won’t look improper on your road bike either.
At the rear of this StVZO pairing is Lezyne’s Strip StVZO. With 36 lumens of output, the Strip StVZO isn’t the brightest unit ever, but the two LEDs ensure the lighting is used efficiently to get you noticed, and the Wide Angle Lens gives you 270 degrees of visibility, to ensure you can be seen either side at junctions. In Blast mode (36 lumens) the battery will run for three hours, while in Economy mode (nine lumens), you get 13 hours.
Mounting the Strip StVZO is straightforward thanks to the adjustable silicone strap, and it can be used on round or aero seat posts. It’s also IPX7 waterproof rated, so you can use it all year round, and the low weight of 53g means you should never leave the house without it.
Cateye — more associated with its reasonably priced bike computers, also makes lights — and it handily makes StVZO lights too. Well, two front lights, that is. The most interesting and powerful of these is the GVOLT100.
It’s not the prettiest light out there, and it’s quite chunky (weighing 181.5g), but it puts out a very defined spread of light that projects far and bright, more so than its 100 Lux rating might suggest, and even works well in the lower 60 Lux mode (there’s also a 10 Lux option).
Run time is pretty good too, with 1.5 hours in high, three hours in medium, and 15 hours in the lowest setting. A battery indicator on the rear of the unit makes it easy to check how the battery is faring: orange means it’s high, while red flashing is low.
For longer rides, where you might be without access to power, the use of a removable cartridge battery makes it easy to carry spares with you.
It’s also IPX4 rated for waterproofing, which gives it decent protection from light rain, though you might not want to submerge it in a puddle at any point.
The handlebar bracket is the micro-adjusting ratchet type, which you’ll either love or hate (we’re somewhere in the middle), though there are a variety of optional mounts available that let you position it in other ways, whether that’s out front, on the centre fork, or attached to a GoPro-style mount.
Busch + Müller lights are made in Germany, and the company is better known for its dynamo and e-bike lights. However, it also has a decent range of battery-powered lights, which are all StVZO-approved, as you would imagine, being German after all.
Its latest, the Ixon Rock, boasts a high power 100 Lux light output which projects a very bright, well-defined light up to 45m away. Despite this level of luminance, its aluminium case is compact and boasts a pleasingly futuristic design, albeit styled in a way that might not be for everyone, with some standout features.
The most noticeable of these, literally, is the strip of five blue LEDs on each side of the unit, which really help to get you noticed from either side when you’re riding along.
Run times are very impressive, with the 100 Lux mode offering up to 2.5 hours, the middle 50 Lux mode up to 6 hours, while the lowest 15 lux mode offers a seriously lengthy 25 hours. When it does fully deplete, the battery can be recharged in about three hours.
When the Ixon Rock isn’t in use, its 1500mAh battery can be used to charge other devices via USB, such as phones (or even other lights).
The body of the unit is splash-proof, so it should be good for year-round use. The handlebar mount is a little on the over-engineered side, to our mind, but it certainly keeps the unit clamped securely in place, and it’s easy to operate.
The only slight issue with this light is that it’s not available until spring, but we think it’ll be worth the wait.
Germany-based Lupine has a pretty unique USP here: its front light is StVZO-approved and has daytime running lights built in — the kind you’d normally find on a modern car. What this means is that whenever you’re riding, the three LED lights built into either side of the unit are always active, even in the day time.
When the light goes down, the SL AX 10 has some serious luminance firepower, proving that even StVZO lights are capable of outputting a lot of light. A maximum of 340 Lux or 2200 lumens in the highest mode means you really can light up any road, its light projecting well into the distance — 370m in fact. It’s the most powerful StVZO light we’ve come across, making it ideal for lighting up trails when off-road riding.
For slightly saner road riding with other traffic, the 1300 lumens low beam mode is definitely more than sufficient for lighting the way, or there’s a dimmed low beam at just 800 lumens, while the always-active DRL mode kicks out a modest 180 lumens to enable you to be seen at all times.
There’s also an ECO mode, which lowers the power output of the high and low beam modes, outputting 1600 and 800 lumens respectively.
So, that’s many modes to play with, but it does give you plenty of options depending on how much battery juice you need to conserve for your rides. At full power the battery will last for up to 2:20 hours, in low beam, it’s five hours, while DRL mode gives you 28 hours of riding time. That’s very impressive, indeed. You can keep tabs on the battery charge via the small LED lights built into the battery unit.
One of our favourite features of the SL AX 10 is the wireless remote control, which can be mounted anywhere on your bars/stem/arms and, via Bluetooth connectivity, enables you to adjust the light effortlessly. Take note other light manufacturers — this is the future.
If the idea of pressing buttons seems a bit rudimentary to you, the unit’s built-in stereo sensor means it’ll automatically check the ambient lighting while you ride and switch from DRL to low beam without you having to do a thing. Could it get any smarter?
To ensure all of this light wizardry remains protected at all times, the unit is IP68 rated, with impact resistance of up to 2m and waterproof up to a depth of 2m.
Any downsides? To power a beast like this requires an equally beastly battery. The external 10,000 wAh battery — mounted to your frame via a sturdy velcro strap — weighs in at 350g, which combined with the 150g weight of the light unit, means you’ll be carrying a fair bit of heft along while you ride; this is one for commuting, gravel riding and off-road riding, rather than fast road riding.
Lupine’s StVZO rear light has some clever features that make it stand out, including a seriously bright 160-lumen output, up to 30 hours of run time and automatic adjustment for brightness depending on the ambient lighting, as well as a brake light mode when you quickly slow down.
Attaching it to a seatpost is easy thanks to the simple silicone band that locks it in place, and the angled mount means the light won’t aim towards the floor when it’s mounted to a seatpost on a particularly slack seat tube.
It’s also got a variety of optional mounts available, including a seat rail mount and a backpack mount.
There are four different light modes available — including steady and flashing — and up to five different dimming levels for each mode. We did find it a little tricky to switch between the different levels, it must be said.
At 55g, the light isn’t really light, but it’s good given the power output, longevity and smart functionality.
The Aura 80 USB is Sigma’s most powerful light in its StVZO lineup, while the matching rear light in this set is similarly potent, making it a great pairing.
The maximum output of 80 Lux isn’t that much in this sort of company, but Sigma says it’s good for a viewing distance of 90m, which is nice.
There are four light outputs available for different situations — high will give you an impressive 4 hours, mid is 5 hours, low is 6:30 hours, while eco mode goes on for a decent 15 hours. At the rear you get up to 7 hours run time, which isn’t bad, and Sigma says up to 500m visibility.
Both lights have some neat features. At the front you get an LED readout on the top of the unit which displays light output and battery level in four increments each.
At the rear, the brake light function activates an additional two LEDs underneath the main rear light at the top to let traffic behind know you’re slowing, while an ambient light sensor adjusts the brightness of the light automatically for you, so you don’t need to change it.
The looks for both lights might not be to everyone’s tastes, but the price is right, and they work really well for fast riding or just commuting.
This pairing of Supernova Airstream 2 lights is an oldie but a goodie — they’ve been around for many years now, but like the saying goes: if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.
You probably won’t be able to break it though, because the Airstream 2 light set is a tough pair. Made from CNC aluminium, Supernova claims they’re both saltwater resistant and scratch proof.
The standard handlebar mount is also aluminium, very solid when mounted, and can be removed quickly. If you want to mount it in another way, there are other mounts available separately to allow you to attach the light to a fork or even a helmet.
What makes the pairing so good is their symbiotic relationship — the front light is the only one that contains a battery; the rear light connects to the front light via a cable to get its power. This makes the rear light very lightweight (just 18g), and it means there’s only one unit to charge when the battery runs dry.
Of course, this does mean you have to run the cable along the top tube and fasten it somehow, but done neatly, we think it’s worth it for the convenience factor.
For the front light, four light modes are available, each of which give a different level of brightness. At the top is the 205 lumens setting which has a runtime of 2:30 hours. Oddly, Supernova doesn’t specify the output of the other three settings, but mode 2 is good for 3:30 hours, mode 3 gives you 7 hours, and mode 4 is 14 hours. Not the biggest capacity for really long rides, then.
A simple but effective indicator on the power button allows you to quickly see the battery state.
Light output is impressive given the on-paper low level of lumens, even on the two modes below the highest setting. The beam projection is torch like and narrow in its focus, but it shines very bright and very far.
The rear only has one mode — that is, super bright. The three LEDs put out a serious amount of light (though Supernova doesn’t specify how much), and thanks to Twin Beam Technology, where the middle LED projects light straight ahead and the other two LEDs project it to the sides, there’s great visibility from all angles at the rear.
Fastening the rear light is simply a case of fastening the included silicone O-ring around your seatpost. There’s also a rack mount version available, which comes in at a frankly ludicrous 12g.
At the top of Supernova’s road lighting tree is the M99 Mini Pro B54. It’s a bit of a brute, more akin to the light you might find on a motorcycle. It’s not quite as powerful as the Lupine SL AX 10 (and lacks the DRL mode), but 275 Lux (1600 lumens) is certainly not to be sniffed at.
That’s in high beam mode, and there are several outputs beneath this depending on which mode you’re in (Max, Standard or Eco). There’s a low beam mode for regular riding, offering a still-impressive 150 Lux /450 lumens or 30 Lux/75 lumens when you want to conserve battery life.
Output, as you would imagine, is stellar, lighting up a swath of the road in front of you and to the sides, and high beam projects very far in to the distance, which is great for fast night rides. Switching between low beam and high beam just takes a press of the light switch.
In the highest mode you get about 2:30 hours, while in the lowest you get up to 50 hours, which is pretty hard to beat (it’s double that of the Lupine).
As with the Lupine, the B54 uses an external battery which needs to be strapped to the frame, although in this case, it’s a bit shorter and chunkier, and weighs a little less — 300g, while the light unit is 130g, so there’s about a 70g weight saving there. Obviously, it’s more suited to gravel, MTB or bikepacking, where weight and mounting the battery isn’t such an issue.
There’s no wireless remote with the B54, so instead you have to make do with a wired remote, which is slightly more fiddly to install, but not really that big of a deal. There are several optional brackets available to allow you to choose how and where you mount it on your bars.
Where the Supernova aces the Lupine is the inclusion of a smart app, that allows you to adjust the settings via your phone, or your smartwatch. You can also check the battery status for each setting, so you can choose the one that works for your riding.
There are some clever features here. The first of these is a built-in light sensor that automatically turns on the low beam when darkness falls. Second is the backup light, which gives you two hours of eco mode low beam lighting, even after the normal lighting time has run out.
Gemini doesn’t have a huge range of lights, but what it does have, we really rate. The only StVZO-certified light in the company’s range is this 500 lumens front light (Gemini doesn’t specify the Lux output for some reason).
With a low RRP, but often available online for even less, it’s a superb value proposition considering its light output, ease of use and run times.
As we already mentioned, the 500 lumens light is plenty powerful for road use, with a lower 250 lumens output and a pulsing 500 lumens option if you really want to stand out in the day (though we found it a bit too much in use).
Changing between modes is straightforward thanks to a single button press, and you can keep track of the battery level via the green LEDs on the top.
There’s also a slightly clever ambient mode, that automatically switches between the 500 lumens and 250 lumens steady mode, or turns off completely, depending on whether it’s daylight, night time, or there’s a lot of street lighting.
The light spread is quite generously spread on the near, far and periphery, rather than being tightly focused on one spot.
If you only occasionally cycle on unlit lanes or cycle paths it’s a decent option, but you might be better off with something a little more powerful if you do that sort of riding regularly.
The Atlas 500 is compact and fairly lightweight, and it has good run times too- about 3 hours in high mode, 5 hours in flashing mode and 7 hours in the lower power steady mode. Charging via the Micro USB port takes less than a couple of hours.
The use of a notched silicone band to secure the mount makes it straightforward to attach to your bars, and the quick-release mount on the top means you can quickly remove the light when you need to.