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I suspect you will find 800 lumen to be plenty, even for avoiding debris on unlit roads. For context, I commute in the dark (and often in the rain) along unlit back roads and along our regional trail system which is unlit double track gravel with forest coverage. I often need to avoid fallen branches, rabbits and the odd deer that pops out of the trees at ...


I got a Niterider Lumina 700 for about $100 on Amazon. It's plenty bright for commuting (most of the time I don't even use the high setting) on unlit roads, it throws a pretty wide beam, and the light is very white. It's rechargeable through USB which is awesome, so I charge it up at work when I see the indication that it's getting low.


I run a 200 lumen headlamp that claims 175 hours out of 4 AAs and cost roughly $100. In the wide mode (outside spread LEDs) it produces more than enough light to be seen with and I can see with it fairly well. When I need more light, I can cut over to the big beam and see as much as I need to. I bought it mainly for racing, but the battery life was so ...


MTBR.com does a big review of lights every year; here is the one for 2015. They have a ton of useful information.


Going fast on unlit roads you definitely want a decent light. Personally I find the combination of my 100 lumen dyno headlight plus another 100 lumens on the handlebars to be enough, but I ride relatively slowly and on a manoeuvrable bike. On a faster bike with handling and brakes designed for speed you want more. Perhaps not 2000 lumens - that's off road ...

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