Best Bike Tail Light in 2020 to Improve Your Safety

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Bike tail lights are absolutely essential for any bike rider, whether you’re a beginner or an old hand.

That’s because they’re useful in different weather conditions to keep the traffic visible. This is even if it’s raining or foggy on the road.

If you’re on the market for the best bike tail light on the market to keep you safe when riding your bicycle through traffic, then you’ve come to the right place.

Bike Tail Lights Reviews

Read on as we explore all the different options you have at your disposal when it comes to the best bike tail lights, considering different needs, preferences, and budgets.

1. Portland Design Works Tail Light

Here we have this fantastic tail light from Portland Design. It’s easy to install and comes with all the features you need to keep you safe on the road by alerting traffic of your presence on the road. There are three light modes included in this tail light, each of which is powered by durable LED bulbs.

The best part is that it’s made to last and can work consistently for 50 hours. This is when set to “blinking’ mode. This is thanks to the sturdy batteries which can work for up to 15 uninterrupted hours in a regular setting.

Like we said, these are some well-made lights that are made from weather-proof materials. They come with three different light settings for you to choose from. You’ll definitely be able to use them in different conditions and environments with relative ease. In fact, they’re so sturdy that they’ve even been tested against meteor showers so you know they can handle the rain!

There’s a backpack clip built into this tail light. It works along with the seat post mount to make it easy for you to attach it to your bike within a couple of seconds. It also comes with a precision reflector that’s designed to help you avoid rear collisions.

Pros
  • You don’t need extra tools to install the bracket
  • The batteries can last for up to 50 hours
  • It emits a very bright light
Cons
  • None

2. Planet Bike Blinky 3 Bike Tail Light

Next, we have the brightest bike tail light for anyone that’s shopping on a budget. This thoughtfully made tail light is designed to withstand any and all conditions. It’s highly unlikely to break due to how it’s made and tested.

It comes with three LED lights which is what makes it so bright all the time. It’s designed to withstand competition with natural light. This means that it’ll help to increase your visibility even during the day in full sunlight.

The steady and light modes that are offered are there to help you control and optimize the type of light emanating from the device based on your circumstances.

The seat stay and seat post mounts further increase its portability. You can easily clip it on to your bike within a couple of seconds. The in-built parabolic reflector is great for ensuring visibility for up to a mile away. This way you know drivers will be able to see you from afar.

Pros
  • It comes with seat stay and seat post mounts as well as built-in clip
  • Made from a water-resistant and durable outer shell
  • It illuminates your path from all around you
  • It’s powered by two AAA batteries
  • It has a 100-hour runtime on flashing mode and 10 hours on steady mode
Cons
  • There have been complaints about defects on this device

3. Cygolite Hotshot Pro Tail Light

What makes this tail light so special? It comes with a number of amazing features such as 6 different adjustable lights and it emits 150 lumens of bright light. It’s ideal for use in everyday situations because the rechargeable batteries can last for 210 hours.

In addition to being sturdy and thoughtfully designed, this tail light comes with different settings for the day and night. This means that it’ll keep you safe at different times of the day.

It’s illuminated by long-lasting and durable LED bulbs that can also handle extreme weather conditions. On the side of the light are two buttons designed to help you switch modes and control the intensity of the light according to your needs and preferences. In our opinion, it’s the best road bike tail light for everyday use.

Pros
  • It has a brightness of 5150 lumens
  • Comes with 6 different lighting modes
  • Impressive battery life
  • Waterproof
Cons
  • It’s unable to hold a charge when not in use
  • The mode selection button can be difficult to use sometimes

4. Stupidbright SBR-1 Rear Bicycle Tail Light

This rear light is just as the name says – Stupidbright! Vehicles on the road will be able to see you coming from afar no matter how dark or light it is. The light works perfectly in any and every light conditions or lack thereof.

That’s because it has the capacity to produce massive amounts of light so that you’re visible to cars behind, in front and all around you. This is what’s meant by 180-degree visibility. We’re glad to say that this tail light is made from durable aluminum material which makes it resistant to shock, rust, and scratches. It’s also waterproof and will be able to continue working no matter what the conditions are like.

Also included here is a unique rubber gasket that’s designed to keep water out of the device so as to protect the two batteries inside. You get to choose from three different light modes including slow strobe, fast strobe, and solid depending on what your riding experience in the moment is like.

We really liked the three rubber straps because we found that they make it super easy to attach this to a bike or any other items so that it can stay firmly in place no matter how fast you’re riding.

Pros
  • Comes with two tail lights
  • Shock resistant
  • O-ring designed to protect the lights from water
  • The batteries have a 50-hour operation time
  • Constructed from durable high-grade aluminum
Cons
  • The batteries aren’t rechargeable

5. Nkomax Smart Tail Light

If bicycle tail lights reviews are to be believed, the Nkomax taillight is something to write home about. It’ll keep you visible to other vehicles for a distance of up to 150m and vice versa for you. The light’s impressive visibility is made possible by the combination of the EnSca lens and COB LED lights.

Features worth noting in this bike light is the fact that it comes with an integrated intelligent sensor which means that it’ll automatically switch on and switch off depending on the external brightness conditions. Not only that, but the sensors will activate the brake lights every time you decelerate. Then you have the manual mode which allows you to wrest control so that you can operate the different light modes manually.

Like the previous model, this tail light is dustproof and waterproof alike which means that its IPX6 certified. It’s powered by USB rechargeable batteries and a full charge will get you 20 hours of operation time.

You can even adjust the mounting strap in order to extend the different ways in which to mount it. The light is super easy to install as all you have to do is place the bracket directly onto the cushion track and make sure that it’s securely put in place with the included strap.

Pros
  • It’s powered by USB rechargeable batteries
  • Dustproof and waterproof
  • It has an auto mode that allows you to switch and turn off lights or even intensify it
  • You have both manual and automatic modes to choose from
Cons
  • This light isn’t as bright as other lights on this list
  • There aren’t that many mounting spots to choose from

6. Planet Bike Superflash Tail Light

The key to finding the best tail light that won’t let you down is to make sure that it’s sound enough to actually work as advertised. That means making sure that it’ll actually enable visibility from a mile away. Literally.

The Planet Bike Superflash is the best rear bike light to use when riding on rough roads because it’ll actually warn other people in traffic when you’re coming from afar. All of this is made available to you for a very affordable price tag.

Not only that, but this LED-powered bike tail light is super lightweight and is made to handle all kinds of rough conditions. It also comes in different flash modes so that you can switch up the type and intensity of light depending on the conditions.

It’s so tough that it won’t malfunction no matter how extreme the conditions are. It’s also really easy to use and you can use it during the day and at night as well. You can use this for hours on end and it won’t malfunction.

Pros
  • It can last for up to 100 hours when put on flashing mode
  • Features a clip that you can use to attach it to other projects
Cons
  • They’re water-resistant, not waterproof

7. Blitzu Cyborg 168T Bicycle Tail Light

According to bike tail lights reviews, the Blitzu Cyborg 168T tail light is one of the best bike tail lights ever made. That’s because it’s optimized to ensure that you remain visible in different light conditions during the day and at night.

The great thing about this device is that it comes with a built-in battery which is USB rechargeable, so no need to worry about having to replace batteries over time. The 168T taillight is designed in such a way that it has the ability to keep you visible to cars coming from far away, whether they’re behind or next to you.

The best part is that this tail light is IPX4 certified which means that it’s fully waterproof and can handle snow, rain, and drizzle. It certainly won’t let you down and you can take it with you anywhere because you can attach it to your backpack and even your belt – that’s how lightweight and low-profile it is.

You have six modes to choose from with this tail light, namely steady low, steady medium, steady high, and strobe, low flashing, and high flashing.

The amount of time that the battery will last will depend on the specific mode that you choose to operate it from. For instance, high mode keeps it on for 1 hour and 30 minutes, while low mode will keep it on for up to 6 hours.

Pros
  • Can keep working even while charging, granted you’re using a power bank
  • Has a 260-degree wide beam
  • There are six different light modes to choose from
Cons
  • The battery life is quite disappointing

8. See.Sense ACE Rear Light

The See Sense is the best bicycle tail light to use in different types of situations and applications. This isn’t surprising considering that it comes from one of the most prolific bike tail light manufacturers on the world. The ACE is actually a successor of the brand’s well-known ICON and ICON+ models.

There are 125 lumens powering the ACE and it offers 200 degrees worth of side visibility. This is enough to keep you visible and safe when biking through urban areas and similar conditions.

What makes the ACE unique is the fact that it features intelligent technological features that include built-in light and accelerometer sensors. This is in addition to the electronic circuitry that enables the tail light to create different flashing patterns and brightness levels based on your surroundings.

Not only that, but the ACE rear light will adapt the light even when breaking to alert the vehicles behind and in front of you. That’s why the See Sense ACE is one of the best bike tail lights out there.

Pros
  • It has favorable dimensions of 59.5mm x 32.5mm x 22.50mm
  • Only weighs 35 grams
  • Offers an impressive runtime of 10 hours
  • 125 lumens
  • Keeps you safe and visible in medium-risk situations
Cons
  • It’s not made to last

How to Get the Best Bicycle Tail Lights

Now that you know what are the best bike tail lights you have available at your disposal, it’s time to narrow down your options using the following criterion.

Design

There are multiple design options for you to choose from with each bike light. Make sure that the bike light design you pick same as with wheel lights gives out the amount of light that you need, while remaining steady and bright consistently.

Keep in mind that the whole point of getting a tail light is to protect you from potential accidents that happen due to rear collisions. Make sure that it’s lightweight and compact so that it doesn’t add unnecessary weight to your bike.

The good news is that most of these lights are constructed from weather-resistant materials which means that they can handle all types of weather conditions.

Light Settings

You know you have a decent tail light on your hands when it comes with multiple settings to choose from. This means that you should have different modes to choose from in order to adapt to different light conditions, whether it’s during the day or at night.

Why do you need a bike light that’ll help to keep you visible during the day and at night? So that you can have a warning light to use in alerting oncoming traffic during the day and an effective light for night time riding. It’s absolutely vital for safety, especially if you’re able to adjust the intensity of the light accordingly.

For instance, some bike tail lights come with a blinking or flashing mode. This is designed to alert other vehicles in traffic as well as pedestrians of your presence in order to reduce the probability of accidents.

Whatever you do, make sure that the light you choose is easy to adjust while you’re on the move.  

Lumens

This refers to the brightness level of your tail light. For best results, make sure that the tail light you choose has a lumens level of between 50 to 200. This is enough to ensure that drivers are able to see you from miles away on the rod, and from all directions.

We recommend this lumen light level because it won’t blind other drivers on the road, even while keeping you visible.

However, a bike tail light needs to have a good balance of lumens and power so that you can get the most out of all that light. For the most part, you can safely stick to a smaller lumen number if you have a commuting bike and larger lumen number if you plan on traversing through rough terrain.

Make sure that the light is well-made from durable materials as well. Otherwise, all of its other features will be useless to you. LEDs are probably the most important feature because they offer optimal light function.

Installation

A decent and solidly built tail light should also be easy to mount using something as simple as a lightweight strap which you can use to attach it to your seat post.

They’re also easy to adjust or move if you need to in order to ensure optimal light output. You want a tail light that’s easy to use and remove as well.

Batteries

Most bike tail lights are powered by replaceable or USB rechargeable batteries. There are pros and cons to each option.

For instance, USB rechargeable batteries are easy to use because you can recharge them on the go. Then you have powerful lithium batteries that can last much longer than alkaline batteries.

USB rechargeable batteries are great for high-lumen tail lights because they’re long-lasting and eco-friendly. However, you have to wait for them to recharge first.

Rear bike lights that are powered by replaceable batteries are affordable and powerful. But, you have to replace them once they run out of juice so you have to bring extra batteries with you if you want to make sure that your light stays on while you’re on the go.

Bike Headlights vs. Tail Lights

It’s important to understand that there’s a difference between taillights and headlights, although they’re often used interchangeably.

Headlights are typically placed on the front of the bicycle, while tail lights as the name implies, are installed on the back.

Both are essential to bike safety while serving different functions.

Headlights

Bike headlights are typically installed on the front end of your bike. They can help keep your vision clear.

A lot of them come with flexible beam modes which means you can dim or brighten the lights according to your preferences and based on the surrounding conditions.

Being able to adjust the modes also means that your eyes will be protected from oncoming traffic. Headlights are also helpful at keeping your visible to oncoming traffic as well.

Tail Lights

As the name implies, you can attach tail lights onto the back of your bike to help illuminate your bicycle in low-light conditions.

Taillights are also great at keeping you visible to oncoming traffic from behind. They can really come in handy when it comes to keeping you safe during the day time.

Taillights are so flexible that you can easily attach them to the back and front fenders of your bike as well as your helmet if you so choose.

For the most part, both tail lights and headlights offer enough lighting to maintain optimal visibility to keep you safe on the road and help you cycle more efficiently.

Benefits of Rear Bike Lights

Here are some of the benefits that you can expect to enjoy when you install a taillight on your bike:

Help You Comply with Local Laws

There are a lot of states where cyclists are actually required by law to make sure that they’re visible to other road users. Basically, you have to use some sort of lighting condition that’ll help you to adapt to “limited visibility.”

In this context, you have active and passive lighting to choose from. Basically active lighting refers to light that can work consistently because it’s powered by kinetic or electric energy. Passive lighting refers to things like reflectors that reflect light coming from street lamps and other cars.

Thing is, you can’t always rely on passive lighting alone or on active lighting alone. It’s best to use both and have both at your disposal at all times so that you have some form of light to rely on in emergency situations should you encounter one.

Passive lighting isn’t something that you should rely on alone because some of these lights operate on sensors which means they only come on when they sense oncoming traffic. The problem with this type of strategy is that the only thing you’ll be left with is accident avoidance strategies should the light fail you for whatever reason.

Now, it’s important to note that you don’t need to use these lights during the day, and there’s really no law forcing you to. But, it’s always a good idea to have them on in low-light daytime conditions such as heavy rain or fog cover.

Extremely Safe

Obviously, safety is the chief advantage of installing a bicycle tail light. It also shows other motorists on the road that you’re a responsible cyclist who cares about your safety and the safety of others on the road.

For best results, be sure to add a taillight and a headlight to your setup.

Make You Visible

Bike taillights are also useful at alerting other vehicles on the road of your approach.

They really do come in handy when biking in low-light conditions and they’ll make your journey a lot easier overall.

The best part is that most of them are lightweight, compact, and easy to install and remove whenever you need to.

Conclusion

Well, there you have it! That’s all you need to know about how to find the best bike tail light for your needs.

We made sure to include all of the important factors to look out for when shopping for your taillight as well as all the different options that you have available to choose from.

Lastly, if we were to recommend just one option, it would be the Portland Design Works Danger Zone Tail Light.

Why? Because it features super bright LED light bulbs, it has an operation time of 50 hours and it’s easy to install with no extra tools needed.

James is a passionate bicyclist who has done about every kind of biking there is. He loves the wind in his hair, the sun over his shoulder and maybe even the bugs in his teeth. No, just kidding about that last item. He isn’t crazy about road burns, either, but acknowledges that to have the good there is the occasional tumble. James feels that his bike is the place where he can unwind, leave troubles alongside the road, meet new people, go new places, and live the life of adventure that he loves. He is ready to share the ride with you.

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