Bike lights are an essential part of your cycling toolkit; not just a legal requirement, they help to keep you safe when cycling in poor visibility more than any other piece of equipment. As such, finding the best rear bike light possible can make an enormous difference to the safety of your cycling experience.

Working out what makes a rear bike light the best on the market can be difficult, so we’ve done the hard work for you and chosen 10 of the best rear bike lights available in 2019 to help you determine which is the best choice for you and your personal cycling habits.

Below, we’ve listed 10 of the very best rear bike lights on the market in 2019 and broken down the important specifications of each of them to help you make an informed decision with confidence.

View The Best Rear Bike Light Below

1. Blitzu Ultra Bright Bike Light Cyborg

Blitzu Ultra Bright Bike Light Cyborg

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As the name implies, the Blitzu Ultra Bright Bike Light Cyborg is an exceptionally bright rear bike light, offering a high level of visibility in even the worst conditions. It offers a high level of flexibility, being easy to mount anywhere on your bike, helmet, or bag, and its large size is perfectly balanced to offer maximum visibility without becoming heavy or awkward, no matter where you choose to mount it.

It also offers a range of settings, from low power constant all the way up to full power strobe lighting. All of these result in different levels of battery consumption, but the USB rechargeable battery makes that less frustration than traditional disposable batteries.

Pros:
+ 168-lumen brightness
+ Easy to mount on bike or helmet
+ Durable construction
+ Water resistant
+ USB rechargeable

Why We Liked It – This is a light designed to ensure you’re visible in the dark no matter what sort of bike you might be using or what kind of clothing you’re wearing.


2. Ascher USB Rechargeable LED Bike Tail Light

Ascher USB Rechargeable LED Bike Tail Light

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The rechargeable LED tail light is a versatile accessory with a range of different modes available to suit whatever your needs may be. This rear bike light can be mounted horizontally or vertically and comes with 4 different settings, constant and flashing at either full power for maximum visibility or half power for maximum battery life.

The long-lasting lithium batteries can be recharged via USB cable, making maintenance easy and straightforward, while the light comes with a strong silicon fastening strap that can be easily adjusted to fit bikes of any design.

Pros:
+ Long battery life
+ Water resistant
+ Wide angle beam
+ USB rechargeable
+ 2 pack

Why We Liked It – This is a flexible, easy to look after light that can be mounted anywhere on your bike and even comes in a 2 pack so you can make sure you’re visible from all angles.


3. Cygolite Hotshot 2-Watt USB Rechargeable Taillight

Cygolite Hotshot 2-Watt USB Rechargeable Taillight

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The Cygolite Hotshot 2-Watt USB Rechargeable Taillight is a compact, bright LED rear bike light that packs a high level of functionality into a small package. This is a high powered bulb, with its 2-Watt power offering a higher level of brightness that might be expected from its 30-lumen specifications.

This low lumen rating is primarily due to its small size; more LEDs would lead to a higher overall brightness, but as this is a light designed for visibility rather than area illumination, the small point of high brightness is more than enough to do its job very effectively and keep you safe on the roads at night.

Pros:
+ USB rechargeable
+ Easily adjustable settings
+ Integrated clothing clip
+ 30-lumen brightness
+ Long battery life

Why We Liked It – This taillight is small enough to be easily attached to your bike or clothes without getting in the way or weighing you down at all, making it a great choice as secondary clothes mounted rear light in addition to a larger primary light mounted directly onto your bike.


4. Aduro Sport LED Rear Bike Light USB Rechargeable

Aduro Sport LED Rear Bike Light USB Rechargeable

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The Aduro Sport LED Rear Bike Light USB Rechargeable is a large, bright option for when you’re determined to be seen in even the worst conditions. It can be easily mounted anywhere on your bike or helmet and is lightweight enough to be unobtrusive even when mounted on a helmet, but large enough to offer a high level of visibility.

It is also easy to detach for charging, making its USB rechargeable design even easier to maintain that the majority of USB rechargeable bike lights. This rear bike light offers 6 different settings, giving you full control over exactly how you want to be seen, as well as being easy to mount either horizontally or vertically on any part of your bike.

Pros:
+ USB rechargeable
+ 168-lumen brightness
+ Lightweight
+ Easy to detach
+ Water resistant

Why We Liked It – This LED rear bike light may be large, but its light weight and high brightness make it a great choice to maximize your visibility and therefore safety in even the lowest of visibility.


5. Cycle Torch Bolt – USB Rechargeable Bike Light, Bicycle Light LED

Cycle Torch Bolt - USB Rechargeable Bike Light, Bicycle Light LED

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The Cycle Torch Bolt USB Rechargeable Bike Light is a torch shaped rear bike light, offering a focused point of high brightness rather than a wide beam, although its convex cover provides a little more peripheral visibility than other torch shaped models. Designed to fit any part of any model of bike, this rear light can be easily attached with no tools and matching front lights are available to complete the set and raise your visibility further. It can also be mounted on backpacks if necessary, making this a great secondary bike light in addition to a larger primary rear light.

Pros:
+ 10-lumen brightness
+ Convex design for side visibility
+ USB rechargeable
+ Universal fit
+ Easy to attach

Why We Liked It – A compact option, this bike light packs a large number of LEDs into a small body, offering a bright spot of light that’s easy to fit onto your bike no matter what model you’re riding.


6. APACE ClipOn Strobe/Running Lights

APACE ClipOn Strobe/Running Lights

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Designed to fit anything from a bicycle to a dog, the APACE Clip-On Strobe/Running lights are a lightweight, compact set of rear bike lights that are easy to mount to anywhere on your bike, clothes or bag with the selection of different length Velcro straps provided. These are high brightness lights designed to make anything visible in dark conditions and are built to offer a high level of peripheral visibility as well as spot brightness to make you visible to anyone directly behind you.

The batteries are a little fiddly to replace, as these lights do not offer USB rechargeability, but their flexibility makes them a good choice for most users, and they come with an included mini screwdriver and spare batteries to reduce the effort of maintenance a little.

Pros:
+ Long battery life
+ Easy to attach and adjust
+ Versatile design
+ Water resistant
+ Compact and lightweight

Why We Liked It – These are a good choice for visibility no matter what outdoor activity you’re planning on doing. The ease with which they can be attached to bags, clothing, or dogs means that they can aid your visibility even when you’re just out walking after dark.


7. Cygolite Hotrod 50 lm USB Rechargeable Bicycle Tail Light

Cygolite Hotrod 50 lm USB Rechargeable Bicycle Tail Light

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The Cygolite Hotrod 50 lm USB Rechargeable Bicycle Tail Light is a large, wide-angle rear bike light for high visibility in poor conditions. This bike light offers a 50-lumen brightness level on a wide angle light, making you highly visible from a range of angles while cycling in darkness or other low visibility conditions. The light features 6 different settings from low to high brightness and constant, flashing, or cycling patterns, allowing you to customize it to fit whatever your personal preference may be.

On lower brightness settings, the Cygolite Hotrod 50 lm USB Rechargeable Bicycle Tail Light offers up to 100 hours of battery life on a single charge. Higher brightness settings come with lower battery life, but any setting will offer a relatively long-lasting charge.

Pros:
+ 50-lumen brightness
+ Wide angle light
+ Water resistant
+ Lightweight
+ USB rechargeable

Why We Liked It – This tail light gives off a strong light, keeping you safe in poor conditions. It may be large, but it’s light enough to be unobtrusive and easy to use.


8. Planet Bike Grateful Red Bike Tail Light

Planet Bike Grateful Red Bike Tail Light

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The Planet Bike Grateful Red Bike Tail Light is a simple, traditional bike light that offers moderate visibility at minimal effort. Its small LED array keeps the energy required to run it at a minimum, allowing for up to 150 hours of battery life depending on the setting used, while the integrated reflector around the LEDs boosts their brightness and visibility to a higher level.

The batteries required are standard AAA batteries, making it easy to maintain, although there is no USB charging feature. This is a straightforward, lightweight bike light which isn’t packed with extra features, making it a good choice for anyone who just doesn’t want to have to think too much about what they’re doing.

Pros:
+ 13-lumen brightness
+ Water resistant
+ Long battery life
+ Inbuilt reflector
+ Easy to install

Why We Liked It – A sturdy, reliable, simple choice, this tail light offers a reasonable visibility level and minimal thought and input. It’s a good entry level choice or backup light for more advanced cyclists.


Rear Bike Light Buyers Guide

Lumens

The term “lumen” gets used a lot when talking about lights, but what does it actually mean? Well, it’s simpler than it might initially seem. It’s a simple measure of how bright a light is, with higher numbers indicating brighter lights and therefore a higher level of visibility when cycling. You might be more familiar with watts, but these are a measure of power rather than light; LED lights offer more lumens at a lower wattage than halogen bulbs, and therefore lumens are a more useful measure of light.

A lower lumen rating will mean that you won’t be visible from as far away as a higher lumen rated rear bike light, but it will still provide that all-important close-up visibility that helps to keep you safe.

Angles

Some bike lights are marketed as “wide angle,” an important term to bear in mind. Most bike lights are designed to provide maximum visibility for cars approaching from directly behind you, and therefore have a relatively narrow-angle of lighting. Wide angle lights, however, cast light to the sides as well as behind, making it easier for other road users to see you if they’re approaching from an angle rather than from directly behind you, giving you a wider range of visibility and keeping you safer.

This is particularly important for urban cycling, where you’re likely to be doing a lot of turning corners and passing side roads, making it less likely that all approaching road users are either directly in front of or directly behind you.

Are steady or flashing lights better?

There are all sorts of legal restrictions on flashing bike lights, which can make it hard to tell if they’re actually any use. Steady lights, however, have far simpler regulations. In general, both are fine, but a flashing light has to offer a higher minimum brightness level than a steady light and cannot flash less than 60 times a minute or more than 240 times a minute.

Flashing lights will usually consume less battery than steady lights, as they’re only on for half the time, but they provide less visibility and must be brighter as a result. There’s a lot of debate as to which option is better for distance visibility or judging distance, but it’s probably worth being as safe as possible. As such, we recommend a steady light attached to your bike and a secondary flashing light mounted on your helmet, back or jacket for maximum visibility and safety.

Conclusion

There are a huge number of different rear bike lights on the market in 2019, and all of them look pretty similar at first glance. As is visible in our breakdowns above, however, there are important differences between their shapes, brightness levels, and attachment systems.

The shape and attachment system of your ideal bike light will depend heavily on what sort of bike you’re using and whether or not you’re looking to attach a light to your clothing or bag. These are very much matters of personal preference, dependent on your personal habits and situations. Brightness is a little more straightforward, however.

A rear bike light has one single purpose, which is to ensure that you are visible to other road users approaching from behind, keeping you safe when cycling in poor conditions. That means that brighter is straightforwardly better, as a brighter light will make you easier to see from further away. Similarly, bigger tends to help; a larger light source will provide more light, and make you easier to see.

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