Best Bike Tail Lights: Stay Safe While Riding at Night

Be visible to vehicles behind you with these top bike tail lights

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Tail lights on a bicycle are just as important as headlights. Both help to warn drivers and others of your presence. They greatly minimize the chances of getting caught in an accident, especially at an intersection. Our buying guide features some of the best bike tail lights that you can attach on the rear of your bike for enhanced safety. 

  • Best Overall
    Garmin Varia Radar Tail Lights
    Summary
    Summary

    A highly visible radar tail light that gives visual and audio alerts to rear approaching vehicles. 

    Pros
    Pros
    Long battery life. Can sense vehicles within 153 yards. Visible within a 220-degree range. It features three lighting modes. Wirelessly compatible with other Garmin devices. It can be firmly secured on a seat post.
    Cons
    Cons
    Expensive. Not as bright during the daytime. Can’t mount on a backpack. The sound warning may be inaudible. 
  • Best Value
    Stupidbright Tail Light Strap
    Summary
    Summary

    A single LED rear bike light that offers a bright light with a 180-degree beam.

    Pros
    Pros
    Affordable. Water and shock-resistant. Compact and lightweight. Made from durable high-grade aluminum. It comes with long-lasting batteries. Convenient strap-on design. It can be mounted on almost anything.
    Cons
    Cons
    Non-rechargeable batteries. Poor customer support from the manufacturer. Fits loosely on thin seat frames.
  • Honorable Mention
    Cygolite Hotshot Rechargeable Taillight
    Summary
    Summary

    A 2-watt rear bike light with LED technology and a USB rechargeable built-in battery.

    Pros
    Pros
    It produces a bright and intense light. Water-resistant casing. Compact design. Adjustable flush speeds. Features five flash modes. It comes with a USB cable charger and a seat post mount. Good battery life.
    Cons
    Cons
    It may stop working if you completely drain the battery. It doesn’t have a power switch on the device. Hard to find a mini USB charger.

Tips

  • If you don’t plan on riding your bike for a long time, remove the tail light and recharge it. If it has detachable batteries, remove them and store them in a safe place to preserve their lifespan. 
  • Wear safety gear when cycling, such as a helmet, knee and elbow pads. There’s never enough light to keep a reckless driver from knocking you over. 
  • If the unit has a remote control for adjusting the light, consider attaching it to the handlebars. You will get distracted if you always have to reach in your backpack for the button.  
  • Keep an eye out for pedestrians. Invest in a loud enough bell for your bike to alert them of your presence. 

FAQs

Q: Where’s the best place to mount a bike tail light?

A: The most common place is your bike’s seat post. It can stay undisturbed there, and you don’t have to think about readjusting it. Confirm that the mounting system can fit on your seat post before buying the light. 

Q: Will I distract the driver behind me with a tail light?

A: It’s only distracting if the light is too bright, flashing, and elevated. Attaching it on your backpack can also be distracting. To be considerate of the vehicles behind you, keep a steady light and ensure that it’s as low as the headlights on a vehicle. 

Q: Should I switch on the tail light during the day?

A: Absolutely. Taillights are just as important during the day since they help draw the attention of motorists around you to the source of the light. Consider setting it to a flashing mode so that it can stand out from other lights in the surrounding area. 

Q: How many lumens should a bike tail light have?

A: The brighter the light, the better. A unit of 70 lumens and above is bright enough to make you visible. Select a unit with adjustable light modes so that you can reduce the brightness at night and increase it during daylight. 

Final Thoughts

We picked the Garmin Varia Radar Tail Light as the best bike tail light because it projects a strong and powerful beam of light. You will be easily spotted by vehicles, pedestrians, and other bikes on the road. 

The Stupidbright Tail Light Strap is our value pick since it’s way more affordable than most bike tail lights, yet it still delivers a bright light that spreads 180 degrees.