Best Rack Mounted Rear Bike Light – Top 7 + Buyer’s Guide

You need some decent front lights when cycling at night to see the road details. But what about the cars and cyclists behind you? With the best rear bike lights, you can ensure they are able to see you as well.

Rear bike lights help you avoid accidents before it’s too late. They also have long run times, and long-range visibility and are durable enough to fend off regular wear and tear. 

Rear cycling lights use one or multiple LEDs that generate light. They are very efficient, emitting light by consuming very little electric power.

This makes them cheap to run yet effective to boost night-time visibility. Besides, most rear bike lights nowadays are researchable. You can charge them up with your office computer or get a separate standalone charger. 

So, what are the best bike rear lights, you may ask? Below is our answer!

Best Bike Lights For Night Riding

1. Exposure TraceR MK2 With ReAKT And Peloton 

This latest version of the popular Exposure’s TraceR MK2 rear light comes with a notable upgrade. The Peloton feature adds to the rear light with only a meager price hike. 

ReACT allows the rear light to adjust illumination according to the light conditions of that time. It also flares up the LEDs upon sensing that the rider has pressed the brakes.

As for the new addition, the Peloton technology automatically detects whenever there’s a front bike light behind you. So that it adjusts the brightness accordingly, this protects and saves dazzling the following rider. 

You still get the same 75-lumen max light output. There are now six modes that let you decide how much burn time you want. You can go on for approximately 24 hours with the lowest flash mode, whereas the brightest static mode offers 3 hours.

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    Other features include USB convenience, side illumination for 180 degrees visibility, and a DayBright flash pattern. You can also access the DayBright pulse in the flash settings. 

    2. Cygolite Hotshot Pro 150

    You need the most reliable tail light for maximum protection when you’re on the road for a long while, and Cygolite Hotshot Pro 150 fits the bill. It’s a super durable rear light that will hold your back in all riding conditions. With 150 lumen intensity, Cygolite Hotshot Pro 150 is the best rear bike light for everyday use. 

    There are six different light modes. You can select any adjusted light setting and flash speed as per your requirement. The special night and daytime settings come in handy to keep your bike visible any time of the day. Also, depending on your selected mode, the tail light can last up to 210 hours on a one-time charge. 

    Weighing just 75 grams, the Cygolite Hotshot pro is built to endure busy road cycling. It’s durable and water-resistant and allows multiple mounting options while keeping a compact form. Plus, it includes numerous attachments for a fixed installation. 

    3. Planet Bike Grateful Red Bike Tail Light

    Grateful Red is like a scarlet begonia for your bike. It’s USB rechargeable (runs on two AAA batteries), big enough to be noticeable, and features a dazzlingly bright light. In fact, the three modes (super flash mode, courtesy mode, and a steady mode) are all brighter than you would think, thanks to PB 28 LED power array. 

    For extra safety, it uses a CPSC-certified reflector in the lens. This makes the light visible even when the light is off. Instead of a puny control button that you see with most lights, its power button is a solid power switch. It’s large enough for the end of fingertips. Moreover, the rugged outer shell provides decent water protection. 

    Lastly, the Grateful Red supports multiple mounting options. As it includes seat stay mounts, a seat post, and a clip mount, you can install it horizontally or vertically, depending on your preferences. The installation process is also very smooth. You can easily take it off with you when you lock your bike up. 

    4. SUNLITE TL-L505 Tail Light

    The Sunlite TL-L505 is the perfect battery-powered tail light for a rear bike rack. It’s bright thanks to 5 LEDs, easy to install (and remove), has multiple modes, and is sturdy enough to wither the storms. 

    The rear light features a built-in reflector on either side for extra safety. It increases the visibility of motorists and cyclists coming up from behind and prevents accidents.

    Additionally, it has four lighting modes. Three flashing modes and a steady mode offer plenty of options to tailor the light output as per your requirements.

    Moreover, the two-piece assembly is straightforward. You have to slide the “light body” piece into the mounting plate. It jells firmly in place so that bouncing won’t turn it off.

    It also has a universal fit. That means it will bolt on to most standard rear racks that would be incompatible with seat post-mounted lights. 

    5. Portland Design Works Danger Zone Tail Light

    This is an excellent high-power rear light whether you’re using it in daylight or nighttime. It’s bright, works exceptionally well, and can mount on anything. Besides, it can run for 40+ hours thanks to the two AAA batteries. You can tell when it’s going dim. In that case, it still has hours left to replace. 

    The taillight uses two 0.5-watt Nichia LEDs and offers three brightness modes. This makes it suitable for most riding conditions.

    The rubber seal provides some weather protection, but we wouldn’t recommend using it in heavy downpours. The light has a solid feel – both on and off the bike (when changing the batteries). 

    Portland Design Works Danger Zone Tail Light is an overall solid piece of equipment. It comes with a Seatpost mount and backpack clip that let you attach it to your ride without any tool. Just watch out for the complaints from car drivers who may get caught behind you!

    6. Busch + Müller Toplight Line Brake Plus Rear Rack LED Light

    The Busch and Muller Rear Rack LED light is another excellent option for dusk and night riding. This dynamo-powered tail light features two high-power LEDs inside the 90mm Linetech light strip. It shines very bright with 320-degree visibility and automatically turns into a brake light when it detects the dynamo is slowing down. Awesome, right? 

    It glows through a wide surface, ensuring that the overtaking cars can detect your distance. Besides, it is also internally powered by capacitors that keep it glowing for 4 minutes once the bike has come to a halt. You can also deactivate the stand light with the help of a push-button. In addition, it has a large reflector surface to protect you when the light is not on. 

    The only downside is its installation. You have to connect it to the dynamo-powered front lights by wire. And… the wire is not included in the package. If you don’t have a spare already, you need to get it from the nearest hardware store or order online, which can be quite a hassle. 

    7. Cateye Omni Light

    If you want a relatively cheap rear bike light, the Cateye Omni Light is definitely for you. It’s better, brighter, lighter, and smaller. Mounting is also easy with the post clamp. Otherwise, you can attach it to your bag, belt, or helmet with the help of included clip. Is it a downside? There’s no reflector!  

    The best thing about Cateye Omni light is its triple LED with opticube lens technology. This makes it excellent for all-around visibility. This means you are visible to someone approaching from behind and for someone who’s on more of a side angle.

    In part, the excellent design is also responsible for this benefit. It directs most of the LED light directly behind you and leaves enough space to project it to the sides. 

    The three modes, rapid, flash, and constant, provide 200 hrs, 150hrs, and 100 hrs of runtime, respectively. Overall, it’s a very basic compliance light with replaceable batteries and a decent range of mounting options for a minimal outlay. 

    Best Rear Bike Lights – A Buyer’s Guide

    As there are many rear bike lights in the market, keep the following criteria in mind to pick a suitable one.

    1. Intensity

    The light intensity of the supported number of lumens tells about the light’s brightness. As we are talking about rear lights, you can do away with a fewer number of lumens.

    Numbers between 50 to 200 are decent enough to let car drivers know about your presence. In case you go to any higher number of lumens, you run into the chance of blinding them.

    Moreover, consider your terrain as well. For instance, if you are riding on a regular bike on the main road, you can go for a less intense rear bike light. The road lights will provide some visibility. However, if you travel off the tracks, you need as much brightness as possible to cover your back. 

    2. Lighting Modes (or settings)

    How many lighting modes are your rear light capable of? High-end tail lights come with more than one setting. For example, most of them have a steady mode and a few variations of blinking modes. Blinking or flashing modes are crucial as they warn motorists and drivers that you are about to make a turn. 

    Therefore, you can select a suitable model according to your needs. With a versatile bike tail light, you can adjust the intensity easily, ensuring that brightness is enough whether you are traveling at night or in the daytime.

    Lastly, make sure the light modes are easily switchable. You don’t want to slow down every time you need to switch to a different setting. 

    3. Batteries Or No Batteries

    Bike tail lights either utilize replaceable batteries or USB rechargeable ones. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

    For instance, USB rechargeable rear lights are a bit more convenient as you can recharge them with any device with a USB port and enough charge. They last longer, offer more lumens, and are eco-friendly.

    However, their disadvantage is higher cost. Besides, recharging them too often isn’t always possible – especially on off-road travels. 

    On the other hand, batteries are a cheap option. You can carry an extra pair with you all the time. In case a pair dies, you can easily get them replaced. There’s no need to recharge.

    Sure, battery-powered rear bike lights aren’t as powerful as rechargeable ones, but they provide a decent output.  

    4. Design Features 

    Like everything else, rear bike lights come in multiple designs. Go for a design that gives a better light output. A bright and steady beam provides better visibility for most people on the road. 

    Moreover, go for a lightweight and compact design. These lights won’t bog you down when you’re trying to go a bit faster. Not to mention, check their weather resistance as well. While every brand claims its rear light is water-resistant, it’s better to be sure than sorry after a purchase.  

    5. Reflector

    Having a reflector on your rear bike light is an absolute must. Many newer bike tail lights only offer a red light without including a “reflector”. A rear reflector is necessary by Federal law on bicycles (check your state laws to be certain about that).

    With a reflector, you have extra security that your bike will remain visible to cars even if the light is not on. While you may overlook it until you are hit, the person in the car points out that you do not have the federally required safety equipment on your bike. 

    6. All-Round Visibility

     Most rear bike lights are nice and bright if you are standing right behind them. However. in many situations – especially during urban rides – traffic may also be approaching you from other directions.

    Therefore, you should go for light with a wide angle of visibility. This will keep your back covered. Again, the importance of all-around visibility depends on the type of riding. 

    Final Thoughts

    When riding a mountain bike or a regular everyday use commute bike, safety should always be your first concern. There’s no excuse for not lighting up. The best rear bike lights keep you safe in all weather conditions as they offer excellent visibility.

    While there are several models in the market, make sure you choose a durable and sturdy one. You can go for any of the above-mentioned rear bike lights as they are affordable, brighter, and better than other variants. Let us know what you think!

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    Best Rack Mounted Rear Bike Light - Top 7 + Buyer's Guide — Bike Hacks