If you require a quick answer, the best rear bike light is the CatEye Rapid X3, which provides an impressive light output of 150 Lumens for clear visibility at night as well as during the day. However, if you are on a tight budget, the GuardG3X is the best alternative that’s bright, provides great battery performance and is easy to use and install.
To rate the rear bike lights within this article, we based our recommendations upon our experience and testing of multiple lights (as shown in the “How We Rated” section below). We also carried out hours of research and considered a number of factors. Some of the factors that we considered included the build quality, light output, battery performance, ease of operation and installation, lighting modes, waterproof rating, warranty and value for money.
Table of Contents
Rear Bike Light Comparison
|Rear Bike Light||Lumens||Max Battery Life|
|CatEye Rapid X3||150 Lumens||30 Hours|
|GuardG3X||100 Lumens||12 Hours|
|CMeilan Smart||50 Lumens||50 Hours|
|Knog Blinder||70 Lumens||20 Hours|
|Aosdanting LED||20 Lumens||12 Hours|
|CatEye Omni||30 Lumens||200 Hours|
The use of a bike light not only makes cycling safer at night but it’s also a legal requirement in the UK. Considering the low cost of rear bike lights, it’s worthwhile investing into a high quality light that’ll last for many years.
Below is a list of the best rear bike lights that provide multiple lighting modes and bright light for maximum visibility.
The Best Rear Bike Light
1. CatEye Rapid X3 Rear Bike Light
CatEye are a brand that produce a wide variety of bike lights and the Rapid X3 model is their flagship rear light. It’s powered by a rechargeable battery and features twin COB LED strips that output up to 150 Lumens.
In terms of mounting the light, it can be attached using the integrated rubber band, which is ideal for seat posts or trays.
Other features of the CatEye Rapid X3 include:
- Light output of 150 Lumens
- USB rechargeable battery (3 hours to full charge)
- Mounts via a rubber band
- Low level battery indicator
- Choice of six different flash modes
- Longest lighting mode provide up to 30 hours run time
For those that are looking for the best performance, the CatEye Rapid X3 certainly ticks that box. It’s the brand’s new and improved version that includes an impressive 50 Lumens more light when compared to its predecessor. This increase makes a huge difference and it makes this model the perfect rear bike light for day or night use.
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2. GuardG3X USB Rechargeable Rear Light
The GuardG3X is a high powered yet affordable rear bike light that’s by far the most popular in the UK. It uses a super bright COB LED strip that outputs up to 100 Lumens, which is more than ideal for night or day use.
A standout feature of this particular light is its versatility. This is because it can be mounted to the rear of your bike or helmet and it also has the choice of six light settings to ensure that you are visible on busy roads. In order to install the light, it’s relatively straightforward because it comes with 8 mounting rings in 4 different sizes to fit bars up to 45 mm.
Other features of the GuardG3X Light include:
- 100 Lumens
- Choice of six light output modes
- Fully recharges in just 2 hours
- 12 hours of battery (lowest light setting)
- IPX3 waterproof rated
- Weighs just 1 LBS
- Wide beam pattern
- Supplied with a carry pouch
To conclude, the GuardG3X is by far the best rear bike light for the money that combines performance with affordability. It provides a long lasting run time and ultra bright light for clear visibility regardless of the lighting conditions. Due to the low cost, you could even buy two for both the helmet and rear of the bike for maximum visibility.
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3. CMeilan Smart Bike Tail Light
One of the most advanced rear bike lights in this article is by the CMeilan brand and it includes both a brake and light sensor. The sensors work alongside an integrated accelerator that triggers the brake sensor whilst braking. Once the accelerator has been activated, it outputs additional light to warn people that are behind for extra safety.
According to the brand, it has a waterproof rating of IP65, which is far better than many similar priced alternatives. It’s also built to the highest of standards with a durable aluminium alloy and stainless steel construction.
Other features of the CMeilan Smart Light include:
- Light output of 50 Lumens
- Intelligent brake sensor
- Automatic light sensor
- IP65 waterproof rating
- Mounts via the supplied bracket
- Choice of 4 lighting settings
- Provides up to 50 hours of run time
- Fully recharges via USB in 2 hours
- Battery level indicator
Considering the amount of technology and the superior build quality, the CMeilan Smart Light is one of the best rear bike lights on the market. It’s also backed by a two year warranty for complete peace of mind.
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4. Knog Road R70 Rear Light Blinder
The Knog Blinder is a premium rear bike light that’s designed for standard and aero bike posts. Although its construction looks like a traffic light, it has an impressive peak brightness that’s rated at 70 Lumens.
In terms of the different lighting modes, this model offers 5 different modes that include steady, fast flash, linear flash, steady dual lights and an eco mode that’s designed to reduce battery consumption.
Other features of the Knog R70 Blinder include:
- Light output of 70 Lumens
- CE certified light
- 5 different light settings
- Silicone rubber body and strap
- Aluminium fascia
- IP67 waterproof rating
- Rechargeable via USB
Although expensive, the Knog Blinder is built to the highest of standards with a high quality look and feel. The brand also offer a matching front bike light, which has the same high quality and compact design.
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5. Aosdanting LED Rear Bike Light
The Aosdanting bike light is an affordable yet high quality option with a compact design that provides more than adequate light output. In terms of using the light, it has the option of three different lighting modes that includes a constant, fast or slow flash. It can also be easily mounted to the bike’s tube, helmet, backpack and many other locations.
Other features of the Aosdanting LED include:
- 20 Lumens light output
- USB fast charging
- IPX5 waterproof rating
- Runtime of up to 12 hours
- Easily mountable in multiple location
If you require a small rear bike light that provides adequate light output, the compact Aosdanting design is a great option to consider. When compared to similar priced alternatives, it offers far superior quality and it won’t disappoint.
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6. CatEye Omni Triple LED Light
Another rear bike light by the reputable CatEye brand is the Omni model, which is one of the cheapest lights on the market. It uses a triple LED that provides all-round visibility and a light output that’s rated at 30 Lumens.
Unlike many of the alternatives that are rechargeable via USB, this rear bike light is battery powered and uses three AAA batteries, which may be more desirable for some cyclists.
Other features of the CatEye Omni include:
- Triple LED configuration
- “Opticube” lens technology
- Three lighting modes
- Runtime of up to 200 hours
- Flex bracket or belt clip for mounting
- Matching front light available
To conclude, the CatEye Omni is an excellent all-round option that’s cheap and backed by the reputable brand for complete peace of mind. It may not be as bright for daytime use but it’s more than ideal for clear visibility at night.
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How We Rated
Whether we are on our road bike or mountain bike, we (the team at Darimo UK) all agree that the rear bike light is just as important as the front light. Over the years, we’ve tried and tested a wide range of lights that include both the premium and budgets options on the market. We also tested the lights upon a range of bikes (road, electric and mountain bikes) as well as in multiple different lighting conditions (day, dusk and night).
As you can see from the below photos, we tested a variety of rear bike lights and although they were compact in size, they still produced bright light and impressive battery performance.
As well as our experience and testing of multiple rear bike lights, we also based our recommendations upon plenty of research and a number of factors. Some of the factors that we took into consideration included the build quality, light output, battery performance, ease of operation and installation, lighting modes, waterproof rating, warranty and value.
Rear bike lights are an essential piece of equipment for those that cycle during the night and require additional visibility. All of our recommendations are designed to easily mount onto any type of bike and also provide adequate light output. Considering the affordability of most lights, we strongly advise spending slightly more for a higher quality light.