To stay safe as a cyclist you must be seen. There are many ways you can do this, but a bright, flashing red light is one of the best. If you are cycling, you need a good taillight.
What to look for in a bicycle taillight
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, hundreds of cyclists are killed every year by cars and thousands more are injured. Almost every cyclist who regularly goes on the road has a close horror story to tell you, and the causes are many.
Like motorcycles, bicycles present a less visual profile to riders, making cyclists more difficult to detect. There is also the problem of distracted drivers who look at their phones and drivers who do not know how to pass bicycles properly.
It is important to do everything you can to protect yourself, including always wearing a helmet and colorful clothes. NHTSA statistics also show that more crashes occur in daylight than after dark. This means you need a bike backlight that is also clearly visible in bright sunlight, so drivers can see you when you are in front of them.
The good news is that LED technology is evolving allowing the taillights to be brighter every year. For a minimal investment, you can get a light bulb that can easily be attached to your bike and is light enough for drivers to notice under all lighting conditions.
Here are some important things to keep in mind when looking for a new flash:  Replaceable or rechargeable battery: Many budget floodlights on the market have replaceable batteries, but we think rechargeable is the better choice. It is difficult to know how long replaceable batteries will last, and you do not want your light to die in the middle of a journey. With charges, the manufacturer gives an estimate of how long the light will burn in each setting. You can also verify it on your own, so you know when you need to charge your light. Or you can just upload it after every ride. It is a safer and more reliable strategy. It's also better for the environment because you don't have to throw batteries in the trash all the time.
Instead of choosing a "best" taillight for bicycles, we recommend a range of options based on price and different needs. If you are a relaxed rider, you do not need to spend much to get a good rechargeable light. At higher price levels you get more options, longer burning times and some really cool security features.
Best Budget: Cygolite Hotshot 100 USB
For less than $ 20, the Cygolite Hotshot 100 USB is a fantastic rechargeable bike backlight. You get 2.5 hours of operation time from the built-in Li-ion battery in its maximum setting of 100 lumens. Cygolite claims lower settings, you can stretch it to a remarkable 270 hours. There are a total of six setting options for day and night: Steady, Zoom, SteadyPulse®, Triple Flash, DayLightning® and Random Flash. Cygolite says that DayLightning mode "emits lightning-like flashes to mark your presence in the brightest daytime hours."
It is small, water resistant and weighs only 59 grams. The package includes a seat post and seat suspension brackets. There is also a clip on the back of the light that you can attach to a backpack or your clothes.
Best Medium: LEZYNE Zecto Drive Max
In the mid-range category, we love the retina fuel power of LEZYNE Zecto Drive Max at 250 lumens. Not only is it super bright, but an impressive nine hours go between charges in the brightest flashlight.
Zecto Drive Max has a robust machined aluminum case and is attached to your bike with an easy-to-use rubber strap. It also has a clip if you want to attach it to your backpack or clothing. The only improvement we would suggest is a little padding on the back of the hard plastic clamp so it doesn't scratch a bike's finish. But a little tape does the job.
This light has eight day and night settings and runs for 24 hours in 10-lumen mode. It also remembers the mode it was in the previous time you used it and returns to it the next time you turn it on.
Its lithium-ion battery recharges in two and a half hours via the supplied micro USB cable.
Best Premium: See.Sense ACE Tail light
Rated for 125 lumens with a running time of 10 hours, See.Sense ACE Backlight is plenty of brightness in a small, 35-gram package. It has built-in sensors that detect traffic and make the flash of light brighter and faster when cars are available. See.Sense ACE also knows when you stop, and it turns into brake lighting.
When you connect to your smartphone with the See.Sense app, ACE alerts you when the battery is running low and it can also notify emergency contacts if it detects you have been in a crash. It even acts as an anti-theft alarm and lets you know (if you are within Bluetooth range) that your bike has been moved.
One of the more interesting features is that the sensors collect information about road surfaces and hazardous conditions that can be sent to city planners to suggest road improvements.
ACE is water resistant and contains a variety of rubber cords and clip accessories to attach to your bike, backpack or clothing.
Best Premium  See.Sense ACE Tail Light
See.Sense ACE Tail Light runs for 10 hours at 125 lumens. Its smart technology detects traffic conditions and makes the light glow and blink faster as cars approach.
Super-Premium Option # 1: Garmin Varia RTL510
Approaching what you pay for a mid-range bike computer, the Garmin Varia RTL510 rear lift is full of technology. It has a rear-facing radar that alerts you when a car comes behind you. If you pair it with a compatible Garmin or Wahoo computer, the alert appears on the screen.
While detractors might ask why you shouldn't just install a $ 10 mirror instead, fans of Garmin radar swear. They say it has changed how they feel about cycling on the road.
You receive the first warning when a vehicle enters a range of about 150 meters. The unit can sense how fast the car is traveling, and it sends a red warning if it is moving at high speed. It also tracks several vehicles at the same time and can differentiate between a car and your friend on the bike behind you.
Despite its price tag, the Varia RTL510 only has a 60-lumens daylight, but the owners say it is light enough. You get 15 hours of use before you have to charge it.
Super-Premium Option # 2: CYCLIQ Fly6 CE HD Bike Camera + Tail Light
If you want to record close conversations with vehicles so you can give them to the authorities, the CYCLIQ Fly6 CE HD Bike Camera + Tail Light is for you. Its 100-lumen output is paired with a high-resolution 1080p camera that also records audio.
You control the device via a smartphone app that is available for both iOS and Android. You can also share your videos through the app.
The camera has image stabilization for smooth images and "smart looping" so that you do not have space on your SD card (not included). We still recommend that you get a card with a high capacity, so that you do not lose anything that happened at the beginning of a long journey. Fly6 even has some cunning technology that locks it if you're in an accident, so the video of what happened can't be recorded over.
Incredibly, it records video continuously for seven hours in camera mode only and about four and a half with the light on. When the battery runs out, CYCLIQ says it goes into "HomeSafe" mode and only holds the light up for 30 minutes.
You mount the waterproof Fly6 with a system similar to a Garmin. It charges in two hours via USB-C cable.
No matter how much you want to spend, if you regularly ride on the sidewalk, you should invest in a backlight for a bike. The sad statistics show that roads become increasingly dangerous for cyclists – especially because of distracted and careless drivers.
Anything that makes you more visible and encourages drivers to be more attentive is well worth the investment.