Four rear lights for summer nights (and beyond)

By Jeffrey Stern 

Although the longest day of the year has passed, there are plenty of late summer nights in our future. When I think of summer, I think of big bike adventures, often planned to be done around dinner time, but also just as often pushed well past twilight. Only for pure enjoyment sake and because you can never say no to one more new trail or road when there’s still a bit of light left in the sky, right?

Too many times this leads to riding home in the dark, sharing lights with a friend or two. The classic, one of you has a front light, the other a rear and the third has neither so they sit in the middle of the reduced peloton on the midnight express through the city streets and back safely home…

Why not nearly guarantee your visibility with a high-quality, USB rechargeable light that will last you for seasons to come? Trust me, your family and tail-wagging pup will thank you when you walk in the door safely all summer long.

The Lezyne Zecto is a high visibility three-LED, 20 lumen light with a built in motion detecting system featuring six different flashing modes. This light will automatically turn off after three minutes of inactivity. With a machined aluminum faceplate and lightweight, yet durable composite matrix body the Zecto it is as sturdy as functional. At a svelte 47 grams, this micro-USB rechargeable light also has a versatile clip-on system for easy attachment to your seatpost, pannier or backpack and only costs $50.


At 65 lumens, Trek’s Bontrager Flare R Tail Light features a CREE LED that can reportedly be seen from over 2km away day or night. With two night and two day modes, the 270-degree visibility offered by the Flare provides the ultimate safety options for all-day riding. A unique battery save mode kicks in at 5% life to get you home safely in that last hour of your ride. The quick connect bracket and 16 degree offset makes attachment and adjustment a breeze for this features loaded $60 USB rechargeable light.


If you have a little more to spend and are looking for the increased safety of a built in camera, look no further than the Cycliq Fly 6 bike camera. The Fly 6 is a waterproof rear light with 720p HD camera in case of an on-road accident. At just over 100 grams with a 100-degree view, this light/camera combo watches your back by recording in 10 minute intervals so you can ride stress free. Run time is rated at six-plus hours and the Fly 6 comes with an 8GB Class 10 MicroSD card as well as USB cable. Substantially more than most rear lights at $140, it’s well worth the investment if your rides take you on the narrow shoulders of busy roads frequently, for increased peace of mind for you and your family.


The Cygolight Hotshot 50 delivers a lot of power, to the tune of 50 lumens, in a small and affordable package. It’s lithium-ion battery is charged lightning quick via USB and the six different light speeds are user-adjustable. With 500 hours of use available on a single charge and costing a cool $30, this might be the best bang-for-your-buck rear light option on the market.


Check back next week for our picks for the best front lights for your summer riding and ride safety!

Back to Top