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Portland Design WorksDanger Zone Tail Light

Item # PDW0027

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Item # PDW0027

To be seen is to be alive

We all know the song, and we're even more familiar with the shirtless high-fives that accompanied it. However, while the locker rooms of flight school seem like quite the daunting environment, it's nothing compared to riding the streets after the bars let out. That's why Portland Design Works made the Danger Zone Tail Light. As close as it gets to having eyes in the back of your head, the Danger Zone makes you a visible part of traffic and will keep drivers off of your back.

Portland Design Works' Danger Zone Tail Light lives up to the image that its name conjures. You'll feel like you're riding with tomahawk missiles and a bird-named copilot when you're around inattentive drivers. And like a fighter jet, the Danger Zone has more bells and whistles than you knew you could have, but now that you have them, you can't let them go. At the heart of the system are two 0.5, Nichia brand Japaenese Red LEDs. Together, they jam a death-ray sized beam of pure light out to the eyes of distracted drivers. The Danger Zone is powered by two AAA batteries, and is housed in a water-resistant case.

The light features three strobe settings -- zZz pop, a-HA! and rock steady. We know that the names tell a visual story, but because they're so cool, we'll break them down for you. The zZz pop displays how it sounds. The output swells to a crescendo of light before going 'pop' into a dazzling array of strobing madness. a-Ha! strobes like the light bulb turning on when you're struck with a brilliant idea. Rock Steady is just a fun way to say solid beam. Remarkably, the Danger Zone can blink for around 50 hours per battery cycle, and can go for around 15 hours on steady.

For easy attachment, the light comes with mounts for your seatpost and seat stays. PDW also included a backpack clip if you think that your bike is too pretty for mounting hardware.

The Portland Design Works Danger Zone Tail Light is available in a 34x34x71mm size. The light also includes two AAA batteries.

  • Two Nichia brand Japaenese Red LEDs
  • Water-resistant case
  • Three strobe settings
  • Mounts to seatpost or seat stay with backpack clip included
Tech SpecsWeight
Tech Specs
Power Source
AAA alkaline
Batteries Included
zZz pop, a-HA!, rock steady
Burn Time
50 hours
Recommended Use
Manufacturer Warranty

Claimed Weight

Claimed weights are provided by the vendor.

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57 g

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pretty good

    clip system did not hold well to chrome bag or bag.
    the stretchy rubber part fit well around my stays.....

    Great product and support from PDW

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    The Danger Zone puts out a very bright light. It also has a lifetime warranty. After one of my Danger Zones would not turn off, I returned it to PDW and they promptly replaced it. I appreciate a company that stands behind their products.

    Fine.... 'til it disappeared.

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    The Good: Bright and I liked the attachment system.

    The Bad: Just back from my third ride with this light to find that the front of the housing (the part with the lights and batteries) had become separated from the back somewhere on the road. I had had a fairly fast decent and hit a few potholes, but nothing out of the ordinary. Unless you ride only on extremely smooth roads, find something better.

    First Impressions Are Great!

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    After using this light for half a dozen morning rides, I have to say I'm very pleased.

    I went with the Danger Zone, rather than comparable models, because the DZ runs on AAA batteries. This means I can throw two AAAs in my stash pocket along with tubes, and multi-tool, and if my batteries dies, I can swap them out and won't end up a deadman. For extra credit, I use rechargeable AAA batteries making this a no-brainer for me, since USB charging ports are not mega durable on small electronics in general (and inconvenient when 20 miles from home and the battery dies...Now what you gunna do?)

    Another reason I went with the DZ light is the presence of two bulbs, which allows the light to double-team a driver's attention, making it more effective than a single bulb's dance. And, these bulbs are NOT SO bright that you'll scorch the retinas of the guy/gal behind you if riding in a group, so no worries there. Also, the three light modes are all I could ask for: a simple alternating top-bottom-top-bottom mode, a crazy schizo mode, and a steady stay-on mode give me all I need.

    Finally, I'm uber pleased with the mounting system, the STAYPUTNIK! It is easy to use to mount the light (not tools required), it's fast (probably 2-3 seconds to install or remove), and secure (it doesn't move around, but you can make micro-adjustments with your hand if needed). The mount is great and makes it even easier to fall in love with this light.

    If you're hesitant to drop $35 on a light, just remember you can't put a price on safety, and, ER visits can be terrifyingly pricey. Do it!

    Fast forward 14 months and this little light is still going strong for me. It's very easy to mount, turning it 'on' and toggling between settings is simple thanks to the large button, and the battery life is better than expected.

    Nice to read a helpful review...kudos!

    light, cheap, simple

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    It's bright enough for the expense and it's light and simple. Really not much you can take away from this light. It's not the brightest but it's not the worst ever. Good all around item

    Great Commuter Light

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    Great little commuter light. Love the seatpost attachment which is an easy to attach elastic strap. High visible for only running on AAA's and a few setting to choose from. Burn time is definitely 50 hours, it's lasted a long time!

    The Best!

      Best rear light I have found. In use for two years on (especially) night and even day riding on New England roads. (bike lanes are rare to non-existent)
      I have actually had many people clear a full lane when passing later advising that they thought it was the rear light from a police stop.
      You will not be disappointed. Six stars please!