Most helpful positive review
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Not quite as advertised
on 9 December 2011
In the positive side, the lamp is robustly made out of anodised aluminium with a decent mount, albeit that there's no swivel option. As pointed out by somebody else, the two screw threads at the reflector end don't have O rings so may not be fully waterproof. However, it's probably a minor matter and and if you can find the right size rings, they could be retrofitted and it would take a downpour of biblical proportions to cause problems (and still a lot better waterproofed than some more expensive brands).
The light is bright, but with a fairly tightly focussed beam. Good for visibility straight ahead, but probably not from the side.
However, I was somewhat suspicious of the rated power output of 3W in the light (pun unintended) of it being powered by 3 AAA batteries. Putting a meter on the lamp reveals that the "full beam" mode takes 300ma which places total power consumption at just under 1.5W or about half that advertised (and the actual LED is probably only just over 1W of that). It might be that it's equivalent to a 3W halogen bulb, but it's most definitely not a 3W LED. Note, I tested this on two lights.
Good news is that this doubles the battery life (which would have been modest with AAA batteries at 3W) but, of course, at only half the brightness.
Note the low-power mode only takes 30ma so the battery on the "dip" setting should be very good.
Overall, excellent value for money, and it's worth getting a couple. However, it isn't quite as advertised.
*** update ****
A few further tests and a comparison with some other lights advertised as cree 3W confirms that the light output is nothing like as powerful (as the current consumption confirms). However, it remains decently bright but no match for some of the torches powered by Li-Ion 18650 batteries which can be fitted into the same handlebar holder.
However, one thing that people might find useful is that this light can be powered by a single Li-Ion battery which roughly doubles its run time compared to using AAA dry cells or AAA NiMh. They also have relatively low self-discharge rates compared to NiMh and, in the long run, are much more cost-effective than AAAs. It's also easy to carry a spare. Unfortunately the size required (18500) isn't easily available in the UK, but eBay imports are easy enough, if a bit slow. The cell will fit unmodified, but the diameter is a bit too small so I recommend making up a simple card sleeve rolled up inside the torch to stop the battery rattling around. Of course you need a Li-Ion battery charger too, but these can be obtained cheaply.