Top positive review
15 people found this helpful
Cracking little light
on 19 December 2013
I did quite a lot of on-line research before making this purchase. The light was to replace my existing lighting system of two traditional halogen bulbs (2.5W and 10W) in twin handle bar mount reflector units (5cm diameter), powered by a separate 6V lead acid battery strapped to the bike frame.
The first thing to note is the size of this light. As indicated in other reviews, it is about the size of a small matchbox and very lightweight (manufacturer's figure is 65g). The mounting is a rubber strap that wraps round the handlebars and hooks back onto itself. The range of adjustment seems good and there is a rubber element below the light mounting that prevents the strap rotating on the bars. Fitting / removing the light is a little tricky, but I'm hoping that this will become easier as the plastic release tab on the mounting wears in. A helmet mount is also provided, but I have not used this and would imagine that it could be dangerous for oncoming traffic mounting the light so high due to its brightness.
The light has six settings, three permanently lit of different light outputs (200, 105 and 50 Lumens) and three flashing (flashing, strobe and SOS). The flashing setting is good for use in dawn / dusk when you don't need to illuminate the road, but to be seen. The behaviour of other road users shows that this setting is very effective. I can not see a need for the strobe and let's hope that I never need the SOS ...
The light has two indicator leds on the top side. One indicates the mode (blue, green or red and either solid or flashing) and the other the current battery state. The user guide states 1h50 of operating in 200 Lumens, 3h35 in 100 Lumens and 8h in 50 Lumens mode. I have to say that I haven't managed to achieve these values.
My ride to work is 30 mins and takes me along town centre, town outskirts and unlit country lanes. The first comment to make is that the light is definitely bright enough for cycling on country lanes with no other illumination. If there are no other cars / light pollution, I've found that the 100 Lumens setting is perfectly adequate for riding on unlit roads. I was also pleased with the width of the light beam, having been concerned that a single LED may have a narrow beam, but the reflector has been well designed so that there is scattered light to the sides of the main beam allowing the edge of the road to be clearly seen. The light output is higher brightness than my previous 10W bulb, and the light distribution is much better. The light is also a brighter white, rather than the duller yellow of halogen bulbs.
The switch can be a bit fiddly to operate when wearing gloves with fingers, needing a firm and accurate push, but I'd rather have this than a light that turns on accidentally when dropped in a bag ...
The battery charge LED shows blue for 100-60%, green for 60% to 20% and red flashing for 20-0%. Here is my one gripe concerning the light - I set off from the office one day with the charge led showing blue (not fully charged, but theoretically > 60% charge left), but it soon transitioned to green. Fair enough ... but then half way home it went to flashing red, all within a 20 minute period of running on full power. It was cold and raining and I have seen that the weather does have a big impact on the performance of the battery. To be fair, this is mentioned in the documentation, but hey, when do we need our lights?? In the winter when it's dark and often cold!! The lesson learned is that the battery needs a top up charge in the evening after every day's return trip. The good news is that as it is charged from USB, charging is easy and can be done at home or work. If I could have given this product 4.5 stars, I would have docked them a half star for the battery performance, but it doesn't justify losing a whole star for my usage pattern.
In conclusion ... a very well made, compact and lightweight, high quality light for a good price, which has freed me from having to carry a 6V lead acid battery strapped to my bike. The only downside is the operating duration, but I would still say that this is a great purchase for those who are never further than 1 hour away from a potential recharge point.