24/10/2011 | 3 comments
It’s not always necessary to splash big bucks on bicycle lights that are better suited to keeping ships off the rocks. That’s where these lights from Revolution, Edinburgh Bicycle Co-Operative’s in-house accessories brand, come in.
Available separately for £9.99 (so £19.98 will cover both front and rear), the lights are enclosed within a silicon body, drawing ‘inspiration’ from those we’ve seen in the past from Australian manufacturer Knog.
It’s that silicon body which hosts the light’s key design feature; a strap that secures the lamp to your handlebars or seat post in a flash, without the need to mess around with a fiddly attachment or to dig out that tiny screwdriver set from last year’s Christmas crackers.
The light is powered by a single “high-Lumen” LED through a magnified lens. The manufacturer doesn’t state on the packaging just how powerful that LED but we’ve asked and it’s 10 Lumens for the front light and six Lumens for the rear. That’s pretty low as lights go but the Collimator lenses do a great job of optimising the light output.
Putting the lights in a real-life situation, we’d say they’re best suited for urban commuting, so in reasonably well-lit areas, or as a back-up in case a more powerful light fails. The front light weighs 38g and the rear 28g, so they’re small and light enough to fulfil that purpose.
Each light comes with a standard USB cable (i.e. the type that would come with a digital camera) for charging. Stated charge time is a maximum of 2.5 hours. Handily, an indicator light changes from red to green when the battery is fully charged. Life expectancy is up to 500 charge cycles.
Once charged, the front light has three settings – full power, half power and flashing – while the rear light offers just full power and flashing. Battery run time is up to 11 hours on flash mode. As for the run-time on the constant beam setting, these are lights best suited for fairly short rides, and, as long as you remember to charge them (like any light), we haven’t had them fail mid-commute yet. Ride to work, plug a light in to charge, ride home. The charge port is located where the case would sit flush to the ‘bars or seatpost, with a small silicon flap that further helps to keep out any errant water.
That said, Revolution rightly call the lights water resistant, rather than waterproof, and they’re best left off the bike during prolonged rain, when, with drivers’ vision blurred by a wet windscreen, a stronger beam is a safer bet anyway.
But back to the original point. These are far from the brightest lights on the market but they cover three bases with equal effect: safety lights for urban commuting, small and lightweight lights for throwing on in an emergency and quick-fire lights for switching between bikes. Great value at £9.99 a piece.
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