Gear News

Exposure Strada front light and TraceR rear light – first look

The Strada is Exposure’s road-specific front light, with a claimed output of 800 lumens

Let’s start with the Strada, then. While there are more powerful lights in Exposure’s range – the Reflex Mk2, at the top of the range, has a dazzling output of 2,200 lumens – the Strada is the West Sussex-based firm’s road-specific, high-powered front light.

The Strada uses two Cree XPG R5 LEDs to create a beam pattern which Exposure say is both wide and flat to boost peripheral vision, and high and dipped to push light up the road. It’s a beam pattern designed for riding on unlit lights – and that’s where we expect the Strada to come into its own.

Exposure’s Optimised Mode Selection (OMS) lets you choose from six modes, which in turn have a number of power options, with battery life adjusted accordingly. For example, program one is the most powerful and has a claimed battery life of three, 10 and 24 hours on the high, medium and low settings respectively, as well as a flashing mode. Program six, meanwhile, is for commuting, and the two power settings, high and medium, have claimed run times of ten and 24 hours respectively. Again, there’s also a flashing option.

The Strada comes in this plush case

If that sounds confusing then we’ve just had a read through the supplied instructions, and run through each of the modes, and it’s easy enough to get the hang of after five minutes of playing with the light. Each of the programs, and the associated run times, are also enscribed on the body of the light itself, and the variety of options and impressive battery life should make this a versatile light.

The light is operated by a single button on the rear, which allows you to select your program before riding. From there, turn the light on by pressing the button twice, use the button again to scroll through the power modes of the program you’ve chosen, hold the button for one second to use the flashing mode, or hold it for a little longer to turn it off.

The button is located on the back of the light, so it should be easy enough to access, though it’s quite small so we’ll see how we get on using thick winter gloves. Additionally, Exposure supply a remote button designed so you can change the light level without moving your hands from the tops of the handlebar.

Two rows of LEDs indicate battery life and power level respectively

Out back, there are two lines of five and three LEDs respectively, which indicate battery power (100, 80, 60, 40 and 20 per cent) and power mode (high, medium, low – depending on what program you have selected). The LEDs are also used to select an appropriate OMS program.

You’ll also find a charging point on the back which accepts a DC cable. Exposure provide two appropriate cables, to charge the light either by USB or through the mains.

The unit itself (claimed weight 228g) is made from CNC-machined aluminium and is a fine piece of engineering: sturdy in hand and commanding when it adopts its position on the handlebar. Speaking of which, Exposure supply an aluminium clamp which is secured to the ‘bar by a 4mm Allen bolt. The light clips on with a secure ‘click’ (and can be quickly removed if leaving the bike, even if the mount itself has to stay in place) and the mount has a removable spacer which means it can be used either on a regular diameter or oversized handlebar. Top marks to Exposure at this early stage for a well made, easy-to-use mount – something neglected by many manufacturers.

On the face of it this looks a serious light for riders with ambitions of logging serious miles this winter. It comes with a serious price tag too – £269.95. We’re looking forward to see if it as good as early indications suggest.


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