Gemini Lights have only had been in the UK since February 2012 but this, the Xera Flashlight, is an impressive torch which provides plenty of bang for your buck.
The Xera Flashlight costs £105.99 and has a maximum output of 850 Lumens, comfortably bright enough for training on unlit roads, with the light pumped out in a round beam which is wide enough to spread itself over much of the tarmac.
The light has four modes, so it can also be run at 60 per cent power (510 Lumens), which is still plenty for steady night riding, and 20 per cent (170 Lumens), which is ideal for commuting, while there’s also a flashing mode.
Run times are, on the whole, good. This is a self contained unit, running via an internal battery rather than a separate battery pack which is strapped to the bike’s top tube, and it gets close to the 90-minute claimed run time on full power, dropping out five to ten minutes early. Otherwise, you get three hours and ten hours when the light’s running at 60 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.
The light is operated by a single button on the rear. Hold it down to turn the light on or off, and gently press the button to cycle through the four modes. I was originally concerned that it’d be tricky to cycle through the modes while wearing gloves, and that you might instead accidentally turn the light off, but that’s not proved to be the case.
Gemini use a Cree XM-L U2 LED emitter and the Xera Flashlight has an interchangeable optic lens, with 16-degree and 14-degree optics supplied in the box, but I’ve found no need to switch between the two as the difference is marginal. The light’s powered by a Panasonic 3100mAh lithium ion battery which is removed by unscrewing the rear end of the light and charged using a separate mains-powered charger. The Xera Flashlight doesn’t have a battery indicator, which would be particularly handy when out on a long night ride and you don’t want to be caught short of light, although it does switch to flashing mode when the battery’s running low.
The light is mounted using a simple U-shaped clip that the torch snaps into, which is then attached to the ‘bars using an o-ring (two sizes are supplied) which hooks on to the front and rear of the clip. The mount has a little side-to-side movement, so you can make minor adjustments to the direction of the beam, but the clamp and light does rattle about a touch on rough roads, which means the beam bounces around a little, as there’s only an o-ring fixing it to the handlebar.
The mount could be improved by providing a slightly more secure connection between the light and handlebar, and the addition of a battery indicator would be useful on long rides, but neither flaw is fatal this is otherwise a very good torch: powerful, versatile enough to be used for commuting and night riding, and good value.