LUU Echo Torch Pro bicycle light - review

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LUU Echo Torch Pro bicycle light – review

Compact, simple, and well made. More powerful unit required for prolonged missions on unlit roads

The LUU Echo Torch Pro is lightweight, refreshingly simple to operate, and the fastest of its three flashing modes is an unmissable asset for urban riding. Its 600-lumen maximum output, however, was overwhelmed on unlit rural roads.

We made a note of this Korean contender’s vital statistics when it arrived at RCUK Towers in October. You can find full details of outputs, modes, and run times here. In this article, we’ll focus on how it performed.

The LUU Echo Torch Pro proved to be robust, compact, and bright enough for all but the darkest stretches of unlit road

We’ll being by commenting on its construction. The Echo Torch Pro is a solid, robust unit, which, because of its diminutive scale, felt heavier in the hand than we’d expected. The aluminium body and smart red lens cap are items of real quality, and the CREE LED issued an impressively clear beam. The charging port on the side of the body was covered with its own rubber bung: another considered feature.

The Echo Torch Pro’s greatest asset proved to be its simplicity. In an era of programmable lights, and lights with accelerometers that match output to speed, it’s easy to lose sight of the principal functions of a bike light: to be seen, and to see with. The Echo Torch Pro met both purposes, and with refreshing ease. The mounting bracket, a straight-forward design that gained in security what it lacked in adjustment, was easily attached.

The Echo Torch Pro is a solid, robust unit, which, because of its diminutive scale, felt heavier in the hand than we’d expected. The aluminium body and smart red lens cap are items of real quality

As is our custom, we used a flashing mode for riding on busy, urban roads where street lighting makes our priority being seen. When we headed into the depths of the countryside, where an absence of street lights forces us to use a light to see with, we switched to a continuous beam.

Switching was clear and simple: a matter of holding down the power button (more of which below) for four seconds to access the flashing modes (a supplementary single press for each of three), or holding down for a further four seconds to access the ‘static’ modes (four this time, one supplementary click for each). The power button glowed red for flashing and blue for static. Easy.

The aluminium body of the LUU Echo Torch Pro was extremely well-made and felt reassuringly weighty in the hand

Each of the flashing modes was excellent: bright, powerful, and hard to ignore. The fastest of three, however, was unmissable, and quickly became our default setting for riding on urban roads. The slowest, what might be characterised as “on-off”, and which alternated between lit and unlit at two-second intervals, we felt left us without light for too long.

As we left illuminated urban highways for unlit rural back roads, the Echo Torch Pro’s simplicity came into its own. The brightly lit power button was easy to locate and proved easy to operate too, even with gloved hands, despite being only a centimetre in diameter.

The fastest of three flashing modes was unmissable, and quickly became our default setting for riding on urban roads

The static modes were less effective than the flashing modes, which ricocheted off street signs far up the road. On unlit roads, we opted for the maximum 600-lumen output, but on the very darkest sections, those that lacked even the ambient lighting of housing or a pub, it was overwhelmed. The circular beam pattern, while broad enough to cover the road, lacked penetration at the centre and was fuzzy at the edge.

On roads with some illumination (those with intermittent street lights, occassional housing etc.) the 600-lumen setting was equal to the task if not vastly reassuring, and even the 300 lumen setting was adequate, and would perhaps serve as a useful fall back in the event of dwindling power supplies. LUU claim a run time of two hours for the maximum output, and four hours for the next best. As we’ve mentioned previously, our testing involved a mix of modes, flashing and constant, but nothing in the performance or construction of the Echo Torch Pro gave rise to concern about the claimed run times.

The LUU Echo Torch Pro’s charging port is covered with a rubber bung – a further example of a pleasing attention to detail

The lowest of the outputs – 150 lumens for a claimed eight hours, and a 16-hour,  80 lumen ‘power saving’ mode – we’d recommend only as settings of last resort. For us, they proved unnecessary. We gained sufficient savings in battery life from using a flashing mode (claimed run time for each: 20 hours) on the urban bookends to our training loops to make a judicious mix of 600 and 300 lumen output last the entire ride. If you live in the depths of the countryside and ride entirely on unlit roads, however, we’d recommend you look elsewhere.

On unlit roads, we opted for the maximum 600-lumen output, but on the very darkest sections, those that lacked even the ambient lighting of housing or a pub, it was overwhelmed

Charging the LUU Echo Torch Pro placed another pronounced tick in the box marked ‘simplicity’. While USB is now the dominant standard, and not without its merits, convenience chief among them, LUU supplies its lights with a conventional three-pin plug-style charger, equipped with an LED that glowed red when charging was required and green when charging was complete. The interface between light and charger (what LUU calls a Multi Port System, for reasons that escape us) was a further example of the high quality of construction deployed for both.

Conclusion

The LUU Echo Torch Pro proved to be a robust, compact, high-quality light suitable for all but the darkest conditions. Simplicity of operation and quality of construction were its outstanding features.

The powerful flashing modes make it an excellent choice for urban use, and the 600-lumen output from the most powerful of its static modes is sufficient where ambient lighting is reduced rather than entirely absent. For prolonged riding on unlit roads in the depths of the countryside, however, we’d want a more powerful light with a greater run time at its maximum output.

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Price: £149.99
Size: 98mm x 30mm
Colour: Black and red
DistributorFisher Outdoor Leisure

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