These lights are incredibly small. They are also incredibly bright.
The British Standard which looks after lighting is archaic. Written in the early nineties it hasn’t moved on from Ever Ready lamps and Wonderlights. Actually I’m always criticising modern lighting system brackets, but can you remember how bad Wonder lights were?
Anyway, first of all, can I state that these lights do not conform to BS6102. So you cannot use them on their own, hence they are called Backupz. I’ve been running a set for a few weeks and I’m very impressed with their performance. But to keep legal I have been using them as an added extra to a BS legal set – especially important in the city.
The BS states that lights must incorporate a reflector and have a light source (bulb) of certain dimensions (about the size of a pea). This discounts all LEDs because they are too small – apart from Cateye’s larger LED units. Front lights also have to be seen from the side, so this is why they have little viewing windows in the side of the shell. The other thing in the BS is lights cannot flash, they have to be steady.
This is a nonsence. Lights that do conform aren’t any better than these LEDs for being seen and in order to see where you are going (equally important?!) you will have to get a decent set of halogens or a set of mutiple, high powered LED units. Then there’s battery life to consider.
I have heard of a few cases where people have stepped aside from their responsibility in accidents involving cyclists where the cyclist’s lights did not conform. So bear this in mind when shopping for a new set of lights.
The Backupz take a small watch battery and last a good few weeks commuting on flashing mode. The front one is particularly bright and has a diffuser over the top of the LED to stop you being dazzled. They also have a seal to keep the water out and are held firmly together with four tiny screws.
The fitting is brilliantly simple, just place the light on a round object (seatpost or handlebar) and pull the elastic strap over the top and wrap it back over the front. Works better than anything Cateye, Smart, Vistalite et al have come up with. Snap them off and drop them in your pocket or put them onto your key ring. Perfect.
In conclusion: This is a great set up for getting home if you are caught out in the dark and they will certainly get you seen. Just remember to use in conjunction with a legal set…