CatEye HL-1500 Lights

3.5/5 (10 Reviews)
MSRP : $24.95

Product Description

The HL-1500 uses Hyper Halogen Technology to send thousands of pulses of energy to the bulb every second. In the 1,000-candlepower energy-conserving low setting, the battery life is extended to six hours. With a flick of the switch, the Hyper-Halogen is in the brilliant 3,000-candlepower high setting for increased visibility. Side light markers provide additional visibility from the right and left. With the high and low settings the hyper halogen can maximize both your light output and battery life.
Mtbr Bike Lights Shootout - over 50 bike lights reviewed, photographed and measured here.

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Reviews 1 - 10 (10 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by allgoo19 a Weekend Warrior from California

Date Reviewed: November 25, 2010

Strengths:    1)Inexpensive
2)Brightest in its class(runs on 4AA cells)
Burn time over 3 hours is long enough, with spare sets of battery, you can go on forever. I don't like pre-installed re-chargeable lights for the opposite reason.
3)Minimal rattle while riding.
4)Unlike more sophisticated models, one small unit can be dettached easily and being carried easily in your pocket. Makes it much less likely to be stolen.

Weaknesses:    Not much weakness.
The screw that holding the battery cover to the body doesn't have a washer, so everytime you tighten it, it chews up a little bit of plastic. I put a metal washer between them.

Bottom Line:   
I first bought this from CBO not knowing a lot about this particular model. I was using Micro Halogen, also made by Cateye, at the time and it was failing but couldn't find any place selling it. So, I decided to get this model only from the spec of 2.4W. It turned out that I liked HL-1500 far better.
It's brighter, lower profile, unlike MicroHalogen it doesn't make rattling noises. Only thing better about MicroHalogen is no tool battery installation, where HL-1500 needs a coin to do the job. No big difference.
I liked the first one so much, later I found cheaper(a lot cheaper) price at Amazon, I bought two more. It's handy to have a spare unit(meaning I have a spare set of batteries and a spare bulb) in the pocket that doesn't take up a lot of space.
To describe how bright it is in writing, you can see someone standing 15M away but you can't see who it is while you are riding at 15MPH.
It is FAR brighter than PlanetBike SuperSpot (1W LED).
I took this unit to near by bike store and asked one of the associate if I could try my unit against other models. Then I tried one by one. My unit was brighter than any 4cell unit they had, that includes Cateye EL-500 which sells for $50.-. They didn't have EL-530. Even the guy I asked to try out was showing his personal interest asking me where he could get one.
Like someone said in the review, replacing batteries in the dark is difficult but I have done it. You'll get used to it. Just make sure you carry a coin, any coin. Or better, carry a spare unit like I normally do.
And one last thing. The light is bright enough on the paved street, bike path etc. but not for off-road or in the woods. For those purposes, there are $300.- to $500.- models available.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $8.00

Purchased At:

Similar Products Used:   Cateye HL-500, Cateye Micro Halogen, PlanetBike SuperSpot 1W

Bike Setup:   Old Cro-moly steel bike

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Eric Ostendorff a Weekend Warrior from Torrance, CA USA

Date Reviewed: August 5, 2003

Strengths:    Very bright, useable pattern for road riding. Brightest, most efficient 4-AA cell light I've ever used. Very even illumination pattern. Low setting useful for extending battery life under some circumstances.

Weaknesses:    Beam pattern not good for off-road. Low setting is only useful as a "see-me" light, or for pacelining. This light is larger and 40 grams heavier than my next favorite Cateye light, the MC-200. Both are discontinued and hard to find now, Cateye has gone all LED. Bulb availability TBD.

Bottom Line:   
Awesome light for road randoneuring. I'm off to France for PBP 2003 and with hours of potential night riding, I've been testing several different lights. No other 2.4 watt units come close to the Cateye Hyper Halogen in terms a bright, useable beam pattern. There is a low setting that doubles battery life. This low setting is useful when in a paceline just to light up the rider in front of you. Rechargeable batteries (2000 mAh Ni-MH cells) last over 3 hours on high and this unit puts out a nice tight, bright pattern for road riding with minimum wasted spillover light. My next favorite Cateye, the MC-200, is a marvelous, tiny package, but its light pattern is splotchy (uneven) and not as well focused.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Road Only, Pacific Coast Bike Route

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $15.00

Purchased At:   Circle Cycle, Torrance

Similar Products Used:   Cateye MC-200, Cateye HL-550, Performance Viewpoint 2.4 W, Sigma Sport Ellipsoid, Performance 12W Single Pro

Bike Setup:   Trek 5200 Ultegra Triple set up for touring: Ultegra/Open Pro wheels, Look pedals, ultralight custom rack and tiny panniers for PBP 2003.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Bill from Sunnyvale, California

Date Reviewed: February 15, 2003

Strengths:    Light weight, ease of use, good battery life, adjustability.
Can be removed easily to be used as flashlight. Inexpensive.
High and low output.

Weaknesses:    Not very bright, but you should not purchase this light with the intention of rugged off-road use.

Bottom Line:   
This is a nice light when used appropriately. It's good for street use, especially when you flat and can remove it easily to put light where you need it. Not intended as a true off-road light, as it's output is only 2 1/2 watts. I've had no problems with mine and it accompanied me on a bike trip to LA(410 miles)a few years ago. The fact that it's not a rechargeable is nice on long rides, just replace the batteries.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Similar Products Used:   Niterider dual beam headlight.

Bike Setup:   Cannondale R4000 & Bontrager mountain bike.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Dave Baldry a Cross Country Rider from UK

Date Reviewed: September 5, 2002

Strengths:    Good when used in pairs on road or open trails

Weaknesses:    lenses are fragile, broken regularly .
one is not enough

Bottom Line:   
good for the enthusiast not for single track or high speed use can be fragile

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   any thing faster than 40+mph

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Purchased At:   Broadribbs

Similar Products Used:   ummm cant remember

Bike Setup:   rockhopper, judy DH, scott xc bars, mixture

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Paul Zimmerman a Cross Country Rider from American Fork, UT

Date Reviewed: November 28, 2001

Strengths:    Easy to Pack, Easy to install & remove from bike. Bright for flashlight battery system

Weaknesses:    Not bright enough for serious single-track riding.

Bottom Line:   
This is a great light to get you home when the sun goes down before you get out of the woods. It stows easily in a backpack hydration system, and installation is a snap. I had this light fall off at 15mph on the street coming home from a ride. It got scratched up, but still works fine.

Also a good light for riding on the road.

This light does not work well on a planned night ride. The beam is not wide or bright enough. This was obvious when I rode with a group that had 30 watt nightsun systems.

If I had a good light system I would still carry this light for times when the battery dies on the nightsuns before the ride is finished.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Green Valley Loop/Ridge-Tibble Fork

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $25.00

Purchased At:   Performance

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Preview and other glorified flashlights

Bike Setup:   Cannondale Jekyll 900sx with Time alium pedals

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Waid a Weekend Warrior from Seattle, WA

Date Reviewed: October 1, 2001

Strengths:    Bright. Clean design. Easy to install/remove from the handlebars.

Weaknesses:    Narrow beam. Changing batteries would be a pain in the dark.

Bottom Line:   
Forget using this light for single tracking. Although bright, the beam is much too narrow to be useful. Maybe 3 or 4 or these lights mounted on the bars would do the trick.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Tapeworm

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $15.00

Purchased At:

Bike Setup:   Giant Warp DS1

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Fabrizio Sitzia a Racer from Rumelange, Luxembourg

Date Reviewed: December 21, 2000

Strengths:    - robust & reliable mounting clip
- low/high power setting
- good road illumination with both settings
- the look (...when fixed on the front of my aerobar, it uncannily reminds the head of Giger's Alien ;-)

Weaknesses:    - changing the batteries (in the dark) is a hassle

Bottom Line:   
I've been using this light for over one year on my old road bike without problems and have therefore purchased a second one along with my new bike.

I use several sets of rechargeable batteries. With 1200mAh NI-MH cells (Panasonic) the light stays on 3 to 4 hours if I run it 70% of the time at low and 30% at high setting. I find that adequate for my late-evening sorties.

Changing the batteries in the dark is a hassle - but then, with every other light it is too!
And that's yet another reason why I got myself a second one as a spare: Instead of taking along a second set of batteries it's a lot more convenient to take along a spare light, just clip one light off and the other on - you can do that without even having to stop...

And that's what I like most on this light: Its mounting clip! It is bomb-proof. You might lose anything else but you won't lose this lamp when hitting hard bumps (With other models I've already lost one tail and two front lights!)

All in all I find this a well-designed piece of equipment. It is definitely worth its five flamin' Chilis for both value and overall rating.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   long rides in the Sarrabus region - Sardinia

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $20.00

Purchased At:   Lombardi Sports Rumelange

Similar Products Used:   ...various other Krypton and Halogen lights

Bike Setup:   Giacomelli Mega Oval / Shimano 105 group / Mavic Ksyrium wheels

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Reece Guihot a Weekend Warrior from Canberra, ACT, Australia

Date Reviewed: June 7, 2000

Strengths:    Very bright with new set of batteries
Solid mounting bracket - allows for easy movement when wanting to redirect beam.

Weaknesses:    Chews up the batteries very quickly when used on high beam (the low beam setting is barely adequate for riding on luminated streets/bike paths).
Bulb casing breaks easily

Bottom Line:   
Although being the best of the low-end bike light setups (and I have tried many in my time - mostly all crap), it is still barely adequate for any off-road night riding. It offers very limited visibility of the path/road directly in front of you, unless you have a set of fresh batteries, and are using the high beam option. (The low beam is not even an option, because of the poor light output)

My partner also has one, and the front bulb casing cracked shortly after we purchased it when we were simply changing the batteries.

I would only recommend buying this light if you just wanted something to stop the police harassing you (in those states where lights are a legal requirement when riding at night). It is no good for making objects visible to the rider, and is only just bright enough for the rider and bike to be visible by cars/pedestrians etc. I also wouldn't take it too far off a luminated path, making it useful only to those who stick to lit streets and bike paths.

I would recommend to anyone doing alot of riding (off road or commuting) to invest in a high end set (with rechargable batteries). Costs more, but is cheaper in the long run (especially with the increase in disposable batteries).

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Any of the many great trails around Canberra

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   Any of the displosable battery operated low-end lights.

Bike Setup:   Old faithful Diamondback

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Pat Higgins a Weekend Warrior from Wellington New Zealand

Date Reviewed: May 15, 2000

Strengths:    None

Weaknesses:    You have to dismantle the thing to recharge the Batteries.
If you drop it the Bulb casing breaks and it's not very waterproof. The low power setting stopped working and now its gone dead completely. Possibly some corrosion on the circuitry? I checked the bulb.
Anyway it was not bright enough against background traffic
Now I'am looking at upgrading to something like a CyGo NiteRover?

Bottom Line:   
Its proved unrealiable !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Bike Setup:   Scott ALuminium TZ Frame ( Road Bike )

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Kevin a Weekend Warrior from Florida

Date Reviewed: March 4, 2000

Bottom Line:   
This was a nice commuting light that I had stolen with my bike last year. Had the light less than a month when it was thieved.

The light is kind of cumbersome compared to the micro-halogen model, but the broad spread of the lens makes up for it. The ingenious mounting lamps makes the able to sweep the light left to right or up and down.

The best feature ilike was that I was able to get longer life out of the batteries using the low power setting. Like I said I used the bike for a month and NEVER changed the batteries. Only I didn't use the bike that much after dark (only 3-4 times a week.)

I mistakenly bought the micro halogen light after my bike was stolen and was very disappointed. First the plastic light looks very vulnerable should it ever be dropped, or worse yet handle in the rain. The worst thing is that there is only one power setting running at full 2.4 watts.

I took back the micro halogen, and recieved the Hyper Halogen instead! I am a happy man!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Reviews 1 - 10 (10 Reviews Total)

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating