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2015 lights shootout
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  1. Lights and Night Riding
    This is the 2015 Lights Shootout. The 2016 version is coming in next week as dozens of new lights are arriving at our doors daily. If you have lights that should be included, email [email protected] for consideration. The key components of this shootout are: Integrating Sphere Lumen...
  2. Lights and Night Riding
    This is a pretty basic light from Lezyne. They claimed 600 Lumens and we measured 611 and that is a decent deal at $100. It now faces stiff competition from the likes of the Bontrager Ion 700 at $100 and the CatEye Volt 700 for $120. But the Lezyne has a big beam and it has field-replaceable...
  3. Lights and Night Riding
    One of the cool things about the lights shootout is we get to see many different lights from different parts of the world. Australian and New Zealand lights are interesting since they have a different take on versatility and form factors. Now we have these fine example from the UK with the...
  4. Lights and Night Riding
    The Blinder Road 3 from Knog is a cool light. It has a functional horizontal form factor that is wide to house two LEDs. The two units can be turned on separately or work in tandem to create a distinct flashing sequence. Output is an honest 308 Lumens out of 300 claimed. It is a great 'to be...
  5. Lights and Night Riding
    This is the first light we've tested from Knog. It's more of a budget light at $65, putting out 184 Lumens. These lights were designed with quality and style. This light is quite small and it has the look and feel of a quality product, as rubber and metal are molded together to create a very...
  6. Lights and Night Riding
    The DiNotte XML-4 is a very similar light to their XML-3, but instead of three XML LEDs, there's four. Output is bumped up to 2110 Lumens from 1579 nd price is higher at $259 instead of $229. The light head is much bigger though since 4 LEDs don't fit as tightly as three. So cooling is no issue...
  7. Lights and Night Riding
    The Lezyne Super Drive XL jumps in output from 579 measured Lumens to 709 this year. That's a pretty good jump and it's what is needed to compete in this very tough $120 flashlight sweet spot. The competition is very tough now with the Bontrager Ion 700, CatEye Volt 700 or Serfas and Niterider...
  8. Lights and Night Riding
    This is a commuter light from CatEye. It is tiny at 65 grams with mount, but as you can see in the measurements and beam photos, it's not bad at all. It's a 'to be seen' light and it's quite good in flash mode, but one can actually see with it. There's a tight spot that utilizes the 164 measured...
  9. Lights and Night Riding
    We're not usually impressed by small lights, but this year we are. This gem from NiteRider has great excellent construction, ergonomics and a measured light output of 445 Lumens. The knockout punch is it's only $68. Buy one for commuting or two or three for different applications. This case is...
  10. Lights and Night Riding
    Light & Motion has trickled down their Urban Technology to the Urban 500 with 528 measured Lumens for $100. Run time is still at 1:30 and most of its features remain unchanged, except for a vibrant blue color now and better packaging. This is a good commuter light with a nice beam pattern and...
  11. Lights and Night Riding
    The Lupine Piko 4 is a bit of technological marvel when you consider its brightness, diminutive size, weight and run time. 1120 measured Lumens, 180 grams and a 2-hour run time combine for one of the most useable lights we've ever tested. It almost feels like the helmet is just emitting bright...
  12. Lights and Night Riding
    The Lezyne Deca Drive was one of the best lights from Lezyne last year, with a $160 price tag and a light head with three LEDs and a wide beam pattern. This year, the Deca Drive is unchanged, as its sibling the Mega Drive is upgraded to three LEDs as well now with an output of 1400 Lumens. The...
  13. Lights and Night Riding
    The CatEye Volt 1200 was one of our favorites last year with its 1253 lLumen output and $200 retail price. It trumped the competing Lezyne Mega Drive and Light & Motion Taz 1500, both at 1200 Lumens as well. But this year, the competition jumped up in output to 1400 and 1500 Lumens...
  14. Lights and Night Riding
    The good news on the new Light & Motion Taz 1200 is the price dropped from $300 to $240. The bad news is the run time remained the same at 1:30 on high. This was the leading weakness of the light from last year and we were eager to see the battery upgraded, as many of the other lights from other...
  15. Lights and Night Riding
    The Lupine Wilma 7 has not changed much in the last year, but it still remains our favorite high end light. It produces a staggering 2770 measured Lumens in a small package and it delivers it in a nice, big, even beam pattern. Total system weight is 370 grams and run time is 1:45 hours on high...
  16. Lights and Night Riding
    The USL-305 from Serfas has a funky name and it's not flashy with a claimed output of 305 Lumens, but it is a gem of a bike light. We measured it at 371 Lumens and it weighs in at 116 grams with mount. The punchline is, it's only $50. Looking at the beam pattern, it's bright and concentrated...
  17. Lights and Night Riding
    The Blackburn Central Front light has a couple tricks up its sleeve. First, it senses ambient light and dims its light output when it's bright in the surrounding area. The theory is when it's bright enough in the surrounding area, the rider does not need as much light to see. Its other unique...
  18. Lights and Night Riding
    Gloworm is an Mtbr forum legend with the X2 model sitting in the sweet spot between the X1 and the XS. This year, the X2 raises its measured output from 1391 Lumens to 1545. Total weight and run time have stayed the same and the price dropped a bit to $255. We rode the X2 on our local trail...
  19. Lights and Night Riding
    Princeton Tec is an outdoor sports company with a loyal following. The Princeton Tec Push is a well-built, basic light for commuting, but it hasn't changed much in two years and that is a bad omen for an LED light. Its biggest flaw is that it's not rechargeable. Bearable a couple years ago...
  20. Lights and Night Riding
    The Jet Lites F3 is the successor to the Jet Lites F-U2 self-contained light. The big changes are an upgraded LED to raise the output up by about 10% to a measured 724 Lumens. Another change is the adoption of GoPro compatibility for the mounting hardware. The battery has also been upgraded to...
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