Update: Nov. 4, 2013

The 2014 Lights Shootout is now available HERE.



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Last Year's 2013 Lights Shootout is HERE.



Update: Dec. 31

The second graph shows you Lumens per dollar and Lumens per gram. The taller blue bars show you lights that give you more light output for the money. The taller red bars show you lights that give you more light for the weight.



This first graph shows you Claimed Lumens vs. Measure Lumens. Since there is no regulation with brightness claims in the bike light industry, anybody can claim outrageous brightness claims for their light. You may think you're getting more light for your money but it is often not true. This chart puts the red bar (claimed) against the blue bar (measured) to see which products have equal bars to indicate that they are truthful with their claims.



The 2013 Bike Lights Shootout is here! The batteries are charged and the lux meter and lumisphere are ready. We've been riding these lights for the last few weeks and the progress in LED technology is dramatic once again.

Four sections of this test are:

1. Backyard Beam Pattern Shots and Tunnel Beam Pattern Shots.
2. Integrating Sphere Lumen Measurements.
3. Ambient Lux Meter Measurements.
4. Individual Reviews Below

Visit our 2012 Bike Lights Shootout.

CandlePower Tech TrailTorch TT1800



Price: $395.00
Claimed Lumens: 1800
Measured Lumens: n/a
Measured output: 133 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 547.5 grams

The light is available today for helmet mount use and is designed to be the ultimate helmet light available. Whatís unique about the lights is a very small head unit that houses two of the best LEDs available, the Cree XM-L. This light remains unchanged for 2013. Read more...

CatEye Nano Shot+

 

Price: $120
Claimed Lumens: 600
Measured Lumens: 463
Measured Output: 42 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 178 grams

CatEye wowed us last year with the tiny Nan Shot light putting out 200 lumens in a very handy package. This year, the Nano Shot+ measured in at more than twice that at 463 lumens. More than doubling the output of the light only came with a 20% bump in price. Read more...

CatEye Nano Shot

 

Price: $100
Claimed Lumens: 250
Measured Lumens: 208
Measured Output: 20 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 100 grams

We love this light. It just feels like quality and it is so small and light at 80 grams. The form factor is smart as it is short and flat so it sits nicely on top of the handlebars much like a bike computer. Also, it slips conveniently into your pocket for a handy flashlight. This light remains unchanged for 2013. Read more...

Cygolite Expilion 350

 

Price: $250
Claimed Lumens: 480
Measured Lumens: n/a
Measured Output: 31 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 161 grams

This is a great package from Cygolite. It is a very high quality product and it is competitive both at performance and price. The light itself looks great with excellent materials and quality of construction. This light remains unchanged for 2013. Read more...

DesignShine DS-1300

 

Price: $292
Claimed Lumens: 1300
Measured Lumens: n/a
Measured Output: 112 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 315 grams

The DesignShine DS-1300 is an engineering marvel. It uses three Cree XP-Gs and three Cree XP-Es in a head unit size that would typically be used to house one or two LEDs. To keep it cool, deep fins were machined to create 30+ square inches of cooling area. Read more...

Dinotte XML-1

 

Price: $169
Claimed Lumens: 400
Measured Lumens: 459
Measured Output: 51 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 200 grams

A good use for it is as a helmet light to complement the XML-3. Also, one can put two XML-1s on the bar powered off the same 4-cell battery. For 200 grams, the customer can have a pretty neat little light, ideal for commuting or for helmet mounted trail riding. This light remains unchanged for 2013. Read more...

Dinotte XML-3 - (2013)

 

Price: $229
Claimed Lumens: 1200
Measured Lumens: 1550
Measured Output: 154 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 340 grams

Upgraded in 2013, this light gets a huge bump in output from 1024 lumens to 1550 lumens. This XML-3 shines on the photos, mtbr lux meter, integrating sphere and most importantly, on the trail. The head is small and light at 102 grams. This includes the mounting system that is probably the easiest to use and the most secure. Read more...

Exposure Diablo Mk4

 

Price: $299
Claimed Lumens: 1100
Measured Lumens: 920
Measured Output: 100 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 121 grams

The Diablo is now in its fourth edition as it claims 1100 lumens with a run time of one hour. It is still the light with the most polished construction and most functional helmet mount. The Diablo is still the brightest and lightest. Read more...

Fenix BT20

 

Price: $145
Claimed Lumens: 750
Measured Lumens: 771
Measured Output: 70 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 358 grams

Fenix claimed 750 Lumens and they measured in at 771 Lumens in our integrating sphere. That's a good start from this flashlight company that is debuting in the bike light market. They also did a bunch of development to get a beam pattern that has a broad beam. Read more...

Fluxient 1xU2 1000

 

Price: $100
Claimed Lumens: 1000
Measured Lumens: 667
Measured Output: 65 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 347 grams

Good value light for $100 and a familiar Magicshine design although the 667 measured Lumens is well short of 1000 Lumen claims. The 1xU2 has a mounted weight of 347 grams. Read more...

Fluxient 3xU2 3000

 

Price: $279
Claimed Lumens: 3000
Measured Lumens: 1612
Measured Output: 175 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 658 grams

Big light head for cooling, big and bright beam pattern, long run time and familiar Magicshine and Bikeray design. 1612 measured Lumens light with an mounted weight of 658 grams. Read more...

Fluxient 4xR5 1600

 

Price: $130
Claimed Lumens: 1600
Measured Lumens: 879
Measured Output: 90 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 375 grams

Wide beam pattern, familiar Magicshine design but 879 Measured Lumens falls well short of 1600 claimed Lumens. The mounted weight of this light is 375 grams with a 2.5 hour run time. Read more...

Full Beam Fusion Speed LED

 

Price: $650
Claimed Lumens: 3000
Measured Lumens: 2210
Measured Output: 225 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 404 grams

This is a pretty ground-breaking light. It uses a speed sensor magnet on the wheel to vary the light intensity with the speed of the bike. The faster you go, the brighter the light is. It's all configurable of course so the rider can define what "fast" is and how responsive the light changes intensity. Read more...

Gemini Duo

 

Price: $230
Claimed Lumens: 1400
Measured Lumens: 1091
Measured Output: 110 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 316 grams

Such a small yet bright package and configurable battery options makes for a custom setup for on helmet battery mounting or long run time. Excellent craftsmanship with a solid company supporting the product and versatile mount allows it to be mounted on the helmet or bars easily. Read more...

Gemini Olympia

 

Price: $300
Claimed Lumens: 1800
Measured Lumens: 1467
Measured Output: 141 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 392 grams

The Gemini Olympia is surprisingly bright. Turn it on and be prepared for big, intense beam pattern. This light can definitely be used by itself or mated with a Xera or a Duo on the helmet for the ultimate setup. Helmet mount comes with pipe attachement that can be mounted. Read more...

Gemini Xera

 

Price: $200
Claimed Lumens: 850
Measured Lumens: 696
Measured Output: 72 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 207 grams

The Xera has a nice, tiny light head and it puts out a good amount of light. Itís ideal for the helmet use with a Duo or Olympia on the bar. The Gemini Xera is cool. Although it looks like it has Magicshine roots, Chris Lai and his friendly Canadian crew have worked hard to innovate. Read more...

Gemini Xera Flashlight

 

Price: $160
Claimed Lumens: 850
Measured Lumens: 711
Measured Output: 74 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 180 grams

The Xera Flashlight comes to us from Gemini and it is exhibits nice design and construction. The light head flares out a bit giving it extra cooling surface area. The mount is slick and the battery is field replaceable for extended run time with spare batteries. Read more...

Gloworm X2

 

Price: $219
Claimed Lumens: 1200
Measured Lumens: 1148
Measured Output: 111 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 337 grams

The Gloworm X2 is one of the surprises of the year. Gloworm X2 features a small head unit that weighs 80 grams but delivers a dual beam pattern at a claimed 1200 lumens. The beam is quite remarkable as it has both throw and a decent spread. Read more...

JetLites F-U2

 

Price: $179
Claimed Lumens: 850
Measured Lumens: pending
Measured Output: pending
Installed Weight: 195 grams

The JetLites F-U2 is the successor to the JetLites F1 introduced late last year. In a field of exciting but crowded self-contained bike lights, the scientists at Jet Lites managed to come up with a light that is truly high end like Lupine and Exposure but is affordable at $179. Read more...

Lezyne Femto Drive

 

Price: $15
Claimed Lumens: 15
Measured Lumens: 10
Measured Output: n/a Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 28 grams

These are not big or bright lights. Rather, they are incognito lights that disappear into your bike and allow you to be seen in a pinch when you're roaming the dark streets. They're stealthy until you need them and that is their biggest asset. Read more...

Lezyne Macro Drive

 

Price: $70
Claimed Lumens: 300
Measured Lumens: 312
Measured Output: 25 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 107 grams

This is a pretty basic light from Lezyne. 300 Lumens in a very compact package. It has a good beam pattern and a little bit of side visibility. It's good for commuting and great to have around the house. Read more...

Lezyne Mega Drive

 

Price: $150
Claimed Lumens: 1000
Measured Lumens: 1140
Measured Output: 115 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 296 grams

This is a compelling new light from Leyzne. It measured 1100 lumens on our sphere and displayed a beam with good throw and spill. It has all the right moves and is available for $200. Mounting is done with a plastic or optional aluminum handlebar mount. Read more...

Lezyne Super Drive XL

 

Price: $250
Claimed Lumens: 500
Measured Lumens: 509
Measured Output: 46 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 170 grams

Honest lumen rating at 500 lumens, good beam pattern with side visibility, and offers a case with accessories option. Lumens over time graph is as flat as it gets. That means you get the same about the same amount of light throughout the run time. Read more...

Light & Motion Seca 1700

 

Price: $469
Claimed Lumens: 1700
Measured Lumens: 1815
Measured Output: 180 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 326 grams

The real story is still the beam pattern as much of the light is pointed to the ground and the sides. Very little of the light is wasted into empty space. So hats off to Light and Motion for reviving one the best designed light heads ever made in the bike market. Read more...

Light & Motion Taz 1200

 

Price: $300
Claimed Lumens: 1200
Measured Lumens: 1206
Measured Output: 111 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 217 grams

The Taz is the crowning achievement for the Light and Motion in 2013. They created a light with the beam pattern of a Seca but with the form factor of an Urban self-contained light. They used their knowledge with multiple beam patterns to make a light that has both spread and throw. Read more...

Light & Motion Urban 550

 

Price: $160
Claimed Lumens: 550
Measured Lumens: 605
Measured Output: 55 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 113 grams

The Urban was one of our favorite lights last year as it delivered an honest 500 lumens in an incognito unit. This year, claimed output is bumped up to 550 lumens and we measured their output at 604 lumens. The light is 110 grams so it's hardly noticeable on the helmet. Read more...

Light & Motion Vis 360+

 

Price: $190
Claimed Lumens: 250
Measured Lumens: 234
Measured Output: 22 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 132 grams

The Vis 360+ was designed for the helmet, and is all-in-one commuter light system, and combines a front light, which is connected by a power cord to the rear, which also houses the Lithium-ion polymer (LiPo) battery. It is similar to the Vis 360 from last year. Read more...

Lumintrek TrailBlazer 1600

 
 

Price: $170
Claimed Lumens: 1600
Measured Lumens: 859
Measured Output: 78 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 345 grams

Very affordable light with a very wide beam pattern. Mounting is done with a rubber hoop. A remote switch is mounted separately with a band as well. 859 measured Lumens. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 1600 Lumens. Read more...

Lupine Betty R 12

 

Price: $1,295
Claimed Lumens: 3600
Measured Lumens: 3625
Measured Output: 365 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 612 grams

In every shootout, there has to be a top dog. The Betty R 12 is the big brother of the Betty R 9 as it includes a 2-hour battery instead of a 1.5 hour. This year, the Lupine Betty takes the crown by a devastating landslide. Read more...

Lupine Betty R 9

 

Price: $1,095
Claimed Lumens: 3600
Measured Lumens: 3625
Measured Output: 365 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 450 grams

They not only spec'd a 3600 Lumen light but they also backed it up. This light is almost scary in brightness level and one really has to look away from the light head or risk seeing 'stars' for a moment. Read more...

Lupine Piko 3

 

Price: $365
Claimed Lumens: 900
Measured Lumens: 930
Measured Output: 93 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 192 grams

The Lupine Piko 3 was good at 550 lumens, better at 750 lumens and best at this years 900 lumens. It can be used on the helmet by itself for any level of riding. What it delivers is a light system that does not interfere with the ride. Read more...

Lupine Piko TL MiniMax

 

Price: $399
Claimed Lumens: 900
Measured Lumens: 928
Measured Output: 91 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 163 grams

Now this is just mountain bike jewelry. It is small, expensive and coveted. The size is diminutive and it only weighs 145 grams. But turn it on and it packs quite a punch displayed in big, even beam pattern. It is really hard to believe that such a big 928 Lumen light comes out of such a small package. Read more...

Lupine Wilma 6

 

Price: $595
Claimed Lumens: 2400
Measured Lumens: 2340
Measured output: 220 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 364 grams

The Lupine Wilma 6 is a little beast. At only 364 grams, it puts out a staggering 2410 Lumens. And though $595 is not cheap, it's actually a great value delivering a very competitive 4 Lumens per dollar. That makes it the best value in the Lupine line. Read more...

Magicshine MJ-808

 

Price: $95
Claimed Lumens: 1000
Measured Lumens: 648
Measured Output: 57 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: n/a grams

A very affordable, high end light with rubber hoop mounting. A remote switch can be mounted separately with a band as well. The light measured 648 Lumens and 115 Mtbr Lux with a run time of 3.5 hours. Read more...

Magicshine MJ-872

 

Price: $130
Claimed Lumens: 1600
Measured Lumens: 1226
Measured Output: 107 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 370 grams

An affordable light with a very wide beam pattern. Mounting is done with a rubber hoop. A remote switch is mounted separately with a band as well. The light measured in at 1226 Lumens and 107 Lux on our ambient light measurement facility. Read more...

Magicshine MJ-880 U2

 

Price: $225
Claimed Lumens: 2200
Measured Lumens: 1473
Measured Output: 148 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 522 grams

Every time we get a new light from Magicshine, the design and quality seems to step up a notch and the MJ-880 is no exception. The light head looks like a solid piece with some nice, polished surfaces. It has two Cree XML LEDs that claim 2200 Lumens. Read more...

NiteRider Lumina 650

 

Price: $140
Claimed Lumens: 650
Measured Lumens: 647
Measured Output: 67 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 177 grams

Last year's Minewt 600 is replaced by the Lumina 650 this year. And if you like the 600, you're sure to love the 650 as most aspects were improved. It is smaller now and looks better with a good blend of black and silver design and heat sinking. Read more...

NiteRider MiNewt Pro 750

 

Price: $230
Claimed Lumens: 750
Measured Lumens: n/a
Measured Output: 74 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 283 grams

The Niterider 750 sits in a middle of a crowded line of lights with a small lighthead and small battery that provides 1.5 hours of output at a claimed 750 lumens. It delivers this in a $250 price point. It is not a bad light but NiteRider's own Lumina 650 is a much better light for $100 less. Read more...

Serfas True 1000

 

Price: $290
Claimed Lumens: 1000
Measured Lumens: 1004
Measured Output: 101 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 490 grams

Beam pattern is great as it has a big center spot with a huge, wide halo around it. The light combines good peripheral beam with a far-reaching center throw. The case and switch ergonomics seem excellent as there is a positive click when activating the switch. Read more...

Serfas True 1500

 

Price: $390
Claimed Lumens: 1500
Measured Lumens: 1505
Measured Output: 133 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 490 grams

A significant step up to the Serfas 500 light is the Serfas 1500 which claims a 1500 lumen output. Beam pattern is great as it has a big center spot with a huge, wide halo around it. This light remains unchanged for 2013. Read more...

https://reviews.mtbr.com/serfas-true-500-–-2012-mtbr-lights-shootoutSerfas True 500

 

Price: $150.00
Claimed Lumens: 500
Measured Lumens: 480
Measured output: 43 Mtbr Lux
Installed Weight: 150 grams

Serfas teased us last year with the True 250 light. It was interesting but not quite bright enough for anything but commuting. Well, this year, they doubled the output with the True 500. Now it is bright enough for light trail riding. This light remains unchanged for 2013. Read more...

Lumen measuring process using an integrating sphere with Chris McCaslin.

Related Links
All Mtbr Lights Shootout Articles »
2013 Bike Lights Shootout »
2013 Backyard Beam Pattern Comparisons »
2013 Tunnel Beam Pattern Comparisons »
2013 Mtbr Lux measurements »
2013 Mtbr Lumen Tests »
2012 Bike Lights Shootout »
Mtbr Lights Reviews »
Mtbr Lights Forum »