2016 Lights Shootout

The CatEye Volt 400 serves as a good flashlight.

The CatEye Volt 400 serves as a good flashlight (click to enlarge).​

Editor's Note: This article is part of Mtbr and RoadBikeReview's 2016 Bike Lights Shootout. See the 2016 Mtbr Headlights Index and the RoadBikeReview Commuter Lights Index.

The Lowdown: CatEye Volt 400

The CatEye Volt 400 will not wow you with its blazing output or diminutive size relative to its brightness. Rather it will impress you with its day-to-day performance and solid design. Price is good to at $80 for a light that is bright enough for the needs of most cyclists, specially commuters. Put one of these on the bar and one on the helmet and you'll get a good, trail-ready system with excellent run-time and flexible beam pattern.

Claimed Lumens: 400 LumensMtbr Lux: 31
Measured Lumens: 379 LumensMounted weight: 128 grams
Lumens per $: 4.74 LumensCategory: Headlight
Lumens per gram: 2.96 LumensPrice: $80
Run time on high: 2:00 HoursRating:
4 Flamin' Chili Peppers
4 Chilis-out-of-5
Stat Box


Pluses

Minuses
  • Construction and beam quality are top-notch
  • It's not the brightest for size and price
  • $80 puts a reliable, rechargeable light in the hands of many
  • Could use a brighter center spot or wider halo
  • 3 hour run time is very good
  • Option for safe field-replaceable batteries


One of the fascinating things about the CatEye Volt 400 is its impressive lineage. One can choose up and down the line to meet a price and brightness level for one's need. The constant is the quality of CatEye and the line's honest performance in reference to their claims.

Full Review: CatEye Volt 400

Battery life on high is 3 hours with a powerful 2200 mAh battery. Charging time is 6 hours with a 1 watt USB or longer with a standard phone charger, as the light can detect and take advantage of more powerful USB currents.

The beam is shaped as well, with squared-off edges to track the trail better and use the light more efficiently. The riding video will show that this light is more of a commuter light but use two of them and you've got a great trail system.

The CatEye Volt 400 has the same chassis as its more powerful siblings.

The CatEye Volt 400 has the same chassis as its more powerful siblings (click to enlarge).​

The real possibility here is mixing and matching the CatEye Volt Series for an ideal setup for one's needs and budget. Put a Volt 800 on the bar and this on the helmet and you've got quite a system.

Continue to page 2 for more on the CatEye Volt 400, the beam pattern and Lumen measurement »



The CatEye Volt 400 has enough cooling for the power output.

The CatEye Volt 400 has enough cooling for the power output (click to enlarge).​

It sports quality construction that CatEye has been long known for. The mount is the old bike computer 'radiator clamp' type mount and it works perfectly for this application. It accommodates all handlebar sizes and the light can be cinched down very securely.

The strap might be aged a bit and not as easy to install and remove as rubber straps found in many lights today. But it is tool-free and it fits any of the many handlebar diameters found today!

CatEye Volt 400 Beam Pattern

Beam Pattern Photo

We photographed the lights in the same location setting with the same camera settings. The photo was taken in the back yard that is approximately 25 yards long. The backyard beam pattern allows you to gauge the throw and the width of the light. Compare all Beam Patterns here »

CatEye Volt 400

Integrating Sphere Measured Lumens

This light measured 379 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 400 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle. Compare all Lumen Tests here »

CatEye Volt 400 weight of 128 grams is not light for its output.

CatEye Volt 400 weight of 128 grams is not light for its output (click to enlarge).​

So this is not the dramatic end-all light but it is one reliable and affordable performer that everyone can attain. Step up to the Volt 1500 or heck, the 6000 if you want eye-searing brightness.

For more information visit www.cateye.com.

This article is part of Mtbr and RoadBikeReview's 2016 Bike Lights Shootout. See the 2016 Mtbr Headlights Index and the RoadBikeReview Commuter Lights Index.