2016 Lights Shootout

The Gloworm X2 head unit features new CNC work.

The Gloworm X2 head unit features new CNC work (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: Gloworm X2

There is a light company from New Zealand called Gloworm. They make extremely well-crafted lights that come in three configurations, the X1, X2 and XS. They are all honest with their lumen output claims and have very compact configurations for bar or helmet use. This year, they are including optional wide beam optics in the package to give the rider the choice of beams that suits their riding. The model reviewed here is the middle X2 one with two LEDs.

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.

Claimed Lumens: 1500 LumensMtbr Lux: N/A
Measured Lumens: 1545 LumensMounted weight: 323 grams
Lumens per $: 6.06 LumensCategory: Headlight
Lumens per gram: 4.78 LumensPrice: $255
Run time on high: 2:30 HoursRating:
4.5 Flamin' Chili Peppers
4.5 Chilis-out-of-5
Stat Box


Pluses

Minuses
  • Great beam pattern
  • Battery is too heavy to mount on the helmet
  • 1545 measured Lumens on a light this size is incredible
  • Programming requires practice (like the GoPro user interface)
  • Both mounts included and remote switch as well
  • Good packaging and materials
  • Lenses are interchangeable with flood, spot or combination
  • Amazing value and quality for the money
  • Light weight relative to its brightness
  • Great run time and available battery option to optimize for weight
  • Extremely compact packaging means it's very portable

Gloworm X2 lens is replaceable with different angle optics.

Gloworm X2 lens is replaceable with different angle optics (click to enlarge).​

Full Review: Gloworm X2

We rode the X2 on our local trail and love all the details of compactness and versatility. The light system comes in a tiny box that one can just keep in the bike bag all the time. The helmet mount and bar mount are included in the package, and the remote wired switch is just something you don't see these days. It frees up head unit real estate for critical cooling fins, and it protects the user's fingers from a potentially hot light head.

Continue to page 2 for the beam pattern and Lumen measurement »



Gloworm X2 is 337 grams with battery.

Gloworm X2 is 337 grams with battery (click to enlarge).​

This light is ideal on the bar with an X1 complementing it on the helmet. By itself, helmet mounting is ideal to cover all the switchbacks and tight turns with illumination. We even used the smaller Gloworm battery (not included) on the helmet so we could mount the battery on the back of the helmet for a 'backpackless' helmet light. That worked very well and run time was halved to 1:15 hours. Running it at mid power during climbs gave us more than enough light and enough run time.

So the Gloworm X2 wins again. It's not a huge improvement from last year, but it keeps marching on with a beautiful beam pattern, a well-conceived package and good value.

Gloworm X2 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 »

Integrating Sphere Measured Lumens

This light measured 1545 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 1500 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle. Compare all Lumen Tests here »

Gloworm X2 packaging is roomier and easier to repack.

Gloworm X2 packaging is roomier and easier to repack (click to enlarge).​

For more information visit www.glowormlites.co.nz.

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.