We got the call from a fairly new company called Candlepower Technology that we had to test their brand new light called the TrailTorch TT1800. Candlepower Technology is run by a couple of really smart engineers who wanted a light that was ultra-bright and reliable to feed their love for mountain biking as they rip through the trails of State College, Pennsylvania.

Their light is a small head unit with two Cree XM-Ls and an external battery. The light is available today for helmet mount use and is designed to be the ultimate helmet light available. It retails for $395 and is available directly from their site at https://www.candlepowertech.com

What's unique about the lights is a very small head unit that houses two of the best LEDs available, the Cree XM-L. The light switch is on the back of the light with good action and a small blue led that lights up when the light is on. When the battery is at low level, the indicator light will flash four times and the light will switch to low mode to give the rider thirty minutes of final run time.

The head unit is very nicely machined with deep cooling fins to dissipate the heat. The electronics are pushed to one side of the light so that the other side has cooling plates that maximize surface area for heat. It is a great idea for light heads this bright and this small as this allows the light to stay at full brightness longer as the outside temperature rises and the rider speed/airflow decreases.

The head unit itself is small and light at 100 grams but the battery is big (by today's standards) at 400 grams. The designers wanted to give the light runtime of 2.5 hours at maximum brightness. It is designed to be used as a helmet light so there is a long cord for putting the light in the hydration pack. The connectors are very nice three prong units that snap securely into place but can detach when yanked out.

Specifications:
  • Price: $395.00
  • Claimed Lumens: 1800 Lumens
  • Light Head Weight: 107 grams
  • Installed Weight: 547.5 grams
  • Run Time: 2.5 hours
  • Measured MTBR Lux: 133 Lux
Mounting:

Update: The K-Edge Handlebar Mount for the TrailTorch is now available. The K-Edge handlebar mounts fit 31.8mm diameter bars and includes all mounting hardware. The clamp design allows for a multitude of mounting positions and angles. The mount comes in two different styles, Regular and Pro and retail for $34.99 and $59.99, respectively. With a weight of 24 grams for the Regular mount and 46 grams for the Pro mount, K-Edge handlebar mounts are super light, super strong and guaranteed for life. CandlePower Tech will also include a FREE under seat battery carrying pouch and two adjustable straps with every K-Edge handlebar mount purchase.



Currently, this light is set up only for helmet mounting with plans to have a handlebar mount later. The cool thing is the helmet mount has a GoPro style mount that allows the light to swivel up and down for a good range of vertical aim. This allows the rider many options on where to mount the light as it doesn't rely too much on the curvature of the helmet to vertically aim the light.

The other interesting thing is the mount is very similar to the GoPro mounting systems and they actually fit as we tested a few out. That means that the plethora of GoPro mount options can possibly be used with this light. We're already playing with the the chest mount and handlebar, fork mounts for some interesting possibilities.

Related Links
Mtbr Lights Shootout Main Page »
2012 Bike Lights Shootout »
Backyard Beam Pattern Comparisons »
Trail Beam Pattern Comparisons »
Light Meter Measurements »
Mtbr Lights Reviews »
Mtbr Lights Forum »

MTBR Light Meter Measurements:
This light measured 133 lux ont the MTBR Lux setup. This is competitive at this price point and is in line with other lights in this price point and claimed lumens. The other lights in its range are:
LightPriceClaimed LumenMeasured Lux
Light and Motion Seca 1400$700.001400112
Lupine Wilma 6$695.001200113
Niterider Pro 1500$350.001500115
Serfas True 1500$390.001500133
Trail Torch TT1800$395.001800133
Exposure Six Pack$600.001925135
The Beam Pattern

At the end of the day, it's really all about the beam pattern. And the TT1800 delivers with a wide, long beam that is very even. There's no hotspots or artifacts in the pattern. It's clean and the throw is excellent. At high speed, this light really delivers as you can see a long way, yet the periphery is lt up as well. The beam pattern is more rectangular rather than round and that's a good thing. That means the optics have been designed to point the light at the trail to make use of all this available light.

Light Meter Charts and Comparison Table »

Strengths:
  • Extremely high, hand-made quality
  • Light output is bright and competitive with products in its price range
  • Beam pattern is bright, wide and square-shaped
  • 2.5 hour run time on high
  • Very good heat dissipation
  • Excellent electronics that keep light output constant and manage heat well if necessary.
  • Very good connectors
  • 12 volt DC power allows some options like plugging it in a car battery and other sources.
Weaknesses:
  • Battery form factor is a bit big and could be packaged better
Note: We had some concerns about no smaller battery available but that will be availalble in a couple weeks. Also, we wished for just a slightly wider beam pattern but that is being addressed as well with a lens option.

Bottom Line:

This is a very well made product from CandlePower and we would like to see more products from this company. If you want one of the brightest helmet lights around, this is a great choice.

Beam Pattern Photos:



Backyard Beam Pattern Comparison Page »
Trail Beam Pattern Comparison Page »

Value Rating:

4.5 out of 5 Stars

Overall Rating:

4.75 out of 5 Stars

Related Links
Mtbr Lights Shootout Main Page »
2012 Bike Lights Shootout »
Backyard Beam Pattern Comparisons »
Trail Beam Pattern Comparisons »
Light Meter Measurements »
Mtbr Lights Reviews »
Mtbr Lights Forum »