Describing in words how a bike light performs is a bit like trying to explain a painting or something. We all just want to see it in action for ourselves.
So let’s get the main event out of the way and if you’re still interested – which I reckon you will be – then you can read some wordy stuff below the pics and video.
Here’s some footage from a recent night ride I did around my local trails with the Moon X Power 1500 (this is an old post and the linked content no longer exists). Don’t worry, I’ve edited it down a bit so you’re not having to suffer with a dull ten minute epic. It was filmed with a GoPro Hero3 stuck on me head. The Moon X Power light was mounted on my handlebars.
No sheep were harmed in the making of this film.
Here are a couple of pics grabbed from the video for those who can’t view YouTube vids at work or something.
And there you have it.
I suppose you still want some more info yeah? Okay then.
Moon X Power 1500 front light
- 1500 lumens via 3 x CREE XML LEDs
- Each LED has a zinc alloy heat sink
- Water resistant
- 7.4V Lithium ion battery pack
- 4 hours charge time
- Run time 2 hours 30 minutes on highest power
- Helmet mount supplied
- Clamp fits 25.4mm-31.8mm handlebar diameters.
First of all it’s worth highlighting the zipped hardshell storage case that comes with the Moon X Power 1500. Having somewhere to keep the light and all its bits is a really handy and valued feature. No more losing or damaging your stuff.
Charging the battery up was straightforward as it gets. Plug it into the wall and wait a couple of hours or so for the plug’s red LED to turn green.
Mounting the light and the battery to the bike was a bit less straightforward but not majorly painful. The two niggles I had were that the bar mount took me a couple of minutes to fathom (basically just unwind the QR clamp a LOT when you first use it out of the box) and the connection of the battery to the lamp required a fair amount of pressure to properly ‘click!’ I think this is free-ing up a bit with usage actually but it’s still something that required a bit of oomf. Nothing major really.
Once mounted the lamp stayed put whilst I rode but still allowed me to adjust it up and down on-the-fly if I felt like it. You can adjust the lamp left and right through a few indexed angles but I can’t really see anyone ever not just pointing it bang forward.
I mounted the battery on my handlebars too as I prefer not to have batteries on my frame. My full suspension bike has too awkward tube shapes! Like the lamp, the battery stayed put. It has a rubberised coating that helps it stay in place as well as one shaped side that mates well with handlebars (or frame tubes if you prefer).
On the trail
Then I rode my bike in the dark. Except it wasn’t very dark in front of me now. The illumination capability of this light is excellent. I was particularly impressed with how broad the beam array was. With the beam’s central ‘hot spot’ pointed (just) below the horizon, everything from my front tyre and ahead was lit up nicely. No darker patches. Impressively even. Certainly wide and penetrating enough even for really fast trails. The lenses in front the LEDs do an excellent job.
The lamp stayed in place over very rough terrain. As did the battery. I just kinda forgot it was there and just rode my bike as fast as I could.
I generally run my lights on full power pretty much all the time when I’m off-road. But I do dim the light when I get to road sections. I don’t want to be a driver-blinder. I also dim it if I encounter any dog walkers etc. It’s just being polite innit? Anyway, my point is that the soflty-illuminated blue power button is easy to locate and operate with gloved hands whilst riding along.
Personally I’d prefer a light just to have ‘high’ and ‘low’ setting – because that’s all I ever use – but some riders may use the two extra ‘mid’ settings and the blinky mode. Mid-power modes can be useful if you’re out on a real epic night ride or doing an overnight endurance race actually.
They never overheated despite me leaving them on full power during my frequent extended periods of stopping, faffing and chatting to my night riding buddies. The cleverly designed venting and heat sinking features built into the lamp housing clearly help in this regard.
There maybe lights out there with even more lumens than this but the law of diminishing returns kicks in pretty quick. These are more than capable of riding proper mountain bike trails, at speed, at night. Powerful, stable and easy to live with. There’s nothing more that you need in a bike light really.