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Infini Sword Super Bright front and Sword 30 COB rear light set
79g £64.99

The Infini Sword Super Bright front and Sword 30 COB rear light set has been around for a few years now and on paper, can’t match some in terms of fire power and function. Nonetheless, they still pack a decent punch and boast a seriously impressive 200hour (about 1 week 1 and a half days) run time in the flashing modes.

 

Pros: Impressive output, long run times in flashing modes, paint friendly design, integrated strap really secure on thinner tubing.

Cons: Strap requires gentle stretching to accommodate oversized tubing.

bicycle light set front rear test review

Materials/Specification

These are a very sleek, inline design measuring 80x24x31.5mm (about 1.24 in) that employ a polymer wraparound lens, promising good, 180-degree visibility and a monocoque body that incorporates the rubberised mounting strap. Very secure and great news if you’re prone to losing straps/mounts but more about that later. 

front bike light test review

IPX4 for weatherproofing (persistent showery rain) is at the lower end of the spectrum these days, but perfectly adequate for road duties. Behind the lens, as their name implies, there are 30 tiny diodes with a thin aluminium heat sink to dissipate heat, giving them and the switchgear a sporting chance of a very long and productive lives. 

They’re fuelled by lithium polymer cells, which are less durable than lithium ion, hence the latter’s dominance in mobile phones. Either way, even with casual indifference to charging, bargain on at least a couple of years' service. The switch features a battery charge indicator, and the lights will flash when running low in the steady modes and curiously, steady in the flashing, as a visual cue. 

 

The front produces a maximum of 120 lumens, the rear 50 and goes down to approximately 10 lumens, which should cater for most riding environments, from solo missions along the lonely backroads to stop start city traffic and group rides alike.  Build quality is generally solid throughout, although if mounting low, say on the forks, or seat stays, a quick shot of Joker 440 at the micro-USB port is good insurance, especially through winter. 

Modes/Switch 3.25/5

There are five apiece. High steady (120 and 50 lumens respectively) Low steady, flashing 1, flashing 2 and pulsating. There’s also a memory function, which is welcome, meaning you can power up and scoot off.  The switch is a small, triangular design, which is tricky to spot but curiously, intuitive by feel. Less positive than some, it requires a sustained ½ second press and can feel slightly remote wearing heavyweight winter gloves. As I said earlier, it will communicate the charge level and subsequent single prods will cruise through the modes. I’ve had no issues with phantom engagements when they’ve been holidaying in a pocket, or wedge pack.

Mount 3/5 

In common with the Oxford Ultratorch R50 Slimline LED Rear light  it employs a rubber foot, which is really paint friendly, ensures rock steady alignment and, to some extent helps protect against water and ingress.

bike bicyle light test review

The integral strap is a little on the short side and 27.2 diameter posts gave it indigestion to begin with, although in fairness, these have relaxed with time and use, as Ursula’s carbon fork leg illustrates. 

bike bicycle test review light
test review bicycle gear light

On the flip-side, brilliant on pencil thin seat stays and fork legs. With some ingenuity, it can be affixed to lighting loops on luggage, but best suited to framesets, seat posts, and accessory mounts. 

Charge/Run Times 3.5/5

Most lights real world run, and charge times are faithful to those cited. I’ve tested ours in temperatures between 6 and 20 degrees and accurate across the board (within 5 minutes to date).

The OEM micro-USB charge cable is arguably something of an afterthought and decidedly short but frankly, hardly an issue given their ubiquity. Ours have charged in 1hour 45 from the mains and 2hours from a laptop/third party source. Ultra practical for commuting, and I’ve recharged ours from a hub dynamo charge port in around 3.5 hours. 

The low battery indicator thoughtfully kicks in when you’ve less than 25%, which gives a sporting chance of getting back and plugging in. The lights also pulse intermittently as a visual cue too, which is also helpful.  Run times at the highest, steady settings are arguably a little modest-1 hr from the 120-lumen front and 50 lumen rear, so if you wanted a constant mode, for most contexts I’d be slipping down to low steady. 

This seems to be around 60 and 25 lumens respectively, again, I’ve returned a respectable 1hr56 minutes from both. Pulsing is by my reckoning 40 and 20 lumens (front/rear respectably) reckoned good for 6 hours, I’ve consistently returned 5hrs 54. So, what about these flashers then Michael? Well, this is where the Sword really excel, I’ve deliberately called their bluff and to my surprise, they’ve returned within a few minutes of the full 200. Perfect for dynamo companionship. 

Output 3.5/5 

bike light test review bicycle

Starting with the highest constants, these are surprisingly bright and so long as you weren’t commuting too far, the front could just about pass as primary lighting around town. Visibility sems to be around the 100/125 metre mark through town, which is quite impressive. Casual chat with other riders suggested they’d picked me out at 150 metres along the backroads on clear evenings. Low steady (60 lumens) was also brighter than the numbers would suggest- around 80 metres through town, 110 or so on a clear night. Probably the best bet for shorter group rides, unless of course you were happy to sit at the back...Pulsing is distinctive both in terms of pace and output. The slower “beat” seemed to hold the attention of traffic fractionally longer, which was welcomed at roundabouts. 

Visibility seems to be around the 150-metre mark, dipping a bit through built up areas, given the competing distractions. At the other extreme, they still held a reasonable amount of presence on some very foggy mornings but when it comes to the rear, I felt more conspicuous with Ravemen TR200 in similar contexts. 

 

Talking of which, peripheral punch proved better than I was expecting, and this was very welcome around town. Especially when tackling roundabouts and entering the flow of traffic. Its superior to designs with similarly sleek profiles, including Oxford Ultratorch R50 Slimline LED Rear light  or its front, the Oxford Ultratorch F100 counterpart  . That said; I’d go for something with a bigger surface area on trailers/trailer tugging beasts of burden.  On a related note, though bright, neither would be what I’d consider daylight running options in the bright day context-cobalt skies, or dull dank November, yes. 

bike bicycle test review light red rear
bike bicycle rear light test review

Undoubtedly the best, dare I say standout feature of the Sword is their flashing modes that return nigh on the whopping 200hours, fully charged. Now, they’re not retina scorching but reassuringly extrovert. I was also surprised by their presence on some foggy mornings. Reassuringly good when paired with dynamos, or similar high-power lights for all-nighters, road biased tours etc.

Durability/Care 3.25/5

Seven weeks and 700 miles down the road, ours are still in rude health, despite being washed with the bike(s), exposed to unexpectedly deep puddles and heavy summer rain. They’ve also been subjected to dusty trails and similar off-road shenanigans During the depths of winter, I’d be inclined not to position them too low on the fork legs and seat stays and give the USB ports a shot of Joker 440 (or WD40). Oh, and there’s my usual gambit about ensuring the battery is habitually topped up, even if the charge indicator’s not nagging.

Value 3/5

Specifications are getting higher at each price point. Moon Gemini Front and Rear Lights are another long running model, which we’ve found much brighter than numbers alone suggest. They’re also a good bit cheaper at £39.99.  The Oxford Ultratorch Slimline LED Set comprises of the F100 and R50 - already discussed - and Moon See Mee 150 Smart Bike Light Combo, have also performed well.

 

These are a compact cube shaped model with 260-degree projection, sensored technology- stop start (auto on/off), ambient light and the rear has a “braking” function. They also meet IPX6 for weatherproofing. £59.99. Ravemen CL05 and FR160 are a little dearer than the Infini Sword pairing at £69.99 combines a 160lumens front light and their 30 lumen CLO5. The front boasts a daylight running mode and the rear is much brighter than the numbers would suggest. 

Moon Nebula Front and Rear Bike Light Set are another potent pairing offering 8 modes apiece (including 400 and 200lumen daylight running modes) and mounts better suited to standard and aero diameter tubing. I’ve an earlier generation still serving me well, several years down the line. However, they also “only” comply with IPX4 and at £85.00 rrp, a good bit dearer than the Infini Sword.

Summary

Though they’ve been around a few years and face quite a bit of competition, the Infini Sword Super bright front and Sword 30 COB rear light set offer a sensible spread of outputs, for most riding contexts. In my view, the super frugal flashing modes give them a definite edge, especially as safety/contingency lighting for pared to the essentials TT bikes, sunny days playthings or clutter phobic mile munching Audax builds. That said, while peripheral prowess is surprisingly good, there are better choices if you’re lugging trailers, or tagalongs.

Verdict: 3.5/5 Likeable lights with particularly impressive pulse and flashing modes but longer straps would be welcomed.

 

Michael Stenning

 

Madison.co.uk – The UK’s largest cycle parts & accessories distributor

 

PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 2023

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