MOON AEROLITE COB LIGHT
60g rrp £34.09
The Moon Aerolite COB is a surprisingly useful barrel shaped, six mode contingency light that offers a decent amount of power and very reasonable run times. However, a memory function would be welcomed and I’m not completely sold on the handlebar bracket.
Helmet is best and aside from skate-types, the Velcro straps offer decent, unobtrusive tenure. If you didn’t mind losing a bit of bar space, it can bee hung beneath the drops via o- rings. Doing so offers a decent pool of light - a godsend if your main system has conked out, or if you’re running a pre-standlight dynamo. On the flip side, this leaves it susceptible to knocks and misalignment.
Composites are pretty tough, comply with IPX4 standard and have shrugged at provocative blasts from my garden hose. Those riding in particularly harsh weather might want to add a lick of silicone grease to the USB charge port for peace of mind but I haven’t bothered.
Charge times are two hours or so from a PC port, measuring an extremely discrete 65x23.5x27mm, the office snitch isn’t likely to notice and there’s an auto cut out once the 3.7 volt/700mAh cell is fully juiced. Internally we have the standard single diode Cree LED up front and & 7 chip 10 lumen rear. COB stands for Chips on Board, diodes are placed directly on the circuit board, meaning more compact, yet brighter lights.
Powering up is convenient wearing winter weight gloves but accidental engagement when it's bouncing around in a jersey pocket or luggage were a moot point. I was slightly disappointed by the lack of memory function, which can be a faff but by no means a deal-breaker.
The aerolite can be run front and rear, or front only. There’s a choice of two steady and one flashing modes. 60 lumens are adequate for navigating round town thanks to the spot, while the flood keeps you conspicuous. Helmet mounted, it’s pretty useful for mending punctures, or reading road signs down country lanes; though to be fair, I’ve found the 30 fine for most contexts.
With both front and rear running at top whack, we’re talking 2hrs 28 (Moon quote 2hrs 40) which should be adequate to limp home by, although I’ve found flashing really helpful, quick and distinctive enough to prevent unwanted stealth moments. Better still, I’ve managed 37 hours and 43 minutes with no hint of dimming before it was completely depleted.
Its 10 lumen counterpart is much brighter than numbers might suggest, especially around dusk, although visibility ranges between 80 and 100 metres (bar and helmet respectively) tops on par with some more basic blinkies, especially in flashing mode.
Its just a little underpowered for daytime use, though fine for overcast, grey afternoons, so common in November/December.
Ultimately, there are plenty of perfectly adequate blinkies to be had for £20 and put this way, the aerolite seems a bit niche, pricey too. Nonetheless, it fits the decent, unobtrusive backup or tertiary light design brief competently.