RAVEMEN CL06 SENSORED REAR LIGHT
The Ravemen CL06 USB Rechargeable Lightweight Sensored Rear Light (50 Lumens) has six modes and pumps out a maximum of 50 lumens in the optional braking and sensor modes. Unlike some, these haven’t put a major dent in run times.
Pros: Good choice of distinctive modes and power outputs, solid build quality.
Cons: Not literally 50 lumens Sensor does not respond to ambient light.
As I said in my opening paragraph, this is very high throughout. In common with the CLO5, it features an “engineering grade” PC plastic, which is designed to project light over a wider surface area. Behind sit 20 COB (Chips on Board) diodes arranged in an X formation. It also feeds from a 3.5V 500mAh lithium polymer cell, which should run for 500 cycles before dropping to 60/70% of total capacity.
This charges from a USB C cable, which could be a bind if you’ve forgotten to charge and need to cadge some juice in the office/friend’s house. Good build quality is reinforced by compliance with IPX6 standards for weatherproofing and impact resistance to 1 metre, which should over most bike related basis-assuming of course, it didn’t shoot under the wheels of a following bus.
There are six distinctive modes, seven if we’re counting the braking/sensor functions. High, low, rapid flash, pulse flashing, high slow flashing, low slow flashing. The low setting is much brighter, dare I say, more useful than 5 lumens might imply. A memory function means it’ll default to the last selection, which is super convenient, albeit common these days. As we’d expect, there’s a low battery indicator and an auto kick-down too and the latter is equally impressive.
In terms of output, in terms of numbers, the CLO6 looks decidedly impotent on paper but testament to the advances in technology, these are genuinely capable enough along the darkest roads. Indeed, without seeing the figures, I initially reckoned between 15 and 35 lumens. They are, in fact;
High: 10 lumens
Low: 5 lumens
Rapid flashing: 5 lumens
Pulse flashing: 11 lumens
High slow flashing: 7 lumens
Low slow flashing: 5 lumens
Warning flashing: 50 lumens
So, to the braking/sensor function.
This differs from most others on the market in that it doesn’t react to ambient light. Rather it senses an approaching vehicle light and unleashes a 50-lumen flash to highlight your presence. The braking function engages when you slow, so in keeping with others, intensifies on longer climbs, which can impact overall run times, if you’re riding in a hilly region. However, it seems more progressive than others I’ve used to date. This is switched on/off by depressing the right-hand switch for .5 seconds.
The left is the power and mode. Depress for .5 seconds to engage/power down. These are medium density rubberised types, easy to operate wearing full finger winter-weight gloves but requiring a definite, sustained press, so accidental, unwanted engagements are unlikely.
The CLO6 and CLO5 share the same mount and it’s a marked, welcome improvement on the Ravemen TR30M and its TR50 sibling. There’s a clothing/luggage clip, helmet mounting option and the bike mount is super secure. Designed to fit standard and aero posts between 24.0 and 31.8mm.
Using the aero mount, it’s very secure on thinner gauge tubing-seat stays being the obvious hosts. It has also entertained thinner diameter box section tubing, including my Yak homage trailer. The articulated design means it can be angled for optimum presence-just check the Philips screw’s snug every so often.
Charge/Run times 4.25/5
The CLO6 also charges from a USB C cable and zero to hero mains charging takes 3hrs 15 bargain on another 20minutes, fueling from laptop ports and other third-party devices. Either way, the switches will turn from red to green as a visual hint. These days, most cited run times have more than passing affinity with real world performance.
Official figures are;
High (steady) 8hours
Low 16 hours
Rapid Flashing 30 hours
Pulse Flashing 12 hours
High Slow Flashing 16 hours
Low Slow Flashing 28 hours
Even allowing for the caveat that temperature can put a slight dent in things, I’ve been using ours in –5 and to date, I’ve matched those quoted. Depending on traffic density, the signal function may have an impact, and in my experience, the braking function has reduced run times by 10-15%. Much of this will depend on how many hills, or the amount of stop-go town traffic you tackle.
Some folks might feel a little cheated by the discovery that the 50 lumens refers to the braking and sensor functions. However, there are several manufacturers guilty of this. Besides, I’d say it was a red herring in practical terms. In common with its 30lumen sibling, there’s more than sufficient bite for the blackest of backroads.
On a clear night and in the flashing modes, its easily spotted at 200 metres. The choices of pulsing patterns mean you’d be very unlucky to fall of the radar, or get it drowned out by competing illumination through town. A good 125 metres seems to be the consensus here.
Peripheral punch is also very good- no issues entering the flow of traffic or tackling roundabouts. The sensor/braking function simply accentuates this, though certainly wasn’t mandatory in these contexts. Choice of pulsing/flashing pattern seemed to make little difference, which is another positive.
So, what about the low, 5 lumen modes... In common with its stablemate and a few others, optics ensure its closer in output to some in my collection with 8/10lumens.
I’ve defaulted to its more powerful flashing/pulsing modes, beyond built up areas. Nonetheless, particularly with the additional punch of the braking/sensor, it’s held its own through suburban and even semi-rural contexts.
Good news if you’ve forgotten to charge and are needing to conserve power. Anecdotally, I’ve come up on people’s radar at 100-120 metres, dropping to 80 on a murkier night; further when tethered to me (running another light on the bikes for textbook compliance with the law). Oh, and the emergency kick down will engage the low slow flashing mode, giving an hour’s grace before the unit will ultimately power down.
Daylight running lights are also mainstream these days. The Ravemen doesn’t list this but I’ve run ours as such. Even with the sensors disengaged (as the instructions recommend), I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how well it’s stood out in hazy sunlight. Not on par with some, though still seemed to grab the attention of approaching traffic. Presence goes up a couple of notches in more wintry light, very welcome when I’ve been riding through snow/sleet showers.
IPX6 means it’s designed to resist powerful jets of water but not submersion. The port covers fit very snugly and ours never missed a beat when mounted lower on the seatstays, subjected to waterlogged roads and slimy bridlepath. Ditto the garden hose. I’ve accidentally dropped ours on concrete floor with no ill effect, so, save for an encounter with a double decker bus, or major crash, the CLO6 should prove a very reliable companion.
In terms of specification and output, the CLO6’s closest competitors are arguably Magic Shine See Me range. Their SeeMee 200 (£33.99) pumps out a retina scarring 200lumens in braking mode and has a smart, ambient light sensor that will alternate between 10 and 140lumens.
Magicshine SeeMee 100 (£25.99) offers 18.32 and 72 lumens along with braking and ambient light sensors. However, in my experience the braking functions are too sensitive. Oxford Ultratorch R75 Rear Light offers a maximum of 75 lumens but lacks any sensor technology and run times are better suited to desk bound commuting and/or shorter training rides.
If retina tickling lumens are your top priority, there are better options than the CLO6. However, the optical technology means it’s a superb all-round package. Bright enough for pitch black lanes, the super-frugal run times mean you can potentially commute for a few weeks between charges.
In common with others using braking sensor technology, there’s some minor trade-off in terms of run times, especially in hillier regions. Crucially it's not overly sensitive/easily engaged compared with most I’ve tested, so practical for long rides, especially if you’ve a trailer/tagalong en tow.