RAVEMEN CR500 FRONT LIGHT
112g (inc. bracket) £49.99
The Ravemen CR500 is a torch-type antidote to badly adjusted, eye-piercing budget master-blasters. Impressive build quality is matched by some sophisticated features. Aimed at the commuter who needs that little bit extra for unlit road or cycle track, it has good charge and run times, especially if the 500 max is used sparingly.
Pros: build quality, amiable beam, sensible commuting run times.
Cons: moderate day-time running.
The Ravemen CR500 is a six mode 500 lumen max front light, with an additional Emergency mode operated by a wired remote control. The latter is primarily intended to give sudden blast at 500 lumens, but also runs through the other beam modes; high (500 lumens), mid, (250), low (100), eco (50), pulse flashing (100), and fast flashing (50).
Of course, you can use the push button switch on the end of the barrel to go through the modes. Said button acts as a charge and charging indicator, too. Green, 50% plus, red down to 10%, and the red flash when life goes below that.
The lithium-ion rechargeable battery should match the proposed 50000 hours of life of the single Cree diode. So, there’s plenty of charges before it departs its useful life. The heat dissipating prowess of the anodised 6061aluminium body will help to keep things functioning efficiently for longer, too.
Ravemen have aimed to create a friendly, glare-free light that
still packs a strong commuting punch. Their DuaLens technology is their solution to dangers, unpleasantness involved in dazzling oncoming drivers or cyclists. Effectively, it drops the light, rather like a car’s dipped beam. Theo outcome is a strong hybrid flood-spot beam.
IPX6 beats off much more than heavy rain and torture by watering can.
I’ve had no problem with locating this in the dark or finding a drained battery after accidental activation. Full-finger gloves have been no impediment to operation, either.
Charge and run times 4/5
Charge time on the mains via the ubiquitous USB charger was two and a half hours minimum. Bargain for thirty or forty minutes more via a laptop. Charging is complete when the button turns green. That’s pretty decent, and certainly within the realms of workplace stealth.
Stated run times; high (500) is ninety minutes, the Eco (50) sixteen and a half hours, between, we have mid (250) suggests four and a half hours, and low (100) around seven and a half. All of these have been exceeded by a few minutes, although I’ve had as much as fifteen minutes more on high. Mind you, most rides involve a combination of modes.
Provided your bars are round, the bracket should fit. I like the large screw head, although a bit of care is needed not to dislodge its intended nut. Not so easy to port between bikes, but the simple slide-on-slide-off fixture makes for easy removal of the unit.
The beam is a good mix of spot and flood, giving very good coverage on the road. The top 500 copes with short unlit lanes or when plunged into darkness along the cycle path. However, you’ll want more power for faster back road antics, maybe the Ravemen 1200.
A sudden blast of 500 warns, or indicate displeasure, at on oncoming drivers. However, the anti-glare tech works well. Good relations have been maintained.
Medium is ideal for low-lit suburbia, useful too when city lights get really bright. Even with the 100 and 50 lumen modes we are still in ‘see where you are going’ territory, rather than ‘be seen’ although there’s plenty of presence in urban settings. Even on unlit towpath you can limp home in eco mode. However, the flat lens means that there's nothing to see from the side, except some peripheral bleed from the beam cast.
Pulse and flash modes for day time running offer decent presence at around 25 metres, but don’t match the less sophisticated 250 pulse of the Oxford UTC 500.
In the dark, the Ravemen CR500 offers presence at around eighty metres, though fellow cyclists have suggested that it can be seen at around 200. On full beam, there’s nothing really to choose between the two, though the Ravemen’s output is flatter and broader than the UTC500’s rounded spot.
Although the hybrid beam gives peripheral bleed, there’s limited presence when directly side on.
Remote Control 3.5/5
Secured by a simple ‘o’ ring, the remote links to the light by a cable. Prod firmly on the green-tinged button to scurry around the modes. Certainly, a plus on the fly, especially when delivering a blast at the full 500. Easily operated with full-finger gloves. Too.
Heavy rain caused some concern for the integrity of the electronics. The rubber collar, that can be pulled over the junction cable and port, did a good job. However, I’d advise caution.
It is hard to fault £49.99 – less on some well-known retail websites – for a bijoux front light of this quality. Compared to
the Oxford UT500, it has more in the way of modes and won’t plunge you into darkness without warning. On the other hand, the UTC is cheaper, and has some direct side-on visibility. It is also a fiercer day-time runner. Having said that, the Ravemen CR500 has longer run times in lower modes and shorter charging time.
Perhaps its biggest rival is its LR500S sibling, which some at 7DC say has a superior beam and does have a lower rrp. On the other hand, the remote needs to be bought as an post-purchase add-on.
Very much a commuter or auxiliary/emergency light, the Ravemen CR500 is a very capable light offering good value for money. Go higher for back-road blasts, but be sure that this will get you home.