SEVEN DAY CYCLIST
CYCLING, BUT NOT USUALLY RACING
LATEST UPDATE: MAY 30th
REVOLUTION VISION USB HELMET LIGHT
Revolution Vision USB Helmet Light is a lightweight combination of front and rear safety light. Surprisingly useful in the seen-by sense, it produces 60 lumens in the highest, steady setting, 50 of which are up front; just about good enough for tackling a puncture, rummaging through panniers, or limping home in emergency.
Comparisons with Moon Aerolite COB are perhaps inevitable and, given the price, a little unfair. While the Moon undoubtedly feels more substantial, the Revolution’s composite shell is sturdy enough. I quite liked the smokey effect, which gives a glimpse at the printed circuit board, lithium ion cell and of course, diodes. There are three in total. Two 25 lumen, communicated through a composite lens and a single 10 lumen rear.
No collimator lenses/similar jazz here but nonetheless, output is generally good; regardless of mode.
This is a simple, though dependable, Velcro strap that seems fully compatible with most road and trail helmets. This also ensures it’s easily ported over to the bars should your main system run out of juice miles from base. That aside, I’ve never needed to re-tension ours during the past six weeks of daily use.
The switch is a rubberised diamond shape that sits up top - just above the lens, so easily groped for and operated in duvet type winter gloves. That said; it requires a definite press - I’ve never had any issues with unwanted engagement. There are eight modes in total, which basically boil down to steady/hybrid of steady and flashing, or flashing A single prod fires up constant, two for flashing modes. The memory function was a pleasant surprise at this price point. The switch also incorporates a battery life/charge indicator, giving a crude idea of reserves before you set out
Not a lot of use when you’re riding along then ... thankfully, the system is designed to flicker intermittently once reserves dip below 50% and to date, aside from checking real world run times, I’ve never been let down.
Fully juiced, bargain for two hours before it flicks from red to green; tack on an extra ten minutes or so when it’s feeding from laptops or tablets. Weather resistance is good -t he charge port plug fits well and I’ve had no problems in two hour’s heavy rain.
Presence is surprisingly good. Although the beam quality is poor in the navigational sense and lags behind the Moon, a relatively broad pool of light does a decent job of announcing your presence, even along winding, pitch black lanes.
Flashing is easily the most extroverted and my default, regardless whether I was belting along rural backwaters, or snaking through congested town centres. The strobe’s pace is perky enough to prevent stealth moments, when entering the flow of traffic, or negotiating roundabouts.
Suggesting these double as daylight flash would be misleading, but they’re adequate for late afternoon, when it’s slipping towards dusk. Six hours from a full charge is quoted; again I’ve come very close.
Edinburgh Bicycles say the rear is 10 lumens. Mounted high, on clear nights, other road users seemed to acknowledge me from 100-150 metres and I felt more conspicuous to drivers of larger vehicles - most notably Lorries and buses.
It also helped grab attention when glancing over the shoulder at junctions, prior to indicating, or swerving around an unexpected hazard. Talking of which, there’s enough bite in the 60 lumen top for mending punctures, tightening rattling mudguard mounts, reading road signs, or just popping bikes back in the garage/shed.
I’ve come within a few minutes of the 90 minute run time - running front and rear simultaneously - the latter in flashing trims another 15 minutes or so. I’ve also noticed run times dip, when the mercury slides close to zero but nothing I would lose any sleep over.
The lower constant setting feels comparatively impotent but up top copes well with the job of locating keys/unlocking in the street or close range rummaging through panniers/messenger bags.
Ultimately, models like the Moon have the edge when it comes to quality of output and for riders looking for something that will creep towards sixty hours in flashing. They are a good deal pricier too. For the money and as a tertiary/emergency light, the vision is hard to fault.
Verdict 3.75/5 Keenly-priced safety light with decent performance.
PUBLISHED JANUARY 2017
BUILDER OF STEEL CYCLE FRAMES
Ryton On Dunsmore
Coventry CV8 3FH