SIGMA BUSTER 600 FRONT LIGHT
No longer available according to the Sigma website ..... however, we'll leave this review for a while as you may well and this light available elsewhere.
The Sigma Buster 600 front light is the biggest of the Buster family of commuter friendly models and boasts 600 lumens in its highest setting. (As of 2017 there's a 2000 lumen trail light, too). This sounds distinctly average by contemporary standards, but the quality of output rivals several boasting bigger numbers, including Moon LX760. We have heard of it being used atop the helmet for trail riding, too.
Build quality and detailing is stereotypically Germanic. The rugged CNC machined body is beautifully executed. Extensive fins, reminiscent of a fish’s gills are designed to keep the system cool, so it can operate at maximum output for longer without being reliant upon airflow.
Officially this is rated IPX4 for weather resistance; heavy rain to you and me. Thanks in part to a snug fitting USB port plug it’s sniggered at provocative dousing from my garden hose and there’s been no hint of ingress during the test period.
In common with many competitors, it uses a single Cree diode projected through a sophisticated lens and reflector and is fuelled by an integral lithium ion battery, which needs a genre typical four hours when fully depleted. Unlike the Moon LX 760 and Meteor Storm Pro models; this is strictly fit ’n’ forget, which may be a deal breaker for serious night owls or forgetful riders.
Not ideal for some workplace environments but its pretty unobtrusive, the only giveaway being the switch cum charge indicator flicks from red to green. This is reassuringly positive, requiring two firm presses before powering up; so the likelihood of it engaging in a pocket or when bouncing around a pannier is pretty slim. This sort of everyday carelessness has left some minor calling cards in the anodized finish but nothing I couldn’t live with.
Subsequent single prods course through the six settings. High is cited as 600 lumens, standard 250, eco modes-one steady, the other SOS, which the system defaults to once reserves reach critical. The other two are fast and slow blink.
Brackets have come a long way in recent years, although can still be a weak spot. Sigma has gone for a watch strap type, which offers leach-like tenure around standard and oversized diameter bars. Though canal paths are as close I’ve come to trail duties with any regularity, it’s been totally unaffected by low level vibration typical of country lanes.
Thankfully, it does allow some sideways adjustment and the light body engages and releases with a reassuringly audible click and, like the switch is easily commanded wearing full finger gloves.
Overall performance is impressive. Unleashing the full 600, which seems to be the default mode when powering-up, gives enough navigational clout for unlit lanes at 17mph; faster in semi rural sections and for just over two hours, and enough bite for reasonably well-surfaced, familiar canal towpaths. Presence is assertive as opposed to retina tickling, so no need to toggle down but approaching traffic saw me in plenty of time and generally dipped theirs before dazzling me.
Standard translates as a town friendly, battery sipping 250 lumens. Good enough for suburban shenanigans, I’ve had the full five hours, which is enough for a week’s middle distance commuting between charges.
Eco mode in constant settings is bright enough for town proper and is super frugal - I’ve had thirteen hours from a full charge and the flashing option is extrovert enough if being seen is your main priority. Worse case scenario, you can limp home on it, albeit slowly. there is a three stage indicator of battery life, red coming in at 30%.
When all’s said and done, I’ve really enjoyed the buster but there are a few drawbacks. Price is the main sticking point. Moon LX760 offers a more comprehensive range of settings providing a superior power to economy ratio. Officially, there’s only a fiver separating them but we’ve seen the LX760 offered at a considerable discount - same may eventually be true of this model.
Though the beam quality is very pure, in common with Knog Blinder Arc 640, peripheral prowess could be better. If you were doing a lot of town work and looking for a commuter plus model, Blackburn Central 700lumen front light https://www.blackburndesign.com/en_eu/central-700-front.html has side windows, features a replaceable cell and comes complete with the brands’ lifetime warrantee.