This giant insect eye of a light is the ultrafire new boy with U-L2 emitters that help you hurtle through the darkness rather than trundle in the gloom. Seven little stars produce a huge spread of even light sufficient to swallow the rider in the front at every turn.
A claimed figure of many, many candles seems about right but the quality of light is always the key area. Halos or dark spots miss vital hollows or logs in the dark but this one-eyed monster simply floods the trail. Long range reach is great but less pencil and more searchlight so perhaps a helmet set spot would help to focus your attention in one area.
The overall size is larger and the simple rubber loop has needed a little extra friction on my skinny handlebars. I tried tape and inner tube but the solution was to use some racket tape used on tennis and badminton rackets. It can still rotate in the event of a tumble but is wobbleless on normal trails. It may take a little adjustment to get the grip correct for bigger drops but perhaps a fatter handlebar will hold it easily.
The large ribbed body does not seem to warm when stationary and it has never shut down due to over-heating. It has a flicker setting to annoy car drivers in a busy city street and a low level setting suitable for road use or at first use when the rider behind you turns on their light halfway along a twisty trail. As it is really seven lights I opted for the largest battery output (mAh) in a four cell set. This just about stretches the two hour of a winter night ride in the worst of the cold but it does not manage much more than that. Battery packs do seem to vary enormously so I bought a second battery to check this and they seem similar in duration. A larger six cell or eight cell would suit some frames and the forgetful charger or allow you to ride to and from our night rides. If you want to attempt the SDW overnight you may need to hang the new 12 pack somewhere.
I attach the battery to handlebar or stem usually but a twin set up fits easily as the packs are quite compact. Using the set up in the photo the cables are out of the way and changing only takes a moment. I use a single led as a helmet light but have tried this on its own and I can ride most things easily but some corners and fixing mechanicals are easier with a helmet light. It can be used on your helmet too but the larger size means fixing it as low as possible to avoid clunking branches.
You could use two of these but everyone ride behind you then as so much light would kill most other lights and turning to look at another rider would have them squinting in pain. As juggle lights around I had to change some connectors between old batteries and new so all my lights were interchangeable so if you buy an additional battery check the size. In the bos you get the usual charger, handlebar mount rings and a head elastic mount. Some riders use this but I prefer to cut off the elastic and ziptie the actual mount to the front of the helmet in a fixed position. It can still rotate to adjust the angle on the trail and the cable connects to the batttery dropped into your backpack. The battery case does velcro or clip onto the side of the helmet but it is a little heavy.
So this has become my light of choice for last winter and this summer and for about sixty dollars seems good value. There are several options of this type of light with less emitters and different types of emitter too but waste a few hours on the internet and you eventually find things like Cree’s technical tables that allow to choose different flavours of colour temp etc. I bought this from DX.com but other suppliers may deliver quicker or offer a wider battery choice however why choose two or three or six emitters when you can go large with seven.
Get your quick and join a night ride!