RSP RX480 front light  £59.99

6/10

Not a bad everyday lamp but a little underpowered for navigating the sticks at speed

Weight 126g   Contact  www.raleigh.co.uk

by Shaun Audane   January 10, 2014  

RSP RX480

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As its name suggests, the RSP RX480 is a 480 lumen light aimed at commuters or chain gangers who want tuneable economy but with enough bite for semi rural stuff. On balance it largely succeeds but the claimed run times are a little optimistic, and the light output a little wanting on unlit roads. Zero to hero charging takes about seven hours.

Prised from the packaging, its cuboid design has a pleasantly familiar allure and feels reassuringly stocky given composite construction. This has weathered the usual everyday wear 'n' tear very stoically, though a nasty tangle with terra firma or submersion could well prove fatal. The internals are pretty standard: a lithium-ion battery, traffic light battery indicator built into the switch, four perky diodes, reflector and collimator lens.

Given oversized 31.8 diameters are increasingly default, its mounting bracket hasn't kept pace, showing obvious, almost comedic signs of indigestion and inducing unwelcome faff when locking in the street. Mercifully, the lamp clicks cleanly in situ and there's been no hint of impending ejection over inclement surfaces.

A positive centre mounted switch is easily engaged wearing winter weight gloves. Subsequent prods course sequentially through four modes: low, medium, high and flashing. Accidental power ups are a moot point but selection on the fly, when cruising into the sticks for example proved an acquired art.

Programming low as default makes sense since power to frugality ratios seem optimal in sub/urban contexts, casting sufficient navigational light for 17/18mph canters though favours blinking companions, especially around dusk given the side slits are distinctly mute.

Experience suggests a benchmark of 500-plus lumens when slipping outside of city limits. Unleashing the full 480 while crossing these borders casts a surprisingly effective, albeit bluish beam. The colour hinders rider perception, especially in the shadows and makes the light feel distinctly underpowered as conditions turn rural, not to mention wet.

Raleigh reckon you'll get six hours in full beam, so imagine my surprise when the battery indicator started winking within two hours on my first ride. The indicator gives plenty of warning but subsequent trips failed to improve on 4 hours 25 minutes. That's still pretty commendable, especially if you're toggling down through built up sections. Less impressive was the rubberised port cover that bailed between second and third outings, leaving internals vulnerable to ingress and mounting hardware that turns orange at the mere suggestion of drizzle.

Verdict

Not a bad everyday lamp but a little underpowered for navigating the sticks at speed.

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road.cc test report

Make and model: RSP RX480 front light

Size tested: n/a

Tell us what the light is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

"RX480 front light 480 lumen output, USB rechargeable, 6 hours full beam

480 Lumen output".

Quoted run times had passing affinity with reality

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?

Li Ion internal battery

USB rechargeable

7 hour USB charge time

Full beam 6 hours

Flashing & constant modes

Collimeter lens for maximum output

Low battery indicator

Side visibilty

Water resitant

Horizontal adjustment

Quick release bracket

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
6/10
Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
6/10
Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
6/10

Generally sturdy though suffers obvious indigestion with increasingly standard "oversize" diameter handlebars.

Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
6/10

Water resistance is good, though low-rent USB port cover left electrics vulnerable to ingress in stormy weather.

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
5/10

Good output/economy ratios but overnight charging won't suit everyone.

Rate the light for performance:
 
7/10

Good for everyday riding-especially urbanites who fancy occasional semi-rural blasts after work.

Rate the light for durability:
 
6/10
Rate the light for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10

Reassuringly sturdy given composite construction.

Rate the light for comfort, if applicable:
 
6/10
Rate the light for value:
 
6/10

Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose

The RX480 has been a pleasant surprise, fulfilling its design brief very well. However, beam quality isn't good enough for serious back road antics and run times aren't as generous as claimed.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

Compact, tunable design with wallet friendly price tag.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

Let down by bracket and silly quality control issues (USB port cover bailed on the third outing, quick corrode fasteners).

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes.

Would you consider buying the light? Possibly, although a little under-powered for my needs and quality control knob needs turning up a notch.

Would you recommend the light to a friend? With certain provisos.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 1m 81  Weight: 70 kilos

I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

 

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