LUU Turbo Torch 1500 front light  £249.00

7/10

Well-designed, durable front light that kicks out enough light to be antisocial, but narrow beam pattern lets it down.

Weight 315g   Contact  www.fisheroutdoor.co.uk

by Iwein Dekoninck   January 24, 2014  

Luu Turbo 1500

The Luu Turbo Torch 1500 is a self-contained, super bright front light. It's definitely a light to show the way on dark roads, and completely over-the-top if you're looking for something to be seen in traffic.

The Turbo is a solid-looking teflon-coated aluminium unit that should be strong enough to survive all but the most severe knocks and scrapes. It's mounted on the handlebars with a quarter-turn twist-type bracket like Garmin uses.

The bracket holds the light securely, though there is no scope for changing the horizontal beam direction. The bracket is mounted on the handlebars with a 3mm Allen bolt. On the one hand you need a tool, on the other hand, it's pretty unobtrusive and did not get in the way of gear and brake cables, something that can happen with some of the tool-less brackets.

The beam pattern is fairly narrow, with most of the brightness concentrated in front of the bike, rather than further up the road. Compare this light with others like the Lezyne Mega Drive or the Exposure Strada in the widget below and you will see what I mean.

Although the light boasts a whopping 1,500 lumen power output, the beam pattern means that on the road it feels like it's less powerful than other lesser-lumen units. This is particularly noticeable on steep, dark descents, where the light is not good enough to go full pelt. I should add for the sake of completeness that I found this less of a problem when mountain biking, especially in combination with a helmet mounted light.

At £249, it's not cheap, especially given that better units with lower nominal light output can be found a lot cheaper. The money has gone into the battery and that makes for a two-hour battery life, which is pretty impressive when there are four Cree XML R5 LEDs pumping out that 1,500 lumens draining it. It's a Samsung battery that and uses 'the very latest in lithium-ion battery technology'.

The battery seems to be non-replaceable – I couldn't see a non-destructive way to get at it, though I admit I didn't try very hard. It's charged with a proprietary charger via a port on the side of the light. I prefer USB charging, because it lets you charge your light pretty well anywhere even if you didn't bring your charger - someone's bound to have one.

The charging port has a little rubber bung to keep the weather out. This works OK, though it easily comes undone when handling the light, especially with gloves on. Having said that, it has withstood the weather fine, and not for a lack of muddy/wet rides.

Charging takes nine hours according to LUU, so you need to plan ahead and leave it charging overnight really.

The Turbo 1500 has two sets of light modes: four constant and three flashing. My commute is on dark lanes with hardly any cars so I used it mostly on full beam. The blinky modes appear to change the frequency of the blink rather than the intensity of the light, which I think is a missed opportunity; the flashing modes are rather antisocial.

The charge indicator is a little confusing. In the constant modes, the button is blue, until the battery gets close to running out of charge, when it turns red. In the flashing modes, the button is red, until it runs low, then it turns blue.

The light comes in a carry case. A helmet mount and remote switch are both available separately and were not tested.

Verdict

The LUU Turbo 1500 is a well-designed, durable front light that kicks out enough light to be antisocial for a long time. Its beam pattern doesn't make the most of the available lumens though - other lower-output lights are available that have a more usable beam shape and cost less.

The light comparator

If you have a nice big screen you can click here for the widescreen version (1400x1000px)

road.cc test report

Make and model: LUU Lighting Turbo 1500 - Front Light

Size tested: Black, Front light

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?

With its integrated 7800mA Samsung battery the Turbo Torch kicks out an amazing 1500 lumens of power and yet, at under 12 centimetres in length, it is still a compact unit for a high performance light. The Turbo Torch will be most at home on the trails but with its four constant, and three flashing, modes you can select a lower beam level for use on the roads and save battery life at the same time. Perfect for taking a long detour on your ride home after work.

Inside the anodized aluminium head unit sit 4 US CREE XML LEDs, which are encased by a high-grade Finland Lens to emit a broad and consistent beam pattern.

All LUU lights are constructed of toughened Teflon-coated aluminium and will take whatever the elements throws its way as well as withstand the rigours of the trail. Intuitive brackets form a vice-like grip on the handlebar and the 90° twist-and-lock mechanism will hold the lights firmly in place. Despite its high power output, the Turbo Torch burns for well in excess of 2 hours on full power and can be fully recharged via the mains adaptor in 9 hours.

LUU Lights are precision engineered in Korea using the very latest in Samsung's Lithium-ion battery technology. This means the lights are smaller and lighter, but burn brighter, for much longer.

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

Performance

Light Output / Burn Time:

o High 1500 Lumens / 2hr 10

o Medium 750 Lumens / 4hr

o Low 380 Lumens / 7hr

o Save 200 Lumens / 15hr

o Flash >15 hrs

Charge Time (7800mA); 9hrs

Construction

o US Cree XML R5 x 4pc LED

o 7800mA Samsung SDI Lithium-ion Battery

o Electroplating Teflon Coated Aluminium 6061 Body

o Anodized Aluminium Head

o High-grade Finland Lens

Volumetrics

o Weight; 160g inc. handlebar mount, Battery (4 cell) 220g

o Diameter; 44mm, Length; 57mm

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
9/10

It's a very well-made light with a confidence inspiring quick release handlebar mount.

Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
7/10

Pretty straightforward, though the charge indicator on the button is confusing - it turns from blue to red in the constant modes when there's 10% battery life left, and turns from red to blue in the flashing modes.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
9/10
Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
7/10

The charging port bung comes undone easily, especially handling the light with gloves on.

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
8/10

Impressive battery life for that amount of power. Charging takes a long time.

Rate the light for performance:
 
6/10

The fairly narrow beam pattern concentrates the majority of the brightness near the light. Despite its claimed 1,500 lumens, it's not good enough to let go of the anchors on a steep dark descent. On the flipside, it can kick out those lumens for over 2 hours, which is quite impressive for a light of this size and weight.

Rate the light for durability:
 
8/10

So far so good, the light does what it says on the tin and works well.

Rate the light for weight, if applicable:
 
8/10

At 283 grams (without bracket) it's not a lightweight, but it's certainly not unreasonably heavy for a light that is able to kick out 1500 lumens for more than two hours.

Rate the light for value:
 
6/10

It's quite an expensive light at nearly the same price as the excellent Exposure Strada. While the LUU is a good light, and boasts more lumens than the Strada, its real world performance is not as good in terms of weight, battery life and beam pattern.

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

The light works well, and is certainly good. But there are cheaper lights out there that perform better.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

The bracket; easy to use and very secure. No worries at all about the light jumping off, even on very rutted lanes or on the mountain bike. It's got a decent battery life as well; more than 2 hours on full is not too shabby.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

The beam shape. For all its 1,500 lumens, I felt I was holding back on fast dark descents because I couldn't see far enough ahead.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes, it's a good light.

Would you consider buying the light? No, I would spend my money on a cheaper light with a better beam shape.

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Probably not.

Anything further to say about the light in conclusion?

The Luu Turbo 1500 is a well-designed, durable front light that kicks enough light to be anti-sociable for a long time. Having said that, there are better equally well designed lights with a more usable beam shape that cost less.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 36  Height: 1.78m  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: All of them!  My best bike is: Cannondale CAAD10

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

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

 

1 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

So, £250 for a torch which is not bright enough to go fast down hill with, which needs another helmet mounted light to go with it, which does not have a replaceable battery, which doesnt throw much light up the road but lights up in front of your wheel and which only runs for 2 hours. Yipee, where do i get one (or 2 so i can use the second as a helmet mounted light to give me enough light to ride at night with).

posted by Welsh boy [83 posts]
24th January 2014 - 22:11

like this
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