Emergency lights are two a penny these days, and you can pick them up for peanuts on websites like Dealextreme. So why pay twenty quid for the Loop lights? Because they're really good, that's why. Easy to fit, bright enough to be properly useful around town and visible from a wide angle, the Loop lights are a class above most of their rivals in terms of performance.
The lights themselves are made from two pieces of translucent plastic which house a bright LED and a couple of 2032 button cells. The two halves clip together without any tools and have kept the elements out without any trouble though a dab of silicone grease would probably improve weatherproofing further. The mount is a simple bungee with a cord lock that also sports a hook. it'll stretch round your bars or frame - the back of the light is curved to fit - and you can use the cord lock to secure the light to buttons and zips too.
Operation doesn't really require you to nose through a manual - click it once for on or twice for flashing. You won't want to venture off road or anything but about town they throw out plenty enough light, and that light is visible whichever way you're looking at the Loop. Even if you've hung it from your bag and it turns round to face your back you still get a decent amount of light coming through the base. In fact they're so visible from acute angles that the front one can get a touch annoying on your bars; I ended up fixing it to the head tube to keep it out of my line of sight.
We've been running the loops on the daily commute for the last month and left them on overnight a couple of times and they're still going strong. When you do end up having to fork out for new batteries, button cells aren't always the cheapest but 2032s are among the easiest to find at your local cobblers, or online. You can get 50 for seven quid off the space-web, which should keep you flashing till they invent some kind of free power source made from air to run them from.
The Loop lights are among the best emergency lights we've tried. They're easy to fit, bright, have a good angle of visibility and keep going for ages. They're best with a big light but good enough to rely on on their own. Okay they're not cheap at £20 but they're better value than plenty of the cheaper options out there.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Cateye Loop lights
Size tested: n/a
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 36 Height: 190cm Weight: 98kg
I usually ride: whatever I\'m testing... My best bike is: Trek 1.5 with Ultegra 6700
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.