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Verdict: 
Lights up the road ahead and makes you visible, great for commuting, but quite a long charging time
Weight: 
115g
Contact: 
BBB Swat BLS-105K front light
8 10

The BBB Swat BLS-105K front light offers commuters something bright, directional and traffic-friendly. It's a great choice to help you stay safe and be seen.

It's a simple design, with only one mode, so you don't have to cycle through various options – just one constant stream of light beaming out 120 lumens.

> Find your nearest dealer here

> Buy this online here

There is just one button on top, essentially on and off but also serving as the battery indicator. Plug it in when it first starts flashing and it'll save a bit of charging time; run it flat and it takes the stated four hours.

The run time is true to BBB's estimate – just over 3 hours, which is fair – and I was impressed with the beam. The light is covered at the top, preventing any light leaking up and blinding other road users. It also helps direct the beam down and out, giving it a focused yet wide spread. If that sounds at odds, it has a highly focused beam that lights the road directly in front of you, with a softer light that gives it its wide spread. It means you can ride at a decent pace.

BBB Swat.jpg

BBB Swat.jpg

The Swat's aluminium casing makes it look and feel very solidly built, but it weighs 115g, which is fairly light. The aluminium casing is water resistant and the light continued to work in the continual rain we've been having. The USB port is well covered by a blue, watertight rubber cover, so it won't suffer water damage either.

> Check out our guide to the best front lights and our beam comparison engine here

In the package you get the clamp, two rubber strips to allow it to fit to most handlebars (25.4-31.8mm) and a micro USB charger cable. Mounting the light is really easy. The clamp is fairly standard – tightened by a screw – and comes on and off the bike easily. If you don't need to remove the mount from the bike you can just leave it in place and remove the light by sliding it off quickly.

As a regular cycle commuter, working various shifts, I think the BBB Swat is a brilliant addition to my light setup. It lasts long enough for a decent commute and makes you very visible to other road traffic.

Verdict

Lights up the road ahead and makes you visible, great for commuting, but quite a long charging time

road.cc test report

Make and model: BBB Swat BLS-105K 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?

The light is for all cyclists but aimed at daily commuters.

BBB says: "We found out there was a great need to have a clear view on the upcoming road without blinding oncoming traffic. Our new Swat headlight is the perfect match for all your commuter needs. With its non-blinding, clear high beam the Swat keeps you safe and let you see all the details of the road in front of you. It has a long lasting 3 hour battery and it charges easily on a usb port. Take it on your ride to work, charge it and let the Swat brighten your way back home. The Swat doesn't leave you in the dark. The aluminium casing includes an Airflow Cooling System and makes the Swat bulletproof and low on weight. No more excuses left, let the Swat take you out at night! The clear high beam is the most remarkable feature of the Swat headlight. With a clear spotlight you can see every detail right in front of you. At the same time the beam reaches far enough to spot oncoming traffic. Besides, they can see you as high beam isn't blinding them. The Swat lets you ride in the spotlight."

It's a very decent commuter light that lights up you and the road ahead.

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

Lightweight and compact USB rechargeable headlight.

Powerful 120 Lumen XPE CREE LED.

Quick and easy to charge by USB.

Oncoming traffic friendly beam.

Water-resistant aluminum casing with Airflow Cooling System (ACS) for optimum heat control.

1 mode: high beam.

Rubber enclosed water-resistant switch.

Multifunctional power indicator, indicates 5% battery remaining (blinking blue light), light On (blue light) and charging (red).

Easy mounting TightFix bracket fits on both standard and oversized handlebar diameters.

Can be mounted on a helmet with special HelmetMount bracket (BLS-70).

High quality lithium ion (1500mAh 3.7V) battery pack can be (dis)charged up to 300 times without noticeable performance loss.

Charging time is typically 4 hours. The system is protected against short circuits, overcharging and total discharge.

Weight: 115 grams. (include bracket)

Size: 82 x 33 x 27 mm.

Colors: black/blue and gray/black.

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Solidly built.

Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
9/10

With just one mode it's very simple to use.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
9/10

Easy to install and the light itself very quick to release.

Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
8/10

Water resistant and worked well in showers.

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
7/10

The battery life was just over 3 hours, as BBB stated, and charging took approximately 4 hours.

Rate the light for performance:
 
7/10

I thought for its designed purpose, it worked well.

Rate the light for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the light for weight, if applicable:
 
8/10
Rate the light for value:
 
7/10

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

Bright commuter light that does light the road in front of you as well as making you visible.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

The width of the beam.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

The charge time seems a bit long.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes

Would you consider buying the light? Yes

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

A very user friendly light which runs for a decent time, but it does take 4 hours to charge.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 35  Height: 158cm  Weight: 61kg

I usually ride: Scott Contessa  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking

8 comments

Avatar
bendertherobot [1453 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

70 quid for 120 lumens?

Avatar
oldstrath [855 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
bendertherobot wrote:

70 quid for 120 lumens?

Aah, but it's  friendly to other road users,. Which appears  to mean you can't  see the car ahead, amd can barely see the pedestrian. 

 

Come  on,  if you are going to review 'road friendly ' lights at least pick one with a reasonable beam.

Avatar
bendertherobot [1453 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

8 quid more at Amazon gets the Saferide 80, the ultimate everyone friendly light. And with a superb beam. 

Avatar
DaveE128 [916 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
oldstrath wrote:
bendertherobot wrote:

70 quid for 120 lumens?

Aah, but it's  friendly to other road users,. Which appears  to mean you can't  see the car ahead, amd can barely see the pedestrian. 

 

Come  on,  if you are going to review 'road friendly ' lights at least pick one with a reasonable beam.

Being friendly to other road users doesn't mean poor illumination - quite the opposite. Directing all the light down at the road means that you need less total lumens output for the same illumination (measured in lux) on the road.

However, I agree that the beam shot here doesn't look great at all. I'm not sure why it is so poor given the figures, and given that the text description seems mainly positive.

Avatar
oldstrath [855 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
DaveE128 wrote:
oldstrath wrote:
bendertherobot wrote:

70 quid for 120 lumens?

Aah, but it's  friendly to other road users,. Which appears  to mean you can't  see the car ahead, amd can barely see the pedestrian. 

 

Come  on,  if you are going to review 'road friendly ' lights at least pick one with a reasonable beam.

Being friendly to other road users doesn't mean poor illumination - quite the opposite. Directing all the light down at the road means that you need less total lumens output for the same illumination (measured in lux) on the road.

However, I agree that the beam shot here doesn't look great at all. I'm not sure why it is so poor given the figures, and given that the text description seems mainly positive.

 

Directing 'all the light at the road' is never going to happen, nor do you (really) want it to - you always want some light to be 'spilt' to allow seeing pedestrians, unlit cars, stray mountain  hares (yes really, this morning). But my main point is that there are much more usable examples than this, for less money - the Ixon IQ premium, for example.

Avatar
mike the bike [955 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

 

Agreed the photo' shows only a weak beam but Cycling Plus rated this' best on test' last month, saying the light was plenty bright enough to ride fast.  And they were comparing it with lights rated at <800 lumens.

It must have hidden charms.

Avatar
oldstrath [855 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
mike the bike wrote:

 

Agreed the photo' shows only a weak beam but Cycling Plus rated this' best on test' last month, saying the light was plenty bright enough to ride fast.  And they were comparing it with lights rated at <800 lumens.

It must have hidden charms.

Whereas Cycling Weekly  give it 3/5, and say it  is underpowered  and  suitable only for  lit roads, which looks much nearer truth given  the beam photo. 

Avatar
J90 [408 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
mike the bike wrote:

 

Agreed the photo' shows only a weak beam but Cycling Plus rated this' best on test' last month, saying the light was plenty bright enough to ride fast.  And they were comparing it with lights rated at <800 lumens.

It must have hidden charms.

 

Cycling Plus will rate anything as "Great" as long as they're getting paid enough.