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Verdict: 
Quality engineering and real innovation in the field. A useful, usable light that goes above and beyond the call of duty
Weight: 
62g
See.Sense Icon rear light
9 10

The original See.Sense light topped our 'People's Choice' of rear lights in November, with 26 per cent of the vote. The new Icon includes a plethora of extra features linked to a free app so you can control the light on your smartphone. This nifty little blazer will also tell your loved ones if you have a crash, and alert you if someone tries to make off with your bike when it's parked up.

The Icon uses super-bright twin Cree LEDs running at 95 lumens each, which certainly count as bright enough for the old joke 'do not look at laser with remaining eye'. This is not a light to turn on while looking at it – it is ferociously bright. Amazingly there's also an Icon+ with 2 x 125 lumens to keep you safe, even during daylight hours.

> Find your nearest dealer here

> Buy this online here

As with the original See.sense lights, the Icon features motion and light sensitive technology so it runs brighter and flashes faster when it senses you need it most.

I like the mode where you have both a fixed and a pulsating light, but there are lots of seizure-inducing flashy modes to play around with. The Fresnel lens (stepped, or ridged, like those in a lighthouse) means the Icon has good sideways visibility. It is also simple to mount using a rubber wraparound, provided.

See.Sense_Icon_3.JPG

See.Sense_Icon_3.JPG

The app, which is available for Android and iOS, paired with my light immediately. It can handle multiple lights too if you purchase a front and back set, and can program them individually.

The configuration panel was simple with clear options – turn the light on/off from the handset (if you're bored of the novelty of an actual button, I guess), brightness adjuster, flashing mode on/off, motion sensor on/off, anti-theft on/off, crash alert (not available in the beta version I tested), and a battery check.

See.Sense_Icon_1.JPG

See.Sense_Icon_1.JPG

The anti-theft mode was operational in the beta version of the software I tested. When activated, the slightest movement of the light will activate the audible alarm on your phone, which hopefully gives you enough time to run outside and check on your bike. It becomes active when you and your smartphone walk out of range (3 metres) and will not deactivate until you are back within range unless you choose to turn it off. This makes it great for bike storage outside of shops or a cafe, where you might only be using a small physical lock to protect your bike. I wonder if an audible alarm on the light itself might be useful to scare away potential thieves.

The operation of the movement and light intensity sensors via the app makes a bunch more sense than twisting and turning the light manually to achieve different settings, as you had to with the previous version. You can adjust the brightness of your light using a simple slider on the app, so it's easy to maximise your battery life if you're running low. Another battery saving feature is the automatic turn off after three minutes of inactivity, or if you and your smartphone walk more than 3m away from the light. Just in case you're too lazy to press a button.

The crash alert system promises to text your nominated friend if the motion sensors detect that you've crashed, but it was unavailable in the beta version I tested.

> Check out our buyer's guide to rear lights here

My review of See.Sense's first light concluded that it was perhaps a bit too clever for its own good, as a complex system of twists and turns was needed to set it and turn it on. See.Sense has addressed this flaw by reinventing the wheel, or in this case, the on button.

The Icon is pretty pricey at £64.99, which is £20 more than the original model. The Kickstarter campaign for the Icon exceeded even its stretch targets, so it seems that if you want the added features, enough people think it is not an unreasonable price to pay.

Verdict

Quality engineering and real innovation in the field. A useful, usable light that goes above and beyond the call of duty

road.cc test report

Make and model: See.Sense Icon

Size tested: NA

Tell us what the product 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?

See.Sense says: " ICON is an industry-leading cycle light that connects you to a world of innovative features through your smartphone."

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

When paired with the app it will:

Check your battery level

Change from flashing light to constant

Customise your lights to optimise your brightness/run-time using a simple slider

Control multiple lights at once. Turn off your front light, and instantly turn off all others in your system

Auto-on/off. Automatically turns off your light after 3 minutes of inactivity, or if you walk more than 3 metres from your light.

When you are at your favourite coffee-stop, and your trusted bike is leaning up against a wall outside. ICON will send you an alert if anything or anyone disturbs your bike.

If you have a crash, ICON knows when you have been in an accident and will send an text to your nominated contact for help.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Contains weather sealing, independently certified with an IP67 rating.

It's a pretty sturdy light.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

It's bright!

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

No issues found.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
7/10

Not the lightest light out there but just a few grams more than the previous incarnation.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

It's certainly expensive, but we don't know of any other light offering the same features.

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

Very bright, and reactive to movement when on burglar alarm mode.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The theft protection, the brightness. The fact that it now has an on button.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

Real innovation, but comes at a price. I'd like the burglar alarm to sound on the light too to act as a deterrent.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 38  Height: 5'7"  Weight: size 16

I usually ride: Trek 7.5 WSD  My best bike is: Turquoise Cruiser

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Novice

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, general fitness riding, leisure

23 comments

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CXR94Di2 [1775 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Nice features, be interested how these perform out in the real world after a few months of use

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DaveE128 [916 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Bit confused about how it triggers an audible alert on the phone when the bike moves if you are "out of range". How does it communicate to your phone if it's out of range? Does this theft alert only work when you're within bluetooth range but more than about 3m away? (I'm assuming it uses bluetooth?)

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jasecd [473 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

I got one of these for Christmas but have just been using it as a normal light as the IoS app still isn't approved yet, which is becoming a touch frustrating as it's been a while.

Regardless it's a pretty cool bit of kit and is super bright. The only problem is that I find myself trying to glance at it through my legs to see it reacting to changes in speed etc.

 

 

 

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mylesrants [387 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
CXR94Di2 wrote:

Nice features, be interested how these perform out in the real world after a few months of use

Very well, im getting 12 hours out of full charge for the last 4 weeks. it took 3 hours of rain spray last saturday and I do feel safer. Cars see you sooner, so I think the drivers have more time to plan and process their overtaking.

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mike the bike [955 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

 

Interesting time to introduce these features.  Both Apple and Samsung have reported falling sales of their smart-phones and one of the main reasons for the decline is customers' distrust of the way their personal data is captured.  

Who knows what information from this light ends up with the network operator?

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flathunt [245 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes
mike the bike wrote:

 

Interesting time to introduce these features.  Both Apple and Samsung have reported falling sales of their smart-phones and one of the main reasons for the decline is customers' distrust of the way their personal data is captured.  

Who knows what information from this light ends up with the network operator?

I must admit that I was a bit confused when the app asked for my bank details, penis length and wife's favourite positions. Luckily I'm not privy to any of that information so I skipped it but others may not be so lucky.

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Zermattjohn [235 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Glad they've changed the turn off/on and change settings from the previous version. Sent that back after spending a few days trying to figure out how - swivelling it around in the palm of your hand while simultaneously trying not to look at it for fear of being blinded was mighty tricky.

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bendertherobot [1453 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Zermattjohn wrote:

Glad they've changed the turn off/on and change settings from the previous version. Sent that back after spending a few days trying to figure out how - swivelling it around in the palm of your hand while simultaneously trying not to look at it for fear of being blinded was mighty tricky.

 

Piece of cake mun. I've only ever run mine on standard settings. I even do the twisty thing whilst it's still in place. Then, when I get where I'm going, I wheelie the bike by hand and the light turns off. 

Still my favourite rear light. Robust and still working after a year. 

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Simmo72 [660 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I am interested to hear from users or the developer what the range is of the theft device.  I assume it is bluetooth so its going to be limited and with things like walls reducing the range further but I do think this is a useful feature.  I would the option to add a sim card ....thinking for when the bike is locked up at home overnight and using gsm or perhaps wifi to add to the range of the theft functionality.  In the market for a new light and prepared to spend something in this ball park as the quality of the light looks good.

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Zermattjohn [235 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
bendertherobot wrote:

Piece of cake mun. I've only ever run mine on standard settings. I even do the twisty thing whilst it's still in place. Then, when I get where I'm going, I wheelie the bike by hand and the light turns off. 

Still my favourite rear light. Robust and still working after a year. 

 

Well, I'm crap at wheelies so that's me out of that one....;)

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yupiteru [34 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Simmo72 wrote:

I am interested to hear from users or the developer what the range is of the theft device.  I assume it is bluetooth so its going to be limited and with things like walls reducing the range further but I do think this is a useful feature.  I would the option to add a sim card ....thinking for when the bike is locked up at home overnight and using gsm or perhaps wifi to add to the range of the theft functionality.  In the market for a new light and prepared to spend something in this ball park as the quality of the light looks good.

Interesting review from dcrainmakerhttp://www.dcrainmaker.com/2015/10/hands-smart-lights.html

He says contact maintained whilst in cake shop within 30m from the bike through walls/glass/etc…

I'm not sure how useful that would be to me as I never park the bike out of sight anyway.

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bendertherobot [1453 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
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bendertherobot [1453 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
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Anthony.C [233 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I bought one of these, the Icon +. I am shocked that it just switches off when the power is low, it's a massive flaw. Needless to say battery duration is considerably less than claimed. Also, it is supposed to be suitable for saddlebags so it should come with a flat rubber back as well, so it isn't all cockeyed when attached. Otherwise, a good light.

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StraelGuy [1034 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

As someone who's just done the last 5 miles of a ride in the dark with no rear light, I agree. I find mine last for about 1h 40m no matter what setting it's on. Changing the pattern is a pain in the cock too. Every time you want to use it you have to get your phone out, unlock it, turn bluetooth on, fire up the app, connect to the light, set the pattern AGAIN, turn bluetooth off on your phone and FINALLY put the light on your bike.

Not that impressed.

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bendertherobot [1453 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Why would you change the pattern once you've decided what you want? And if it's running out that quick get in touch, that's not right. Mine lasts about 10 hours minimum.

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oldstrath [854 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
guyrwood wrote:

As someone who's just done the last 5 miles of a ride in the dark with no rear light, I agree. I find mine last for about 1h 40m no matter what setting it's on. Changing the pattern is a pain in the cock too. Every time you want to use it you have to get your phone out, unlock it, turn bluetooth on, fire up the app, connect to the light, set the pattern AGAIN, turn bluetooth off on your phone and FINALLY put the light on your bike. Not that impressed.

 

That's odd, because I did about 4 hours on Saturday night and used about 40% battery life.

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StraelGuy [1034 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Bender, that's what I mean. I set it to Eco mode, 80% use it and next time I go to use it, it's back to default settings. Extremely annoying.

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dottigirl [796 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
bendertherobot wrote:

Why would you change the pattern once you've decided what you want? And if it's running out that quick get in touch, that's not right. Mine lasts about 10 hours minimum.

I change the settings on my lights quite often. I'll tone the rear down if I'm cycling with friends to save their eyeballs, and use something more eye-catching in bad conditions. The fronts I'll use on solid when there's no other light source, and blinking when there's a lot of traffic around. I change the front more frequently than the rear though.

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bendertherobot [1453 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
dottigirl wrote:
bendertherobot wrote:

Why would you change the pattern once you've decided what you want? And if it's running out that quick get in touch, that's not right. Mine lasts about 10 hours minimum.

I change the settings on my lights quite often. I'll tone the rear down if I'm cycling with friends to save their eyeballs, and use something more eye-catching in bad conditions. The fronts I'll use on solid when there's no other light source, and blinking when there's a lot of traffic around. I change the front more frequently than the rear though.

And you're limited to changing the pattern only in most cases. With the See Sense you can change the brightness and keep the pattern. It takes all of 30 seconds to do. Changing stuff with the app or not doing so is the raison d'etre of the See Sense. If you don't want those things, get a different light, it seems weird to complain about the see sense features when you've spend that money to get them. His sounds broken mind.

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bendertherobot [1453 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
guyrwood wrote:

Bender, that's what I mean. I set it to Eco mode, 80% use it and next time I go to use it, it's back to default settings. Extremely annoying.

 

Sounds broke. Get in touch with them, they're really good. Oh, and, if you really don't want all those settings, get yourself to Aldi!

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Christopher TR1 [141 posts] 11 months ago
1 like

Interested, interested.... "The app, which is available for Android and iOS...." Suddendly not interested anymore.

Sometime in the future some nob will make it necessary to have an app before you can go for a ride. Guess I'll be buying a smart phone at that point.

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bendertherobot [1453 posts] 11 months ago
0 likes
Christopher TR1 wrote:

Interested, interested.... "The app, which is available for Android and iOS...." Suddendly not interested anymore.

Sometime in the future some nob will make it necessary to have an app before you can go for a ride. Guess I'll be buying a smart phone at that point.

Don't use it  3

By default the light works as normal and the button press cycles through flash or solid. It's set to 100% brightness.

If at some point you want to change or tinker or avail yourself of the other features you can.