Home
Verdict: 
An exceptional light but it comes at an exceptional price
Weight: 
248g
BBB Scope 1500
8 10

The BBB Scope 1500 is a high-quality, high-power front light whose performance on pitch black lanes and trails goes a long way to justifying its eye-watering £220 price tag.

With the clocks having changed and the UK winter rolling in, it's time to hunt down that long lost light you stashed away last spring. If, like me, you can't find it again or it's time for an upgrade for your winter commute, you won't have any problems lighting your way with the Scope.

> Find your nearest dealer here

> Buy this online here

This two-part unit, with double-barrelled LED headlight and external lithium-ion battery pack, has a 'super beam' brightness of 1500 lumens – as you might have guessed from the name. To put that into perspective, that's roughly the same as a 100-watt incandescent light bulb in your home.

With its four modes, from this 1500 lumens down to 300 lumens, it can be used in all conditions from a pitch black bike path to an early evening haze to ensure you get seen by other road users. Naturally, battery life varies from 1.5 hours at super beam to 7.5 hours at low beam (further details in test report at the bottom).

Mounts

The light pack comes with both a handlebar and helmet mount to suit your preferences. The plastic centre position mount fits a bar of 25.4-33mm diameter with added rubber inserts to pad it out. BBB has opted for a stainless steel bolt for Allen key tightening, which makes a for a secure position but is a pain if you plan to change between bikes frequently, especially as the bolt has to come clean out to remove the mount and the circular nut then falls out easily. A hand-tightened screw can be used instead of the Allen key to adjust the angle.

Once the clamp is on, a simple slide and lock mechanism with a small push tab to release makes for easy attachment and removal of the light. No need to worry about fiddly clips with freezing cold hands.

One problem with the centre position mount comes if you ride with an out-front bike computer. The 'normal' position for the mount is to the left of the stem so the light is positioned in front of your stem. With a computer mount there, you either have to position the mount much further to the left, which gets in the way of your hands, or to the right of the stem which looks terrible. After some frustrating pulling of cables, I eventually managed to bodge it upside down on the right side of the stem so it sat under my Garmin, but even then it wasn't perfect, with cable shadows being a problem. If you were to have this problem, the helmet mount might be the better option.

The helmet mount is similar to that used by GoPro, but with a Velcro strap to feed through helmet vents to secure it. For any of you sporting an aero helmet for those all-important commuter gains, you might struggle here I'm afraid. Again, it has the same hand-tightened screw for angle adjustment and the same locking mechanism, which work well.

Minor point, but the rubber on/off switch has a firm and definitive click, making it easy to use even with gloves on or while it's on your head. It also changes to a clear red light when the battery dips to half full.

Heat and light

The 100g aluminium-cased and water resistant light unit is nicely made with an 'Air Cooling System' to help prevent it from overheating. Having said that, it does get hot especially when used on super beam for a lengthy period, which wasn't ideal when trying to remove it on arrival.

To prevent damage through overheating, it automatically dims if it reaches 85°C, which I only managed when using the light during late night bike building in my unlit man cave. You could say I was testing the product to extremes, but it most certainly lit the room up! It shouldn't be a problem while riding as the airflow should help keep it cool, but might be worth noting if you stop during your ride.

Power pack

The 145g battery pack is pretty hefty, but narrow enough to fit on your top tube without getting in the way. You have numerous options for placement, whether you prefer the top tube, below your stem, seatpost or just in your rucksack. The Velcro strap has a protective rubber layer so no worries about scratching your paint job if you secure it to your frame.

A nice touch is the inclusion of an extension cord. If you prefer mounting the battery up front on the bike then you can use the normal 35cm cables without excess cable to wind up. If you stash it in your saddle bag or rucksack, then you can use the 110cm extension cable.

Charging comes via a mains plug, so no USB charging annoyingly if you were wanting to charge it up easily at work. Charging times from flat is three hours and when fully charged it automatically switches off, preventing the worry of a hot lithium battery pack next to your bed all night.

Conclusion

Other than a few of the small niggles highlighted, this light is excellent. It's incredibly bright, perfect for night 'cross rides through the woods or on dark and quiet B roads. You will have no worries of drivers seeing you on larger, busier roads either.

Even so, the price is tough to swallow. You'll need to have a good think about what kind of riding you will be doing before throwing down that kind of money. If your only riding at night is a commute through town or on well-lit roads, there's little need to go to this extreme. But if you ride long dark roads through the winter months, whether training or commuting, and a good view of the road and traffic is critical, then the BBB Scope 1500 should be a strong contender.

Verdict

An exceptional light but it comes at an exceptional price

road.cc test report

Make and model: BBB Scope 1500

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 BBB Scope 1500 is aimed at riding in particularly dark conditions with the aim of keeping you safe and aware of your surroundings. It certainly has the biggest benefits on poorly lit and unfamiliar roads or trails where you would otherwise feel particular unconfident.

BBB distributor Windwave says: "The Scope 1500 is the light to use when going out for night rides on a mountainbike."

I'd say it's for road bikes too.

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

SCOPE 1500BLS-69 LIGHTS - HIGH POWER

1500 Lumen XML CREE LED.

Battery indicator.

Water resistant.

Aluminium casing.

4 Modes: super beam, high beam, standard beam and low beam.

Panasonic lithium ion external battery pack (3200mAh, 7.2V) (BLS-97).

CenterMount handlebar bracket included (BLS-98).

HelmetMount included. (BLS-70).

Charger with power plug included (1.5A, 8.4V).

110 cm extension cable included.

Weight light: 110 grams, battery: 145 grams.

Size light: 44 x 34 x 52 mm, battery: 86 x 46 x 27 mm.

Color: black.

Light strength and Battery Life:

LUX 1m

1500 Lumen – 1.5hrs

830 Lumen – 2.5hrs

550 Lumen – 3.5hrs

300 Lumen – 7.5hrs

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Very well made, with a nice aluminium casing for the light unit. The battery pack is well protected with rubber ends to prevent damage if dropped and preventing damage to your frame.

Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
8/10

Very well designed and good looking light. The rubber covered switch is easy to operate even with gloves on. Attaching and removing the battery pack is a slight pain, but that is the same for all external battery packs.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
6/10

Great mechanism for sliding and locking in place as well as the push tab for removal, which was incredibly easy. Similarly, the angle adjustment screw was useful to be able to tighten by hand. Helmet mount is great, making it easy to see exactly where you want rather than just directly in front of you. The clamps are an area of slight annoyance though, because of the centre mount position if you have an out-front bike computer. There were work-arounds in the end, but took some fiddling which I would have preferred not to do. Plus the use of an Allen key to tighten the clamp is an added pain if you plan to swap the clamp between bikes often.

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

Technically, BBB doesn't claim that it's waterproof, merely water resistant, but it stood up well to the wet rides I put it through. It gets fairly steamy from the heat causing the water to evaporate but nothing to worry about. The cable junctions are well made and overlap to make a strong seal.

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
6/10

The battery life matches what is claimed by the manufacturer with about 1.5 hours on super beam. Ideally I would like slightly longer than that, if you have a long ride in mind or a long commute and don't have the option to charge it during the day. The other modes give better life including 3.5 hours on standard beam and 7.5 hours on low beam. Recharge times are longer than I'd hope, with 3 hours from flat, but rarely would it get to that point.

Rate the light for performance:
 
8/10

Does what it should really well. Variety of brightness settings for your needs, although oddly no flashing modes (I tend not to use them anyway).

Rate the light for durability:
 
8/10

No noticeable problems during testing. The cable ends connect securely keeping the poor weather out. The Velcro strap for the battery pack started to wear slightly from plenty of removing, but nothing to cause distress.

Rate the light for weight:
 
6/10

At just under 250g, the light unit and battery pack combination certainly isn't light (pun intended). Having said that, the benefits of its performance massively outweigh the hardship of riding with an extra 1/4kg, especially through the winter when you will probably already be adding mudguards and fatter tyres to your winter steeds.

Rate the light for value:
 
5/10

The value of this light is very much dependent on what you use it for. If used on frequent dark rides, on morning and evening commutes or late night training rides and so on, then you could argue that it's worth it. But if it's only going to be an occasional use or you ride in well lit areas, there are cheaper and better value options for you.

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

Did the job very well. Good range of modes for different light conditions. Made night riding seem easy and safe, which is the most important thing. An external battery pack is always a bit frustrating, but worth the extra hassle of attaching it.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

It was incredibly bright which was perfect for my late night 'cross or road rides. The extension cord is a nice little extra, meaning you don't have loads of excess cable wound up around your frame if you attach the battery pack up front.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

The price tag is always going to be a contentious issue. It also gets particularly hot which is annoying if you have to remove the light when you arrive at your destination. Also, having to use an Allen key to remove the mount may seem a minor issue, but becomes very annoying when swapping between bikes all the time.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes

Would you consider buying the light? Yes, if I remortgage my house...

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

Bar a few small points, the Scope 1500 is well designed and works incredibly well; you just need to consider what and how much you will be using it for to warrant the price.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 22  Height: 5ft8  Weight: 62kg

I usually ride: Cannondale Cadx  My best bike is: Scott CR1 Pro

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives

21 comments

Avatar
handlebarcam [1061 posts] 1 year ago
9 likes

How about a comparison test with the Bat Signal? I mean, if you are going to burn the retinas of oncoming cyclists and drivers with a 1500-lumen spotlight, you might as well give them a bat-shaped hole in the middle so they can still see something. Plus, if it is a cloudy day, you could call for help.

Avatar
bikebot [2119 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Has it got a really fast strobe mode?

Avatar
Morat [280 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes

This sort of light really should be labelled "Offroad Only"

Avatar
Welsh boy [429 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes
Morat wrote:

This sort of light really should be labelled "Offroad Only"

 

Yawn, the inevitable old moan.  Should every car with a high beam be marked for off road use only too?

Avatar
Jack Osbourne snr [680 posts] 1 year ago
10 likes
Welsh boy wrote:
Morat wrote:

This sort of light really should be labelled "Offroad Only"

 

Yawn, the inevitable old moan.  Should every car with a high beam be marked for off road use only too?

Thats an incredibly naive comment.

The issue with bike lights like these is that they are generally bought by less experienced riders who simply don't realise that more lumens does not make you safer and can actually make things more dangerous for other road users... Including other cyclists.

In an urban environment, you simply don't need anything like this output to see the road nevermind be seen.

I have had numerous experiences of looking round before changing lane to find myself blinded by the horizontally angled searchlight on the handlebars of the guy behind me. I've not been able to see in front of me never mind complete my manoeuvre.

You don't even need 1500 lumens to ride unlit country roads. I have done several 10-15 mile rides recently in the pitch dark on roads I'd never been on previously with a max output of a notional 600 lumens (2x 215 verified). I didnt need anything like max output to comfortably cruise along at 16-20 mph heavily laden.

Car lights can be put on full beam and are, obviously, abused by a minority...Some cars have lights that are excessively bright in comparison to the norm but nothing compares to a handlebar mounted bike light designed for riding through forests at midnight pointed horizontally at whoever might be unlucky enough to look in its direction. It is, quite simply, dangerous.

Guidance on the use of bike lights should, I feel, be mandatory in both the instructions and on the packaging of ALL modern bike lights and particularly on high-powered models.

Avatar
bikebot [2119 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

I doubt even warnings will help much. There's a few that seem to have a similar view about lights that some motorcyclists have about loud exhaust pipes. More noise/brightness is always better.

And as far as the law goes, a light that causes "undue dazzle or discomfort" is illegal on any vehicle. UK regulations are about thirty years out of data, and that vague legal definition hasn't been tested and refined through case law.  As the price per lumen keep falling, one or the other is probably inevitable.

Avatar
oldstrath [919 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

It's sold as an MTB light. Except for riding to and from the trailhead I'm not clear why one would use this on road

Avatar
Jack Osbourne snr [680 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
oldstrath wrote:

It's sold as an MTB light. Except for riding to and from the trailhead I'm not clear why one would use this on road

And therein lies another issue... Why is it being reviewed on THIS website?

Avatar
I love my bike [211 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
bikebot wrote:

I doubt even warnings will help much. There's a few that seem to have a similar view about lights that some motorcyclists have about loud exhaust pipes. More noise/brightness is always better.

And as far as the law goes, a light that causes "undue dazzle or discomfort" is illegal on any vehicle. UK regulations are about thirty years out of data, and that vague legal definition hasn't been tested and refined through case law.  As the price per lumen keep falling, one or the other is probably inevitable.

On the road it's only on steep downhills & when a car approaches from in front, that bright lights are needed to see where you're going.

Some will remember using Ever Ready D cell lights ~30 years ago. Though they were deficient in many respects, they were used to cycle in the dark at night.

With a full moon, it's perfectly possible to walk in the country without another light - our eyes are remarkably good at working, whatever the light levels.

Avatar
Welsh boy [429 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
Jack Osbourne snr wrote:
Welsh boy wrote:
Morat wrote:

This sort of light really should be labelled "Offroad Only"

 

Yawn, the inevitable old moan.  Should every car with a high beam be marked for off road use only too?

Thats an incredibly naive comment. The issue with bike lights like these is that they are generally bought by less experienced riders

Have you got any evidence for that statement?

[/quote] more lumens does not make you safer[/quote]

Having had my back and pelvis broken by a motorist who did not see my light I have to disagree with that statement.

[/quote] In an urban environment, you simply don't need anything like this output to see the road nevermind be seen[/quote]

If you read the article you will see that the light doesnt have to be used on full power all the time so whichc level of output do you think is too much?

[/quote] I have had numerous experiences of looking round before changing lane to find myself blinded by the horizontally angled searchlight on the handlebars of the guy behind me.[/quote]

I agree that that is annoying, there are inconsiderate people in all walks of life, not just those with lights which can be poorly aligned.

[/quote]You don't even need 1500 lumens to ride unlit country roads[/quote]

No, you dont, but it is much more relaxing to ride with a lot of light when conditions allow.  We could (and did for many years) ride on little incandescent lights giving off not much more than a faint glow.  I know which I would prefer to use.

[/quote]Car lights can be put on full beam and are, obviously, abused by a minority[/quote]

So can bike lights.

[/quote] Guidance on the use of bike lights should, I feel, be mandatory [/quote]

Guidance is given to motorists (and they are even tested on it) before they are allowed on the road on their own but a lot of them still crash, cause damage, kill people and can be inconsiderate so I dont think guidance would help much.

 

On balance, I still like the idea of a bright front light on my handlebars.

Avatar
Plasterer's Radio [330 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

Clam down, you lot. It's a bike light.

Avatar
bikebot [2119 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
I love my bike wrote:

On the road it's only on steep downhills & when a car approaches from in front, that bright lights are needed to see where you're going.

Some will remember using Ever Ready D cell lights ~30 years ago. Though they were deficient in many respects, they were used to cycle in the dark at night.

With a full moon, it's perfectly possible to walk in the country without another light - our eyes are remarkably good at working, whatever the light levels.

Remember them? I'm still using mine! Not really of course, but I did have a set when I was a lad.  Still occasionally see a set in use, even spotted an old metal set a few weeks ago (and working!).

There was something in the news in the last year about how rarely we now use our night vision, to the extent that some of us urban types don't really know what it is anymore.  In London at least, the commuters who are using madly bright, badly aimed lights aren't doing so to see, it's down to a few thinking it makes them safer.  Peak stupid was when I saw someone using an ebay special (the CREE XML jobbie) on their helmet, with the strobe setting. 

 

Avatar
davel [1967 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
Jack Osbourne snr wrote:
oldstrath wrote:

It's sold as an MTB light. Except for riding to and from the trailhead I'm not clear why one would use this on road

And therein lies another issue... Why is it being reviewed on THIS website?

Because it can be used on different settings on a road bike.

My commute takes in main, lit roads, unlit country roads, shared-use paths and completely unlit trails. At this time of year, the trails are pitch black, so it's proper night-time-off-road light territory. I need a light that is suitable for all these conditions.

The idea that any manufacturer would label a light that has various power outputs 'off road only - not for the roadies or roadie Websites' is a bit daft, no? As is the idea that this site caters only for roadies who only have urban road light requirements?

Avatar
davel [1967 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes
I love my bike wrote:

With a full moon, it's perfectly possible to walk in the country without another light - our eyes are remarkably good at working, whatever the light levels.

Totally agree, but this product isn't a walking torch.

I could quite easily walk my commute. It's a 30-mile round trip though, so would take 7ish hours. What lights like this one mean for people like me, is that you can still move at a decent pace in pitch black, so bike commuting at this time of year is a viable option.

There are some curious targets in this thread. Rail against the bellends who shine lights in your face or use excessive lights, by all means, but the manufacturers and the review? Have a word.

Avatar
oldstrath [919 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
davel wrote:
I love my bike wrote:

With a full moon, it's perfectly possible to walk in the country without another light - our eyes are remarkably good at working, whatever the light levels.

Totally agree, but this product isn't a walking torch. I could quite easily walk my commute. It's a 30-mile round trip though, so would take 7ish hours. What lights like this one mean for people like me, is that you can still move at a decent pace in pitch black, so bike commuting at this time of year is a viable option. There are some curious targets in this thread. Rail against the bellends who shine lights in your face or use excessive lights, by all means, but the manufacturers and the review? Have a word.

Not raging, just puzzled. I can see why this light for a mixed on and off road commute, although I think there are better, but for a commute purely on unlit roads (25 mile round trip in my case) there are options that are both "friendlier" to other users and a heck of a lot cheaper.

Avatar
handlebarcam [1061 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Someone in Cambridge seems to be selling lights like this (well, probably half the lumens, but that is still far too much when the beam has no cut-off) to anyone and everyone, certainly not mountain bikers on the way to the trails. That is judging by the number of times I have had to shield my eyes from oncoming riders on sit-up-and-beg bicycles with a basket on the front and then a spotlight clipped to that. It makes cycling along the long, straight cycle paths next to the busways like the bombing run sequence in The Dam Busters, only the German searchlight operators have gone crazy. In fact, it's almost as common a sight as people riding with no light other than the tiny torch on the backs of their cellphones, held precariously in one hand, pointing in any direction but forwards.

Avatar
davel [1967 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
handlebarcam wrote:

Someone in Cambridge seems to be selling lights like this (well, probably half the lumens, but that is still far too much when the beam has no cut-off) to anyone and everyone, certainly not mountain bikers on the way to the trails. That is judging by the number of times I have had to shield my eyes from oncoming riders on sit-up-and-beg bicycles with a basket on the front and then a spotlight clipped to that. It makes cycling along the long, straight cycle paths next to the busways like the bombing run sequence in The Dam Busters, only the German searchlight operators have gone crazy. In fact, it's almost as common a sight as people riding with no light other than the tiny torch on the backs of their cellphones, held precariously in one hand, pointing in any direction but forwards.

The policing certainly doesn't help; all they really seem interested in is the publicity of  getting the 'you should have lights!' message across, while handing out token bulbs to people with no lights.

But, as has been said, misunderstanding isn't limited to bike lights. Ask a random sample of drivers to explain what 'dipped' and 'main' beam car lights are...

Avatar
Bez [620 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Hm. I read the review because of the "exceptional" in the abstract, but what's exceptional about it? Seems like yet another "moar lumens in a cone shape" light. Even the price isn't exceptional, it's the same as the Exposure Strada. Bah, I've been clickbaited : )

Avatar
monty dog [463 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Lots of lights out there near identical - Gemini Duo is £140 and offers the same power output.  I ride both road and offroad in winter on unlit country lanes and feel that 1000 lumens minimum is needed when riding fast. Double-flatted once when I couldn't see a pothole due to poor lights. For offroad, it's usually double that with both bars and helmet mounted lights. 

Avatar
Team EPO [118 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

How about this bay boy from China with 10,000 lumens!  Exposure Maax D is 3,000

No way near 10,000 but got to love the misuse of Lumens by some people from far away lands

https://www.amazon.co.uk/10000lumen-7xcree-Bicycle-Headlight-Battery/dp/...

Avatar
Lungsofa74yearold [293 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Or for an extra £15, you can get Gemini Titan with an extra 2500 lumens. And unlike Team EPO's suggestion, you won't burn your house down the first time you try to charge it.