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Verdict: 
A sensible number of useful functions in a well-made package, plenty of light for dark lanes and enough battery for day rides
Weight: 
75g
Xeccon Link 300 front light
7 10

As a mid-brightness, mid-price unit, the Xeccon Link 300 Front Light does a pretty decent job. It's simple to use, well made and has a good battery life.

Xeccon is fairly new to the UK market, being distributed here by Moore Large direct from its Chinese factory. Quality of materials and construction is good, the two-part resin and aluminium casing being held together with Allen bolts rather than clipped, which prevents it popping apart and spilling its guts the first time you drop it on the tarmac.

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The switch is on the top, quite exposed to the weather, but the silicone seal stayed in place and I had no trouble with water ingress through six weeks of testing, including a five-minute light spraying with the garden hose. The same was true of the USB port cover, out of the way on the back edge, though the cover itself is a bit fiddly to push securely into place.

The single Cree XP-G LED is deeply recessed into the casing, which prevents it shining into your eyes from below but also means no side visibility. That's a surprisingly common oversight among light manufacturers, though it could be argued that the almost universal adoption of bar-mounted lights make the point largey irrelevant, because your wrists are in the line of light anyway. However, it's something to consider if you are concerned about making yourself as visible as possible.

Operation is pretty simple: press the switch to turn it on. Then press to scroll through the three setting of brightness – low, high and 'light sensor'. This last adjusts the brightness of the light according to the ambient daylight, using a sensor under the silicone button cover. It worked quite effectively, increasing the output as the ambient light dimmed – but is this the right way round? I actually like to run my front light more brightly in the daylight when contrast is bad...

If you want the strobe mode, you need to press and hold for three seconds from 'off', after which any further presses of the button return you to the constant mode. There was no 'mode memory' to turn the light back on in the same setting you were using before you turned it off, but with such a limited range of modes there's no real need.

The strobe mode is just that – a rapid flash (several times a second) at what looks like full power. This was my preferred option for daytime running, for which I liked this light the best, but I didn't feel happy about using it in traffic at night and it was unsuitable for dark roads.

The Link 300 has a round, focused beam with enough spraying out towards the edges to light your path effectively. On unlit roads I found it necessary to run full-beam to make quick progress confidently, but that was well up to the task. The lower beam was still plenty bright enough for town and traffic.

In the road.cc comparison engine (see below) it's not quite as bright or as wide a beam as the Fabric FL300, but it is £17 cheaper. On the other hand, it's easily outshone by the Cateye Volt 200, which is similarly priced, even though that's only rated at 200 lumens.

> Buyer's Guide: The best front lights for cycling

The mounting hardwear is made from chunky resin, the light sliding easily on and snapping securely into place. The silicone band is tethered at one end and uses the usual hook-through-a-hole method to secure, though, less usually, this is done at the front of the light. This means the free end of the strap pokes out in front of the light and throws a bit of a shadow. I thought it would be better if the mount was the other way round.

Battery life is good – I got 2 hours 10 minutes on full power and never ran out of power on winter day-rides using the strobe function; but it did take the whole advertised five hours to recharge.

Verdict

A sensible number of useful functions in a well-made package, plenty of light for dark lanes and enough battery for day rides

road.cc test report

Make and model: Xeccon Link 300 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?

From Xeccon:

Link 300 is a modern USB front light with simple lines design. It is super compact, will be clean and tidy when mounting on the handlebar.

The bracket is quick released and 360°rotatable design, you can adjust the light shinning way flexibly.

The OP reflector offer a long distance and nice beam angle, which make sure a wider field of vision, and make you a clear and safer riding.

Link 300 is also special designed with Lock&Unlock system, to avoid accident witching ON during transportation or when the light in bag/ pocket, so as to save the power at best.

With 300 Lumens Max output and 16 hours max running time, Link 300 will be a perfect companion for you city night riding.

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

LED: 1 Cree XP-G2 LED

Max Output: 300 Lumens

Run Time: 2-10 hours

Mode: Low - High

Material: Zinc Alloy + Plastic

Micro USB Rechargeable

Battery: 1000mAh Internal Rechargeable Battery

Charging Time: 5 hours

Waterproof Level: Water Resistant

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Well made from an alloy bulb and lens mount and a chunky resin body, held together with Allen bolts.

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

Not too complicated, a modest number of modes and simple scrolling. You need to hold the button down for 3 seconds to access the flashing mode.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
7/10

Quite simple but sturdy and effective. I found the loose end of the rubber strap slightly interfered with the beam of the torch and thought the strap should fasten at the back, not the front.

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

No problems during the test period. I don't like the fiddly little USB cover which was difficult to push in securely and, in my experience, is likely to snap off and get lost.

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

As indicated by the manufacturer, around 2 hours on full beam. Recharge took a full 5 hours.

Rate the light for performance:
 
7/10

On full beam I thought this little torch had a good, penetrating central bright spot, with a useful peripheral spread to help you keep your bearings along the edges of a dark road or lane. Low beam wasn't bright enough for those conditions but ample for traffic. The strobe setting was good for daytime riding.

Rate the light for durability:
 
8/10

Just that flimsy USB cover to keep an eye on.

Rate the light for weight:
 
7/10

A good balance of robustness and weight.

Rate the light for value:
 
6/10

Perhaps a bit dear for the light output, though it is well made.

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

It performed reliably, had bags of battery life for all-day winter rides on "strobe" mode and enough juice for a good two hours on dark roads. On full beam it lit dark roads more than adequately.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

Simple to use, well made.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

Slow recharge time, no side visibility.

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

Xeccon seems to have concentrated on ensuring a few useful modes, adequate power for dark night rides and enough battery life for the commute. The light is well made, looks good and seems reliable. Maybe it isn't quite as much light for your pound as some others, but I found it plenty. If it was a little cheaper I'd give it an 8. It's good, verging on very good.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 51  Height: 6'2  Weight: 73kg and rising

I usually ride: Cannondale CAAD10   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking