The Xeccon Link 150 is a nicely finished, four-mode front light for urban riding with, as the name indicates, a maximum output of 150 lumens. It feels brighter than the figures suggest and run-times are decent, but this is offset by the slow charging: five hours when fully depleted is what you'd expect of torch types capable of belting out between 600 and 900 lumens.
Behind the polycarbonate lens sits a CREE XP-E2 diode, circuitry, switchgear and rechargeable lithium cell. Measuring 67x31x22mm, it's pretty compact, so perfect for clutter-phobic cockpits/riders.
The outer shell is made from a nicely machined T6 6061 aluminium alloy which displaces heat, so diodes and other internals should lead long and productive lives. What's more, it meets IPX65 waterproofing standards, which is good if also unusual for a city light.
The Link attaches to the bike via a simple, removable 'bridge' and sturdy rubber doughnut ring. There's a choice of two sizes, one for bars between 22.5 and 26mm, and a biggie for 31.8mm oversized diameters. It's solid, secure and very simple. And if you do lose it, chances are you or your friendly local bike shop will have another floating around the spares drawer.
Switch & modes
The switch is a large, centre-mounted affair. Like most it also features a simple charge life/indicator that goes from green to blue to red. The positive action means it shouldn't accidentally engage, but hasn't felt remote in full-finger gloves.
Engagement is a one-press affair; shutting down requires a more definite, two-second press.
There are four modes in total. It defaults to low (steady) which, judging by others in my collection, seems around the 50-lumen mark. Press again for medium and again for high. Strobing – fast flash in my book – is found by pressing the switch for three seconds, and it has behaved impeccably: no shutting down instead of flashing, or flashing instead of shutting down.
Commuter lights have become much better across the board but I was particularly impressed by the 150's beam's purity. It's much better than some I've used boasting 350-400 lumens, the sort theoretically designed with semi-rural navigation in mind.
Through well-lit town centres, being seen is paramount – most traffic seemed to clock me at around 100m in the highest setting, dipping to around 70m and 50m in medium and low respectively.
Although there's not an official daylight mode, high and strobe do a decent job of burning through the early morning or late afternoon gloom.
Attempts at helmet mounting proved futile, but otherwise there's enough bite, especially in the medium and high settings, for tackling roadside mechanicals or reading signs/maps.
Thanks to the shape of the lens, peripheral bleed is very good, and I've been pleasantly surprised by how conspicuous I've been when entering the flow of traffic. No surprise, flashing trumps them all in these contexts.
When I used the light to partner more powerful main systems or dynamos, friends and oncoming riders reckoned they could pick out the strobing beam at 350 metres. This dipped to 300m in murkier conditions such as you get on early September mornings/evenings (when it's just light enough to navigate but you need something to be seen with), and around 200m in town.
Low is great for dual-use paths, or when you need a steady setting while also conserving battery.
Most lights are pretty faithful to quoted run-times, give or take a few minutes, and the Xeccon is no exception. I've returned 2hrs 43mins from a full charge, in the highest setting. Medium cruised to almost 6 hours, and flashing 9hrs 53mins. The battery is reckoned good for 300 charge cycles, around two or three years in hard use.
On the whole, it's pretty reasonable relative to output and battery size.
Charging is via the familiar USB charge plug round the back, hidden behind a very rubbery flap, and it takes around five hours (packet fresh, it needed 3.5, since it would have received a storage charge to protect the cell). Though fine at home or overnight, it doesn't make it the most convenient for charging at work, especially if such things are frowned upon.
The battery life indicator changes from green to blue, then slips to red when reserves hit 15%. This then pulses on and off as a warning. At this point it will not staircase down to flashing. In normal everyday circumstances, the likelihood of being plunged into darkness is pretty slim.
At £21.99, the Link 150 compares well with 'be seen by' lights of similar output: the Magicshine MJ-890 front light has an RRP of £39.95, though is currently on sale for £19.94, while Fabric's very good FL150, now called the Lumanate, is £39.99.
As a town light or secondary compact system, the Link 150 has a lot to offer at a sensible price. Run-times are pretty competitive and mitigate the relatively pedestrian charge time. That said, depending on workplace politic, this may be a deal-breaker for less disciplined, desk-bound commuters.
Nice compact light with a decent build and performance, but pedestrian charge times
road.cc test report
Make and model: Xeccon Link 150
Size tested: 150 lumens
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?
Xeccon says: "Link 150 (Changhong 40) city bike light, a very nice and fashion design, offers 4 modes and up to 150lumens with wide light angle, which not only allowing the cyclist to be seen, but allowing the cyclist to see as well."
I broadly agree – and it seems more powerful than 150 lumens would suggest.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
Xeccon lists these details:
LED: 1*Cree XP-E2 LED
Max Output: 150 Lumens
Run Time: 2.7-10 Hours
Mode: Low -Mid- High
OFF Mode (Hold 2 seconds) / Strobe Mode (Hold 3 seconds)
Material: Zinc Alloy + Plastic
Battery: Internal Rechargeable Lithium Battery
Charging Time: 5 Hours
Waterproof Level: IP65
Weight (w/ Battery): 46g
Well made and weatherproofing is of a much higher standard than typical of commuter lights per se.
Very large rubberised top switch cum battery life indicator is intuitive to use, even in full-finger gloves. Just positive enough to avoid accidental power-ups in pockets or panniers.
Simple rubber doughnut type, snug and effective. Replacements are easily found too, which is another plus.
Reasonable run-times compensate for the pedestrian five-hour charging time.
Excellent as a contingency light, or companion to dynamo/high-end main unit in the flashing modes.
Metal housing and decent weatherproofing bode well for a long and productive life, so long as the usual care is taken when charging/storing.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, the Xeccon 150 is a bright little light with sensible design and modes ideally suited to well-lit commutes, or as a contingency front light for extended playtimes on your best bike. Compact design and reasonable run-times mean it serves well as a companion to more powerful main systems too. Less of an issue in the lower settings, but five-hour recharging times may be a deal-breaker for some.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Compact, robust and seems brighter than the maximum 150 lumens would suggest.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Five-hour recharging times are what I've come to expect from high power systems, and might prove a deal breaker for some.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes
Would you consider buying the light? Possibly
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes, for contingencies on the best bike, or town-centric commuting.
Use this box to explain your score
It's a decent little light that feels robust and pleasant to use, though the long charge times will prove a turn-off for some.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough stuff tourer based around 4130 Univega mountain bike frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)