The Busch & Muller Lumotec IQ Eyro front light is a simple two-mode rechargeable model with a maximum output of 30 lux. Beam pattern is reasonable navigationally, and run-times between charges are pretty favourable too.
- Pros: Well built, reasonable output and run-times, less attractive to opportunist thieves
- Cons: Pedestrian charge times, reflector means pool of light lacks purity of some 300lu compact torch models
As I'd expect from this price point, engineering grade plastics run throughout and it feel reassuringly solid. It easily passes for one of B&M's dynamo lamps too – so much so, I was holding B&M dynamo wiring in one hand, perplexed by a lack of ports! Locating the packaging solved that particular mystery: it's fuelled by a rechargeable lithium battery. The casing pops into two halves, revealing the android pattern charge port.
A single LED is projected through a polycarbonate lens and angular reflector that will be familiar to users of modern European dynamo lamps, but distinctly alien if you're coming from torch-type lights of similar capacities.
Talking of which, comparison between lumens and lux are a little tricky since lux is actually a measure of light output within a given area, whereas lumens denotes the total amount of light produced. As a rough 'n' ready: 80-100 lux is my yardstick for fast-paced rural navigation.
With that in mind, I was expecting the IQ Eyro to take suburban/semi-rural stuff in its stride. I've found a 15-lux lamp, powered by Nexus hub dynamo, sufficient in the seen-with sense for scooting through South London. The Eyro's low setting is 10 lux, the minimum permitted by German law.
The Eyro comes with a stainless steel fork crown mount, which is designed to place the beam pattern low, illuminating the road ahead, while still providing enough presence to be seen with. My preference is for Gusset 'headlock' type systems rather than a star fangled nut; these use a clamping system that passes right through the head tube, hence I mounted the light via a Trelock handlebar bracket, which still permits some subtle adjustments yet holds the light securely.
These methods, coupled with the dynamo styling, may make it less appealing to opportunist tea-leaves too.
Out of town, the shallow carpet of light is a bit of a culture shock, coming from high power torches or indeed dynamo lamps, such as the Exposure Revo. To be frank, some 300-lumen compact torch types, including Moon's Meteor C3, produce a purer arc of light, which is much easier to navigate by and nails driver attention too.
That said, the beam quality is still good enough, making it easy to spot holes and other hazards from a safe distance, and permitting moderate 16-23mph speeds through suburban and better lit semi-rural roads.
Lens and reflector project a very reasonable 180-degree cloak of light, with most traffic actively acknowledging me from 30-40 metres. In fact, even the 10 lux will do through well-lit town centres, aided in part by the large additional 'safety' reflector located beneath the lens.
Though relatively tame, 10 lux was still better than some old halogen dynamo lamps from 25 years back, although, away from shared use/similarly segregated lanes, I felt considerably happier pairing it with a small blinkie such as the Infini Luxo.
Curious to see just how it coped along the darker lanes, I've taken it on a few five-mile detours. Again, with the full 30 lux on tap it's broadly on par with a 250-300-lumen torch type and I was able to cruise along at around 14mph with reasonable warning of ruts, holes, glass and iced dung.
Approaching SUVs in particular seemed to display a more cavalier approach to me, often overtaking a stationary vehicle or similar obstruction and drifting into my side of the carriageway. By contrast, a lower power torch type, such as Blackburn's Central 300, induced much greater caution on their part.
The OEM cable is an android pattern and will also refuel from those designed for tablets rather than phones. Charging took a good three hours from the mains when fully depleted, and communicates reserves in a series of flashes. Clear denotes fully charged and ready to go. There's no danger of over-charging the battery either – it will switch off when fully juiced.
On the bike, it will also communicate charge levels every two minutes. Five flashes denotes 80-100%, four flashes 80-60%, three 60-40%, two 40-20%, and one flash means 20% or less. At this point, the auto kick-down will engage the lowest 10 lux as a failsafe.
Run-times have been accurate, within 3 minutes of the times quoted, and despite some initial trepidation it has always kicked down to 10 lux when the battery's reserves have dwindled.
This is top mounted and colour coordinated, requiring a firm two-second press to engage. Charge levels allowing, it will default to the highest 30 lux but another firm press will select the 10 lux. It's trickier to use mid-ride compared with multi-mode torch types, but this isn't really necessary, since the system self-regulates when reserves slide. Besides, even allowing for the German standard reflector, you're not going to be dazzling anyone with 30 lux.
The Eyro has a distinctly German/Dutch feel. Commuters wanting classic dynamo styling and decent run-times will probably be its biggest fans.
While it has sufficient navigational clout beyond the suburbs, compared with a contemporary 300-lumen torch type using collimator lens it feels weaker, which came as a culture shock. I would always pair the Eyro with a flashing/pulsing blinkie, regardless of mode.
Simple, solid and generally convenient commuter light with a distinctly European flavour
road.cc test report
Make and model: Busch&Muller IQ Eyro
Size tested: 30 Lux
Tell us what the light is for
Busch & Muller says: "The Lumotec IQ Eyro is Busch + Müller's first battery powered front light for fork mounting. The Eyro delivers a bright light with 30 lux and close range illumination. It comes with 2 power-modes. A HighPower-Mode with 30 Lux and a LowPower-Mode with 10 Lux. The runtime amounts up to 5 or 10 hours, depending which mode is used. Charging wherever, whenever - The light/battery unit can quickly be removed from its holder. An Indicator LED gives informations about the battery status. The integrated lithium battery can be charged via USB (cable included). A front reflector for German law approval is integrated."
I'd say it's a simple but generally well-conceived two-mode light with dynamo styling and realistic run times/output for semi-rural commuting.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
Two modes 30/10 lux, 5 or 10-hour run-times between charges, automatic safety cut down. Composite construction, rechargeable lithium cell, "intelligent" battery life indicator communicated through single LED diode.
Well engineered from sturdy composites.
Huge top-mounted switch, positive and easy to use, all the more so when bar- rather than fork-mounted.
Fork mounting has a very European flavour and is generally very secure, making theft less likely. However, the inclusion of a bar bracket would have been welcome. That said, fork mounting arguably provides the best pool of light.
Batteries, switch gear and diodes seem well sealed.
Accurate. Output will wane steadily when reserves dip below 10% or so, but it's not particularly dramatic, and by that point it's likely you would be recharging.
Very good, especially in town, and not bad navigationally through better-lit semi-rural sections. However, it's a little weaker than some 300-lumen torch models using collimator lenses.
Not particularly weighty and a resin, bar-mounted bracket will also scrub off a few grams, although this is unlikely to bother commuters and utility riders.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, I've been pleasantly surprised by B&M's first foray into the battery light market. Aimed at commuters, 30 lux is actually pretty good and though it produces a less intense arc of light than we've come to expect from torch type models packing 300-400 lumens, I've been able to navigate semi-rural sections at 18mph with a good view of upcoming hazards. At the other extreme, 10 lux is a little impotent but still adequate in well-lit town contexts and dual-use paths, though I've been inclined to pair it with a blinkie, since these seem to captivate other traffic faster than the steady settings.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Dynamo styling, simple, practical design.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Nothing given the design brief.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes
Would you consider buying the light? A little underpowered for my needs, but for a town bike, yes.
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes, in the above context.
Use this box to explain your overall score
Competent town light with a distinctly European flavour and similarly practical touches. However, some UK riders will miss the wider choice of settings provided by the multi-mode torch types commanding similar cash.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb 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)