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Verdict: 
Decent performance, but very poor value at full RRP
Weight: 
149g
Sigma Buster 600
5 10

The Buster 600 is the most powerful of Sigma's one piece lights, rated at 600 lumens. It says it ensures that 'off-road and on road trips at night are a pleasure', but really it's a basic commuter light with just enough punch for dark lanes.

  • Pros: Bright, step-down power saving
  • Cons: Silly price and very basic

On first inspection the Buster 600 appears to be a very basic light of a sort that's been around for years. Angular design, button on the top, bog-standard screw clamp, you know the kind of thing. On second inspection that's precisely what it is. It has a decent output, respectable run-time and charges from the ubiquitous USB port, but those are modest boasts in 2017 and there's nothing more to justify its eye-watering price tag.

The Ravemen PR lights we've reviewed and liked so far – the PR600 and PR1200 – double as a power bank for your devices, use a proper German style beam pattern and provide you with a remote control switch. The Buster has none of these features and feels distinctly old school. Choose the PR900 and you also get more power plus a properly usable fuel gauge for about £10 less (RRP) than Sigma's offering. The Sigma also has a very basic screw clamp, despite offering a more practical silicone strap as an optional extra. How much does a silicone bracket cost for heaven's sake?

Sigma Buster 600 - side.jpg

Sigma Buster 600 - side.jpg

Okay, so the Buster is poor value for the features on offer, but how does it perform as a light? Quite respectably. Looking at the road.cc beam comparison engine above, it appears to be brighter than some other lights of comparable power. That may be a function of the beam pattern and I haven't seen the other lights to compare them in the Real World©, but still, it suggests the Buster's output isn't exaggerated.

In use it has the usual array of modes. It cycles through these, which means you'll have to pass through a horrible strobe and an SOS pattern if you want to swap between full power and the more modest modes.

The button doubles as an illuminated fuel gauge, with the red light coming on at 30%. In use the button needs a double press to switch the light on, which can feel awkward, especially as the button is small and stiff. It's very unlikely to switch on while it's bumping about in a bag, so at least you won't find your light has mysteriously emptied itself.

Sigma Buster 600 - top.jpg

Sigma Buster 600 - top.jpg

I live in Devon, where the lanes are dark, the roads are rough and the badgers are surprising. The Buster wouldn't be my first choice for hooning about at full speed. The output is too modest and the centrally focused beam provides very little peripheral light. For regular commuting it's okay and the lower modes (Standard, 250 lumens, and Eco, 110 lumens) are fine for lit roads. Like everything about this light it's not really bad, just... meh.

> Buyer's Guide: The best 2017/2018 front lights for cycling

Charging is via a USB port, covered by a chunky rubber bung. Claimed run-time on full power is 2hrs; I tried a run-down test but as the light gradually steps down as the battery discharges it was almost impossible to accurately check the claim. What I did notice was that the light seemed to take ages to fully discharge. That's reassuring, it doesn't just go 'phut' after two hours, but you may also be misled by the amount of power that is available. Not great if you're about to head down a dark lane.

There's nothing particularly bad about the Buster and a few years ago I might have been rather kinder. It's a basic light that does a reasonable job but it's hugely expensive for the features on offer.

Verdict

Decent performance, but very poor value at full RRP

road.cc test report

Make and model: Sigma Buster 600

Size tested: 600 lumen

Tell us what the light is for

Sigma lists this as one of its 'Power' lights for on and off-road use.

Sigma says: "The BUSTER 600 illuminates the trail perfectly. It is not only ideal for night rides, it can also be used for other night time outdoor activities."

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

There's more info about the light on Sigma's website, but essentially it's a single LED with six modes and a claimed run-time of 2-13hrs.

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
7/10

Hefty aluminium front end feels robust; the internals will probably give up long before the case does. The battery isn't replaceable.

Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
5/10

The button is small, stiff and needs a double click to switch on.

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

Totally standard but the silicone version would be much better.

Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
7/10
Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
6/10

Hard to tell how long you really get on full power but a steady step down means you won't suddenly go dark.

Rate the light for performance:
 
7/10

Actually punches above its weight compared with lights claiming a similar output but the beam pattern isn't ideal.

Rate the light for durability:
 
7/10

A robust case is all well and good, but it's the internals that count. Ask me again in a few years time.

Rate the light for weight:
 
6/10
Rate the light for value:
 
4/10

Full RRP is ridiculous. For £10 less you can get the Ravemen 900 which is more powerful, doubles as a power bank, has a proper fuel gauge, a German beam pattern and a remote control button.

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

Pretty good – just enough power for dark lanes and sensible modes for around town.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

Makes good use of the power available.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

Silly pricing for a bog-standard light.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yeah, it does a decent job.

Would you consider buying the light? At full RRP? Hell, no.

Would you recommend the light to a friend? No

Use this box to explain your overall score

A reasonable light but very expensive for such a basic design.

Overall rating: 5/10

About the tester

Age: 47  Height: 5' 8  Weight: er....85kg

I usually ride: Genesis Flyer  My best bike is: Hewitt Alpine

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: time trialling, commuting, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, audax and long distance solo rides

1 comments

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds [1123 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes

Can be purchased for less than £60 posted, this gets the same rating as the absolute load of gash Magicshine MJ-902B at £104.

Rating a light at 5/10 because you need a double click to operate it is not just petty but ignores the benefits, as a Sigma light user I have no issues with thick winter gloves with the double click system on my Sigma.

Sorry but the rating is ridiculously flawed in comparison to much weaker/crap lights that have got the same rating!