Electron Backupz USB LED lights  £34.99

7/10

Great keyring sized rechargeable urban lights to keep you visible

Contact  www.madison.co.uk

by TR McGowran   October 27, 2010  

Electron Backupz USB LED light set

These little Backupz LEDs are brilliant if you are riding through town after the sun has disappeared. They are tiny, each the size of a key fob so you can easily stuff them safe in your pocket when you are nipping in to the to the pub for a refreshment break on your way back from work while your steed is locked up outside.

They also couldn't be easier to attach to your bike, simply wrap the elastic around a tube (handlebars or seatpost) and clip it into a hook! I did have reservations at first about the fragility of the plastic hook on the rear light but it is still there doing its job after a month of testing. What is more to the point is that they knock out a fair amount of light, ok not enough to guide your way on an unlit road but do a good job of showing other road users that you are there so they are perfect for the urban cyclist or when riding in the half light or groggy weather.

The front light houses 2 ultra bright LEDs whilst the rear has 4 bright red LEDs crammed into its little shell with two of them pointing out at a 45 degree angle offering a good spread of light. Their transparent plastic cases allow the whole unit to glow and further increase the viewing angle of these light units. To conserve battery consumption and increase the run time from a not too shabby 5.5 hours steady light you can choose a flashing mode on both front and rear and an extra twinkley chase mode for the rear effectively doubling or quadroupling the the time before they go flat. Using them for an hour every evening they still had some juice in them after 2 weeks on the flash mode which is great.

Now, here is why they are clever little things; When they have only an hour or so left of flashing power in the battery a little red warning light starts blinking which is visible through the transparent casing. This is your signal to plug them in to your computer using the USB cable supplied (it come with a splitter so you can charge both lights from one computer USB port) and in three hours time they will be fully charged again.

The little red indicator light goes still whilst charging then green to tell you that you are fully charged and ready to go. There is even a built in anti-overcharging circuit to stop them frazzelling so you can leave them plugged in over night if needs be without the risk of setting your desk on fire, well, less risk anyway. Annoyingly, after a month of daily/nightly use, the warning light is permanently blinking telling me to charge the rear unit but when I plug it in the green light shows meaning it is fully charged. Ho, hum.

The transparent plastic shells look like they might be fragile and brittle but have remained un-tarnished and my other worry of them filling up with water through the usb charging port hasn't happened either… and they have been through a machine wash on 40 degrees without harm. Apart from the flickery charging light constantly telling me to charge the rear light (maybe that's down to delayed shock after the washing machine incident) these are cracking little lights which are comparable in price to knog equivalents but with the added feature of being rechargeable.

Verdict

Great keyring sized urban commute lights to help you be seen in town and that can be charged up from your computer whilst you are checking your favourite website (road.cc).

road.cc test report

Make and model: Electron Backupz USB LED lights

Size tested: n/a

Tell us what the product 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?

Urban commuter back-up lights. These work well enough in town to work as the main set of lights unless the weather is very bad.

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

• 3 modes; chase, flash and constant

• Constant brightness level

• Charge time: 3 hours

• Runtime : 5.5 hours (steady), 20 hours (chase) or 10.5 hours (flash)

• Built in anti-overcharging circuit

• Status indicator for charging, charged and low battery

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

The units are light and can stand being dropped repeatedly and the initial thoughts of the plastic being weak and fragile were quashed. The charging light permanently flashing could be a battery fault but the performance hasn't altered.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

These little lights do a good job of getting you seen on the road. More than twice as good as the single LED lights.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

Unless the permanently flashing charging light is telling me that the unit is going to fail at any second, the charging capability will bring value for money over time. The units are waterproof and surprisingly robust.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
10/10

With a combined weight of less than 30grams, you aren't going to get much lighter than that.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Initial cost is quite high but compared to some of the more stylish rubber lights they are reasonable value and in time and after several charges you will be in praise of their rechargeability.

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

Apart from the rear unit saying that it needs charged permanently when clearly it doesn't these are great lights because you can keep topping up there power at your desk when you are in front of your computer and we know that you use a computer!

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

You can charge it with a common usb cable connection. Gives a good spread of light for such small units.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

the re-charge light is flashing constantly after a month of daily/nightly use.

Did you enjoy using the product? yes

Would you consider buying the product? I would

Would you recommend the product to a friend? I have

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 37  Height: 180  Weight: 80

I usually ride: Bike that I am testing at the time  My best bike is: Giant CFR pro. Old school carbon converted to fixed. Kinesis Convert 2 fixed. Shorter cafe racer

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed, bare back

3 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

sorry, how much? :-o

jezzzer's picture

posted by jezzzer [339 posts]
28th October 2010 - 12:07

1 Like

Well spotted Simon, they are doing the pair for only £21!

It's not just about the size of your cog.

TRs Blurb n Blog's picture

posted by TRs Blurb n Blog [270 posts]
28th October 2010 - 17:45

1 Like

The individual prices are more palatable, and the battery-powered versions are quite a bit cheaper. I am considering a rear one for my rucksack as an elevated backup/addition to my main light on the seat post.

* Edit - by the above I mean the individual prices which are currently on special offer offer at a prominent online retailer.

* Second edit - I've just realised you can use one of the affiliate links to buy them - wouldn't hurt, would it Smile

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2054 posts]
30th October 2010 - 21:10

2 Likes

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