There’s a lot to like about One23’s Ultra Bright 1 high power front light. It's bold, well made and relatively cheap. However, the rubberised switch is prone to accidental engagement, the peripheral illumination isn't great, and roadside battery changes are less convenient than you'll find with many lights.
Opening the lens reveals some very well sealed, solid looking internals. A tiny Phillips head countersunk into the base helps safeguard against vibration while providing access to the four AAA batteries. However, the size of screwdriver you need isn't commonly found on multi tools so you might need to carry one in your seat pack, just in case you run out of juice out on the road. With the compartments fully closed, directing the garden hose along the casing for five minutes failed to get any water inside so, as you’d expect, riding in the rain hasn’t presented any problems.
The One23 comes with a tool-free bracket that clasps the standard spectrum of handlebar diameters, and it has stayed firmly in place despite rides on rough roads. A simple rubberised switch takes care of on/off and takes you between static and flashing modes. It’s a little fiddly to operate in really thick gloves and has occasionally engaged when stored in a pannier or pocket, but it's competent enough.
The light output in is easily good enough to get you seen and the broad beam is sufficient for round town navigation. It feels weak alongside the latest generation of compact rechargeables, but that's not surprising for a light of this price.
The light isn't bright enough for easy riding on unlit country roads but the flashing mode gets you noticed, making it the perfect partner for an inexpensive dynamo. Run times are reasonable at around 22 hours in steady mode and 38 hours in flashing mode. However, there's not much peripheral visibility, making turns on unlit roads particularly difficult. Modest side windows would cost pennies and make a world of difference.
Competent front light for urban and suburban commutes
road.cc test report
Make and model: One23 Ultra Bright 1 light
Size tested: Green
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?
"ULTRA BRIGHT 1W
1 Watt Hi-power White LED
Long Lasting High Beam 24 Hours
2 Modes Steady And Flashing
Tool Free Fitting
4 AAA Batteries Included
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, in the main
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, for urban/suburban commuting
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
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, mtb,
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)