Great as a last resort but don’t rely on them to do more
The Backupz LED front and rear light set is a pair of keyring sized units that deliver a reliable, if limited, supply of light for riding at night.
They're are aimed at commuters and general cyclists as a “get me home” option should your main source of illumination fail. This model, the Backupz single LED is made from a robust plastic that provides a secure, waterproof enclosure for the battery, workings and LED. They have 3 modes, one constant and two flashing, and they are supplied on a neat little rubber band, designed to stretch over bars or seat posts. It's a simple, clean design that doesn’t over-complicate matters.
The Backupz have been fitted to my slick shod mountain bike that I use to get in and out of Bristol for approximately a month now. I experimented with using the set with and without my main lighting setup. With the main beams on I couldn’t see any advantage of having them on the bike as the light produced by these little units was simply drowned out. When used on their own the low levels of light produced by the Backupz are a slight concern for riding in busy areas and I would not like to have to travel far relying on these. Having said that, the idea of having them in your office drawer or saddle bag and being able to call on them when your more expensive and supposedly reliable main lights fail does offer some reassurance and cars and other road users should be able to see you with them on.
From a value for money angle I am not sure that the Backupz deliver. Yes they are a neat little package but at almost £17 I would want to know that I could change the battery for a small amount and continue using them in their sturdy, waterproof state and having tried to do this I don’t believe it’s an option – a full set of batteries for both lights is about £10 from the local cobblers. They give you 360 hours of life: that’s a lot of backup time but I don’t just want to throw them away at the end of their life. I'd be tempted to opt for the Backupz LED’s more technologically integrated sibling, the USB rechargeable. This should never need to be replaced, the fitment is the same single piece of rubber that can stretch and grip around bars, seat posts and even frames but it has 2 LEDs for greater coverage and the ability to just plug it in and let it charge. It does cost more (around £20 for the front light) you'll save in the long term.
Overall the Electron Backupz LED set is a well designed pair of lights, but if you can afford it you should opt for the USB recharge version. Or, make sure you main lights are working properly, are fully charged and able to get you home! The Electron Backupz LED set has its uses as a last option to get you home in one piece but don’t rely on it to do more than that.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Electron Backupz LED light set
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?
This simple set of LED lights is designed for cyclists of all levels as a back up, 'get me home safely' option. This is a fair target as there is nothing that is this small and this unobtrusive available elsewhere.
Tell us some more about the techincal aspects of the product?
Single LED in each casing, white front, red rear. Each unit has 3 modes, one constant and two different flashing frequencies. The cases for each of these keyring size units are claimed to be waterproof, I only tested them in light showers but they survived perfectly well.
They are very strong, they take knocks from movement on the bike and as they are small enough to be keyrings they deal with drops and even being sat on without concern. My only concern would be the waterproof qualities should you ever need to change the batteries. The small silicon strip needs to be perfectly in place and my experience of similar waterproofing designs makes me dubious about the performance this would offer.
It does what it says on the box, it really is for back up use only as the illuminating qualities of the single LED isn't great but it does work for being noticed from afar. I found the rubber fitting, a simple stretchy rubber band that grips around bars or seatposts, was reasonable but directing the LED was sometimes difficult.
As far as I used the product it was very strong. It hasn't got a mark on it and I feel that it could take almost anything thrown at it.
I didn't notice them at all, theyre tiny in every way. Their small dimensions mean they don't get in the way and the extremely light design means that they can work in a variety of situations.
Again, it does the job it is designed for well enough but for £17 I would want to be able to change the battery and KNOW that it will work as new. Having tried to change the battery for test purposes I found re-aligning the silicon waterproof strip to be extremely tough: it never sat perfectly again.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It worked well, I wasnt confident to use it for prolonged periods as my only source of illumination but I can certainly see the benefits of having a set on the bike if your main beams fail.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I liked the size and weight, I would consider these as a running safety aid. They are small and light enough to not get in the way or get annoying so they have a secondary function.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The feeling that you would have to throw it away when the battery fails.
Did you enjoy using the product?: yes, small unit packing a useful feature.
Would you consider buying the product?: I would consider buying the usb recharge version
Would you recommend the product to a friend?: no, I would recommend the rechargable version.
Your overall verdict of the product taking everything into account
The Backupz LED light set does have a function for cyclists and it serves that admirably but dont rely on them to be your main set of lights, however tempting the price may be. These are very useful backup lights.
About the tester
I usually ride: at the moment my Orbea Ora tri/tt bike My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb, triathlon