Form definitely meets function with the Moon Mask 5.0 LED, which claims to delivers a whopping 70 lumens in the highest of five modes-just enough for tackling well surfaced lanes at 20 odd mph and a real boon for roadside repair, pannier rummaging and map reading. It certainly gave a punch performance in our beam test and the stats seem to bear that out too.
A red pulsing light indicates low battery giving the option of charging home in twenty minutes, or toggling to economy settings as conditions dictate. Fully charged in two hours, it shouldn't attract unwanted attention from the office snitch and forgetful folks can sleep soundly in the knowledge intelligent charging prevents the 3.7 volt lithium polymer battery from being boiled within an inch of it's five year life expectancy...
However, it's a little thirsty in the higher settings beyond point-to-point commutes/training runs. Essentially the Moon Mask takes the alternative approach to run time over output than something like the similarly priced Cateye Jido which runs for much longer but also puts out less light. Either approach works, it simply depends on which works best for the type of riding you do. The Moon Mask's potential drawback is that if you are running it at it's brightest setting most of the time you need to remember to keep it charged up, and while the short charge cable is cosy beside the laptop or tablet, plugging into the desktop tower could leave it vulnerable to careless size nines.
Measuring a diminutive 6x3 by 5x1 the Mask earns its moniker from the option of aftermarket top caps for the last word in personalisation. I understand the appeal but will pass at £12 a pop. More impressive are the five Nichia LEDs developed for optimum front and peripheral illumination, which project a razor sharp beam of light that seems particularly potent when performing tricky right turns. Driver acknowledgement is to a grin inducing 550 metres, dropping to around 350 through congested town centre rush hour traffic.
Thanks to the clever rubberised strap mount that seems a genuinely universal fit to 30.8 bulge diameters although it struggled a bit on some oversize bars, it can also be persuaded atop a helmet. Choosing this option seemed to increase its efficiency-encouraging myopic drivers to dip their lights sooner while discouraging some of that all too familiar casual indifference shown by larger vehicles when crossing staggered junctions.
Switching between modes, is easy wearing full-weight winter gloves and on the fly. Run times seem broadly faithful to the blurb, unaffected by plummeting temperatures and delivering a consistent 2 hours 47mins, 5 hours 50 and 8 hours 24 (mins) in high, strobe and flashing respectively.
Extremely bright safety/town light a longer charge cable would be good though
road.cc test report
Make and model: Moon Mask LED Front Light
Size tested: Black/Silver
Tell us what the light 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?
Moon give little away as to the Mask's target market but testing suggests it's a very powerful secondary safety lamp that transcends genres (save for touring without a portable charging interface). Bang on for desk bound commuting, it consumes nominal space so equally welcome for summer's swan song and those afternoon training runs that overlap into dusk.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
Tool free quick release handle bar bracket
5 Nichia super bright LED's
Constant & Flashing modes
Low battery indicator
3.7V Lithium polymer battery
USB rechargeable via PC or mac
Upto 70 lumen light output
Up to 8.5 hours run time
2 hours charge time
Cover exchange system. You can change the cover of the Mask 5.0 to match your bike
Good but struggles a bit on oversized drops.
Generally fine, although USB types are more vulnerable to extreme conditions simply by virtue of the charge interface. That said, water resistance is very good-just check jacket pockets before slipping them in the wash.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Mask is a remarkably bright safety light that trounces a lot of traditional town lamps in terms of output and makes a perfect complement to minimalist cockpits. However, at £12 a time the interchangable top-caps seem a bit gimmicky and a longer charge cable would've been welcomed.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Good looks, commendable output and convenient charge times.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Nothing but a longer USB charge cable please.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes
Would you consider buying the light? Yes
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 38 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)