A good light is vital for commuting to work and evening training rides and the compact and keenly priced Moon X-Power 500 makes a very good argument for itself. It's plenty bright enough for all but the most demanding riders, and the beam pattern is a well rounded shape.
The Moon X-Power, as its name kind of gives away, produces 500 lumens from a single CREE XM-L (T6) LED. On overdrive mode (the highest) the beam throws out a good shape with a nice bright centre and a smooth reduction in brightness to the edge of the beam. There's good depth and at decent speeds there's a reasonable amount of light for showing you the way ahead.
For riding through suburbia and across town the light is going to get you spotted, and when you reach the city limits there's just enough light to illuminate your way through dark country lanes. It doesn't quite have enough punch for the darkest roads and can make spotting potholes and other hazards on training rides a little tense at times. For the occasional training ride it's sufficient.
Keep it on overdrive mode and you'll burn through the battery in about 1hr 40mins. The power button on top of the unit serves as a battery monitor and handily flashes when the battery is running low. It does give you plenty of warning; I noticed the warning light flashing before the hour was out, and duly switched to a lower mode to preserve the burn time.
There's a choice of five modes, including a flashing mode that's good for commuting. There's sufficient difference in the brightness between the modes, and the high mode in particular offers a good balance of burn time (claimed 2hr 30mins) and 380 lumen output.
Its sequence of modes sees the light initially power up into overdrive, and then cycles through high, medium, low, flashing and off. In reality you're going to be switching between the overdrive and high modes to extend the burn time on training rides, and having to turn it off before going back to overdrive isn't that helpful. Or safe.
Fitting the light to your handlebars couldn't be easier. An easy to use quick release clamp fits regular and oversize handlebars. There's also a helmet mount in the box. I had to trim the rubber band supplied that wraps between the handlebar and clamp a little, but after that it's a straightforward process.
The lamp unit is water resistant – I can vouch for that. It still worked after one very heavy downpour.
The quick release lever tightens from the front and, depending on the configuration of your outer cables, can be a little bit tricky to access, but isn't a problem really.
Once clamped into place the light stubbornly refuses to wobble or budge. Over rougher roads it remains firmly in place and even clouting one unseen pothole last night didn't see the clamp slipping.
Recharging the light couldn't really be simpler. Remove the light from the clamp and turning it upside down reveals a mini USB port protected under a well-fitting rubber flap. A cable and plug adaptor are supplied so you have the choice of charging from the mains or your laptop. Charge takes about 3 hours from empty.
Well-designed light that is great for commuting and okay for some occasional training rides out into the darkness.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Moon X-Power 500 front light
Size tested: black
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
1 pc CREE XM-L (T6) high brightness LED
- Quick release rechargeable lithium ion battery ( 3.7V 2300mAh)
- USB rechargeable
- Water resistant headlight with durable zinc alloy light cap
- 5 modes : Over drive / High / Standard / Low / Flashing
- Quick release handlebar mount (fits 22-31.8mm)
- Quick release helmet mount
- Low battery, charging and fully charged indicator
- Automatic fully charged cut-off system
- High precision optical lens
- Size:106 x 36.5 x 35.5 mm
It's a compact and very solid light and stands up to abuse well, making it ideal for regular use.
It's easy to install and easy to use; its design is well thought out.
The clamp fits any size handlebar and the quick release is easy to operate, and once in place holds the light solidly in place.
It's not waterproof, but is water resistance and has proved fine in heavy downpours.
I got a little under the quoted burn time, but not by very much. The five modes help you squeeze the most out of the battery.
Considering its price it's a cracking little light and is ideal for daily commuting and occasional training rides out into the sticks, but it's not quite got the punch for serious training rides into the darkness.
As with my comments about the construction, it has the feel of a light that will last several winters of hard riding without any problems.
It's as light as makes no difference on the handlebars
Lighting technology has moved on since we reviewed the Moon almost a year ago, it either needs to be a bit cheaper or they need to increase the lumen output to make it a more serious contender
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
It's well designed and looks good on the bike. The beam pattern is well considered with a nice even spread of light from the centre spot to the outer reaches.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
The sequence includes the off setting which is a shame. I'd prefer a press-and-hold to turn the light off after use.
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: 31 Height: 180 Weight: 67
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.