Light and Motion make some pretty serious lights and the Vega 120 is the latest evolution of their original groundbreaking Vega. It's an unusual looking piece of kit, with beefy looking cooling fins sitting at the front of a wide case. It's distinctive, if not elegant, and looks like it should survive the rough and tumble of the urban jungle. The neat rubber strap bracket, another beefy looking component, makes it easy to remove and fits pretty much any size of bar.
Blackburn’s aptly named fleas are one of the most exciting contingency LED lights I’ve used in a long time thanks to tiny dimensions, robust construction and a claimed output of 40 lumens each. Powered by a 1.5 volt rechargeable Li-On battery complete with a unique micro-charger increases the wow factor but charging from 1.5 volt AA batteries is a double edged sword: fantastic as you’ll find them pretty much anywhere but pricey if regularly charged from disposables.
Cateye's EL-120 is designed as a backup or town light. To that end it doesn't have the brightest beam but the light it does put out is well-focused and useful and certainly enough to get you home.
Side visibility is addressed in the design but to be honest it's pretty average; other Cateye units fare much better in this area. If you regularly dart out of junctions at night you might want something with a bit more peripheral light.
Black Crater’s cord lock looks gimmicky but quickly becomes a must-have. It’s a tiny three function white Led aimed at anyone enjoying the great outdoors. Powered by two CR1220 batteries, it attaches to clothing, sleeping bags, tents or anything with a cord. It's a great safety backup and powerful enough for map reading or fixing flats. Just a pity it isn't a bit better put together.
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.
A mirror, light and indicator in one, the Winkku is designed to address some of the problems faced by commuters – especially inexperienced ones, or those facing heavy traffic. It's not the first time we've seen a bike mirror, or an indicator, or an outboard light, but the combination of the three is novel and well realised. It's a pity the mirror isn't better, and there are flaws in the design, but overall it's a decent product and one that will appeal to segments of the commuter brigade.
Did you enjoy using the product?: yes
This chunky torch from Electron has a measured beam and is built to last, but the lack of side visibility and short run time mark it down as a standalone commuting option, and there are cheaper lights available if you just want a bright torch.
LED lights have developed at a blistering pace to the point where even half a watt’s output is becoming commonplace.
The aptly named Cherry Bomb features two retina burning modes and incorporates a collimator, (basically a lens which projects the light in a specific direction).
In the case of the Cherry Bomb it spreads the light giving much better peripheral visibility which should help make negoating roundabouts and emerging from junctions less dicey.
Twelve quid can buy you a lot these days; the LD130 is a very decent rear lamp that comes with Cateye's excellent twist-to-lock mount. You even get the batteries thrown in.
The LD130 is a pretty standard-spec unit, using 2AAA batteries to power three LEDs. They're not hugely powerful but fine for use about town, and the lower output compared to some of the new high-power LEDs means that the battery life is very good, especially in flashing mode, making it good for fit-and-forget commuting duties.