The Blackburn Scorch front light is Blackburn's most expensive and most powerful front light, with a claimed maximum output of 140 lumen. Producing those lumens is a white Cree XP-G LED (the de facto LED for higher end lights) which is housed inside a solid CNC machined aluminium housing. Light modes (high, standard and flashing) are toggled through using a single rear mounted push button which also acts as the on/off switch.
Knog's Blinder 1 is essentially a slimmed-down single LED version of the Blinder 4, weighing in at a mere 15g and cutting a very low profile. It may be small in size, but it certainly makes a style statement, with the anodised aluminium fascia available in 4 colours – black, red, white, and the rather fetching blue tested here. The light forms a completely sealed unit, and the build quality is excellent - far superior to Knog's other silicon-bodied lights.
The Moon X-Power 300 is a compact, easy-to-use light that cranks out a good amount of light for the price.
The X-Power 300 uses a rechargeable lithium ion battery (3.7V 2300mAh) and a single Cree XP-G high brightness LED. The lamp body looks aluminium but it's actually plastic, although the light cap – the front end – is aluminium.
Oh my, the RSP Evolve rear light and the Cateye TL LD600 look as if they were separated at birth. Same cigar-shaped profiles that's bang on for trailers, tag alongs, identical number of LEDs, fuel source - interchangeable mounting hardware to boot!
Ok, so we've established some uncanny similarities but before we get side tracked with the rights n' wrongs of badge engineering, let's get some facts straight. First and foremost, the internals are genuinely very different.
The Topeak RedLite Mega rear light is reckoned to be the brand's most technically advanced safety light and I found it to be one of the best performers out there.
This cute wee RSP Silicone 3 LED rear light has plenty going for it: USB charging, a rubber strap that will fit any bike, a built in reflector and a rrp of just £20.
The LED revolution has worked wonders for rear lights. The addition of USB charging adds versatility and silicone straps mean that clunky mounting bracket are a thing of the past. I'm all in favour of that but what I'm not so keen on is the arms race to produce rear lights that are more like weapons than safety aids.
The Blackburn Super Flea rear flasher stretches a good design to its true potential with excellent optics, weathertight casings and decent mounting hardware whether affixed to seatposts, clothing or accessories.
Measuring 33x23x46cm it's about as genuinely bijoux as you get while still doing the job on dark nights. Blackburn doesn't quote figures but it seems broadly in thirty-odd lumen territory. Run times are quoted as fifteen hours steady, twenty-eight in flash/strobing.
The Light & Motion Taz 800 front light is an intriguing blend of high power and commuter friendly features. Although it has great potential, I don't think it quite succeeds.
Kicking out a hefty 800 lumens the Taz 800 sits in their Crossover range, occupying the middle ground between Performance and Commuter. It's certainly powerful, although 800 lumens is less of a standout than it was a few years ago, but it also comes with a pair of flashing side lights for extra safety.
Cateye's Nano Shot Plus front light is the bigger, brighter sibling of the Nano Shot we reviewed, and liked, last year. Amazingly, it manages to kick out more than twice as many lumens for the same price the Nano Shot was then (it's around £60 now).