review

Topeak Headlux front/rear light

7
£16.99

VERDICT:

7
10
Surprisingly effective tertiary lighting that's delightfully frugal to run
Weight: 
31g
Contact: 
www.extrauk.co.uk

Strictly a tertiary visibility aid, the Topeak Headlux is a helmet-mounted splicing of front and rear blinkies. It's not quite a universal fit and the Velcro mounting straps need pulling really tight to avoid the unit drumming against your helmet when negotiating poorly surfaced roads. The high position and intelligently-designed lenses lock those perky diodes squarely at driver eye-level and they seem ultra effective to 50 metres.

Weighing 25g including CR2032 cells, the Topeak Headlux's wraparound design doesn't boast any laser guiding credentials but nonetheless, the plastics are of a decent quality and show no signs of scuffs/scratching despite everyday service. Their see-through nature reveals elementary diodes, board and switchgear but the soldering is meticulous.

The batteries live in the mid section, away from winter's wrath, though silicone grease and a homemade doughnut seal improved connectivity while ruling out any potential problems later on. Mounting it or swapping it between lids takes all of thirty seconds.

Depressing its low profile, centre mounted switch engages steady, flashing or hybrid modes. Some suggested theirs quickly became erratic or unreliable but ours became more compliant with use. Bringing it alive mid-flight proved comical, though, especially wearing winter gloves.

The steady mode is polite and best reserved for riding well-maintained cycle paths, map reading and pannier rummaging. Drivers tended to acknowledge it fleetingly, whereas the flashing mode's impatient chorus grabbed and retained attention from around fifty metres, further on clear nights.

Weather resistance is good, as distinct from great. It's no substitute for mainstay lighting, and with lateral thought and simple attachment it translates nicely to tagalongs, trailers and recumbents, so often overlooked at junctions by unwary drivers.

Strapped to my low-slung Yak pattern trailer, ours remains in remarkably rude health despite wet roads, drenching from passing artics with the odd stone thrown in for good measure. Subsequent cell replacements returned run times of 44 and 66 hours in steady and hybrid modes, respectively which isn't far removed from the 50 and 70 hours claimed by Topeak.

Verdict

Surprisingly effective tertiary lighting that's delightfully frugal to run.

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Topeak Headlux front/rear light

Size tested: n/a

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?

"Ride safe and be seen at night with the helmet light. Innovative double sided helmet mounted light shines white facing forward and red towards the rear and features 4 LEDs with wrap around lenses for visibility from all angles. Top mounted button controls constant and blinking modes." No quibble here.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?

Lamp 2 White LEDs and 2 Red LEDs

Battery CR2032 (2) (Included)

Control 3 Modes

White Constant / Red Blinking

White Blinking / Red Blinking

White Constant / Red Constant

Burn Time (approx) 70 hrs / 100 hrs / 50 hrs

Luminous Intensity 6 Candle Power/10M

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
6/10
Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
7/10

Very pleasant to use, though switch tricky to engage on the fly.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
8/10

Pull really taut to avoid it drumming atop the lid woodpecker fashion.

Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
7/10

Generally good but a quick lick of silicone grease on their battery contacts certainly helps.

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
7/10

Very frugal (Managed 89hrs 57mins from original cells in flashing) and CR2032s are available pretty much anywhere.

Rate the light for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the light for durability:
 
6/10
Rate the light for weight, if applicable:
 
9/10
Rate the light for comfort, if applicable:
 
7/10

Literally goes unnoticed atop a lid.

Rate the light for value:
 
7/10

Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Topeak Headlux is an incredibly effective tertiary lighting system that is simple to use and frugal to run. Output isn't anything to write home about but positioning and perky diodes are very distinctive, especially through slow-moving neon saturated town centres.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

Pretty much everything.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

Nothing given the design brief, although switch tricky in full-finger winter gloves.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes.

Would you consider buying the light? Yes.

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 40  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)

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