Moon Meteor 200 front light

7
£44.99

VERDICT:

7
10
Very good light and even better value at the new lower price
Weight: 
65g

I tested the Moon Meteor a couple of years ago and liked it a lot. It's a neat little unit that makes the best use possible of its 200 lumen output.

The 2014 version hasn't changed at all, but it's now £5 cheaper. A quick truffle online brought up a well known retailer selling it for £31.99, which is a bit of a bargain, especially if you get a free packet of Haribo with your order.

This is a very smart little light. It's dinky wee but looks purposeful and business-like. According to Moon it will kick out 200 lumens for 1 hour and 50 minutes, which is quite impressive for such a small unit.

Recharging is via a USB port on the back. It's a standard USB fitting, rather than the more common micro-USB. Not a problem by any means, but as most smartphones & devices these days tend to be micro USB it's a bit less practical when it comes to your cable management regime. The cover is a basic rubber plug, very similar to the one on the Moon Shield rear light. I had some misgivings about how robust it would be, but after two years of hamfisted abuse it's still attached to the light. It also seals the port quite effectively from water. A full recharge from my desk PC took about two hours.

The Meteor bracket feels much more robust than the similar Magicshine MJ-890 I tested earlier this year. The brittle plastic on that light broke on both the original light and the replacement, which let down an otherwise good light. The Meteor bracket is much tougher. It has a short strap but I never had a problem fitting it to my bars. The bracket also allows some rotation, via a series of pre-set clicks. If you're trying to compensate for a very slightly angled handlebar then you might struggle to get an ideal setting but most people will have no problem. You also get a helmet mount included in the price and I suspect that our muddy tyred chums will find this is a great little supplementary light for off-road excursions.

Where the Meteor really scores is in the way it uses its 200 lumen output. On the road that translates as a wide and well diffused patch of light to ride by but with enough spill that the sides of the road are sufficiently well lit. Moon helpfully provide a fair bit of detail on their website including a diagram that shows the angle of the beam (53 degrees with a 16 degree spot). It's a very reassuring light. You wouldn't want to be tackling twisty descents or gnarly off-road trails at full speed, but pitch black Devon lanes were no problem at all. For a sub-£50 light it's really very good indeed.

With such a small light you wouldn't expect a huge runtime and the 1:50 on full is respectable rather than amazing. It's more than enough for most commutes though and the lower settings will do you just fine for anything less than unlit lanes. There is a useful gauge on the back of the light which gives you a good idea how much juice there is left. I bench-tested the light and got a green light after 35 minutes, a flashing red after 75 and off after 108. Mind you, on the commute home the green seemed to come on quite a bit quicker than that, so temperature might affect this light more than most.

The optics are not the only smart feature of this light. Unlike the Magicshine, the Meteor doesn't cycle through 'off' as you switch through the settings, one of my personal bugbears. Not only that, the Meteor is clever enough to switch on in two different modes. Short press for Overdrive, High and Standard, long press for the flashing modes (Flashing, Insanely Horrible Strobe That Should Be Illegal and SOS) each one communicated by a little illuminated icon on the top. For a modestly priced light, it's rather good.

Are there any downsides to the Meteor? Last time round I noted that the button is a bit small and stiff, especially if you've got gloves on. More seriously, the previous test unit packed up and died shortly after the review was written. The Moon XP500 that Gill tested three years ago also died after a modest lifespan. That's hardly a representative sample but I'm a bit wary of Moon's reliability now (although the Shield is still going strong).

Caveats about reliability aside this is a very good light. It's surprisingly powerful, cheap, intelligently thought out (horrid button aside) and very nice to ride with.

Verdict

Very good light and even better value at the new lower price

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Moon Meteor 200 front 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?

Blurb free, sadly, but it's a great commuter light.

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

- *1 pc CREE XT-E (R5) high brightness Led

- *Rechargeable lithium polymer battery( 3.7V 1200mAh)

- *USB rechargeable

- *Water resistant headlight with durable aluminum alloy light cap

- *6 modes : Over drive / High / Standard / Flashing / Strobe / SOS

- *Quick release handlebar mount (fits 22-31.8mm)

- *Quick release helmet mount

- *Low battery, charging and fully charged indicator

- *6 modes indicator

- *Automatic fully charged cut-off system

- *High precision optical lens

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
8/10

The strap, bracket and casing are very solid indeed.

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

Mostly good, but loses a point for the button.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
8/10
Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
7/10
Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
7/10

1:50 on full isn't massive, but this is a commuter+ light, not one for all-night off-road excursions or audaxes. It's also cheap and very small. USB and short recharge time makes it a practical commuter option.

Rate the light for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the light for durability:
 
6/10

This is tricky - two of the three Moon lights in this household have expired, which raises a concern about the reliability of the battery and/or electronics.

Rate the light for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10
Rate the light for value:
 
9/10

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

Very good.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

Good optics & nice price.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

I don't know how long it's going to last.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes.

Would you consider buying the light? Possibly - but I'd definitely hang onto the receipt.

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Perhaps (as above).

Anything further to say about the light in conclusion?

A cracking little light that punches well above its weight and price. Keep the receipt though.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 5' 8  Weight: er....85kg

I usually ride: Kona Dew Drop, Dawes Century SE, Carlton Corsa  My best bike is: Guess SC1 scandium

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: time trialling, commuting, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, Audax and long distance solo rides

 

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