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Verdict: 
Great road-specific light with lots of output; quality & performance justifies high price
Weight: 
390g

The Apex is UK brand Lumicycle's most powerful road light, chucking out a claimed 1650 lumen. It's not just about power though, with plenty of modes and battery choices it can be used for everything from high speed unlit descents to overnight epics with a bit of planning. It should be all the light you ever need.

The beauty of the Apex is the beam pattern. If you take a look at our beam comparison you'll see it's wide and flat providing excellent coverage of the ground without lighting up every treetop and low flying aircraft.

What you get is a decent pool of white light in front of you from the three CREE XPG2 LED's with the same amount of light pushed onto the roadside and beyond. Picking up potholes and drains in the gutter is easy without having to move your gaze from looking straight ahead.

The flat beam does have a minor drawback in that you don't quite get the distance for really high speed riding that you get with their Race light (which we've also had in for review) but it's minimal and the Apex is a more of an all-rounder light anyway.

You get five modes to choose from and they are all useable in some place or another. At the bottom is the flash which kicks out 75 lumen (all lumens are manufacturer quoted) which I used for filtering through congested traffic. It certainly gets you noticed but if I was moving at the same speed as the traffic I'd switch it to the low mode as it could get irritating in a driver's rear view mirror. I prefer a pulse like the Exposure lights if I'm honest.

That low mode is 160 lumen, enough to ride by on unlit roads at about 10 or so mph and it'd give 37 hours of burn time too. I found it best on street lit roads as a light to be seen by, the bright white being a great contrast against the orange glow.

Mid and high modes are the two to get the most use though with the 550 lumen (9 hours run time) and 1100 lumen (4.2 hours) outputs giving you as much light as you realistically need on the road. The mid was fine for riding at 20-25mph on country lanes (switching to the high if you're going any faster) and at any speed on marked main roads. Having the light angled just below horizontal this setting was the highest you'd want to go with oncoming traffic as the beam pattern and small eyelid don't cause any dazzle whatsoever. It's the perfect balance of light output and courtesy.

The Boost mode, 1650 eye-watering lumens of light can be saved for those daring descents and it allows you to ride at pretty much daylight speeds. The smart thing is you can flick to this level at the start of a downhill and it'll remain at top power for three minutes before reverting back to the high mode. Should you want full power for longer just a hold of the switch for a couple of seconds sees you in total control, you'll only get 2.1 hours of burn time for this though.

Performance wise then it does the business but what about the function and build quality? Well it delivers here to thanks to some top quality UK manufacturing plus you get a two year warranty as well.

The main body is CNC machined alloy with fins to remove the heat generated by the LEDs, though if this doesn't provide enough cooling the electronics will turn the power down to avoid damaging the light.

The quick release bracket holds firm and is really easy to set up being adjustable to fit both standard diameter and oversize bars.

A lot of LED lights, especially high powered front ones, don't provide much in the way of side visibility, so it's good to see Lumicycle providing the formerly optional glow ring on their lights as standard. It does kick out a lot of light and certainly gave me a bit of extra confidence at junctions.

Lumicycle have always provided a modular system for their lights, in that you can choose any light unit or battery setup to create your preferred configuration. Our Enduro model comes with the Apex head unit (£154.95 separately) and a 2.6Ah Li-Ion battery pack which you can upgrade to either a 5.2Ah bar battery or a water bottle version for double the burn times. If you dabble in the dirty world of mountain biking you can just plug in your off road light into the same battery.

The cost then, £234.95. Personally I think that's value for money for a light that comes with a two year warranty and such good build quality as we've got here. Or to look at it another way, this time of year I need a light to commute twice a day, five times a week and it needs to work every time I ask it to without fail. I don't want to be worrying about whether it's going to conk out in the rain or if the battery is going to give up and this is exactly what the Apex provides, reassurance.

Overall then the Apex provides all the light you need plus a little bit more that's usable on the road in real world conditions. It's expensive but if you are serious about you dark training rides think of it as more of an investment as going by the build quality it's going to last you for many years. Downsides, personally I'd prefer a flash mode where the light stays on at low output between pulses and if you like to really push on on country lanes you might notice a lack of depth.

Verdict

Great road-specific light with lots of output; quality & performance justifies high price

The light comparator

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Lumicycle Apex Enduro Pack

Size tested: Black

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?

Lumicycle state "the Apex provides a medium level beam spread that makes for a great road light for the rider that is looking for a single light system for commuting and winter training." I totally agree, the Apex is a brilliant all rounder that puts light where you need it without irritating other road users.

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

Each light in the range now features an integrated glare reduction "EyeLid" into each elegantly engineered case. The resulting major benefit of this to off road is to provide maximum forward natural retina visibility when using the high lumen outputs provided by the Lumicycle system. In many conditions of ascent or riding at speed a rider can often be leant over the bike handlebars, the Eyelid provides a shield to the rider's eyes, ensuring maximum night vision retention by preventing accidental glare from the LED light. This has been a feature of our road lights as an option, but is now standard across the entire range.

During road use, the "eyelid" also reduces the amount of unwanted upward glare presented to oncoming traffic and pedestrians. An additional feature of all 2014 road lights is the newly designed front illumination ring, this presents enhanced visibility when the bike is viewed from the side (for example at junctions) further increasing safety for the rider.

Casework components are secure together with high grade stainless steel fasteners, and improved water and dust protection is provided by a re-designed O ring sealing system.

Thermal performance has been improved to match the highest performance LED's now used in the 2014 range, CREE XPG2 LED's; these are controlled with our unique proprietary control system that ensures that the LED's maximum performance is harnessed, whilst at the same time our thermal control system ensures that should there be a time when the unit does get too hot, no damage is done to the light components.

2014 Internal Enhancements:

Our proprietary driver software has been updated to ensure our customers receive the best possible performance from our lamps. So the complete range now offers increased levels of lighting output with reduced power usage, whilst at the same time continuing to offer our unique "Smart Boost" technology for especially challenging terrain sections.

We have increased the shock protection of the circuit board mounting system internally which provides greater levels of reliability even during the most arduous of environmental conditions. And have shown that the light unit can even withstand extreme shock conditions by playing ice hockey with it.

Now includes a new internally CNC milled "heat bridge" to more effectively dissipate the thermal heat generated by the CREE LED's, ensuring that junction temperatures of the LED's themselves are maintained at optimal levels for maximum output and reliability.

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Really well put together, quality finish and a really robust light. Consistently stood up to heavy rain with no issues.

Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
9/10

Very easy to live with, the switch is big enough to use with winter gloves on and the mode/battery level indicators are very intuitive.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
9/10

The quick release clamp fits both available bar sizes and is easy to swap between bikes. Once fitted the light is firm and doesn't move at all.

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

Hours have been ridden in torrential rain with no issue whatsoever.

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
9/10

Using the Apex for the commute I only had to charge it once a week, not bad considering that's ten hours of riding. A mix of lanes and urban riding with the changing of modes to suit sees impressive burn times. Battery charging was around four hours from empty so easily done in a work day or overnight

Rate the light for performance:
 
9/10

An all round great light that only really lacks a bit of range for top end speed work. You won't need it 99% of the time though. A brilliant road specific beam makes it a joy to use. The Apex is especially good on roads you are unfamiliar with giving you a good spread of light touching the entire road and banking if you are in the lanes.

Rate the light for durability:
 
9/10

Considering the quality and waterproofing this light will stand up to a lot of abuse.

Rate the light for weight, if applicable:
 
8/10

Slightly heavier than a all-in-one unit like the Exposure Strada but its a small price to pay for the performance.

Rate the light for value:
 
8/10

Consider it a long term investment, you don't need to upgrade for years and it will keep performing. Spread that cost over 5 years say and take into account it'll work everytime you turn it on and things look pretty good.

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

Absolutely great, you can ride at daylight speeds with really great burn times and performance.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

The quality, beam spread and the pure usability.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

I'd prefer a pulse similar to Exposure lights rather than the flash mode.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes.

Would you consider buying the light? Without hesitation.

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes.

Anything further to say about the light in conclusion?

The Apex is a brilliant light, it's a large outlay but you get what you pay for. It puts out a lot of light exactly where you need it and works on the road with other road users. A really well thought out product with build quality and flexibility to back it up.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 36  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: Kinesis T2  My best bike is: Kinesis Aithien

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: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,

 

Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.