The super minimalist Cat-Eye Uno and 600 make a very lightweight competent “seen by” package for round-town commuting and as a contingency lights for those summer evenings when you’ve taken the best bike on an extended run and lost all track of time. However, while the 600s is undeniably bright, sealing and the seat post bracket are looking dated and run times don’t quite keep pace with the latest generation.
Delivering 400 candlepower at 10 feet, the Uno’s clever opti cube lens delivers a sharp, narrow beam of white light in either flashing or static modes it is very efficient for a 75g light powered by a single AA battery. Cateye, bill this as a light powerful enough to see by, with a fully charged battery it is bright. The beam is certainly sharp enough to see by in sub/urban context with infrequent street lighting and the clever design does allow for plenty of side illumination as which helps keep you visible to traffic emerging from side roads.
However, it's a little trickier to generalise in rural settings. Not bad on clear, cloudless nights but more limited when conditions turn overcast or roads characterised by lines of overhanging trees. Personally I would prefer a wider light spill for riding on unlit roads.
Give the contacts a slither of Vaseline as while the design is water-resistant, seals are of the good but not great tradition. Bijou dimensions mean its great for fixing flats, finding keys or other little jobs. Despite this, the rubberised switch is easily operated in gloved hands on the fly and must be pressed continuously for five seconds before engaging but this safeguards against accidental illumination in a jersey pocket or seat pack. Thirsty in static mode with a mere sixteen hours on offer, flashing delivers closer to sixty.
By contrast, the LD600 requires little introduction, it's a classic that's spawned an army of imitators. Five LEDs and four modes (static and flashing) explain its popularity and correspondingly long production life. However, vertical mounting is most aesthetically pleasing but requires a lot of exposed seat post and doesn’t affix convincingly to clothing or luggage, which is a touch irksome some of its clones score here the RSP springs to mind as having a better designed bracket. That said, the large surface area is perfect for trailers/tag alongs and having followed scores of the breed, they scream cyclist from ¾ mile on unlit roads. The trade off is relatively short run times. That's where it could be argued time is catching up with the LD600, in terms of performance/economy technology has moved on, well in static mode anyway.
Our test model with stock batteries managed 13hrs 45 minutes in static (compared with a quoted fifteen) yet the flashing modes achieved a surprising thirty-two despite being regularly subjected temperatures close to freezing. The tactile rubberised switch is something of a mixed blessing-pleasant to use but prone to accidental engagements in bags, panniers and jersey pockets with drastic effects upon longevity.
Some suggest seals could be better, though we’ve had no problems despite it being mounted low on a trailer, regularly blasted with silt and filthy water along waterlogged roads and muddy farm tracks. A lick of Vaseline around the contacts will deliver some additional protection and ultimately peace of mind.
Bright safety light package which is perfect for use with dynamos, although the 600 is starting to show its age.
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Make and model: Cateye Uno and LD600 LED light set
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product 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?
"Very possibly the smallest, genuine front light available today, the ultra modern UNO utilises the latest in battery cycle light technology to generate up to 60 hours of light output with an amazing level of brightness, in excess of 400 candlepower, from just 1 x AA battery." Is how the Uno is described on UK distributor Zyro's website.
Both are very bright, reasonably well sealed from the elements and meet the design brief perfectly, although the venerable 600 is starting to show its age.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Uno single LED opti cube lens, powered by single AA battery and delivering 400 candlepower at 10 feet, water resistant casing with nicely scuplted "windows" delivering a pin sharp white beam in both flashing and static modes. 600 is a very bright tail lamp with 5 LEDS, four settings and crucially, a large surface area-perfect for trailers and/or tagalongs.
Generally very good some say there are better sealed unites out there but we had no problems with ours even in some very tough conditions
Both thirsty in static modes but reasonably frugal in flashing.
75g (Uno) 59g (LD600)
Nice to use, even wearing full-finger gloves.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
These are minimalist lights offering good output and just right for the best bike where an uncluttered look is preferred. Similarly,their sensible dimensions make very practical companions for dynamo systems-especially in flashing mode. Both passsed the overnight immersion in freezing cold water but I would be inclined to give the Uno's battery contacts a lick of Vaseline if you ride regularly in filthy weather.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Compact sizing,user friedly brackets and excellent visbility.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, as a summer light set for the best bike or to compliment a dynamo system.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, in the above contexts.
Age: 36 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)