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review

See.Sense Icon rear light

9
£64.99

VERDICT:

9
10
Quality engineering and real innovation in the field. A useful, usable light that goes above and beyond the call of duty
Weight: 
62g

The original See.Sense light topped our 'People's Choice' of rear lights in November, with 26 per cent of the vote. The new Icon includes a plethora of extra features linked to a free app so you can control the light on your smartphone. This nifty little blazer will also tell your loved ones if you have a crash, and alert you if someone tries to make off with your bike when it's parked up.

The Icon uses super-bright twin Cree LEDs running at 95 lumens each, which certainly count as bright enough for the old joke 'do not look at laser with remaining eye'. This is not a light to turn on while looking at it – it is ferociously bright. Amazingly there's also an Icon+ with 2 x 125 lumens to keep you safe, even during daylight hours.

> Find your nearest dealer here

> Buy this online here

As with the original See.sense lights, the Icon features motion and light sensitive technology so it runs brighter and flashes faster when it senses you need it most.

I like the mode where you have both a fixed and a pulsating light, but there are lots of seizure-inducing flashy modes to play around with. The Fresnel lens (stepped, or ridged, like those in a lighthouse) means the Icon has good sideways visibility. It is also simple to mount using a rubber wraparound, provided.

See.Sense_Icon_3.JPG

The app, which is available for Android and iOS, paired with my light immediately. It can handle multiple lights too if you purchase a front and back set, and can program them individually.

The configuration panel was simple with clear options – turn the light on/off from the handset (if you're bored of the novelty of an actual button, I guess), brightness adjuster, flashing mode on/off, motion sensor on/off, anti-theft on/off, crash alert (not available in the beta version I tested), and a battery check.

See.Sense_Icon_1.JPG

The anti-theft mode was operational in the beta version of the software I tested. When activated, the slightest movement of the light will activate the audible alarm on your phone, which hopefully gives you enough time to run outside and check on your bike. It becomes active when you and your smartphone walk out of range (3 metres) and will not deactivate until you are back within range unless you choose to turn it off. This makes it great for bike storage outside of shops or a cafe, where you might only be using a small physical lock to protect your bike. I wonder if an audible alarm on the light itself might be useful to scare away potential thieves.

The operation of the movement and light intensity sensors via the app makes a bunch more sense than twisting and turning the light manually to achieve different settings, as you had to with the previous version. You can adjust the brightness of your light using a simple slider on the app, so it's easy to maximise your battery life if you're running low. Another battery saving feature is the automatic turn off after three minutes of inactivity, or if you and your smartphone walk more than 3m away from the light. Just in case you're too lazy to press a button.

The crash alert system promises to text your nominated friend if the motion sensors detect that you've crashed, but it was unavailable in the beta version I tested.

> Check out our buyer's guide to rear lights here

My review of See.Sense's first light concluded that it was perhaps a bit too clever for its own good, as a complex system of twists and turns was needed to set it and turn it on. See.Sense has addressed this flaw by reinventing the wheel, or in this case, the on button.

The Icon is pretty pricey at £64.99, which is £20 more than the original model. The Kickstarter campaign for the Icon exceeded even its stretch targets, so it seems that if you want the added features, enough people think it is not an unreasonable price to pay.

Verdict

Quality engineering and real innovation in the field. A useful, usable light that goes above and beyond the call of duty

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: See.Sense Icon

Size tested: NA

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?

See.Sense says: " ICON is an industry-leading cycle light that connects you to a world of innovative features through your smartphone."

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

When paired with the app it will:

Check your battery level

Change from flashing light to constant

Customise your lights to optimise your brightness/run-time using a simple slider

Control multiple lights at once. Turn off your front light, and instantly turn off all others in your system

Auto-on/off. Automatically turns off your light after 3 minutes of inactivity, or if you walk more than 3 metres from your light.

When you are at your favourite coffee-stop, and your trusted bike is leaning up against a wall outside. ICON will send you an alert if anything or anyone disturbs your bike.

If you have a crash, ICON knows when you have been in an accident and will send an text to your nominated contact for help.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Contains weather sealing, independently certified with an IP67 rating.

It's a pretty sturdy light.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

It's bright!

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

No issues found.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
7/10

Not the lightest light out there but just a few grams more than the previous incarnation.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

It's certainly expensive, but we don't know of any other light offering the same features.

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

Very bright, and reactive to movement when on burglar alarm mode.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The theft protection, the brightness. The fact that it now has an on button.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

Real innovation, but comes at a price. I'd like the burglar alarm to sound on the light too to act as a deterrent.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 38  Height: 5'7"  Weight: size 16

I usually ride: Trek 7.5 WSD  My best bike is: Turquoise Cruiser

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Novice

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, general fitness riding, leisure

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