Infini Super Lava 300 USB front light

5
£44.99

VERDICT:

5
10
There's little to commend this particular light in the face of a competitive marketplace
Weight: 
53g

Infini's Super Lava 300 front light has good spotlight visibility via a 300-lumen output from a 3W single LED, but beyond its brightness there are too many niggles and faults to recommend it over others.

Featuring three static brightness settings and a strobe flash, the Super Lava 300 provides enough light to see you home, and to ensure you get seen too. That 3W single LED really is super-bright, and when on the full 300-lumen setting provides a great spotlight on the road.

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Each setting is accessed by simply pressing the button once with a scroll-through functionality. You can't save your favourite setting for quick access next time, but because you only have four settings and 'off' to click through, this isn't too much of a hardship.

Battery life is reasonably good too, considering the size of the unit, with a claimed 1hr 30mins on maximum, and up to 12 hours on the strobe flash setting. I ran the unit down on maximum from a full battery and saw 1:26, pretty much matching Infini's specifications.

So far so good... But here the issues begin, starting with the width of the beam, which is somewhat lacking. This came as a slight surprise because, despite the admittedly small body, at first glance the opening for the light at the bulb end is quite wide. However, closer inspection reveals the actual light source is a circular shape – the extremities house screws to access the innards, with some token side visibility spots (which, incidentally, are most effective on the strobe setting).

Infini Super Lava - beam shot.jpg

So, on the road I found I had to squint to make out objects on the road that could have been moving into my path. It's nothing horrendous, but I've seen wider beams from other small units; here, I had to adapt.

Another thing I wasn't keen on was the bracket. I'm a big fan of brackets that fasten via a simple rubber band – in the vast, vast majority of cases they're secure and so easy to remove when you need to. The Super Lava 300 comes with what feels to me like a bit of an antiquated setup, which fixes to your bar using a metal screw-in pin.

Fitting it wasn't particularly easy either – it's quite fiddly to aim and screw the bolt accurately through the clamp while holding the clamp together. Admittedly, I'm not the most practically gifted person in the world, but I was left feeling that it could have been made so much easier; it's not like the light is heavy and needs extra support.

I also found that on my handlebar (it's pretty standard) the rubber shim supplied to pad out the bracket and secure the fit to the bar was superfluous: the bracket isn't big enough to fit around the circumference of the bar with it in place, so I was forced to tighten the plastic bracket directly to my aluminium bar. Obviously, this needs to be tight enough to stop it working loose, so I'd be concerned over time about wear on my bar.

That said, the light slides and clips onto the bracket housing with ease, and slides off with a simple push of the plastic lever on the rear. It's a simple affair, but again I wasn't overly impressed that the release lever bends quite easily – I would worry about it becoming brittle during icy winter commutes, compounded by the fact that you can't take the whole unit off easily at the end of your ride.

> Check out our guide to the best front lights and our beam comparison engine here

The light unit is waterproof via a plastic and metal body mix, but the USB socket at the rear is protected by a rubber seal that occasionally unseals and comes loose as you fit and remove the light. This becomes an issue when you've commuted in the rain, because you and the unit housing are wet – so water can easily get into the socket at this point.

These faults are a real shame because the size and brightness output of the unit looked really promising to me when I first opened the pack. I could forgive it if the price was lower, but at £45 it really isn't. You can get better overall performance and value from both light and bracket with Lezyne's Hecto Drive 300XL (RRP £29.99) – which I reviewed recently.

Verdict

There's little to commend this particular light in the face of a competitive marketplace

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Infini Super Lava 300 USB 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?

Infini says: "INFINI Super Lava comes packed with a 3 Watt white LED producing up to 300 Lumens of light. Super Lava features 4 different light modes with a wide viewing angle and USB charging. Installation is tool-free utilizing a molded plastic clamp and bracket for a safe, secure attachment.

"INFINI Super Lava is a compact, lightweight rechargeable headlight. The light emits up to 300 lumens for roads, lanes or wherever you may roam. The unique design lights the path ahead while providing ample visibility increasing user safety."

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

Key features:

-Size: 69x43x24 mm

- Weight: 54g

- LED specs: Hi-Power 3 Watt White LED

- Light output: 300 Lumens

- Run time:

Approx 1.5 hrs (Super Bright)

Approx 3 hrs (Boost)

Approx 6 hrs (Constant)

Approx 12 hrs (Flashing)

- Battery type: Rechargeable Polymer Lithium-ion battery

- Charging time: 3 hrs (USB)

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
7/10

The plastic/metal mix seems well built - it should survive a drop or two.

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

The design of the body is sleek and svelte, while usability is easy thanks to the simple modes and scroll-though interface. An LED on the top of the unit indicates low battery.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
4/10

The clamping system is quite fiddly, using a screw-in bolt to fasten it together.

Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
6/10

The unit's waterproofing is absolutely fine, but loses a mark for the ease with which the USB seal comes loose when fitting and releasing the light.

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
8/10

Battery life is good, while recharging takes a jiffy via the supplied USB cable.

Rate the light for performance:
 
7/10

Beam width is relatively narrow, but the brightness of it is excellent thanks to the 3W LED.

Rate the light for durability:
 
6/10
Rate the light for weight:
 
6/10

For a light of this size, weight is pretty standard to fair at 54g. The bracket isn't heavy, but it's a surprisingly bulky affair.

Rate the light for value:
 
4/10

When the Lezyne Hecto Drive XL is available for £15 less (RRP), this light can't be considered good value.

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

Fine - it shines brightly and lights the way with decent battery life. But there are faults beyond this.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

Beam strength.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

The bracket system is fiddly and antiquated.

Did you enjoy using the light? Using it, yes. But fitting it or engaging and disengaging the unit, no.

Would you consider buying the light? No

Would you recommend the light to a friend? No

Overall rating: 5/10

About the tester

Age: 25  Height: 188cm  Weight: 83kg

I usually ride: Specialized Allez Sport  My best bike is:

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

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding

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