The Infini Lava 500 is a really nice unit that sits well on a helmet as well as a bar, pumps out loads of light and has a battery that lasts for ages.
Having a light on the handlebar is always important during the winter, but one you can fit on the helmet can be really useful given that everything you look at, regardless of angle, will be illuminated.
As the name suggests, the Lava pumps out 500 retina-burning lumens on its maximum output. It has four other settings, with three strengths of solid beam and two flashing variations. In addition to this, the light has a memory function, so it'll turn on in the last setting you used. Output on all but the lowest powered solid beam is good enough for riding on unlit roads, and on full beam it's good enough for most off-road riding.
The light itself is made from thick plastic that has so far survived several drops, bumps and scrapes. It is IPX4 water resistant, which was more than enough for rain, but you wouldn't be able to drop it in the bath (if you were hoping to). It managed to survive some fairly apocalyptic rainfall during use, so lives up to its billing.
Operation is via a single rubber button on the top of the unit, with a prolonged press turning it on/off and a short press changing the light sequence. Set just behind this is a battery indicator light, which shows either green or red when first turned on to let you know whether or not the battery needs charging.
Charging isn't a frequent demand, though, because the battery life is impressive, with a claimed 9hrs (Constant), 5hrs (Boost), 3hrs (Super Bright), 25hrs (Pulsating), 400hrs (Flashing). From testing, these are about accurate, and given that this pumps out some serious light, they're pretty impressive too. Charging takes around 3 hours and is done through a USB cable that connects to a port on the bottom of the unit.
Whether you use it on your bar or helmet, it attaches through a mount with a rubberised base to protect bar or lid from scratches and abrasion. A rubber ladder keeps everything in place well and the strap is slim enough that it fitted all but the most aero of my helmets although it could possibly do with a little longer strap, as fitting it onto the handlebar was a little bit of a struggle.
Attaching the light to the mount is simple, with it just sliding on and clipping into place. There is a tag at the rear of the mechanism that needs to be pulled down before the light slides out, which is tricky to do on your helmet, but relatively simple when on the bar.
It's not the lightest light of this size, but given its output, it can be forgiven. Although I could certainly feel the additional 97g when on my helmet, it never felt insecure, there or on the bar.
The light comes with an RRP of £59.99, which isn't cheap, but given the performance is worth the investment if you want a top quality lamp to use on your lid.
Overall I was very impressed with the Lava 500. It pumps out an impressive amount of light while also providing a good battery life, plus it is simple to use and the memory element is really useful, especially if you're turning it on without being able to see it. Perhaps the strap could be a little longer for the bars to make it easier to connect, but all in, it is an impressive light.
A high powered light with a long battery life
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Infini Lava 500
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?
A bright headlamp that can be used for both visibility and illumintation.
Infini says: 'The LAVA 500 is a sleek, rugged and highly efficient compact bicycle headlight designed to provide riders increased visibility, added safety, long running time and ultra portability.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
SIZE 96x43.5x32.5 mm
WEIGHT 97 grams
LED SPECS 10 Watt White LED
LIGHT OUTPUT 500 lumens
RUN TIME 9hrs (Constant)
3hrs (Super Bright)
BATTERY Rechargeable Polymer Lithium-ion battery
CHARGING TIME 3 hrs (USB)
Seems well made with a hardened plastic used and waterproofing seems up to scratch for what's needed.
The single button and memory function make it very easy to use.
Easy to fit and easy to put the light on, but could perhaps be a little easier to take off without needing to see the mechanism itself.
Stood up well, used in some fairly horrendous weather with no issues at all.
I was really impressed with the battery life.
Performed really well throughout.
Relatively expensive, but worth the money.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed really well, pumping out loads of light and simple to use.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
The battery life is really strong.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Taking off the light without looking at the mount was a bit complex.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes
Would you consider buying the light? Yes
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
It pumps out a lot of light, is simple to use, and has a long battery life. Very good and a clear 8.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Evo 6 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc.
When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.