The Moon Meteor-X Auto Pro is a great light for urban commuters or those who find themselves out in the dark every once in a while. It's a robust headlight, which balances light output and battery life smartly for a great price.
Moon market this light predominantly at those who commute, and with seven modes it is pretty adaptable to all kinds of light conditions, from country lanes to urban streetlighting, making it ideal for the ride to work and back.
The maximum output of 450 lumens is good enough to be able to see where you are going when out in the sticks, where the lanes tend to have no white lines or cats' eyes for guidance, provided that you keep the speed to around the mid-20s in terms of mph.
The beam pattern itself has a main focused spot which Moon has measured at an angle of 17 degrees at 10m, with a larger spread outside of that to 84 degrees. This means that you get plenty of light where you need it: the brighter spot picks up all the potholes and terrain of where your front tyre is heading, with the peripheral spread lighting up the verges for drains and the like, helping to give depth to the information you are receiving.
This main power setting will give you one and a half hour's worth of battery life, which I think is pretty impressive for such a compact light. The other two solid modes of 250 lumen and 150 lumen can see that stretched out to a maximum of five hours.
The other key thing for a commuter is a quick recharge time, so that you can top it up at work for the ride home. From flat, the Moon will be back up to full in two and a half hours if you charge it from the wall, a bit longer if you plug it in through the USB on your PC.
Aside from the solid beam modes there are also four flashing ones at varying brightness, two for night-time use and one Day Flash mode. This is a double pulse at 700 lumen, ideal for getting noticed when filtering through city traffic. You also get an SOS setting.
Moon keeps both the flashing and solid modes separate, with a double click of the button needed to switch between the two. This means you don't have to scroll through all of the modes while riding to change brightness.
The cool thing about this light is that you can set it to come on and off automatically (hence the Auto in the name) once the light conditions change. It's great when going through tunnels or tree-lined roads. All it takes is a press of the single button for three seconds to change between this and manual. Thanks to the light's memory, it'll always turn back on in the mode you left it in.
In use, the Moon is simple to flick between the different settings and modes, plus the button glows various colours to tell you what the light and battery are up to. The only criticism I really have is that the button is a bit on the soft side, so with gloves on it can be a little tricky to switch between modes cleanly.
The clamp is pretty good, considering it's just held in place by a rubber strap; the light barely moved – even over rough terrain. The push of a button removes the light from the bracket.
With a water resistance rating of IPX4, the Moon should shrug off water spray from any angle and it does just that, with loads of muddy testing on gravel bikes and heavy rain on the road, and, just to be sure, it's been given the power shower treatment too. Thanks to well-covered charge points and electronics there are no issues to report.
Value-wise, at £43.99 the Moon Meteor shows how far lights have come on over the last couple of years. When looking at lights I have recently tested of similar output, it is head and shoulders above the Cateye Volt 500XC for instance, and nearly 20 quid cheaper.
The two look pretty identical in terms of power on the beam comparison (see below), but out on the road the Moon just has a more usable output thanks in part to the 'whiter' light, and is much more user-friendly. It's a really well built unit too.
A great 'be seen' light that is punchy enough to see with too
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Moon Meteor-X Auto Pro
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?
Moon says: "The Meteor Auto combines a compact chassis with superior light output making it ideal for every day commuting whatever route you take."
Aiming this light directly at the commuter makes a lot of sense as it's the type of riding the Meteor-X Auto Pro excels at.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
1 x Cree XP-G2 LED
Copper coated circuit board for supeior heat transfer
CNC aluminium heat sink
Integrated light sensor (auto on / off)
Mode memory function
Quick release rechargeable lithium ion battery3.7v 1400 mAh
Low battery, charging and fully charged indicator
Auto fully charged cut off
High precision optical lens
77 degree total beam angle
16 degree spot angle
Daytime flash mode 450 lumens / 57 hour runtime
Includes universal bracket
An aluminium body is a welcome sight at this price point to give a feel of solidity.
The instructions are pretty simple to digest and the light is easy to use, let down a little by a not very precise click of the button, which makes changing modes on the fly a bit tricky, especially with gloves on.
The universal bracket is simple to use and stays firm on the bar even on very rough terrain like gravel tracks.
It's rated to IPX4 which means it needs to be able to shrug off water spray or drops from any angle. I didn't have any issues in the shower test or out on the road in heavy rain.
Battery life is 1:30 on full (450 lumen) which is pretty good for a light and battery of its size, and I got to within +/-5% of that depending on conditions.
A quick 2:30 recharge time is brilliant for a commuter light, allowing you to top it up during the day.
For a single LED unit, the Meteor chucks out a lot of usable light.
The body is tough and has survived every intentional and unintentional drop test.
Just over 100g for light and bracket.
It's an impressive price for the quality and performance.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
For a commute of an hour or so through built-up areas and the odd bit of country lanes, the Meteor is in its element.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
The auto on/off function.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Button click could be a bit more defined.
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
For the money, the Meteor-X Auto Pro is a very capable performer for the daily commute, whether in daylight or darkness.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike 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
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!