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Verdict: 
A light that performs really well, but the usability is a little too complex
Weight: 
87g
Moon Meteor-X Auto
7 10

The Moon Meteor-X Auto is an innovative light that brings together strong battery life and a powerful beam at a very reasonable price, but it's not the simplest to operate.

  • Pros: Bright, auto function, price
  • Cons: Over-complicated sequencing of modes

Moon has been making a name for itself for a number of years, and the Meteor-X Auto is one of its most exciting. Rather than simply being a regular light that turns off and on, it has an automatic mode based on light sensitivity.

> Find your nearest dealer here

The first thing to look at in any light, regardless of fancy automation, is the light it produces. Although the Meteor-X Auto doesn't pump out a huge amount of light, its 320-lumen setting is certainly enough for all but the most pitch-black environments. As you can see from the beam comparison engine above, the beam itself is fairly condensed, which means you can't necessarily see around you, but you can see pretty well what's in front.

I used it mainly on fairly well-lit London roads, but also took it out to very unlit Kent lanes at dusk and it was adept in both, although I wouldn't take it as my sole light in unlit environments.

There are seven different settings, in manual or auto mode: three solid beams with different brightnesses, three different flashes and an SOS sequence. This gives a lot of variety, even if you may struggle to find the one you want. Although it's great to have a choice of settings, here the number of different button presses to operate them is a little frustrating. For instance, holding it down for three seconds turns it from auto to manual (or vice versa); you then have the option of flashing or solid modes, which you choose by giving the button two presses, and you then cycle through the various brightness or flash settings.

Thankfully, once I'd found the right mode, the light has a memory feature so it turns on in the last one I was using.

The most interesting element of the light is the auto mode. The light can detect the lighting conditions and either turn on or off. I found the light would generally turn on straight away when it detected the dark, and took around 30 seconds to turn itself off. It generally worked well, though I would have liked it to come on sooner, especially during dark mornings.

> Buyer's Guide: The best 2017/2018 front lights for cycling

Battery life is good, ranging from a claimed 2 hours on the solid beam of 320 lumens through to 57 hours on daytime flash. There were so many variations that trying to work out if each was accurate was nigh-on impossible, but I tested the full 320 lumen mode and it lasted around 2 hours 15 minutes before it died, which is pretty good.

The battery level can be seen by the LEDs that shine through the button, which also showed whether the light was in automatic mode (green), manual (blue), or running low on power (red).

Charging is through a micro USB and takes around 2-3 hours, depending on whether you're charging from a wall socket or computer USB port.

Unusally, the mount is separate from the light, something that isn't too common in today's market. The mount itself has a thick laddered rubber strap and an adjustable hook on the other side, which means it can fit around different sized and shaped bars – it fitted well round a set of aero bars, for instance. The light itself attaches through simply sliding on and clicking in. To undo it, you just press a button on the side and slide it back out.

The RRP of £32.99 is pretty good for something with this many sequences and the automatic feature. When you look at others with a similar lumen output, such as the Ravemen CR300 or Cateye Volt 400, both are considerably more expensive.

Overall I liked many elements of this light and the automatic feature is really interesting, but it is complicated to use. It has a decent battery life, strong mounting system, and good light output, but is slightly let down by the frustration caused by trying to find your favourite mode.

Verdict

A light that performs really well, but the usability is a little too complex

road.cc test report

Make and model: Moon Meteor-X Auto

Size tested: (W x D x H): 88 x 30 x 34mm

Tell us what the light is for

A relatively high tech commuter light that packs in a large amount of tech without breaking the bank.

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

Moon lists these features:

1 pc CREE XP-G2 (S3) high brightness LED

CNC Aluminium heat sink light cap

Light sensitive auto ON/OFF

Mode memory function

Quick release rechargeable lithium ion battery (3.7V 1400 mAh)

7 modes: Mode1 / Mode2 / Mode3 / FL1 / FL2 /DAY FLASH (DOUBLE BLAST) / SOS

Quick release universal bracket RB-25 (fits all round bars and AERO style bars)

Low battery,charging and fully charged indicator

Automatic fully charged cut-off system

High precision optical lens

Side visibility

Water resistant (IPX 4)

Size: 88 x 30 x 34mm

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Good quality plastic, feels strong and robust.

Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
5/10

Basic use was fine, but with the number of options and two-step sequencing it all gets a bit complex.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
9/10

Really good clamping system; the separate mount is not too common today, so it was nice to see.

Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
8/10

Stood up very well, used it in the pouring rain and freezing cold without issue.

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

Really strong battery life; even when using it on mid-power I would only really need to charge it once per week.

Rate the light for performance:
 
7/10

Performed well, although definitely more for better lit areas.

Rate the light for durability:
 
7/10

No reason to suspect it won't last a long time given the build quality of both the light and the mount.

Rate the light for weight:
 
5/10
Rate the light for value:
 
8/10

Really good value when you consider the tech in it, and in comparison to other lights with a similar lumen output.

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

Performed well, made me visible and helped me see well enough when I needed it to.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

The mounting system was really simple to use and let me quickly remove the light with minimal fuss.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

The mode selection is just too complicated.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes, once I had found the right mode...

Would you consider buying the light? Maybe

Would you recommend the light to a friend? If they had a good memory for sequencing.

Use this box to explain your overall score

It does everything a light needs to do, performing well in every area except the sequencing; I can't help feeling the elements that try to set it apart make it a little over-complex.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 29  Height: 6 ft  Weight:

I usually ride: Mercian King of Mercia or Cinelli Gazzetta  My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

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.  

6 comments

Avatar
RoubaixCube [79 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

I was so close to purchasing a moon Meteor Storm or Vortex Pro earlier today after seeing the review on Road.CC 

 

However, what killed the deal in a really sadistic way was that Moon use their own proprietary 18650 batteries which are SERIOUSLY hard to come by. I looked on ebay and the only one for say came from AUSTRALIA and postage was $31AUS

Pretty sad.

Avatar
StraelGuy [1479 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

If you mean the rechargeable version, 18650s are common as muck...

Avatar
Alex26c [8 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

They look like standard batteries but you can also buy directly from the moon website in Hong Kong. Anyway the battery should last years. I've just bought a moon vortex for £30 for my helmet. So far I'm pleased with it. Unlike some lights, it's really easy to replace the battery.

Avatar
RoubaixCube [79 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes
Alex26c wrote:

They look like standard batteries but you can also buy directly from the moon website in Hong Kong. Anyway the battery should last years. I've just bought a moon vortex for £30 for my helmet. So far I'm pleased with it. Unlike some lights, it's really easy to replace the battery.

 

Theyve been listed as out of stock on their website for a while now....

Avatar
Tass Whitby [59 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

RoubaixCube wrote:

Alex26c wrote:

They look like standard batteries but you can also buy directly from the moon website in Hong Kong. Anyway the battery should last years. I've just bought a moon vortex for £30 for my helmet. So far I'm pleased with it. Unlike some lights, it's really easy to replace the battery.

 

Theyve been listed as out of stock on their website for a while now....

Have you tried asking Raleigh? Moon's UK distributor...

Avatar
RoubaixCube [79 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes
Tass Whitby wrote:
RoubaixCube wrote:
Alex26c wrote:

They look like standard batteries but you can also buy directly from the moon website in Hong Kong. Anyway the battery should last years. I've just bought a moon vortex for £30 for my helmet. So far I'm pleased with it. Unlike some lights, it's really easy to replace the battery.

 

Theyve been listed as out of stock on their website for a while now....

Have you tried asking Raleigh? Moon's UK distributor...

 

Asked? Not yet. I have searched on their website though and they have no products listed from moon