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Verdict: 
Enough visibility for most situations with useful and practical smart features
Weight: 
59g
Contact: 

See.Sense has been making a bit of a name for itself with its smart lights, and with the Ace Front and Rear Set it's bringing the prices down. As well as smart features, the Ace set offers really good visibility, discreet looks, and an app that does everything you probably need it to, though a bit more customisation would be good.

  • Pros: Small and discreet, good visibility and smart features
  • Cons: Could do with more customisation

Perhaps the most notable of the smart elements is the 'braking' sensor. As you slow down, the brightness of the rear light increases, making you more visible at a time when you're more likely to be struck from behind. This seems to work fairly well, although there is a little lag in your slowing registering. However, all in, it is a system that seems to work pretty well.

See Sense Ace Front and Rear Set - rear.jpg

The front light has an output of 150 lumens and the rear 125, which is more than enough to maintain visibility to other road users. Each uses a block of LEDs beneath the large button and a smaller row above it, and these create more than enough light for most situations.

See Sense Ace Front and Rear Set - front 2.jpg

Operation of the lights can be done in one of two ways: using the large button on the front of each light, or connecting the lights to your phone via Bluetooth and controlling them through the app.

The button is simple to operate, with a long press turning the lights on or off, and a shorter press changing the lighting modes. There are three different modes to toggle through.

When operating the lights through the app you have more customisation options and you can turn them on/off and select from one of six lighting modes. The app also allows you to change the brightness of the lights, which is a nice touch.

> Buyer's Guide: 16 of the best rear lights for cycling

Smart features are also turned on or off through the app. The braking/slowing feature is specific to the rear light, the others are theft detection, crash detection, and sending ride information to city planners.

Theft detection works within 100m of the bike; if the bike is moved while you are in range you get a notification telling you. This works pretty well and gave me extra peace of mind when leaving my bike outside during coffee stops.

Crash detection sends a message to a contact if the lights detect that you have been in a crash and the bike is no longer moving. Again, this seems to work well, although in testing it's quite difficult to recreate a crash movement accurately.

One thing I would like to see in the app is a little more customisation. For example, I would like to be able to define which three light modes are in use with the button alone, how long the time out settings are, and maybe the ability to change the mode for braking. However, as with all apps they are continually evolving, so these features could be with us in the future.

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

From the high tech to the low-tech... The lights are simple to mount, using a plastic bracket held onto the seatpost or handlebar with a rubber band. The brackets are really easy to attach, and thanks to the large tab on one side, the lights themselves can be fitted or removed easily.

See Sense Ace Front and Rear Set - mount.jpg

Three 'positions' on the rear light mean you can angle it to suit your seatpost – so that it points in the right direction.

See Sense Ace Front and Rear Set - rear side 2.jpg
See Sense Ace Front and Rear Set - rear side 1.jpg

Battery life is obviously dependent on the mode you are using, but on constant the lights were perfectly adequate for commuting, with my journey of 45 minutes each way requiring me to charge them about once per week. See.Sense claims a battery life of 10 hours and this seems fairly accurate.

An rrp of £79.99 seems a good price for a pair of smart lights offering this kind of performance. It's £10 more than the Bontrager Ion 100 R/Flare R City Bike Light Set, but they have a lower output and no smart features. A direct comparison to other smart lights gives a different picture, with the Garmin Varia lights offering a little more in terms of 'smartness' but at £279.99 rrp they're three times the price.

Overall, I was really impressed with these lights. They are small but powerful enough for most uses, the smart features work well and the app is a useful addition. Okay, it could have a few more features, but at the moment it does what it needs to without fuss.

Verdict

Enough visibility for most situations with useful and practical smart features

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 Ace Front and Rear Set

Size tested: Lumens: 125 (rear) / 150 (front)

Tell us what the light set 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?

It's a set of smart lights for being seen rather than seeing where you're going, with enough brightness for most uses and some good smart features at a lower price than other smart lights command.

See.Sense says: "ACE makes you more visible at riskier moments, keeps you connected through a smartphone app, and gives you the chance to improve the roads you cycle on.

"REACTIVE LIGHTS FOR SAFER RIDES

"When you face moments of increased risk on your commute (e.g. at junctions, filtering traffic or high-stress intersections), ACE reacts by automatically flashing brighter and faster to make you more visible to other road users. It also shines powerfully both in daylight and at night-time, helps you be seen from over a mile away, and gives you 200° of side visibility."

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

Lumens: 125 Rear / 150 Front

Runtime: 10 hours

Weight: 35 grams

Water Sealed: IP67

Rate the front light for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the rear light for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Seems well made and secure, no water got in during use and it's light enough that if dropped it's not affected at all.

Rate the light set for design and ease of use. How simple were the lights to use?
 
8/10

Simple to use with the button, and the app is also pretty intuitive and allows for a certain degree of customisation.

Rate the front light for the design and usability of the clamping system
 
8/10
Rate the rear light for the design and usability of the clamping system
 
9/10

A really simple design that works well, made simpler because the lights are only 59g combined so it's simple to keep them in place.

Rate the front light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
9/10
Rate the front light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
9/10

Waterproofed to IP67 standards and have withstood everything a British autumn threw at them.

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

Battery life was good, using the lights on a constant beam for a 45-minute each way commute meant that I needed to charge just over once per week.

Rate the front light for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the rear light for performance:
 
8/10

Pumped out enough light to make sure I was visible to everybody around me, simple to mount, and decent battery life – performed well throughout the review.

Rate the front light for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the rear light for durability:
 
8/10

They're light and well made, and despite me dropping them several times (I was testing out a set of split-finger gloves!) there are no marks at all on them.

Rate the front light for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the rear light for weight:
 
8/10

At 59g for the pair it's not something you notice.

Rate the light set for value:
 
7/10

This is a difficult one to assess because they are smart lights and there aren't many on the market. In terms of other light sets they are on the expensive side, but compared to other smart lights, like the Garmin Varia, they are a bargain.

Tell us how the lights performed overall when used for their designed purpose

Very well: good smart elements, they offer strong visibility, and the battery life is more than adequate for most people's needs.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the lights

The smart elements are a great touch, with the theft detection being a particularly useful element.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the lights

It would be nice to have a little more customisation on the app.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

The Bontrager Ion 100 R/Flare R City Bike Light Set is £10 cheaper but not as bright and no smart features. The best known smart lights, the Garmin Varia, offer a little more in terms of 'smartness' and brightness but come in at more than three times the price.

Did you enjoy using the lights? Yes

Would you consider buying the lights? Yes

Would you recommend the lights to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

There's a little lag to the smart braking feature, but it still works well, and this combined with the visibility offered, decent run-times, good build and price, along with the theft and crash detection features and app, make this an 8 overall.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 29  Height: 6 ft  Weight:

I usually ride: Cinelli Gazzetta  My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo

I've been riding for: Under 5 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.  

12 comments

Avatar
mylesrants [427 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes

Loe my new ICon. I have recommended to all my cycling busies to get one. cars just give you more room, ithink because they see you earlier.  Have to confess I havnt downloaded the app, It is just there for brightness and on a recent coast to coast ride it lasted on full flash 9.5 hours. 

Avatar
Milkfloat [74 posts] 6 days ago
1 like

George - Could you test the Ant+ functionality as it does not work for me after the first connection.  Also, anyone that purchases these, throw away the supplied rubber bands, they snap really easily and don’t have much stretch, use spares that came with your Garmin.

Avatar
NorthEastJimmy [151 posts] 6 days ago
1 like

Massive fan of see.sense from the first one they released.  Was a backer for this on kickstarter but I’m quite dissapointed in how they have rushed the finalisation of the app.  Now they have started a new kickstarter campaign I feel the firmware updates will be neglected, the connectivity isssues with ANT+ wont be resolved and will be left with a half finished product. Shame really as its a neat bit of kit with huge potential. 

Avatar
NorthEastJimmy [151 posts] 6 days ago
0 likes

Duplicate post

Avatar
DA69 [18 posts] 6 days ago
1 like
NorthEastJimmy wrote:

Massive fan of see.sense from the first one they released.  Was a backer for this on kickstarter but I’m quite dissapointed in how they have rushed the finalisation of the app.  Now they have started a new kickstarter campaign I feel the firmware updates will be neglected, the connectivity isssues with ANT+ wont be resolved and will be left with a half finished product. Shame really as its a neat bit of kit with huge potential. 

Yeah, though they did explain this on FB. Same app for all produts and the sales fund app developers. They said the product teams and devs are separate, which makes sense. The app is free too - unlike others like Specialized withthe ANGI requiring a subscription. It would be better if it was finished of course, but I kind of see where they are comming from.

Avatar
Awavey [460 posts] 6 days ago
0 likes

The app doesn't work,the lights refuse to connect with most android phones, so they just become lights with more annoying disco modes,plus they technically switch on everytime they sense movement, so my rear light needed recharging after 1 day, even though id used them on one 30min ride with them on,fortunately I was still carrying my old lights, maybe the charge was low but I couldn't tell you because again the app doesn't work!!

Avatar
shawdogg [21 posts] 6 days ago
1 like
Awavey wrote:

The app doesn't work,the lights refuse to connect with most android phones, so they just become lights with more annoying disco modes,plus they technically switch on everytime they sense movement, so my rear light needed recharging after 1 day, even though id used them on one 30min ride with them on,fortunately I was still carrying my old lights, maybe the charge was low but I couldn't tell you because again the app doesn't work!!

My lights and app work fine on my Huawei P20 pro, takes a minute or so to sync with lights but picks up front and rear ACE and rear ICON that I have and the functionality has worked without an issue so far. Also my lights only switch on when I tell them too, they will only switch on with movement trigger if they haven't been properly switched off (i.e. via app or the physical button). Perhaps you've got a faulty one, might be worth a message to support, they have been helpful and willing to assist when I needed to use them for initial problems with my ICON a year or two back.

Avatar
DA69 [18 posts] 6 days ago
0 likes
Awavey wrote:

The app doesn't work,the lights refuse to connect with most android phones, so they just become lights with more annoying disco modes,plus they technically switch on everytime they sense movement, so my rear light needed recharging after 1 day, even though id used them on one 30min ride with them on,fortunately I was still carrying my old lights, maybe the charge was low but I couldn't tell you because again the app doesn't work!!

Works fine for me. You have to have the beta mind, not the ICON app. That doesn't pair with ACE. The clue is in the name!  3

Avatar
colin_m [1 post] 5 days ago
1 like

It is a good light but the main reason I chose it was the theft notification feature for when I'm bikepacking and in my tent at night but I can't get it to work at all. Does anyone know how to set it?  There is no way to do it through the app and if I leave the light on and walk away with my phone the light  switches off. Getting someone to move the bike doesn't trigger an alarm on the phone, but the light switches back on. Also they could do with a hole in the plastic for a lanyard as I don't trust the clip at all, especially offroad. I've fashioned a sort of safety cord using an SLR lens cap keeper and it's caught the light once when it bounced off! Would be a useful safety feature to build in.

Avatar
Sprocketman [3 posts] 5 days ago
0 likes

I've got an IPad and an Android phone.

The iPad app works perfectly so I can change the settings at home............but I can hardly ride with a full size iPad up my jersey.

I've got the Android Beta app on my phone and it doesn't work.  It won't recognise the lights at all.

 

I'm allowing a bit more time so they can sort out the app but after Xmas, if the problem persists, I'm going to return them and demand my money back.  I really want to support a British company but this is really a major error on their part because there are more Android devices sold that Apple ones.

Avatar
cougie [21 posts] 3 days ago
0 likes
Sprocketman wrote:

I've got an IPad and an Android phone.

The iPad app works perfectly so I can change the settings at home............but I can hardly ride with a full size iPad up my jersey.

I've got the Android Beta app on my phone and it doesn't work.  It won't recognise the lights at all.

 

I'm allowing a bit more time so they can sort out the app but after Xmas, if the problem persists, I'm going to return them and demand my money back.  I really want to support a British company but this is really a major error on their part because there are more Android devices sold that Apple ones.

 

The android Beta app works for my lights.  Mail them and see what they say - they seem very good at customer service.  Maybe something to do with the android app can see the lights but knows they've already paired to an apple device ? 

Avatar
cougie [21 posts] 3 days ago
0 likes
colin_m wrote:

It is a good light but the main reason I chose it was the theft notification feature for when I'm bikepacking and in my tent at night but I can't get it to work at all. Does anyone know how to set it?  There is no way to do it through the app and if I leave the light on and walk away with my phone the light  switches off. Getting someone to move the bike doesn't trigger an alarm on the phone, but the light switches back on. Also they could do with a hole in the plastic for a lanyard as I don't trust the clip at all, especially offroad. I've fashioned a sort of safety cord using an SLR lens cap keeper and it's caught the light once when it bounced off! Would be a useful safety feature to build in.

 

Are you on the apple or android app ?  I know the android isn't 100% functional yet.

The clip seems fine to me. They weigh very little. I click mine in and even if I pull on them they aren't releasing.  If yours fell off I think you didnt click it in correctly. Maybe your cord fouled the device.   They've got a video of the lights staying on a bike that was then dropped off a 3 storey building... 

I've not done that but even on rough cattlegrids my lights have not gone missing.