Ravemen PR1600 front light

9
£129.99

VERDICT:

9
10
A proper road-specific beam wrapped up in an excellent package
Weight: 
225g

Welcome to my new favourite road light, the Ravemen PR1600 DuaLens. It comes with dual lenses, one with a cut off 'dipped' beam, a wireless remote control, decent battery life and more light output than you really need, all for a decent price.

  • Pros: Good run-times; high/low beam; great waterproofing
  • Cons: Having to scroll through flash to get to a higher output

Dave loved the PR1200 when he reviewed it back in 2017, and I can see why. This is the first Ravemen light I've ever used and it does everything I need for riding on the road in the dark and even venturing onto the gravel tracks.

> Find your nearest dealer here

You can still get the PR1200 with its 1,200-lumen output, but if you want a little more in reserve then you can get this 1,600-lumen option.

So, what's so special about it?

High-powered bike lights are a bit like guns: it's not necessarily the weapon that's the issue, it's the muppet using it.

Very few bike lights are road-specific when it comes to beam patterns, but I've never really had issue with dazzling drivers. By tweaking the angle of the light and using the right output for the conditions I've covered tens of thousands of miles commuting in the dark without a barrage of oncoming riders or drivers full beaming me.

This Ravemen takes the guesswork out by offering two lenses sitting side by side. The one on the left is basically the same as a vehicle's dipped beam, putting out a good spread of light across the ground in front of you while cutting it off in a level plane from the centre of the LED. As long as you set the light level on your handlebar you won't be dazzling anyone.

A tap on the larger of the two buttons and the right-hand LED comes on, which is more of a floodlight, like a full beam; another tap of the same button and you're back to just the dipped beam again.

What makes this model even better is the wireless remote control which I attached to the inside of the hood on my right shifter, allowing me to flick between high and low beam with my thumb without having to move my hand from the handlebar. Its large and small buttons mimic those on the light unit. You even get a little blue high beam light that illuminates when you are at full power.

It's not just beneficial for oncoming traffic, either. If you spend a lot of time on main roads you can use the high beam to flash overtaking HGVs to let them know that they have cleared you and can pull back in.

A la modes

That 1,600-lumen figure is for when both of the LEDs are fired up; they're 800 lumens each and will give you a run-time of 2.5hrs on dipped and 1.4hrs on full. Both are within +/-5% in testing.

On all but the darkest technical descents and back lanes, 800 lumens is a lot of firepower, and because the beam pattern is so good you don't need to be chucking so much light about.

The next mode down sees 400 lumens from each LED, giving plenty of visibility on all but the darkest and twistiest back lanes, plus you'll up your burn times to 4hrs/2hrs for the low/high modes.

There is a 200-lumen mode (7hrs/4hrs) if you want to stretch battery life, which is handily relayed to you in hours remaining via the screen on top, plus there is an Economy mode for the dipped side only which last 20hrs.

Most lights these days have a daylight flashing mode and the Ravemen is no different. It's one of those where the LED stays on permanently on a low output with a bright flash to get you noticed, ideal when filtering through traffic.

You get to each of the modes by scrolling through using the small button on the light body or the remote control, and this is my only bug bear. If you are on the second mode and you want to get back to the brightest you have to scroll through the daylight flash – not something I want to be doing on a back lane. It would be good to have something like the mode selections found on Exposure's lights or Lezyne's high-powered options.

Saying that, though, if you need a short blast of full power for an unexpected descent you can press and hold the smaller of the two buttons (on the remote or the light itself) which gives you the full 1,600 lumen until you let go. A very clever little addition to get you out of trouble. 

As I've said, the beam pattern is brilliant, so you get a good sense of what is going on around you close up as well as in the distance. The verges are lit up and you can easily pick out the contrast between the road surface and potholes or drain covers, even in the wet.

The build quality is also top notch with very little plastic to be found. The main body is machined from aluminium, as is the lens housing, and if you drop it the worst you are going to do is a couple of scratches.

It's quite a compact light considering the battery size and power output, and when mounted on the secure bracket it doesn't move about or vibrate while you are riding. The bracket will fit both 31.8mm and 35mm handlebars.

Keeping out the elements isn't an issue either. I've tested the PR1600 in both heavy downpours and in the shower at home and water has failed to enter anywhere after being sprayed in all directions.

The Ravemen is charged via USB at the rear which is hidden behind a rubber cover that fits snuggly thanks to an insert that plugs into the slot. It's the latest USB-C version as well.

The PR1600 can also be used to charge other devices by using it as a power bank, and it can be topped up itself while in use.

Value

When it comes to value there'll be the 'Why pay so much?', 'I could get a 7,000lm (insert name of Chinese torch) for £2.50, there is no difference!' Well, there is. There is a lot of technology going on in lights like the Ravemen, especially when it comes to the optics and what you are getting. I reckon £129.99 is a very good investment, especially if you are a commuter and will be using the PR1600 morning and evening.

As for the competition, there is the Giant Recon HL1600, which Ash was very impressed with. He liked the wide, flat beam and only had issues with the annoying button and the overall plasticky feel for its £99.99. The Ravemen is 30 quid more but its overall build quality and materials are much higher spec, plus you have the better beam patterns.

> The best front lights for cycling

Before using the PR1600, my go-to road light was an Exposure Strada. It has the same high/low beam setup in one of the programs, and a remote control. It is also excellently made and has a pretty decent beam for road use, but the 1,500-lumen version, the Strada SB, costs a cool £300.

Conclusion

As far as I'm concerned, there is very little to criticise on the PR1600 other than having to scroll through the modes. It delivers a beam pattern that works on the road while chucking out the luminosity missing from similarly designed lights that meet the German StVZO approved standards.

Verdict

A proper road-specific beam wrapped up in an excellent package

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: Ravemen PR1600 front light

Size tested: 1600 Lumens

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?

Raveman says, "Combining high quality and durable material with innovative design, along with the concern for riders and others' safety which has been fused into their genes, Ravemen promise their products will be not only reliable and easy-to-use to improve your riding experience, but also a trusted companion that will earn you respect from others."

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

From Ravemen:

DuaLens optical low beam, providing broad flood light with cut-off line for commuting, no dazzle and glare for oncoming riders and pedestrians

Dual LEDs for HiLo beam system, providing illuminating light similar to automotive headlight with far reaching high beam and low beam

LED real-time display to show remaining runtime in each brightness level

Wireless remote switch with instant max output and brightness adjustment buttons to control the light easily

Extending battery runtime with external power source

USB output to charge portable digital devices

Intelligent memory circuit remembers the last used brightness level and mode when turned on again

Quick release design for easily slide in and out

Compatible with handlebar of 31.8mm and 35mm diameter

Technical Specification

LED: 2*CREE XM-L2 with a lifespan of 50000 hours

Battery: 6000mAh/3.7V rechargeable Lithium-ion battery

Dimensions (Headlight): 100mm (L)*48mm (W)*27mm (H); Weight (Headlight): 220g

Materials: The front and main body is made by aluminum with Mil Type III Hard Coat Anodizing; the rear part and the handlebar mount are made by durable plastic

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
8/10

Simple to set up and use.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
8/10

The clamp has had a redesign since Dave reviewed the PR1200 back in 2017.

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

No issues whatsoever in even the heaviest of rain.

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
9/10

Corresponded closely to the figures quoted on the packaging.

Rate the light for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the light for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the light for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the light for value:
 
6/10

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

One of the best road-specific lights out there with plenty of output.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

The high/low beam selection.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

Having to scroll through all of the modes including flashing to get back to the brightest.

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

For its quality and performance it is priced very competitively, especially against the likes of those from Exposure and Hope.

Did you enjoy using the light? Absolutely

Would you consider buying the light? Yes

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

Great quality, good run-times, impressive beam patterns and a decent price. Very little to dislike, to be honest.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

I've been riding for: Over 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!

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