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The Moon X-Power 500 looks neat and compact and feels pleasingly chunky yet light.
Mounting the light was easy, the mount is easy to adjust and fitted very solidly to the bars, and stayed firmly in position without having to be cranked up stupidly tight. It has some horizontal adjustment too, so you can point the beam towards the verge and make sure you're not going to dazzle any oncoming traffic. The release switch is easy to locate and operate, even in gloves.
The beam pattern has a bright centre spot, and throws light a good way up the road.It gives enough sideways spill to easily see what's on verges or lurking at the sides of the road. It switches on straight into overdrive mode, so if you're heading out into urban terrain, you need to remember to switch it down. The power cycle is not especially clever as off is included in the sequence, so you have to be quick on the draw if you want to go from flashing back up to overdrive. The power switch is flush with the casing and needs a firm press - even though it's illuminated in pimp-my-ride blue, but sometimes you need to keep looking ahead, not down, and in winter gloves I found it difficult to locate and operate.
The light has 5 power modes, overdrive, high, standard, low and flashing which you toggle through from overdrive down to flashing.
The 500 lumen overdrive setting was bright enough for twisty descents on rural lanes, though our run time test came in at 1h 30 mins, so slightly under the advertised 1h 40. However, the high setting gave plenty of light at 380 lumens for trundling along unlit back lanes at 14-16mph for 2h 30 mins (a bit more than the Light and Motion Urban 300). The flashing mode runs at the high setting and is pretty attention seeking during daylight or around town.
Run times are ideally suited to commuting, and good enough when you feel like taking the long way home - spare batteries are available for as little as £15, so if you wanted to head out on some longer rides you could easily slip a spare into your jersey pocket.
The flashing indicator to let you know when the battery is running down is very useful, if slightly pessimistic. On overdrive it started flashing after 45 minutes, giving you 45 minutes to get home. This could make you a bit blas about the amount of time you have, but on the plus side, the light switches to low power and then a low flash when the battery is spent, it doesn't just go out.
Build quality is great, the aluminium cap survived unscathed after being dropped, and the USB port cover closes very neatly and is easy to open. First time out was a 30 min ride into a biblical downpour, but the XP flashed away without skipping a beat. The USB feature is a plus for anyone who works in an office, on our PC it charged up within 5 hours - a plug in mains charger is also available for those lucky enough not to spend their working day welded to a computer.
A sturdy little light with a powerful beam. Ideal for commuters and taking the long way home - just don't stay out all night.
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Make and model: Moon X Power 500 Front Light
Size tested: Black
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?
High power rechargeable light 500 lumens
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
1 piece CREE XM-L (T6) high brightness LED
Quick release rechargeable lithium ion battery (3.7V 2300mAh)
Water resistant headlight with durable zinc alloy light cap
5 modes: Over drive, High, Standard, Low, Flashing
Quick release handlebar mount (fits 22 - 31.8mm)
Quick release helmet mount
Low battery charging and fully charged indicator
Automatic fully-charged cut-off system
High precision optical lens
Size 106 x 36.5 x 35.5
Feels sturdy, no rattles or flimsy plastic.
You have to toggle from high to low settings, personally I'd prefer this the other way - if the road goes down I want to get full on as quick as possible. It also commits the cardinal sin of including 'off' in the cycle of settings.
It's a standard QR clamp, but it works just fine. It comes with a shim for narrower bars.
A torrential commute didn't phase it one bit.
Test times all came in slightly under the advertised time, but you get plenty of warning. Charges quickly.
Decent power at this price and enough runtime to be useful.
Feels built to last, and the aluminium cap mean it's resistant to knocks and bumps in the bike shed (or if you just happen to drop it on the floor...)
Good value at its RRP - and as it's available for as little as £80 in some places very good value.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well - it's a good all-round light.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
USB charging is convenient, looks neat and purposeful, good beamshape. Pleasingly chunky, if it was a chocolate bar it would be a Yorkie.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Button could be easier to operate with gloves on, 'off' should be removed from the power cycle.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes
Would you consider buying the light? Yes
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes and she's already gone and bought one!
Anything further to say about the light in conclusion?
A versatile and powerful light at a very reasonable price.
Age: 40 Height: 163cm Weight: 75kg
I usually ride: Dawes Horizon My best bike is: Kona Haole
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, Audax