Lumicycle's LED3Si is an excellent light that's impressive value for money. It's very similar to Lumicycle's flagship LED4Si road light but with just three emitters instead of four. Entirely unsurprisingly, that makes the claimed output three-quarters that of the 4Si at 850 lumens. Also unsurprising is that the battery lasts longer, with three hours on the highest-power mode.
The CNC machined, finned and black anodised lamp unit is exactly the same as the 4Si, just with three emitters in it. You also get the 'glow ring' around the lens that diffuses some light out sideways to help other road users see you from the sides, and the 'eyebrow' on top so you don't get dazzled by your own light when riding out of the saddle.
Also the same is the bar clamp, a hinged design with a cam-action locking lever. It's adjustable for different bar diameters using an extra link that can be fitted to the hinge, which works well once it's fitted but makes swapping between bars of different sizes somewhat fiddly. The clamp gives you some side-to-side angle adjustment if you find you have to mount it well off centre.
As with the 3Si, the 2.6Ah battery lives in a small Cordura pouch with a Velcro strap and is small enough to lurk beneath the stem to minimise cable runs. It plugs in to a conventional power jack socket on the back of the lamp unit.
I very much appreciated the control system on the 4Si and, thankfully, it carries over unchanged to the 3. A momentary-action up/down toggle swich gives you more light if you flick it up and less if you flick it down. There are five modes in total, with the usual low, medium and high being supplemented by a full-bore 'Smart Boost' mode and a flash setting.
With the same electronics as the 4Si, the 3 has all the same clever power management features – Smart Boost only runs for three minutes if you flick into it, but a long upward switch from High mode locks it into Boost until the lamp overheats or the battery gets low. The single LED, indicating power and battery status, is unchanged too.
With one fewer emitters than the 4Si I found I was making a little more use of the High setting, although Medium is still good on unlit roads. The fairly directional beam pattern helps to make the most of the power. Even with more bursts of high, though, I was getting better run times on the 3 than on the 4, and at £200 (£75 less than the 4) it's very good value for money. If you need more run time, another £40 gets you a 5.2Ah battery which doubles everything.
Top-notch construction, great performance, intuitive controls and good battery life make the LED3Si an excellent light. It's impressive value for money, too.
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Make and model: Lumicycle Elite 26 LED 3Si
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?
Lumicycle pitch the 3Si as a road/commuter light that can also be used off-road. With a fairly tight beam and the side visibility from the glow ring, it meets that brief well.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
Four LED emitters are housed in a rather lovely CNC-machined alloy housing that's generously endowed with cooling fins. A translucent bezel at the front passes some light to the sides to help other people see you, and an "eyebrow" on top prevents any light spill upwards that might dazzle you while riding. At the back there's the power socket, status LED and a rubberised toggle switch. The test system had a 2.6Ah Li-ion battery -- there's a 5.2Ah unit available if you need more run time.
The LED3Si is beautifully made and finished. The lamp housing is CNC-machined aluminium, anodised black. The bezel is secured by four tiny Torx bolts and everything's weather-sealed. The battery lives inside a simple Cordura bag with a Velcro strap to attach it to your frame or stem.
Lumicycle uses a very intuitive control system on its LED lights. Rather than a push button, there's an up/down toggle switch. Hold it up to switch on, and then flicking it down switches to a lower output and flicking it up switches to a higher one. It's slightly complicated by the presence of a flashing mode (long press down from off) and the Smart Boost extra-high-output mode (which turns itself down after three minutes unless you lock it with another long up press) but fundamentally it's an excellent system. The LED uses a mix of colours and flashes to communicate both power level and battery state, if you can remember what means what.
The clamp is the common hinged, cam-lock design, with rubber pads to aid grip. Oversize bars are accommodated by adding an extra link in the hinge, which works well once done but is somewhat more fiddly than swapping rubber pads around.
No problems during the test, although the power connector is a standard jack with no particular extra protection. There's no reason to expect any issues unless you start pulling the plug out in torrential rain, but there are lights out there with more overt seals around the connector.
Claimed run times range from 43 hours on low to 3 on Boost, and the light gets close enough to that to make no odds in the real world. The light comes with a smart charger that cuts off when the battery's fully charged, which takes about three hours from flat.
It's not as bright as the 4Si, but 850 lumens is still a healthy output and the extra battery life is worthwhile.
I've been using this one for a while now and nothing has gone wrong.
At 385g for lamp and battery the 3Si doesn't have class-leading weight, but you get very solid construction and it's hardly portly.
For my money the 3Si is better value than the 4Si -- you save £75 but still get ample light for most purposes, with extra battery life. If you spend a lot of time on very dark roads you might want to opt for the 4, though. At £200 the 3Si is very good value.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Excellent -- there are more powerful lights out there on paper, but the Lumicycle is definitely powerful enough. The beam strikes a good balance between spread and penetration.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
The up/down toggle switch is brilliant -- it's easy to find in the dark and it's very intuitive.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Self-contained lights are always going to be neater than having wires and battery bags dangling off the bike, and changing the clamp between standard and OS bars is a bit of a faff.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes.
Would you consider buying the light? Yes.
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the light in conclusion?
Lumicycle doesn't seem to be as well known as Exposure, but its products are every bit as good (and in some respects better) if you don't mind plug-in battery packs. Excellent.
Age: 38 Height: 6ft Weight: 11st
I usually ride: Whichever's nearest the door
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Track; to the shops; with the kids