Like this site? Help us to make it better.

Blackburn Scorch front light



A disappointing light which lacks the power to make it a contender at this price range

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

What the scores mean

Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

  • Exceptional
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Quite good
  • Average
  • Not so good
  • Poor
  • Bad
  • Appalling

The Blackburn Scorch front light is Blackburn's most expensive and most powerful front light, with a claimed maximum output of 140 lumen. Producing those lumens is a white Cree XP-G LED (the de facto LED for higher end lights) which is housed inside a solid CNC machined aluminium housing. Light modes (high, standard and flashing) are toggled through using a single rear mounted push button which also acts as the on/off switch.

The mount is plastic and of a tool free design which should make swapping between bikes a simpler task. The clamp is adjustable using the plastic screw ensuring that all bar diameters are catered for. The light head sits inside a cradle on top of the clamp and is secured via a rubber o-ring, making it easy to remove when leaving your bike unattended. Compared to some other mounts, the Scorch mount holds the light high off the bars which is quite useful as the beam isn't compromised by any bar mounted gadgets or shift cables. However, its height also makes it a bit of an eyesore when not in use.

Out on the road, the Scorch's 140 lumen don't go very far and you certainly wouldn't be able to navigate on unlit roads. This is a big disappointment as one would expect a light costing £50 to be more than just a 'be seen' light. For an extra fiver, one could get Lezyne's excellent Macro Drive which has enough throw and power to be used for the occasional night ride. The battery life isn't great either with a claimed battery life of only 1 hour (confirmed by our test) on high.

And herein lies one of our other bugbears with the Scorch: the charger. While other lights have wisely gone down the route of a standard USB cable, the Scorch uses a proprietary design meaning that you'll have to buy a new one if you misplace it. The supposed benefit of the system is that it forms a watertight connection which will in theory make it more reliable, but do you really need a waterproof connection when charging from your computer? To me this just seems like an extra complication which could have easily been omitted to reduce the price of the unit.


A disappointing light which lacks the power to make it a contender at this price range. test report

Make and model: Blackburn Scorch front light

Size tested: n/a

Tell us what the product 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?

The power output with limit the Scorch to be used as a commuter light on well-lit urban roads. Blackburn describe it as a "compact, rechargeable Li-Ion headlight".

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

* CNC machined aluminum housing

* Super-bright white CREE® XP-G LED

* 140 Lumen output

* Magnetic USB smart charger

* No tools universal clamp mounts to any handlebar

* 1hr High, 3hr std, 5hr flashing run times

* LED fuel gauge/charge indicator

Rate the product for quality of construction:

The machined housing is well made and all potential ingress points are well sealed.

Rate the product for performance:

The light output on high is disappointing and rules out its use on unlit roads. Battery life isn't great either considering the size of the Scorch.

Rate the product for durability:

No issues so far with the light despite some wet commutes.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:

The Scorch's lack of power could be forgiven if it was either small or light (or both), but it isn't.

Rate the product for value:

The Scorch represents poor value when compared to others in this price range.

Did you enjoy using the product? I was disappointed more than anything.

Would you consider buying the product? No.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? No.

Overall rating: 5/10

About the tester

Age: 21  Height: 190cm  Weight: 69kg

I usually ride: Canondale EVO Red  My best bike is:

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

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, mtb,


For 5 years, racing was my life and I went all the way from a newbie bonking after 40 miles, to a full-timer plying my trade on the Belgian kermesse scene. Unfortunately, the pro dream wasn't meant to be and these days, you're more likely to find me bimbling about country lanes and sleeping in a bush on the side of the road.

Add new comment


Rob Simmonds | 11 years ago

Spotted this in the LBS. Took it off the shelf, looked at the runtime/power, laughed heartily,put it back. The Moon Meteor (just to pick one example) stomps it into the dirt.

Latest Comments