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The Moon Rigel Max is a very clever light, with an Intelligent Operation mode, a VLS mode that allows you to control the lumen output, and a power-off when it detects no movement. Basically, it's customisable. Even the battery life is decent considering the illumination on offer, although, as I found with its 1,000-lumen sibling, the Rigel Pro, I'm not exactly blown away by the anti-dazzling lens.
As with the Pro, the Rigel Max has just two static modes, 'pre-set' this time at 1,500 lumens and 500 lumens, giving you a main and dipped beam.
You can tweak the lumen output using Moon's VLS – Variable Lumen System – giving you a fully customisable setup that you can tweak for high performance or battery saving.
For instance, 1,500 lumens is overkill for a lot of road conditions, so you could tweak the brightest mode down to, say, 1,000 lumens for most rides, or even 800 lumens – almost doubling your battery life. You can actually take the brightness down to a minimum of just 20 lumens, which'll give you up to 56 hours' burn-time.
It takes a bit of guesswork, as you don't have an LCD display or anything to tell you where you are in terms of lumens, but it's pretty easy to work out.
If, like me, you hate having to scroll through flashing modes to get back to the brighter static ones, you'll be pleased to hear that Moon has kept the static modes separate from the four flashing ones; a double-click on the button is all you need to swap between the two.
You get four flashing modes: Flash 1, Steady Flash, Day Flash and SOS.
Considering the output, the battery life is pretty impressive. It's not that big a light unit either so it hasn't got a whopping battery. Using the full 1,500 lumens you'll get 1hr 40mins, while the 500 lumens will last for 3hrs 30mins. The flashing modes give anything from 48hrs up to 120hrs.
The Rigel Max has the same kind of refracted lens as the Rigel Pro, to stop you dazzling oncoming drivers or cyclists, noticeable by way of the ridges on the upper half of the lens. If you mount the light underneath the handlebar, you can flip the lens over, a cool trick.
As with the Pro, it does work to a degree, cutting off the upper light a bit, but there is still plenty heading up into the trees.
It's not as effective as Ravemen's solution on its PR1600, which has two separate lenses, one providing a properly cut-off beam for when you are riding in 'dipped' mode, the other chucking out a much wider spread on 'full beam'.
If you use the beam comparison engine above you'll see how much more effective the Ravemen is at 1,600 lumens compared with the Moon at 1,500 lumens.
Out on the road, though, it does pretty well. There is a decent amount of light thrown directly forward, with a reasonable spread out to the sides. It's not the best I've used – I'd like a slightly wider beam across the road or lane rather than one so focused on the centre.
Controlling the light is no different to many others, with just a single button for operation, which also displays mode and battery life.
If you find turning a light on and off a bit of a chore, though, then you need to switch it to Intelligent Operation (IO), by pressing the button for three seconds with the power off.
In IO mode the light detects darkness and turns itself on – ideal for riding through heavily shaded areas or tunnels during the day, or if your commute starts in daylight and finishes in the dark or vice versa. It doesn't get fooled by artificial light either, so don't panic when you're cruising under streetlights.
The Rigel Max also has an Intelligent Motion Sensing Function, which means if it detects no movement for 20 seconds it'll switch to 10 lumens; after 60 seconds it'll go to standby; and after an hour of nothing it goes into a deep sleep.
The Max uses the same Garmin style bracket as the Pro: a wristwatch style band that'll fit a huge range of handlebar diameters, is simple to set up, and holds secure, even on rough roads.
And you also get a GoPro adaptor which allows you to fit the Moon where you might a GoPro, below a Garmin mount or whatever.
The Rigel Max has the same ability to fight off the crap weather of winter as the Pro, with an impressive rating of IPX7. That means it'll withstand being submersed in water at a depth of one metre for half an hour, so heavy rain isn't an issue. Riding through the latest storms and attacking it with the bathroom shower has seen no issues.
Very well made and durable, the Rigel Max is competitively priced at £89.99 RRP. That Ravemen I mentioned is one of my favourite road lights, and while I don't think it's overpriced for such a clever, high-powered light, it is £139.99.
Lezyne's Super Drive 1600XXL puts out a little bit more in the lumens department, and its mode outputs are also adjustable but using an app, giving you a little bit more precision than the Moon. But it'll cost you £40 more, too.
Magicshine's Allty 1500, which, as you can no doubt work out, has a maximum of 1,500 lumens, costs the same £89.99. It's now called the Allty 1500 Daytime Running Light. Steve was impressed with it to a degree, with only the vague battery indicator and having to scroll through all the modes being the flies in the ointment.
Overall, the very clever Rigel Max offers decent performance considering how small it is. It hasn't got the best beam on the market, but it is still very effective for riding on a range of roads and byways.
Clever and customisable light for not a huge amount of money
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Moon Rigel Max
Size tested: 1500 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?
The Moon Rigel Max is a powerful light ideal for all road conditions and shows very impressive amounts of weatherproofing. The customisable power outputs are a real bonus too.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
MODE 1 / MODE 2 / FLASH 1 / FLASH 2 / DAY FLASH / SOS
ANTI-DAZZLING lens ( Rotatable)
Intelligent brightness function
Intelligent motion sensing function
CNC Aluminium heat sink
Day flash mode
Mode memory function
Variable lumen system
Quick release GARMIN style bracket
Low battery,charging and fully charged indicator
Automatic fully charged cut-off system
High precision optical lens
USB Type-C remote control system
USB Type-C charging cable
Water resistant USB port
Water resistant (IPX 7)
A lot to get your head around initially, but once set up you shouldn't need to touch it.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A decent beam pattern and power outputs high enough for a range of conditions.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Being able to tweak modes to increase battery life or power output.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Guesswork required for adjusting mode output.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's comparable in price to the Magicshine mentioned in the review, but the Moon offers much more technology and is customisable. Other lights that can be tweaked, like the Lezyne, are more expensive.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes
Would you consider buying the light? Yes
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
A good balance of power output and battery life combined with the customisable lumen output, make this one very versatile light. It's also well made with an impressive waterproof rating. Overall, it's very good.
About the tester
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,
As part of the Tech Hub here at F-At Digital, our senior product reviewer Stu uses the knowledge gained from putting well over a 1,000 products through their paces (including hundreds of bikes) to write in-depth reviews of a huge range of kit. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 160,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. Although, as he spends a fair bit of his time reviewing ebikes these days he's becoming an expert in letting the motor take the strain. He's also waiting for 23mm race tyres to make a comeback!