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review

Sigma Blaze Rear Brake Light

7
£27.99

VERDICT:

7
10
Moderately bright rear light with long run times and a brake function, though the strap is a little flimsy
Light weight
Great run times for its weight and size
Could be brighter
No flash modes
Rubber strap is rather flimsy
Weight: 
24g

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Sigma's Blaze Rear Brake Light has long burn times for such a lightweight package – though it has three LEDs, two only light up when braking is detected. That does mean it's not the brightest, though, plus there are no flashing modes and the short strap really doesn't stretch to fit wider seatposts; ours broke.

The Blaze is simple to use – it only has two modes. The first is auto-mode, which only switches on in low light, and the second is a simple always-on mode. It's only actually the top LED on constantly, as the bottom two only light up for braking.

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You cycle between modes, and turn the whole thing on and off, with the button on top. Unfortunately it's a button which can easily be pressed accidentally in your backpack.

The braking sensor works reasonably well, and doesn't appear to drain battery life too badly – something we've noticed as an issue with other brake lights.

Power

Sigma doesn't publish a lumen figure for the Blaze, instead claiming a visibility range of 500m. This is the longest of Sigma's rear lights, so its brightest option.

Lumens aside, I'd say the brightness is moderate. It's bright enough to be noticed, but not so bright as to be blinding. That means it's good in the dark or in poor visibility, but not so useful in bright daylight.

Run times

The flipside of a not-super-bright light is that you get long run times for the size and weight. Sigma reckons a burn time of 7hrs; this is hard to verify as it rather depends on how often the brake function is triggered, as presumably brake mode requires 200% more power than the single tail light. However, testing implies the 7hr figure is a real-world estimate that includes a fair bit of braking.

To take braking out of the equation I set it up on the bench indoors (my bench doesn't brake for anything) and it lasted 11 hrs. Also, it gave no signs of giving up after a 5hr ride, despite me running it for another four hours indoors... and even that only took it to the point where the warning light kicks in, which happens at 30% charge.

Add in plenty of braking and some low winter temperatures and 7hrs still seems very achievable.

No flashing, please

In my experience, brighter lights of this size can usually only manage around 3hrs on constant, which isn't quite long enough for my regular Sunday morning ride. So a light like this has its place.

Perhaps this is why the Blaze doesn't have any flashing modes – because the burn time is so long you don't need to extend it. Unless you think a flash actually makes you more noticeable to drivers; I don't.

Waterproofing

On paper the IPX4 (resistant to water splashes from any direction) rating might sound slightly disappointing, especially IPX6 is not uncommon at this price, for instance with Ravemen's CL05 USB Rechargeable Lighweight Sensored Rear Light.

However, holding the light under a running tap gave it no trouble, and neither did autumnal shitlaning.

The mount

The light is designed to be mounted to a seatpost with a rubber ladder strap. For me, this is quite limiting; I keep my tools in a saddle bag and there isn't enough seatpost showing underneath.

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There's no angle adjustment, so mounting this on the seatstays won't work. Mounting on the seat collar just about works, only it evidently requires stretching the ladder strap beyond what it likes – it snapped the second time I tried this. The distributor kindly sent a replacement.

This is not the only rear light with the same limitation, so I can't really mark it down for that. The flimsy rubber ladder strap however, is disappointing.

Value

At £27.99 for a light that has a daylight sensor and brake function, you are getting a lot of value for money.

There are similarly-specced units around the same price, though. That Ravemen CL05 USB Rechargeable Lighweight Sensored Rear Light (30 lumens) is slightly cheaper at £25.99, while the 50 lumen version is just slightly more at £31.99. As Sigma don't publish a lumen rating for the Blaze, though, it's hard to say which is the most comparable.

You can spend more, too; for example Lezyne's Strip Alert Drive costs £40.

Conclusion

If you're looking for a basic, reasonably bright rear light and have space on your seatpost, the Sigma Blaze last well and offers some impressive tech. Be careful with the strap and don't expect any flashing modes and it gets the job done well.

Verdict

Moderately bright rear light with long run times and a brake function, though the strap is a little flimsy

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Sigma Blaze Rear Brake Light

Size tested: n/a

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?

Sigma says: "BLAZE is SIGMA SPORT's first rear light with brake light function, day and night. Another safety bonus is the integrated brightness sensor, which activates the bike light automatically when light conditions are poor. The long burn time, great visibility range (500 meters), and low price make the BLAZE the all-rounder for any seat post."

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

Sigma has this to say:

Two-stage battery indicator

Visibility range: 500 m

3 LED brake light function

Burn time: 7 h

Charge period: 3 h

Day and night mode

Integrated micro USB charge function

Brightness sensor

Side visibility improved

Tool-free mounting with O-ring bracket

Splash resistant in accordance with IPX4

Weight: 22 g

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
9/10
Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
4/10

The rubber ladder strap is just long enough for all the usual seatpost diameters (the manual suggests up to 32mm), and it really doesn't like bigger tubes. Stretching ours resulted in it breaking.

Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
8/10

It is rated to IPX4 (resistant to water splashes from any direction).

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
8/10
Rate the light for performance:
 
6/10
Rate the light for durability:
 
5/10

The light feels durable, but the rubber strap is not.

Rate the light for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the light for value:
 
8/10

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

Last well on constant and is reasonably bright, but the clamp really can't handle large tubes.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

It has a long run time for its low weight, and it's simple to operate.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

It could be brighter and the rubber strap is not up to the job.

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

£27.99 is about what I'd expect to pay for a light with a brake alert function. The 30 lumen version of Ravemen's CL05 USB Rechargeable Lighweight Sensored Rear Light is slightly cheaper at £25.99, whereas the 50 lumen version is slightly dearer at £31.99. Lezyne's Strip Alert Drive rear light is more expensive at £40.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes

Would you consider buying the light? No

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Probably not

Use this box to explain your overall score

If you're looking for a reasonably bright, constant rear light with longish burn times – and fancy a brake function – the Sigma Blaze is a solid choice. So long as you have a narrow post, anyway. The price is fair too; just be careful with the strap.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 44  Height: 1.78m  Weight: 77kg

I usually ride: All of them!  My best bike is: Ribble Endurance SL disc

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, commuting, touring, club rides, mtb, Zwift

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