I don’t usually review things, but after receiving a new Camden Gear VIVID XVI
LED Bike Light via Amazon, I thought I’d post a few first thoughts.
I’ve been looking around for a decent front bike light for a while having been trying to get used to the idea of commuting in the dark through winter, and recently had settled on a Cateye Volt 400 Front Light as the ideal option. The CatEye is rechargeable via USB, runs for ages, and is very bright with a nice wide beam so you can see pretty well on dark country roads.
While browsing around on the web I came across an offer for a discounted Camden Gear light, and with a view to finding a backup light or an alternative to the CatEye, thought I’d buy one. It’s supplied as a 2-light set, including a small LED rear bike light along with the main front light.
The light arrived swiftly, and first impressions are great!
It’s well packaged, and both the packaging and the product exude quality in terms of their construction.
The body of the light is made from machined metal, and feels very solid and robust to the touch. The single fitting (end cap) fits well, and appears to be sealed against the elements. Always useful in this country! The LED end doesn’t appear to be removable but I haven’t really investigated yet.
It’s described as being “Water / Shower resistant” and being able to “last through tough weather conditions”, being made from “military spec” aluminium.
It’s not the lightest weight light you’ll ever buy but given the robustness seems a reasonable option. Depends on your bike of course but I can’t see it’s going to cause a problem on my commuter hybrid.
The light itself is devoid of any controls or buttons other than a single button on the end cap which appears to double up as both power button and mode switch (on full, on at lower power & rapid flash).
The only negative point so far is that the light runs off AA batteries rather than being USB rechargeable, and given how bright it seems to be I’m not entirely sure how long it will run for at maximum brightness.
You install the batteries by unscrewing the end cap, and removing the battery holder. All the components feel robust and well-constructed – and certainly give the impression of being a quality product which will deliver plenty of use.
The included mount seems pretty solid, and unlike many is nice and simple in terms of attaching the light. I haven’t got as far as putting it on a bike yet but I get the impression that it should be able to more than adequately hold the light and keep it pointing at the road – so basics ticked off.
It’s certainly nice and bright – and compared to my Cateye Volt 400, seems to be a bit bluer and brighter. Certainly looks perfectly fine for use on the roads and I’m looking forwards to giving it a go.
I am however a little concerned about battery life simply as I’m now more used to just plugging my lights in during the day to recharge – and suspect I will need to get used to the idea of carrying a couple of sets of rechargeable AAs as an insurance policy. When time permits I’ll do some tests to try and establish how long it will run for as a benchmark.
The included rear light seems to be equally well made, and is nice and bright. Works as expected!
All in all, this seems a great bike light and other than not being rechargeable, comes pretty close to being an excellent option. Will update this once I’ve had occasion to try it out properly on my bike.