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Blaze Laserlight Bike Light review

16 Dec 2016
Verdict:

Highly inventive, well-built light that will get you noticed. Although not without issues

Price: 
£125

There are lights, there are lumens, and then there are lasers. That’s right the Blaze Laserlight isn’t just laser by name – it’s a 300 lumen front light with a built in green laser that projects a picture of a bicycle 6m onto the floor ahead.

The idea is that other road users clock the green bicycle several seconds before you near them, or approach their inside, hopefully avoiding things like the classic – and extremely dangerous – manoeuvre of a road user turning left across your path to dive down a side road.

Essentially it lets someone else know you’re in their blind spot before you’re in their blind spot. It’s a fantastic idea, but is it well executed?

Pros and cons

In terms of build quality the Laserlight is second to none.

There’s a bit of ‘aerospace aluminium’ bumpf in the marketing literature, but the reality is it’s metal, feels solid and is totally sealed, changing through a magnet system instead of a USB socket.

As such I reckon this thing would survive being dropped out or an aircraft, never mind being made from one, and I couldn’t ever foresee a problem with water damage – unlike some other lights I could name.

However, this robustness comes with a price – the unit weighs 175g on our scales, a further 46g for the metal clamp.

It’s also chunky, and sat quite conspicuously on my handlebars. On that note, while the clamp is robust and should fit most normal bars, there’s certainly no Deda 35mm or flat-top compatibility like you can get away with using rubberised ‘bungee’ type mounts.

The mounting point for the light also started to shake itself loose – easily remedied with an Allen key, but still, a pain and something that happened twice before it seemed to settle in.

Battery life is a huge plus point here. A week of one-hour daily commuting was satisfied with one charge, with light in flashing mode and laser on steady. There’s also an ingenious ‘get me home’ function, where at 95% depletion it automatically switches to flashing for a further claimed four hours runtime.

Charging, however, has flaws. It’s quick – just over four hours for a full charge – but that’s so long as you clip on the magnetic cable and don’t accidentally knock it off when shuffling things around your desk.

Unlike the very positive engagement of a USB, the magnetic assembly is relatively weak and I found the Laserlight is best charged to one side, as it were (not by your mouse, the 4-gang plug by your feet, out of a laptop on the coffee table).


What does the future hold?

Crucially this light sells on extra visibility, and it’s this I find debateable. On dark, smooth roads, the laser broadcasts your position well, and I felt all the safer for it.

However, in lit cities its harder to see, and over rough terrain with shaking bars it just becomes a flickering mess. That mess still attracts attention, mind, but I’m not sure if that translates to other road user’s awareness of the rider, or if it serves as a distraction.

The key thing, then, is education. If/when other road users start to automatically associate a green bicycle on the tarmac/random moving patch of green light with an impending cyclist, then the Laserlight will be highly successful.

Indeed, I’d suggest this is already the case in London, where it has now been specced on Boris bikes.

But I’m not sure how that plays out in the in the future. Too many of these on the road at once and there’s an argument to say they’ll end up undermining each other, things will get confused and the Laserlight will end up creating no more visibility for a rider than a normal light.

However, for the meantime, the Laserlight does increase your visibility at best, and at worst is just a decent regular front light.

           

 

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