Thursday, 24 February 2011

New Super Bright Front light (Updated Nov 2011)

Just last week my old Busch and Muller Ixon IQ light died a death. I've not had much luck with the Ixon IQ, this being my second IQ. On both, the clips holding the battery compartment failed, and eventually they just stopped working. I know others that have better experiences than me with this light, but the light gods have not been smiling on me.

So I've bought a new light. A Philips Safe Ride LED light (see here for a translated German page on the light)

I must admit I would never normally consider a bike light designed by Philips, they don't have a great reputation for quality bike lights, certainly not that I know of. However, having read some of the chat about it on the CandlePowerForums, I decided to take a leap. It is available in the UK from Amazon (see below).

My old B&M Ixon IQ was rated to run at 40 Lux when on high beam, the Philips light is rated to run at 80 lux, and according to the the CandlePower forum, has an excellent beam shape and provides excellent light on the road. This is important to me as about 1/3 of my commute is on unlit rural roads.

What I was also keen on was that it had a 'city' mode where you could run the light at 20 lux, preserving the battery (which can apparently run for 2 hours on high), and it has a beam shape designed not to dazzle other road users.

So yesterday was my first use. My commute home was not completely dark, but even with some failing light remaining, I was impressed with the light on the road and the peripheral light. It lights the ground from about 50cm in front of the bike to a fair distance away (50-60m). However, I still need to see what it can do when it is darker. I'll be cycling home on Friday later, so it will be pretty dark, so I'll update this blog then to let you know how I get on.

So far, it looks like a damn fine light (very sturdy) and one that you should definitely consider.



So last Friday I tried the light out properly for the first time. I have to say I was very impressed. Until now I ran with the Ixon IQ alongside a Hope 1 LED. The hope 1 LED always outshone the Ixon IQ. Now it is the turn of the Philips light to outshine the Hope 1!

The beam shape was excellent not only lighting up the road for about 60m ahead, but also providing ample lighting to see each side of the back lanes roads. I like to be able to see the sides, I don't like cycling down a tunnel!
There were some minor niggles; the top lip of the light radiates light towards the cyclist, thus eliminating some night vision. Some tape on there would sort that out. The battery bar was a bit bright and it too could do with a little masking. I also haven't had great battery life yet, but the batteries are new, so that is likely  to improve. If charging from scratch via USB (on your PC) it takes 17 hours to fully charge!!! Of course, it is quicker with the supplied charger.

At the moment, would I recommend this light. A definite yes, especially if you are looking for a bright light that runs off AA batteries. No rattles, no difficultly using the light and no problem seeing where you are going. Lets see how it fairs over a year of commuting.....

Feel free to ask me any questions!


So I've had the light for nearly a year now. How am I getting on with it?

To be honest I am very happy with it. It looks just the same as it did when I bought it, it works just the same as when I bought it and it does the job I bought it for! As I've mentioned above my commute is split between urban lit roads, and dark country lanes. The light works perfectly on both. On low mode it is more than bright enough to be used in the urban jungle. I use it along side a hope 1, so I use the hope to flash at the same time. The big advantage of this light is the cut off it has. It is bright, but it doesn't dazzle oncoming drivers.

On the dark lanes I use high mode. This far outshines the Hope 1 at it's brightest setting. It provides plenty of light where you need it, on the road and a nice amount of light to the sides, which is useful on the lanes. Can you get brighter cheaper lights? You probably can, although I suspect they wouldn't be as well built, or provide the dazzle cut off that the Philips light provides.

My only niggle with the light is that the USB charge via a computer takes quite a while! I tend to take the batteries out at work. It is much quicker with the supplied charger.

So if you are looking for a good light (that will give you high beam for 70 minutes) that won't dazzle drivers but can provide plenty of light on dark lanes, then I highly recommend the Philips light. It is also cheaper now, with Amazon selling it for just under £90 (see link above).


  1. I bought one of these last year,they all have a fault where they switch to low power afer 70mins, it's not the batteries' fault. If you take a battery out and re-insert it you can get another 30 mins. I sent mine to Philips and nearly 4 months and many requests later I still don't have it back. It's a shame cos it's a brilliant light.

  2. That should say another 50 mins.

  3. I'd seen that mentioned elsewhere, but that was from last year. I will check mine when I get a chance to see if it is still a problem. I wouldn't notice it normally as I recharge after most commutes and I only use the hight power for about 15 mins.

  4. And do you also have the dreaded cutoff at 70' ?

  5. I have the dynamo version of this light and I'm very happy with it. An amazing amount of light put out by it. The battery version is supposed to be a bit brighter still, but I wouldn't want to lose the convenience of the dynamo version, it's bright enough by far. I've been hearing great stuff about the rear light too, I'll put it on my endless 'to buy' list.

  6. The drop to low power mode after 70 mins is not a fault. The light does this to conserve battery power to get you home. This light is plenty bright enough in Eco mode and I never have a need to run it on high.