A good set of lights are probably one of the most important accessories that you can add to any bicycle, and generally come in one of two types
- Lights to help you see better which are usually front lights.
- Lights that help you to be seen by others, frequently referred to as ‘Tracer Lights’ and can be either front or rear but frequently both.
This set of bicycle lights by British company See.Sense is of the latter variety, and we have to say that we’re impressed by what we’ve seen.
This compact set of front and rear lights are relatively expensive for a set of tracer lights but they have a comprehensive set of features that certainly go some way to justifying the price tag such as:
- 200º visibility range, far in excess of the 110º legal minimum.
- Ultra bright LED’s visible from over a mile away.
- Inbuilt movement sensor that adjusts flash speed to suit terrain.
- Smart Battery adjusts brightness and flash to conserve battery life.
- iOS and Android apps to increase functionality further.
In the box you get the following:
- 1x Red rear light
- 1x White front light
- 2x Bicycle Frame mounts
- 1x Bag / jersey clip
- 2x Aero mounts
- 10x assorted mounting straps
- 2x USB charging cables
In use testing
Mounting the lights on your bike couldn’t be any easier, the included mounting rackets are held on to the frame by the now ubiquitous stretchy rubber band, and the fixing can be arranged in such a way that the light can be mounted either vertically or horizontally. To start and stop the light a simple long press on the front mounted button does the trick.
In use the lights are as bright as expected and our testing confirmed their visibility over a long distance – a mile doesn’t seem like too wild a claim. Also the in-built movement sensors were very good at adjusting the rate of flash dependent on terrain. On a test ride on a local smooth road the lights emitted a steady pulse at the rate of about two flashes every second, but as soon as we encountered some rougher back roads the flash rate increased significantly. The idea behind this is that the rougher road is more likely to cause a fall, so makes you more visible to other road users.
Battery life is always a consideration when it comes to lighting and for such a small package these lights do a great job of giving you a good amount of life. The makers claim 2hrs of battery life in constantly on mode, 10hrs in flashing mode, and 30hrs in ECO mode, and our testing would suggest that those estimates are actually a little conservative and in our test we got around 2.5hrs on constant and similarly we got slightly more than 10hrs in flash mode.
The lights really start to come in to their own when you pair them up with the accompanying smartphone app. By using the app you can perform a number of different functions.
- Switch between one of six pre-set flash patterns – Constant, Flash, Twin, Burst, Pulse and Eco.
- Change the brightness of the lights in operation.
- Set-up Crash Alerts
- Set-up Theft Alerts
- For the rear light it’s possible to switch on ‘Brake Mode’ where the rear light mimics a car brake light when it senses you are breaking.
The Crash Alert and Theft Alert features are interesting uses of the built in motion sensors. With the Crash Alert the lights will use the sensors to detect a sudden halt such as a crash or accident, and use the paired mobile phone to send an SMS message to a pre-assigned emergency contact.
Similarly, the Theft Alert may be useful if you stop somewhere mid-ride such as a café, if you leave the lights on while you’re away from the bike, they will switch themselves off after a minute or two, but from then on if your bicycle is moved before you return you will get an alert on your phone to warn you.
Overall we think these lights are worth the higher than average cost given their size, battery life and the variable flashing feature.
- Small & Light.
- Motion sensing technology should help you to stand out.
- Good water resistance
- Bonus features available with the iOS App.
- Pricier than your average tracer lights (£65 on Amazon here)
- Android App still not fully featured (at time of publication)
Overall Rating – 4.5 / 5.0
To see these lights in action watch our video review at https://youtu.be/PKC-OwP4XMA