In the midsts of winter in the UK, there is nothing more frustrating than having around 4 hours of, somewhat dim, daylight to enjoy, so it is really important to have a decent set of lights in order to make the most of winter riding.
I’ve had loads of different light sets over the years, and it has taken a while to find a light set I am happy with, however, I think I’ve found some that I am really happy with.
This happiness comes in the form of the Lezyne Hecto Drive LED Light Set.
Currently: £46.74 @ http://www.wiggle.co.uk/lezyne-hecto-drive-led-light-set/
When looking for a new light set, I decided that besides making me visible on the road at night, the main thing I wanted was a set of lights that were rechargeable because a man can only take so much of finding out that his lights have been on all day in the bottom of his bag causing the batteries to die, and then finding that the spares he carries are also dead because the exact same thing happened the day before.
Thankfully, this is not an issue anymore because the Hecto Drive lights are powered by a rechargeable battery, which is recharged via the USB plug located in the watertight cap at the rear end of both lights.
The Hecto Drive lights have a battery indicator built into the rubber on/off button, which indicates the battery life as follows:
– full charge shows a green light
– 50% charge shows half red light, half green light
– and at 10% charge it shows a blinking red light.
To turn the lights on and off you hold the power button down, and press it quickly whilst switched on to cycle through the different output settings.
To check the charge, you press it once when the light is off and the green/red light will show for a few seconds which is a really nice, compact way to do this, without having other buttons.
In the 3+ months I have been using these lights on pretty much a daily basis, I have found that a freshly charged battery will last me at least 3 days, but this obviously depends on which output setting the light is set to. I will add a video below for an idea of how bright the lights are, and what the various output settings look like as soon as possible.
According to Lezyne, the burn times, and output ratings are as follows:
– Front Output rating: Economy 50lm; Blast 100lm; Flash modes 50lm
– Front Burn times: 2hrs30min – 10hr depending on mode
– Rear Output rating: Economy 7lm; Blast 15lm; Flash modes 15lm.
– Rear Burn times: 5hrs 45min – 12hr 30min depending on mode.
I have found that having the front light on the economy beam is great for keeping me visible when it’s light enough that I can see the road infront of me without needing extra visibility. When it gets darker, and I can’t really see the road or path very well, I will switch the front light to the Blast mode, however this does eat up the battery noticeably quicker than the economy mode.
I tend to have my rear light on the fast flash mode which I have found keeps drivers at a safe distance from me in general, although I do still tend to wear my Respro Hi Viz Hump Rucksack Cover as an extra ‘KEEP AWAY!’ for those drivers who aren’t paying full attention.
The lights attach to the bike with Snap-Fit mounts which are held on with rubber straps. One end of the rubber strap fixes into the mount, and the other end has a tab when is meant for pulling the strap around your frame/seat-post however, I have fitted the strap backwards so the rubber tab sits in the dip where the mount fixes to the frame, acting as protection between the bike and the plastic mount. I have no complaints at all with these mounts, as they are quick and easy to put on/take off, and they are extremely sturdy and hold the lights firmly in place.
On the whole, I think it’s pretty safe to say that these lights make an awesome set for commuting at night/when it’s dark throughout the city, although I would recommend a second front light to light up the road for people who ride particularly dark country lanes etc.
Overall, I’d give this light set a 4.5/5, as the only thing that could improve them is a slightly brighter setting for the front light for those very dark roads, and maybe a slightly longer burn time for the front light.
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– Daniel 🙂