Moon X-Power 500 front light

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Moon X-Power 500 mounted on my winter bike

Other than the items on Santa’s list I foolishly thought I had everything I needed for my bikes. Since February I have spent close on £3000 on bikes, clothing and equipment (but clawed back £273.65 on selling bikes now not needed). A further cost will now be a divorce as my wife will proof read this and hit the proverbial roof.

After my first dark commute home I realised that I would have to spend some more money on a decent front light. I previously had a Cateye LED which was good enough in town but out onto the country lanes I was relying on passing cars to illuminate any forthcoming potholes. Luckily that very day I had bought ‘Cycling Active’ and it was reviewing front lights.

The test winner was the Moon X-Power 500 and with a score of 10 it seemed the logical choice. The article said it was good value at £119.99 but as a Wiggle ‘Gold’ customer I was confident of shaving some off the price. Unfortunately Wiggle were out of stock but www.allterraincycles.co.uk had some in stock for £84.99 (+£3.99p&p).

Two days later the light had arrived and the first impression was fantastic and that was only the box! The front flap is held magnetically and opens to reveal all the components nestled into individual segments cut from grey foam ala James Bond.

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Harry Brogden displays box

As well as the light itself the box contains:

Handlebar bracket – this doesn’t require any tools just a simple twist of a locking lever. The light can be moved a full 180° once mounted on the bracket

Charger – the light can be charged either with a plug or USB port (the same unit does both). (memo to self – label all your usb cables.)

Helmet Mount – I wasn’t keen on having a light attached to my helmet – I did fit it just out of curiosity but was unimpressed with the rigidity of the strap.

I was expecting to have to charge the light before I could turn it on – but the initial press of the ON button made me realise it was pre-charged. I had pressed it on as I was looking at the lens and my retinas now burned and I was temporarily blinded.

The light has four constant settings and a flashing mode. On the most powerful ‘Overdrive’ the runtime is listed as 1hr 40mins and the longest is 8 hours on ‘low’. On my first commute I had it on overdrive all the way home (I was showing off) and after 50 minutes the low battery light began to flash, but the warning means you have about 30 minutes run time left. What impressed me is that if you then go down to the next setting – the light re-adjusts and shows fully charged for that setting. As my commute is only 15 miles I should always be able to get to work or back with maximum power. On my ride I felt a lot more confident at seeing potholes before feeling them.

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A tree at 20 feet with my previous Cateye LED

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Same tree, same distance with the Moon X-Power 500

All in all I am very impressed with the quality and performance of the light. It is quite compact but feels solid and weighs in at 144g. The only niggle is that it is difficult to get the light off the bracket as the release catch is small (but I suppose that in itself is no bad thing).

6 comments on “Moon X-Power 500 front light”

  1. Hilary wrote:

    A good front light is money well spent. A couple of years ago I bought an Exposure Joystick. I thought it was a bit extravagant at the time but it just makes riding after dark a pleasure instead of a nightmare. That Moon X Power seems like excellent value for money.

    I don't like to count how much I spend on cycling in a year but I'm definitely not at your level this year!

  2. Patrick wrote:

    Francis wrote: A tree at 20 feet with my previous Cateye LED:

    😮

    Harry Brogden: It's just an empty box Dad.

    It's an impressive looking light but is there more to come from Santa's list?

  3. Chris wrote:

    The photograph of the light makes it appear bigger and chunkier than it actually is. It's quite an understated, slender light, actually. At 500 lumens its maximum output is more than twice that of the Hope Vision 1 LED (240 lumens).

    I suppose that even during a big day ride that starts and finishes in the dark you would be unlikely to run out of juice. But I do like the idea of being able to whip out a dead set of batteries and replace them with a fresh set on the move if needed. If you're away on a tour I would imagine that the mains charger for this light takes up less space in your panniers than even the smallest AA battery charger. Do we know how long the internal battery on this unit is supposed to last? And then what happens?

  4. Chris wrote:

    Almost a year on – how is this light performing now I wonder.

  5. Francis Brogden wrote:

    As an update to its practicality, I had a bad tumble off the bike last week. The handlebars were bent in at a 45 degree angle and my knee is a mess but the light stayed in its mount and still works fine.

  6. Patrick wrote:

    Bad luck Francis. Hope you're soon A1 again.

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