The HL-EL530 combines a small, bright, central spot with a much weaker large circular beam. Cateye claim it’s 50 percent brighter for 2011 and we found it bright enough to ride at slow to moderate speeds on unlit roads.
We’d want something brighter for technical descents or fast rides, but this is the cheapest light we’ve tested recently that we’d consider a ‘to see by’ headlight.
For your money you only get one continuous light mode, which is easily turned on and off by a sprung sliding switch at the back (easily turned on in your bag too). It uses four AA batteries for a claimed run time of 90 hours, although the intensity does reduce over this time.