Halfords Advanced 1600 Lumen Front Bike Light review

Can Halfords’ budget illuminator cast shadows over the competition?

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Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £50.00 RRP
Halfords Advanced 1600 Lumen front light for mountain biking

Our review

Solid performance at a cracking price
Pros: Easy to use and good beam spread for most trails
Cons: A bit low on power for the ambitious beam spread; out-front mount was unusable
Skip to view product specifications

As a stalwart of UK cycling, we were very keen to try out Halfords Advanced’s all-in-one 1600-lumen bike light, especially because it only costs £50, making it vastly cheaper than any other lights we’ve tested in recent times.

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Its all-in-one form factor weighs 288g, including its out-front-style clamp. The onboard battery has a 6,400mAh capacity that powers three CREE LEDs in a triangular formation, which put out a claimed 1,600 lumens on maximum power.

Halfords Advanced 1600 Lumen Front Bike Light mountain bike light
The light comes supplied with two mounts, and the rubberised one performed better than the out-front style mount.
Alex Evans

The included out-front-style mount has a Garmin-style attachment on one side and a GoPro-style fitting for the light on the other. The light uses an adaptor that’s attached to its body with a 4mm Allen key bolt to work with the GoPro mount.

There’s a standard rubber bar mount with rubber stabiliser and adaptors for different diameter bars, too.

It also has a USB charging cable that can be used to turn the light into a power bank to charge other devices, via two USB ports covered by rubber plugs.

There are two buttons — one to turn it on and off, the other to cycle through the eight sequential modes – and a battery life indicator that provides live run-time information, depending on which mode the light is in.

The aluminium body has an IPX5 water resistance rating, and Halfords also says the light’s thermal management system helps protect it from overheating. It’s compatible with Halfords’ remote control, too, sold separately for £5.

Halfords Advanced 1600 Lumen Front Bike Light performance

Halfords Advanced 1600 Lumen Front Bike Light mountain bike front light beam shot
The Halfords Advanced 1600 Lumen Front Bike Light has a good beam spread and isn’t too expensive.
Ian Linton

I initially attached the light to my handlebars using the supplied out-front mount to save some bar space, but the interlocking teeth and bolt couldn’t be tightened enough despite my best efforts – it kept slipping down and pointing at the floor over small bumps.

This made it impossible to ride any rough terrain because the light wouldn’t stay put.

Halfords Advanced 1600 Lumen Front Bike Light mountain bike light
The out-front style mount was, quite simply, unusable on rough terrain because it couldn’t clamp the light enough.
Alex Evans

Once I’d swapped the mount to the silicone bar strap, things improved. Although I’d sacrificed crucial bar space – especially important if you mount a GPS on the bars – the light stayed put even over the roughest terrain.

The beam created by the three CREE LEDs impressed me. It had a good spread and the side-to-side cut-off was really gradual, helping highlight obstacles around turns and giving good context to the trail.

The blue hue of the light makes it feel like it has more power than the claimed 1,600 lumens. However, it emits quite a harsh light that creates high contrast down the trail making some pop, but casting shadows over other areas.

Halfords Advanced 1600 Lumen Front Bike Light mountain bike light
The three CREE LEDs offer a good spread of light.
Alex Evans

Three LEDs provide a good spread of light for the asking price. Although the wide beam does a good job of lighting up an impressive amount of trail at once, the light’s lack of overall power limits the usefulness of the spread. This compromise is preferable to a low-power, more focussed beam, though.

There was still enough light to comfortably ride less technical trails flat out – even ones with twisty switchbacks – but it does come unstuck when the track’s full of features and needs precise navigation or certain lines out of turns.

There was also a lack of light projected down directly in front of me and when I rode off jumps or drops, shadows were quickly cast as my front wheel lifted. This is something to be aware of if you’re into airtime.

Run-time in maximum brightness was 2 hours and 10 minutes, significantly longer than Halfords’ claims of 1 hour.

Operation was simple and modes cycled sequentially, but over rough terrain it was a little trickier, although the button was large enough to hit fairly consistently. The run-time display was easy to read when moving, but the information it’s conveying isn’t simple to understand.

Halfords Advanced 1600 Lumen Front Bike Light mountain bike light
There’s a rudimentary run time indicator on the top of the light.
Alex Evans

The lack of mode indicator is forgivable but in max mode the unit’s thermal protection kicked in way too quickly for my tastes, reducing the output of the light considerably. If you ride at night in hot climates that’s something to consider, especially if your trails are technical.

Halfords Advanced 1600 Lumen Front Bike Light bottom line

For the money, the Halfords Advanced 1600 Lumen Front Bike Light is tricky to beat thanks to its fantastic beam spread and simple functionality.

Okay, so it’s low on power compared to competition but it’s also low on price. It doesn’t have the most sophisticated design but then the way it looks won’t change how it performs.

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You might want to consider other lights if you’re tackling the gnarliest trails, but for most trail centre loops and bridleways it’s a great way to get into night riding.

How we tested

We put 12 high-power front lights to the test that should let you head to the hills after night falls to discover a brave new world of riding.

Other lights on test:

Product Specifications

Product

Price GBP £50.00
Weight 288g
Brand Halfords

Features

Features Run time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Integrated battery Yes
Light type Front
Output (lumens) 1600