The Halfords Advanced 500 is an affordably priced model that punches above its weight in terms of beam quality and brightness, and has additional power bank functionality.
An output of 500 lumens is lower than the 700 mark I’d usually look for in an all-conditions bike light, but as I discovered, the lower power doesn’t rule this light out for a lot of riding.
The beam pleasantly surprised me, being both brighter and more evenly distributed than I expected from such a relatively cheap light.
There is a slight, but not too noticeable, spot and the spread gives good peripheral vision, with a recessed side casing giving side visibility too.
The light does have an obvious cut-off point at the base though, meaning there’s less illumination directly in front of the wheel.
You cycle through the eight modes with a push of the on/off button, but thankfully it has a memory function to switch it back on in the last mode selected.
The bracket is integral, attaching to the bar with a stretch rubber strap. Fixing this light is simple, although the rubber doesn’t extend fully under the bracket, so I’d worry that eventually it would mark the bar, and would be inclined to fix some tape underneath.
Once in place, the mount holds firm when you ride and offers lateral adjustment too.
Checking the remaining battery life is easy via a quick press of the on/off button, and while it’s helpful that it remains lit, its glow is brighter than the control button – and that’s the one I want to hit first time in the dark.
There is a USB-out port at the rear of the light, protected by a sturdy rubber cover, for charging other devices.
This function is a useful extra and the deep rubber stopper has a secure double lip, again a well-considered feature at this price.
While it’s not my pick for unlit or rural routes, the Halfords 500 is a very useful around-town light at a great price.
How we tested
With darker nights upon us, we put eight front road bike lights to the test.
Unlimited budgets are a luxury, though, so each light is priced under £100 and has a brightness of between 500 and 1,000 lumens (with one measured in lux).
As well as brightness, we considered beam performance, run times, mode options and any waterproofing claims, as well as the unit’s construction and other features, such as mount types.
The lights were all tested in urban conditions and on unlit and rural roads.
Also on test
- CatEye Sync Core
- Lezyne Micro Drive 600XL
- Lifeline Pavo 720
- Oxford UltraTorch CL1000
- Ravemen CR1000
- Sigma Aura 80
- Specialized Flux 850
|Weight||151g – with bracket|
|Features||Lux @ 5m high beam: 124
Run time: 90 minutes at max power
IP/waterproof rating: 5
Battery capacity: 3200mAh
Modes: 8 – 500, 325, 200, 75, 15 lumens, day flash, flash, pulse