The Bikehut 1600 from Halfords packs a spectacular amount of power and features into its large and quite weighty package, including three Cree LEDs that pump out to a maximum of 1,600 lumens from its three lithium-ion LG batteries.
Unsurprisingly, you will burn through the full power mode at a constant 1,600 lumens in just one hour, when it will then drop down to an emergency get-you-home 15 lumens, but the advantage of having so much power on hand is that you can use it on the lower, longer-lasting settings. At 640 lumens, which provided well over two hours, you can ride unlit routes, while 240 lumens is enough for virtually all urban riding.
The five steady modes (1,600-, 1,000-, 640-, 240-, 15-lumen) each use all three LEDs, and there are two flashing and one pulsing modes. Unlike some of the multi-LED options out there, you don’t get to choose between lighting patterns, though – it’s all three on at all times, just at different power levels. But for its price that’s a small quibble.
The light’s Mode Memory turns it on in the setting that you last used it in and if the light is getting too hot it will cut down the power automatically to a lower output – this was never an issue during testing, however – and in addition to the USB input on the bottom, you can use the battery as a power bank to charge your other devices via the well-protected USB outport at the rear.
Remaining running time can be tracked on the ‘intelligent power bar’ on the top of the unit and when the battery is low it will automatically switch to flash mode to get you home.
A helmet mount and a remote are also available for an additional £10 and £5 respectively, and add to a fine all-round package if bought together.
The light delivers a broad floodlit pattern that allows you to pick out any obstacle at speed and though there’s enough light and spread for off-road riding, the rubber mount (while secure enough on the road) doesn’t offer enough stability for rougher terrain, and will wobble or shift over bigger bumps. Bikehut’s optional £10 hex bolt-secured out front mount – or an alternative – may help here.
The aluminium case is tough and the Bikehut 1600 has an IPX5 water resistant rating, which means it’ll survive water projected from a nozzle, so rain and spray should be no problem at all.
Bikehut 50 rear light
I paired the Bikehut 1600 with the straightforward Bikehut 50 rear light, a simple-to-use affair with seven modes and a charge indicator. At a steady 50 lumens I managed exactly two hours – 30 minutes less than claimed – though in its flashing modes you’ll get up to 20 hours.
Side illumination is very good, with peripheral cutouts, and it comes with the usual seatpost fitting to ensure it points straight back, and rubber bands to keep it in place.
Bikehut 1600L front and 50L rear light overall
If you’re looking for a good value pairing of lights for road riding and want the maximum brightness for your buck, it’s hard to look past the Bikehut combination. The front light is tough, super-bright and doubles as a power pack.
The only faults are the lack of adjustable beam patterns and a mount that, while good enough for the road, is not secure enough for off-road forays.