If you aren’t looking for blinding 1,000-lumen-plus lighting, ETC’s new 800-lumen Capella front light is a neat, low weight and very attractively priced front option, and £40 is very good for 800 lumens.
It’s the familiar single Cree LED set up, this time with an XP-L LED powered by a 2,500mAh lithium-ion battery.
It has the usual modes you’d expect: steady 800, 400, 200 and 100-lumen settings as well as Breathing and Strobing options – Breathing gives a claimed 18 hours and Strobing 100 hours.
The 400-lumen setting is bright enough for the great majority of urban riding, even unlit sections. The beam is round with a bright central section and yellow vertical side lenses provide peripheral illumination.
At full power, I actually achieved a little longer than the claimed 80 minutes, which is good, and charging to full takes around two-and-a-half hours from empty.
Its IXP6 water-resistance rating means it’ll survive the attention of powerful water jets, which basically equates to waterproof.
The fitting system resembles Cateye’s excellent FlexTight system – though this being the cycling world, it is of course not compatible.
It consists of a strap that ratchets to the bar and is secured by a solid plastic nut. The result is a more solid connection to the bar than simple rubber strap setups, so if you hit a bump in the road or hop up and down a kerb there’s nary a hint of movement.
The Capella slides into the mount securely and is quick to install and remove. Nice.
ETC Tauri 60 Smart rear light
I accompanied the Capella with ETC’s £36 Tauri 60 Smart light. This is essentially the same light as the Seemee 60, sold by Magicshine.
The light has steady 30-, 17- and 9-lumen settings and two flash modes. The ‘60’ and ‘Smart’ in the ETC’s name refers to the fact that when you brake suddenly the Tauri flashes madly and brightly at 60 lumens.
This is down to the Tauri’s internal brake and vibration sensors, which I found worked well – but whether this feature is necessary or not, I’m not sure.
A secondary advantage to the system is that it turns the light off automatically, so there’s no going back to a totally flat battery if you’ve forgotten to turn it off.
It offers 180 degrees of visibility and is super-straightforward to attach to a seatpost, bag, backpack or helmet.
As with the Capella front light, the Tauri has a seriously water-resistant IPX6 rating.
- ETC Capella 800: £40
- ETC Tauri 60: £36
|Weight||159g – For both lights|
|Features||Front Weight: 125g
Front Output: 800 lumens
Front Light/Modes: Five modes, three steady
Rear Weight: 34gxxg
Rear Output: 60 lumens
Rear Light/Modes: Four steady modes, two flashing plus flashing brake light
|Light type||Front and rear|