Review: CatEye Volt 1600

Power goes up from 1200 to 1600 Lumens

Lights Lights Shootout

2016 Lights Shootout

The Volt 1600 has the same form factor as the Volt 1200 but is 30% brighter.

The Volt 1600 has the same form factor as the Volt 1200 but is 30% brighter (click to enlarge).

Editor’s Note: This article is part of Mtbr and RoadBikeReview’s 2016 Bike Lights Shootout. See the 2016 Mtbr Headlights Index and the RoadBikeReview Commuter Lights Index.

The Lowdown: CatEye Volt 1600

Surpassed last year the by the Lezyne Mega Drive and Light & Motion Taz 1500, CatEye upped its output from 1200 Lumens to 1500 Lumens this year. It still uses the same reliable chassis and mounting.

Price has gone up a hair to $220, but it is still a fair deal for such a powerful, high-quality light. 2-hour runtime is quite good but the implied bonus is at a very useable 800 Lumens and a 4 hour runtime.

Stat Box
Claimed Lumens: 1600 Lumens Mtbr Lux: 144
Measured Lumens: 1585 Lumens Mounted weight: 257 grams
Lumens per $: 7.20 Lumens Category: Headlight
Lumens per gram: 6.17 Lumens Price: $220
Run time on high: 2:00 Hours Rating: 4.5 Flamin' Chili Peppers 4.5 Chilis-out-of-5

Pluses
Minuses
  • Small package with 1585 measured Lumens
  • The light can get hot
  • $220 price is competitive for this power
  • Mount is a bit dated
  • 4-hour output at 800 Lumens is excellent
  • Beam should be wider

Full Review: CatEye Volt 1600

The Volt 1600′s controlled, square shaped beam pattern is its strong point, as not too much light is wasted on top unlike other lights when there is a full, round beam that shoots up in to the sky. But the square is not ideal either, as a rectangle is preferred to put more light on the sides or periphery. For lights of this power, it’s ideal to have a very wide beam to allow the rider to see the trail periphery well.

It uses two XML LEDs to form a nice rectangular beam pattern.

It uses two XML LEDs to form a nice rectangular beam pattern (click to enlarge).

The enemy of this light is heat, as there is not a lot of heat sinking available and the light can heat up rather quickly. As it heats up, the light gets dimmer to protect the LED. Even after we cooled it down with a powerful fan, the Volt 1600 stepped up in brightness but very, very slowly. In warmer conditions or rides where the rider is not moving the whole time, the rider will not get as much light from the Volt 1200. It will start out very bright and dim down as the light gets hot.

So as this light gets brighter, temperature management and heat sinking are staying put. One notices the heat when not providing enough airflow and touching the switch on the light.

Continue to page 2 for the beam pattern and Lumen measurement »

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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