Review: Gloworm X2

Big beam pattern, top-notch quality and good value are X2 traits

Lights Lights Shootout

2015 Lights Shootout

Gloworm X2 Front

Gloworm is an Mtbr forum legend with the X2 model sitting in the sweet spot between the X1 and the XS. This year, the X2 raises its measured output from 1391 Lumens to 1545. Total weight and run time have stayed the same and the price dropped a bit to $255.

We rode the X2 on our local trail and love all the details of compactness and versatility. The light system comes in a tiny box that one can just keep in the bike bag all the time. The helmet mount and bar mount are included in the package, and the remote wired switch is just something you don’t see these days. It frees up head unit real estate for critical cooling fins, and it protects the user’s fingers from a potentially hot light head.

Video: Test loop with the Gloworm X2. Camera is on a locked ISO setting and is set to Wide Angle mode.

This light is ideal on the bar with an X1 complementing it on the helmet. By itself, helmet mounting is ideal to cover all the switchbacks and tight turns with illumination. We even used the smaller Gloworm battery (not included) on the helmet so we could mount the battery on the back of the helmet for a ‘backpackless’ helmet light. That worked very well and run time was halved to 1:15 hours. Running it at mid power during climbs gave us more than enough light and enough run time.

So the Gloworm X2 wins again. It’s not a huge improvement from last year, but it keeps marching on with a beautiful beam pattern, a well-conceived package and good value.

Beam Pattern Photo

We photographed the lights in the same location setting with the same camera settings. The photos were taken in the back yard that is approximately 25 yards long. These photos feature many objects and a distinct background to analyze detail and beam pattern. Compare all Beam Patterns here »

Gloworm X2 Backyard Beam Pattern

Integrating Sphere Measured Lumens

This light measured 1545 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 1500 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle. Compare all Lumen Tests here »

Gloworm X2 Lumen Chart

Strengths
  • Great beam pattern
  • 1545 measured Lumens on a light this size is incredible
  • Both mounts included and remote switch as well
  • Configurable light modes including overdrive ‘bush’ mode
  • Good packaging and materials
  • Lenses are interchangeable with flood, spot or combination
  • Amazing value and quality for the money
  • Light weight relative to its brightness
  • Great run time and available battery option to optimize for weight
  • Extremely compact packaging means it’s very portable
Weaknesses
  • Battery is too heavy to mount on the helmet
  • Programming requires practice (like the GoPro user interface)
Specifications
  • Price: $255
  • Claimed Lumens: 1500 Lumens
  • Measured Lumens: 1545 Lumens
  • Lumens per $: 6.06 Lumens
  • Lumens per gram: 4.78 Lumens
  • Time on High: 2:30 Hours
  • Charge Time: 6:00 Hours
  • Mounted Weight: 323 grams
  • Category: High End
Overall Rating

4.5 Flamin' Chili Peppers 4.5 out of 5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

For more information visit www.glowormlites.co.nz.

This article is part of Mtbr and RoadBikeReview’s 2015 Lights Shootout. To see all the bike lights tested CLICK HERE.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

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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  • bk says:

    Regarding Chinese lights, I have one that I’ve had to repair around 4 or 5 times. If I didn’t know how to solder it would have been in the trash by now. I’ve had it die in the middle of rides while in motion. That was scary. I will never trust it by itself again.

    Before the Chinese light, I had and still have a Light and Motion Stella 200. Not bright enough to use on its own, hence the Chinese light purchase. The Light and Motion has been bulletproof for the past 6 years, although the battery is now on its last legs.

    My latest light purchase (yesterday) was from a US company manufacturing their lights in the US. Yes it was more expensive, but my experience has been that quality lights are waaaaay less headache and waaaaay less of a safety hazard.

    • miked says:

      What was the us manufactured light? it’s difficult, but i’ve found 3 US manu’s so far as identified by mtbr in the shootout. I recommend a “US manu” classification or category to be added to the shootouts.

      miked

    • Dennis DeRosa says:

      I mimic your thoughts on cheap lights/quality lights…. it’s all about ones experience… I have friends who purchased Chinese/cheap lights and they haven’t had a problem. Me, I purchased the same lights and from day one I had a problem. Time, hassle has a price… I’d rather pay more money to get a light that works and doesn’t give me problems… I have a dionette XML-3 and it’s served me well for a number of years…

  • Jon Yates says:

    BK – my experience with Glowworm has been as far from yours with “Chinese” lights as possible. Glowworm is a NZ company, with the lights being made in China. This is not a $20 magicshine knockoff.

    Over my two years and 100 1hr or more run cycles with the X2, including extended wet weather, I have had not 1 problem with the light head or battery. My magicshine lights, not so much.

    Not sure if you rant is specific to “Chinese” lights in general or the X2, but myself and a number of others in the area, and countless on the boards are running them with little to no problems.

    • bk says:

      Jon, I’ve heard only good things about the X2. I was not trying to diss Gloworm at all. I was actually trying to defend buying high-end lights like the Gloworm. I did know the Gloworm is based in NZ and made in China, though, and that is one of the reasons I did not buy it. Not for quality reasons, but because I wanted to support a domestic company.

      My experience was with a cheap Magicshine knockoff like Mike Colburn is promoting above, and my response was trying to explain why the ‘average person’ may want spend more than he did. Not many people are willing or able to fix things in our throwaway culture, so the average consumer may actually end up spending more on cheap lights over the long term than one good one.

  • margus says:

    Jon, scroll up a bit, to Facebook Comments.

  • Jon Yates says:

    Thanks for clearing that up guys… For whatever reason, I can’t see the facebook comments the area just shows blank on my browsers, probably due to being at work. Sorry for the confusion!

  • Will says:

    Regarding cheap chinese lights, in my local bike community there’s one whom the charger exploded, and one whom the battery exploded. Who knows what might’ve happen if it had set a curtain on fire or whatever. There are a few reports of attach breaking or light shutting down while riding.

    So yeah while light designs aren’t much different and while most lights (cheap or expensive) are made in China, and while you pay the brand as well, when you buy a high end light you also get materials of better quality, better QC.
    In my experience at least.

  • Mike says:

    Wow. Shameless rip-off of a lupine piko. Lupine has done an incredible amount of free R&D for light manufacturers.

    Having just begun research into lights, I’m amazed that people are so cheap when it comes to lights, but will pay so much for other items related to mtb. Making a high output LED reliable and safe is much more difficult than making a pair of knee pads, or mtb shorts, or even a crankset. A friend just bought a $30 2000 lm light online … How is that even possible for $30? The shipping was probably more expensive. I certainly wouldn’t rely on a $30 mtb light. Totally baffled by this.

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