Trail Led is a bike light company similar to the great handmade bike builders like Moots and Vanilla Cycles. It is run by craftsman Grady Pace who is meticulous about his work and craftsmanship. These lights are machined from billet aluminum and then assembled in Dallas TX. All components except lenses, batteries, and chargers come from the USA.
They sent us three lights and they are illuminating in their design and innovation. The three in the line are:
They are all helmet lights varying in brightness from 1800 claimed Lumens to 6000. They exhibit the highest levels of craftsmanship with the metal work on the lights that seem to be on par with Paul Components or Paragon Machine Works bike ‘jewelry’.
They also put out ridiculous amounts of light on the helmet. Grady believes that the helmet is the best place for the light, as a wide beam beam pattern that can be pointed gives the best illumination for the fastest and most aggressive night rides.
The Trail Led DS is the middle-ground light hitting 2640 measured Lumens. The form factor and shape is just right with 6 LEDs in a curved row. This forms kind of a halo around the helmet and is shaped to follow the curvature of most helmets. This gives the light a low profile, as it is just a couple centimeters above the helmet. It just seems like a dialed solution for helmets.
The beam pattern has a nice rectangular shape. It’s fairly wide for peripheral vision and it’s got a nice spot to see far ahead.
The battery is separate of course and it is a very well-insulated ‘brick’ style with a system weight of 380 grams. It can power the light at full brightness for 2.5 hours and the battery can be charged to full capacity in just two hours. It is intended to be carried in a hydration pack.
- Price: $500
- Claimed Lumens: 3000 Lumens
- Measured Lumens: 2640 Lumens
- Measured MTBR Lux: 264 Lux
- Lumens per $: 5.28 Lumens
- Lumens per gram: 6.33 Lumens
- Time on High: 1.5 Hours
- Charge Time: 2:00 Hours
- Mounted Weight: 417 grams
- Category: High End
- Good brightness and beam pattern
- Power and run time compared to weight is very good
- This will be an ideal helmet light when matched up with any high powered bar light
- Excellent construction and very versatile light for $500
- It can be awesome when used by itself or part of an ultimate setup when used with a powerful bar light
- Mounting is fairly rudimentary as up and down aiming cannot be done on the fly
- Very bright helmet mount can cause glare in foggy or dusty conditions
Mounting and charging
Mounting is done with a couple of heat proof bands that go through the vents of the helmet. Some helmet shapes don’t conform with the light shape, so uniform contact will not be achieved. Aiming the light is done by positioning the light along the curvature of the helmet. Mounting the DS model is easy on any helmet since it’s small and only slightly curved.
Charging is done by a huge external charger that will fully charge this powerful battery in two hours.
Mtbr Light Meter Measurements
This light measured 264 Lux on our ambient light measurement facility. The light output measurement is performed by placing a Lux light meter beside the light. Both are pointed at the ceiling (five feet above) of a dark room. This measurement uses the ambient light produced by the bike light.
Integrating Sphere Measured Lumens
This light measured 2640 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 3000 Lumens.
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.
While Trail Led has the incredibly powerful Halo light at 6000 lumens, this DS light is devastatingly powerful but with a practical side. Used by itself or with a bar light, it is a well-engineered solution.
For more information visit trailled.com.
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