Review: Gloworm X2 1500 Lumen Light

Lights Lights Shootout

The Gloworm X2 is an even bigger surprise on its sophomore year. Born and raised on the Mtbr forums with headquarters in New Zealand, a couple of entrepreneurs listened to what the market had to say and delivered a product that addressed their needs. Starting with the Gloworm X2 last year, they now have the X1, XS and a CX self-contained light. We even saw them at Interbike this year, making the trek from New Zealand to show off all their new products.

Gloworm X2 features a small head unit that weighs 80 grams but delivers a dual beam pattern at a claimed 1500 Lumens. The beam is quite remarkable as it has both throw and a decent spread. The brightness measured 142 Mtbr Lux compared to 111 Lux for last year’s X2.

The light has a wired remote switch that will keep your hands away from the head unit that can get hot, and it will bring the switch by your fingertips when the light is bar mounted. The light also includes a bar mount in addition to the helmet mount.

And finally, battery pack looks good with Panasonic cells and a fuel gauge on the pack. Run time is an excellent 2.5 hours at max output. Two packs are available, a 4-cell and a 2-cell one and we used the 4-cell on this test.

Programability is one of the high points of the Gloworm design, as there is almost a limitless amount of light levels and options available. It is well-designed but any UI that doesn’t have displays or monitors requires a bit of practice to get used to.

Configurable optics is another high point of Gloworm, as this light includes both wide and focused beam optics. This really expands the range of the light, as the same light can be used for spread or throw. Or better yet, get two and configure the optics to be one of each.

  • Price: $260
  • Claimed Lumens: 1500 Lumens
  • Measured Lumens: 1391 Lumens
  • Measured MTBR Lux: 142 Lux
  • Lumens per $: 5.35 Lumens
  • Lumens per gram: 4.31 Lumens
  • Time on High: 2.5 Hours
  • Charge Time: 2:30 Hours
  • Mounted Weight: 323 grams
  • Category: High End
  • Great beam pattern
  • Claimed 1500 Lumens is a huge upgrade from 1200 last year
  • 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
  • An amazing value 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
  • Programming requires practice (like the GoPro user interface)
  • It doesn’t quite measure up to the claimed 1500 Lumens at our 1391 Lumens

The light includes a helmet mount with a velcro strap and a center-mounted bar light with a rubber strap. An optional quick release bar mount is available.

Mtbr Light Meter Measurements

This light measured 142 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 1391 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 »

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 »

For more information visit

Return to 2014 Bike Lights Shootout Main Page »

Related Links
2014 Tunnel Beam Pattern Comparisons »
2014 Mtbr Lumen Tests »
2013 Bike Lights Shootout »
2012 Bike Lights Shootout »
Mtbr Lights Reviews »
Mtbr Lights Forum »

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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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  • Brian says:

    Thanks for the review. Is it possible to give us the weight of the light unit only. I think this is important when looking for a helmet light.

  • Bob Korn says:

    I’ve been using this light for a couple months and I couldn’t be happier. I use it as a helmet light and the only light I ride with. I feel like I’m driving a car through single track the light is SO bright. It’s so light weight I don’t even feel it on my helmet. Dollar for dollar I don’t know if there is anything better. They are sold at and you’ll be glad you bought one.

  • Roland says:

    Been using the previous X2 model as a head torch for running around the local forests, units beautifully balanced on your head with the 2cell power pack in a rear pocket… only issues I`ve had have been with the charging of the battery!! ever since new I haven`t been able to charge to 100% ..

  • Krist says:

    I was one of the first to buy a Gloworm X2 in Australia-direct from Gloworm NZ back in 2012. The light was amazing, so small and light and it blew the socks off my 2009 Nightflux Photon Max yet it was half the size/weight.

    More impressive was the 4 cell battery, which had a little led fuel gauge to tell you if you were likely to run low on juice before the end of the trail. I could also just squeeze the 4 cell battery onto my handlebar stem.

    What I also liked was the colour rendition of the two XM-L LEDs chosen for the unit, which had a more pleasant neutral colour, allowing me to make-out detail much quicker ahead of me. Was that a wombat?

    The O-ring attachment to the handlebar was light but cheap- Gloworm’s talk of a USE style CND’s cam lock mount not materialising: an option that I’d happily pursue. The quick release GoPro style option on the current version looks nice but, lets be honest, it uses O rings; and O rings break, and mine always did when I didn’t want them to…

    Now it’s 2015 and my X2 lights are now toast. Taking an allen key to them revealed corrosion on the LED board, and a detached wire/shorting on the rear side board inside the unit have rendered an excellent performing light a paperweight… what’s more annoying is that the battery is still pristine, giving an excellent run time on my AU$30 Magicshine copy lights from ebay.

    Looking at photos of the latest X2 lights, I do notice that the cable from the battery/remote to the light is now through a different design of cable gland (or bulkhead connector to us Aussies) on the latest X2 units so it might have been a weakness point as wire insulation does ‘conform’ over time, potentially rendering gland seals ineffective. Perhaps potting the circuits in epoxy would have made them more resistant to moisture too, also aiding in heat dissipation. Manufacturers of electronic components have been doing this for years.

    Anyway, yes my X2 lights were good value, yes they were nice to use and threw a lovely light, but I expected more life out of my light unit than its battery!

    Would I buy another shiny new and improved X2 unit? I’m not sure. The LED technology is moving forward at a rapid pace and compact one-piece light units are now developing 1200 lumens which is plenty for fast trail riding: some mega bright one piece lights even have field replaceable batteries or smart ports enabling battery ‘piggybacking’ for those epic trails.

    1500 lumens sounds awesome though, and as a head torch my X2 excelled as I could set the unit to user programs which optimised its use for trail walking, rock climbing etc.

    On the other hand, having a small bike light as a one-piece unit makes it a wonderful companion off the bike as well. I use a Mk1 Lezyne Super Drive (450 Lumens) for everyday commuting and it’s an excellent slim/light form factor. Taking the light with me after locking it up… and using it as a torch. Also, one-piece bike lights have fewer weakness points which all ads to more long-term expense (if you happen to break them); and lets be honest, on a mountain bike cables are prone to getting damaged.

    If you happen to buy these 2015 X2 lights for fast XC or trail riding then I’m sure that you won’t be disappointed with their performance; just be gentle with the cables ;-).

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