Review: Trail LED DS

American design and manufacturing at its best.

Lights Lights Shootout
Trail LED DS sports first-rate construction.

Trail LED DS sports first-rate construction (click to enlarge).

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

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.

Trail LED DS Beam Pattern

Beam Pattern Photo

We photographed the lights in the same location setting with the same camera settings. The photo was taken in the back yard that is approximately 25 yards long. The backyard beam pattern allows you to gauge the throw and the width of the light. Compare all Beam Patterns here »

Integrating Sphere Measured Lumens

This light measured 3150 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 3200 Lumens. Compare all Lumen Tests here »

Trail LED DS head unit weight is 108 grams.

Trail LED DS head unit weight is 108 grams (click to enlarge).

Trail LED has quite a range of lights, all the way to the ridiculously bright Trail LED Halo model. This one is a good balance of quality, size and good old American ingenuity.

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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.

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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  • liquidSpin says:

    $550 for a light that may break during a crash. A light that is a bit extreme. Yes I agree the higher the output of light the better for those who are blazing away but 3k lumens and another version at 6k? I guess if you live out in the boonies where there’s no city light pollution.

    I ride at night but not enough to justify this. Or any $500 light. This is definitely for a specific demographic of MTB riders with DEEP pockets.

  • A Johnson says:

    Any light may break during a crash. TrailLed has an excellent warranty return policy but even before you get to that, the higher lumens provides better visibility lowering the chance for a crash.

    I’ll keep the pair of Cree style in the pack for venturing within the city parks and road rides. After having ridden off-road with less lumens/less expensive lights while sharing the dirt with TrailLed users, I’m going to say they make a damn good excuse to spend the money.

    (The Halo is just for nutters though! If you’re the lead of a group of 20, everyone can see then!)

  • Jim says:

    How did such a large light fit in the port of such a small integrating sphere?

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