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 Halo is the most extreme one of the group putting out a measured 5350 Lumens. The form factor and shape is aggressive too with 10 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.
The beam pattern is a fabulous horizontal, semi-circle shape. This works out really well, as it is a wide beam pattern and it drops down close to the ride for peripheral vision and it projects high and far near the center of the beam.
The battery is external of course and it is a very well-insulated ‘brick’ style that weighs 600 grams. It can power the light at full brightness for 2 hours or at 600 Lumens for 38 hours. It is intended to be carried in a hydration pack.
- Price: $1200
- Claimed Lumens: 6000 Lumens
- Measured Lumens: 5350 Lumens
- Measured MTBR Lux: 540 Lux
- Lumens per $: 4.46 Lumens
- Lumens per gram: 6.57 Lumens
- Time on High: 2 Hours
- Charge Time: 2:00 Hours
- Mounted Weight: 814 grams
- Category: High End
- Ridiculously bright
- Power and run time compared to weight is very good
- Will run 38 hours at 600 Lumens
- Beam pattern and beam quality is very good
- It is one of the most powerful and innovative lights around and there’s lower cost options available
- Pricey at $1200
- Form factor of a semi-circle around the helmet is not the most attractive and easy to mount
- Mounting is fairly rudimentary as up and down aiming is difficult
- This is impractical to match up with a more powerful bar mount
- 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 Halo model is the trickiest of the family since it is so big and 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 540 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 5350 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 6000 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.
The bottom line is this is like a Bugatti Veyron exotic car that goes 250 mph. It is expensive and impractical for most people, but we are happy it exists. It pushes the envelope of technology and design and Trail Led has a couple practical options in their line that deliver the same innovation and quality.
For more information visit trailled.com.
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