The Bike List

Hope Vision 2 LED front light £195

Tested by Jonathan Manning, tester for The Bike List

And lo, a bright light did appear in the north, and 'twas Hope, and it did lead to illuminated roads and motorists dipping their full beam headlamps. Here endeth the gospel according to the Vision 2.

But for the purposes of a review I had best add a few more lines, for the Vision 2 LED is truly and literally a dazzling light. Its twin LEDs pack a blinding 480 lumens (sorry, it's a measure useful only if you can compare with other lights) and be warned not to stare into its lens as you decide which lighting intensity to adopt.

There are four levels, plus a flash option for daytime visibility, and the one you select depends on the darkness of your route and the length of your ride. Even the low setting is impressively bright, and offers a maximum of 30 hours illumination from the rechargeable battery pack. But if the aim of a light is to illuminate the way ahead, there's no such thing as too bright, and the retina-challenging brightest setting offers a claimed 2 hours and 15 minutes of light from fully charged batteries. I timed it to 3 hours and 20 minutes, a welcome case of a manufacturer underestimating the performance of its product.

The light is a deliciously pure white, and the beam stretches bright and far enough to spot any flaws or potholes in the road ahead even when travelling at 20-plus miles an hour. For a road cyclist the length of the beam is great, although off-road I'd prefer to sacrifice the length of the beam for greater width, but there's no way of adjusting this.

That said, it is a beautifully engineered light, with a machined (rather than molded) body that feels as if it will last for years. It's a shame that the same eye for an immaculate finish wasn't applied to the rather ordinary rubber battery pack. On the plus side, it only takes three hours to recharge fully. Personally, I'd like to see a battery-life indicator on the lamp or battery pack to warn of an impending black-out, since there's no steady decline in power as with normal batteries, but instead a switch from maximum light to nothing in seconds. To be fair, you do get a 20 to 30 minute warning of the battery weakening as the beam starts to flash, but if your night time rides are likely to extend beyond three hours, either select a lower light output or upgrade to the Epic option which uses a 4 cell battery pack to double the burn time.

The entire unit is waterproof (I submerged it in a sink to test) and in a neat piece of thinking comes as standard with a handlebar mount for both standard and oversized handlebars, a helmet mount and a head harness.

Overall, this is a light so bright it will convince oncoming traffic that you are riding a motorcycle. It will allow you to cycle through the darkest winter nights without fear of what lies ahead, and its construction is so lovely to the touch that I'd have faith in it lasting well beyond the four winters I'd require to justify its price tag.

Buy from www.wiggle.co.uk

Hope says:

The universal mount LED light boasts some impressive features. Beautifully machined, this tiny light packs a big punch with it's twin high power LED's pushing out 480 lumens. This mounts to the NEW! lightweight reinforced nylon handlebar bracket, which fits both standard and OS bars with the clever use of removable rubber plugs. The bracket also allows lateraladjustment of the lamp unit whilst riding.

The small Li-Ion battery pack is now held in a custom made PVC case. The battery has built-in charge, discharge and short circuit protection. The connectors are fully sealed and totally waterproof (IP67). The light has a simple on/off mode switch on the back. This has a new cycle programme, which turns the light on in 'low' mode and cycles through to the higher settings. This gives better control of the light in tricky situations when more light is needed quickly. In tests the 7.4v Li-ion battery will last for up to 30 hrs + on low and a minimum of 2 hrs* on the high setting with the intelligent charger returning that in just 3 hours. The PVC case option is small enough to fit under most stems, top tube junctions or slip into a hydration pack or jersey pocket.

The 2 LED model now utilises 'thermal throttling' techniques toincrease the longevity of the LEDs and prevent damage to the electrical circuit due to overheating. This works by monitoring the temperature of the Aluminium heat sink and restricting the power when it reaches a critical level, thereby keeping the casing at an acceptable temperature for handling while providing extended battery burn times by reducing the amount of energy lost through heat.

We are also offering (as with all the lights in the range) an 'Endurance' option. This is exactly the same lamp unit and charger, but it comes complete with 2 batteries (both in the custom soft packs) ready to simply plug in and use. Perfect for racers and hard core winter riders alike.

The "Epic" option uses a 4 cell battery pack - as used with the 4 LED providing double the burn time from a single battery pack.Lights now include all our mounting options as standard. So you receive a QR handlebar mount, helmet mount and head harness allowing you to use the light in any situation. The head harness is now in use with many mountain rescue teams, fell runners and adventure racers.

  • CNC machined in Barnoldswick, England
  • Light Source: 2 x High Power LED
  • Intensity: 480 Lumens - Max
  • Beam: 2 x Spot (+/- 5 Deg)
  • Mounting: Uni-Handlebar, Helmet, Head Harness
  • Battery: 7.4v Li-Ion 2600mAh
  • Charge Time: 3hrs
  • Weight: 280g, 405g (Epic)
  • Power Levels: 4 (+ flash)
  • Max power: 7w
  • Thermally managed
  • Burn time: 2h on max power to 35h on low (and flash for days!)
  • Softpack 2 cell PVC battery, smart charger inc

Find out more www.hopetech.com

At a glance

Verdict A dazzlingly bright front light that’s beautifully made for a premium price.
Value
Performance