Urban Velo

Planet Bike Blaze 2W Micro Review

planet_bike_blaze_2watt_micro-2

Planet Bike has been at it for years making affordable commuter lights and blinkies, incrementally stepping up the light output as LED technology has evolved. The Blaze 2W Micro is a 139 lumen output (reported) light that will make sure you are seen by anyone that is looking, and is bright enough to navigate dark streets and paved bike trails on night rides and the commute home.

planet_bike_blaze_2watt_micro-1The $40 Blaze 2W Micro is both a be-seen and help-to-see light with three modes depending on your ride needs. Switch between steady high and low beams to light your way, move over to the Superflash mode for a pulsing pattern bright enough to be seen in direct sunlight. Getting caught in rain at dusk or dawn can be one of the most dangerous situations to find yourself in on the road, and the Superflash mode seems made for making other road users aware that you are pedalling along. Back in steady mode, the light is bright enough to ride with at commuting speeds in town, especially with a bit of ambient city light pollution in the air. You might have to slow down a notch on completely unlit roads and trails, but continuing the ride safely is doable with the Blae 2W Micro. The beam pattern on the light is even, but perhaps more of a spot focus than some would prefer.

planet_bike_blaze_2watt_micro-3Mounting couldn’t be easier with the QuickCam bracket — no rubber gasket needed, and the quick release mount fits any common sized bar without tools. Not only does the light slip from the mount quickly and easily, the mount itself can be moved bike to bike easily, or another one purchased for $5.

While internal rechargeable batteries are all the rage, the Blaze 2W Micro uses a pair of standard AA batteries. Sometimes I prefer alkaline batteries, both for run time between outages and shelf life between rides. Rechargeables with best-case 2 hr run times have left me in the dark on rides more times than I can count (last night being the latest…), while alkaline batterys seemingly last forever, and tend to dim as they reach the end of their life rather than just go out completely. Planet Bike quotes 60+ hrs of run time per pair of batteries in Superflash mode, with roughly 5/12 hrs on high/low steady beams modes, perhaps requirin battery replacement more often than is ideal, but a 4-pack of rechargeables is fairly inexpensive for the daily night commuter.

planet_bike_blaze_2watt_micro-4 The Blaze 2W Micro is available in black or red housings for $40, or packaged together with the industry standard Superflash Turbo rear blinkie in white housing for $75. Like all Planet Bike products, 25% of profits goes to bike advocacy for a better tomorrow.

2 Comments

  1. prinzrobJuly 1, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    Thanks for the review. I’ve loved Planet Bike’s previous version of the Blaze for all my day-to-day commuting needs and consider the best bang for the buck on the market. I wouldn’t consider it safe to use for illumination in low to no light situations however, as it won’t provide enough forward visibility at speed.

    Also, if you are experiencing poor results with your rechargeables I recommend trying out the newest Sanyo Eneloop. I could never rely on rechargeables until I started using these.

  2. Murnel BabineauxJuly 11, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    I have one of these and love it. Set the beam about 15 ft. in front. It will shine from your front tire to past the beam focus. I use the low setting because it’s plenty bright enough !!!

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