It’s night riding season. The time when desk-bound rider brave enough to head out into the gloaming is rewarded with some of autumn’s finest hero-dirt. But night time explorers need a little help, which is where Gloworm Lights come in.
Local innovator and founder Bruce Davey was quick to pick up LED technology, originally importing white-label lights from overseas. Realising a gap in the market for high quality, well designed and affordable lights, Bruce founded Gloworm Lights and now designs and manufactures all of his own products.
We’ve been riding with Gloworm Light’s X2 and X2 Adventure models, both of which have some cool features designed to make night riding easier and more fun.
Both models share the same 1,700 lumen light-head unit, which weighs 89 grams and features 2 LEDs. One is a spot, designed to illuminate the trail ahead of you whilst the other has a flood optic, adding breadth to the spread of light and increasing your peripheral vision. The light’s “Trail” mode has 3 settings, the brightest of which is more than adequate for relatively technical trail riding. We found it easy to ride using the lower power settings on easy terrain and whilst climbing, saving the brightest setting for the fun bits.
Both units include a comprehensive set of accessories and spares, including a simple, effective bar mount which fits and removes without tools, a versatile GoPro compatible fitting that allows you to attach it to just about anything, straps, replacement optics and Gloworm’s wireless remote switch.
Where the 2 versions differ is in the battery that’s supplied. Whilst both batteries feature a handy easy to read power meter, the X2 Adventure has a smaller, lighter 3.4 AHr Lithium Ion battery pack and is light enough to be comfortable when attached to your helmet and is also intended to fit an optional head harness (not included). Gloworm claim a burn time of 1.5 hours on full power which we found easy to replicate.
The regular X2 is supplied with a larger 6.8 AHr Lithium Ion battery. This is intended to be strapped to your frame and provides double the burn time – up to 3 hours at full power. This battery is significantly larger and consequently less suitable for helmet mounting.
Both models also come with Gloworm’s rad little remote switch. This securely mounts to you handlebars tool-free and connects wirelessly to the battery unit. Connection is as simple as plugging the battery into the lamp unit and pressing one of the 2 buttons on the switch. The system works flawlessly and it’s really easy to control the output of the lamp and cycle through the modes, even whilst you’re on move – much easier than fumbling around with your helmet mounted light switch.
The coolest function is that the remote switch can be paired to multiple lights. And that’s why we’ve featured both versions of the X2 in this test. Mounting the X2 Adventure to your helmet and the regular X2 to your bar gives you not only a combined output of a possum-tanning 3,400 lumens, but the ability to control both light units from the remote switch. Our preferred set-up was to pair the helmet light with one button and the bar light with the other. This allowed us to tune the output of both lights quickly and easily and also manage the slightly shorter burn time of the smaller battery on the Adventure model. It’s possible to also have both units paired to one button, simplifying managing two units and giving you the potential to add more lights and pair them with the other button should you wish.
Most experienced night riders will confirm that having two lights running is the way forward, with the bar-mounted unit lighting the trail immediately ahead, whilst the helmet mounted unit gives you a more easily directed source of light which allows you to focus on the exits of corners and other trail obstacles more effectively. To further improve this arrangement, Gloworm Lights includes an additional wide-angle optic in each kit which can replace the flood optic on the bar unit to add even greater peripheral lighting.
For those who like to customise further, the lights can be fully user programmed, but the good news for those who want to set and forget is that we charged up and mounted the lights without altering the factory settings and got straight into it.
If you’re an irregular night rider, or looking for a versatile and powerful light from a local brand, the X2 Adventure is an excellent option. It’s bright, easy to use and reliable. The regular X2 is a slightly more bar (or bike) specific unit with it’s bigger battery and longer burn time. The wireless remote is an excellent feature, is simple to pair and easy to use.
For a committed creature of the night, the combination of both units is a fantastic solution that offers easily managed power and well directed light. Together they present a package that represents excellent value to those who have lost the opportunity to get out and ride after work due to winter’s insidious encroachment on our evenings.
For more info or to just jump in and get yourself a set head to the Gloworm Lights website