Blaze is a true Kickstarter success story. Their lazerlight is a great light for London as well as a beautiful piece of design and has recently been found to be the safest bike light available. Not only that, but the laser is currently being trailed in the Santander bikes with the hope of rolling it out across the whole fleet.
Blaze are now branching out and extending their line to include a rear light. To continue with their tradition they launched the campaign on Kickstarter and smashed their target within a few days. The light will be produced and in backers hands early next year, but we got our hands on one early so we can give you the scoop on it while the campaign is still running.
The light has 24 LEDs which combine to produce 100 lumens. The casing is metal inline with the quality you get from its big brother lazerlight. The light mounts into a clamp around the seat post. The mount is magnetic and super strong. It also allows the light to be mounted vertically or horizontally.
Having so many individual lights means that the options for flashing patterns and brightness settings are extensive. At the moment there are several programmed in but there may be even more by launch as Blaze are crowd sourcing ideas for modes from backers. The multiple LEDs also mean that the light can be super bright and act as a flare type light to increase your visibility in daylight, while also not being too dazzling for those following behind you.
The light charges with a special usb lead, the same one that charges the front light. The battery holds a charge for ages, so you can rest assured that the light you are keeping in your bag just incase is going to work when you need it. The battery also lasts a good amount of time when on as well, with 7.5 hours at full brightness.
There is an auto mode which allows the light to turn on when light levels drop. To make this work there is a smart sensor on the light to turn the brightness up when you go into a dark area, or the light level drops while you are riding.
The Burner can be seriously bright. Blaze advise that you don’t use the brightest setting in a city, and I can see why: its just painfully bright to look at. However, as a flare type light during the day and in fog or out in the countryside it would be awesome.
The flash settings are really good for visibility. There is one that chases around the light and one that alternates sides. These are different enough from the standard flash of many lights that they are quite eye catching. They also mean that you don’t really loose the light at all for even a second, therefore making it safer is a driver is just briefly glancing in your direction.
The auto mode takes a little practice to get in place but is a really nice feature. It is possible to still scroll through the flash modes in auto. This means that when you go into a darker area you can have your desired flash setting come on.
The bracket is secure on the bike, fixing on a with a screw so you can happily leave it there when you take the light from the bike. The magnetic mount seems secure as well. I didn’t take it on any particularly rough cobbled streets but the roads around me are anything but smooth!
Finish wise the light feels really robust. It is rated as completely waterproof so it is perfectly safe in the horrible weather London can throw at you. The metal finish is a really nice touch and makes it stand out from a pretty packed crowd of lighting options.
So, it seems pretty great, right? Well it is, and I genuinely like the light and would like one for myself (they would probably notice if I don’t return one of the very few currently in existence). There are a couple of tweaks that could make this even better. Two of these will be addressed by the time the light is launched – more bracket options and smoother light programming, so nothing major to put you off there.
The main downside I can see with the light that is not possible to change at a later date is its side visibility. Blaze say that there is more than 180 degree visibility and to some extent this is true for an arc behind the bike. However, there really isn’t much visibility from the side. In a city it would be nice to have a larger perspex area to enhance this. It would eat up the lovely metal finish so aesthetically it might have an impact.
This is a really well made, functional light. It is everything you would expect from a rear light from Blaze. It can be super bright or eye-catching and does everything you need a rear light to do – help you be seen- and nothing you don’t need. I felt pretty visible cycling around with this on the bike, unlike some other options out there.
One of the things I like best about the lazerlight is how long the battery lasts when it is being stored. This is something carried through to the Burner and makes it highly usable all year round and perfect for storing in your bag in the summer months as well.
Currently with the Kickstarter the light is available for backing at £39, which makes it amazingly well priced for such a high spec, high powered light. When it arrives in the Spring, it will be £49 which, in my opinion is still excellent value. It will be interesting to see what they do in terms of further programming settings and brackets. The light is perfectly good without these things, but they would certainly make it more universally appealing.
There will also be a front light option for the same price and therefore with these two offerings Blaze have really become a full bike light company. To get your hands on a Burner, head over to the Kickstarter page.
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.