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Exposure Strada mk 5 front light



High-output light with a variety of beam options suitable for all types of road riding

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Exposure Strada Mk5 follows where its predecessors left off, providing an exceptional amount of light and a wide variety of beam choices to see you right on every type of road.

The Strada is a self-contained unit without any cables or straps, manufactured in the UK. The illumination comes from two Cree XPG white LEDs and everything lives in a rough 'n' tough CNC-machined aluminium shell. It might pick up the odd scratch over winter if you're not careful but you're unlikely to do any real damage unless you're very unlucky.

The Strada's main point of difference from the majority of high-power lights is that the beam is shaped so it doesn't dazzle oncoming traffic.

Fitting the Strada is simple, you just fix the forged alloy bracket to your handlebar with an Allen key and then slide the lamp unit in place. It's held there by a sprung steel pin and it's perfectly secure. You can't adjust the angle of the light once it's on unless you purposely leave the bolt loose, and I really wouldn't advise that.

You choose from six different light programs, each with either two or three different beam choices. Program 1, for example, has a high mode (which will run for three hours from a full charge), a medium mode (which will last 10 hours) and a low mode (which will last 24 hours).

Switching between the modes is easy, you just push a button on the rear of the light unit (or use the remote switch that's included in the package) and it'll take you through them in order. If you're not interested in that low mode, you can select Program 2 which has just the high and medium modes.

To give you another example, Program 6 has two modes, the higher one giving you 10 hours of light, the lower one giving you 24 hours. That's an option to go for if you don't need a really powerful beam at any point – if you're riding on well-lit roads, for instance.

You get the idea, anyway: you just select the program that works best for the riding you're doing. Setting the program takes seconds and the various durations are printed on the shell of the light so you'll never lose them.

The beam picture/data given here relates to the Strada's strongest beam. I really like this beam for lighting the way on unlit roads, especially fast sections or roads that I don't know well.

If I ride at night, I tend to head around the lanes to avoid traffic, but that means I really need a good view of the bends coming up ahead and any bumps or holes in the Tarmac. This beam is strong enough to show up pretty much everything and it's broad enough that you get a good view of the whole width of the road. Even going fast downhill, you can lay off the brakes because visibility is excellent. I've never found myself wanting any more light than is on offer here.

If you like, or if you want to preserve the battery, you just go down to the medium beam. That still gives you good visibility on unlit roads, easily enough to ride by. Whatever it is that you need, the beauty is that you can easily select the beam that works best for the environment, LEDs on the back of the unit telling you which mode you're currently in.

When the light is on, more LEDs on the back indicate the battery level. There are five of them so when all are lit the battery is 80-100% full, four indicates 60-80%, and so on. If all the LEDs go out, the light uses its reserve battery life to power the low setting, hopefully long enough for you to get home.

You can recharge the Strada direct from the mains or via USB. The charge port is gold plated to avoid corrosion and it's protected by a silicone cover to stop water or gunk getting in there.

Rather than being a wholesale redesign, the Strada Mk5 is a tweaked upgrade of the Mk4. The electronics have been altered slightly to improve efficiency and the the light's aluminium body has been adapted to help with cooling, again adding to the efficiency. On top of that, the remote switch, which you can fix out by a gear shifter if you like, now has a softer touch and easier mode changing.


High-output light with a variety of beam options suitable for all types of road riding.

The light comparator

If you have a nice big screen you can click here for the widescreen version (1400x1000px) test report

Make and model: Exposure Lights Strada - front light

Size tested: Black, Front light

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Exposure say, "Specifically designed for road use the Strada has a high and dipped beam mimicking a car headlight. The wide flat beam is excellent for peripheral vision while the high beam pushes forward lighting up the next corner.

"With up to a 36 hour burntime the Strada has you covered from commuting, training and onto the most technical of alpine descents. The Strada comes with the Remote Switch for switching outputs efficiently without moving your hands."

It's suitable for any road conditions from lit urban streets to unlit roads in the countryside.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Here are all the details listed by Exposure:

Output: 800 Lumens

Weight: 228g

Runtime: 3 - 36hrs

Battery: 8700 mAh Lithium Ion

Length: 108.00mm

Back Diameter: 43.00mm

Head Diameter: 50.00mm

Power: 8700mAh

Emitter: 2 x Cree XPG white LED.

Remote Switch: The Strada is supplied with a Remote Switch for quick easy mode selection at the tip of your thumb.

Cable Free Design (CFD): A primary feature unique to Exposure Lights removes the hassle of cables and straps.

Optimised Mode Selector (OMS): The Optimised Mode Selector allows you to easily select from a concise number of programs to provide the optimum lighting for your ride. OMS programs enable you to obtain the lights full potential and optimize the output whether it's a two hour trail burn or a weeks commuting.

Fuel Gauge: 5 step LED battery life indication and 3 LED mode display.

Charger: Wall and USB charger

Intelligent Thermal Management (ITM): Patented technology that combats the loss in efficiency of LEDs at elevated temperatures, maintaining optimum output keeping you shining 'Brighter for Longer'.

Smart Port Technology Plus (SPT+): Patented technology that enables a wide range of accessories to be used; Additional rear lights, back-up power supplies, remote switches and even charging other USB devices direct from your light.

Collimated Lens Technology: Exposure Lights use these high-tech resin lenses which have been extensively researched. These lenses are specifically designed to maximise light collection from the LEDs and efficiently produce an optimum beam pattern for cycling ensuring no light is wasted.

Weatherproof Body: CNC machined aerospace grade aluminium body with efficient heat transfer design. Fully manufactured in the UK.

Gold plated charge port: The charge port is gold plated for corrosion resistance, more efficient conductivity and it is sealed to a greater level adding protection to you light.

Storm Cap: The Smart Port in protected by a silicone cover to stop muddy gloves pushing dirt into the port.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:

The alloy body is very tough and the button sits in a recess so you're very unlikely to do any damage. It should last you years.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
Rate the product for value:

This is a lot to pay for a light but you get a excellent performance here so it's worth it.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It's an excellent option if you want to ride unlit roads.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The output, the beam, the sturdy body, ease of use.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

You can't alter the angle of the light without an Allen key.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 43  Height: 190cm  Weight: 75kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,


Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

Add new comment


DaveE128 | 9 years ago

Given that this is, I'm a little disappointed with the lack of detail on the dipped beam feature. I would like to see photos of the beam shape.

Agree with others about German lights.

nbrus | 10 years ago
1 like

Lights like this shouldn't be legal on road as they blind oncoming traffic (inc. other cyclists) and are incapable of being dipped.  19

My vote goes to Philips for dual beam on/off road capable headlight...

Accessibility f... | 10 years ago
1 like

One lens has some kind of fresnel design, the other lens does not. I'm guessing that's where the wide beam pattern comes in, but I doubt it'll be anywhere near as effective (or compliant) as lights which follow the German regulations are. REALLY need to get some of the German lights in to offer a full comparison.

pdw | 10 years ago
1 like

Any chance of some proper beam shots of the "dipped" beam? How does it compare to lights built to the German regs?

eurotrash | 10 years ago

Can you review Exposure Blaze too please?

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