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Verdict: 
Great build quality and optics, though the remote could be smarter
Weight: 
190g

The Ravemen PR800 has a good beam spread, high-low beam function and a wired remote. Ravemen labels it as 'The Safe Commuting Light for You And for Others' and its ability to act as a USB battery for your phone or GPS is really useful. It could be handy for multi-day trips too – just be aware that charging while using the USB port isn't possible.

  • Pros: Compact, good dual and single-beam options, able to charge USB accessories
  • Cons: Unclear charge state, defaults to high when switching from HiLo to Low beam, no daytime flash, wired remote of limited use

Out in the dark, the single-beam spread is excellent – almost but not quite to German stVZo standards of cutoff. It's designed so as not to dazzle others while affording good light ahead of you, and it works. You get more peripheral light which is wasted, but overall it's pretty good for speeds below 30kph on dark roads.

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The dual-beam (HiLo) lens is a non-shaped conical blast only good for off-road or traffic-free roads. Off-road I found the beams good for some pretty quick riding, the combination of near and far coverage suited to most riding scenarios. I've had worse coverage from lights costing twice as much, so Ravemen is to be congratulated for the optics and output.

One omission is a 'daytime flash' mode, using all 800 lumens on offer. The pulsing mode is a paltry 100 lumens, with a slow rhythm unlikely to stand out in traffic. Other Ravemen lights have several daytime flashing modes, so it's not an unknown concept to the company.

A comparison with my go-to reference light, the excellent Lezyne Powerdrive XL from way back in 2014, shows they are pretty much equal in high beam reach, with the PR800 having the added bonus of nearby spread to see close obstacles.

You can see this and many more comparisons in the beam engine above. The 2018 Lezyne Lite Drive 800 has an almost identical beam and is £18 cheaper, but with a rubber band mount and no USB output.

> Buyer's Guide: The best front lights for cycling

The PR800's build quality is top-notch – military-grade anodising on the body and front, with beefy-looking hex screws holding everything together. The mount is a generic quick-release knurled nut and plastic band affair, with a slight degree of left-right play to allow beam positioning on the road. It does the job and is unlikely to be attractive to thieves when away from the bike. Fixing is solid enough to survive hours of rocky mountain biking still firmly attached with no movement. The default size is for 31.8mm bars; in the box you get a plastic adapter for 25.4mm, and a second sticky rubber shim for 22.2mm.

With the waterproof covers in place, the PR800 is IPX8-rated to 2m underwater – likely to survive a deluge of a ride, as it did the road.cc Shower Tray Of Doom (it being too cold out for the Garden Hose Of Deep Regret).

Battery indication is effectively binary – green to 60%, then red down to 10%, then it starts flashing... so 'red' can mean anything from a few hours to tens of minutes – likely you'll only discover the truth at the end of a ride as night's descending. So it would be possible to leave home thinking you're fully charged, but in reality be just above halfway.

Remote possibilities

There's a wired remote control, with rubber bands to hook it around the handlebar or even the inside of a shifter for actuating with your thumb. There's just enough wire to run under bar tape for a tidy install, if you're OK with a loose mini-USB plug near the stem. The button does two things: it mimics the small button on the light and cycles through all the operating modes, and if you hold it down and keep it held, it activates the dual-beam (HiLo) high power mode, which then turns off once you release the button.

Ravemen PR800 Front Light - remote

Although it's nice to have the option of a remote – many lights don't – it's a shame Ravemen hasn't made it smarter, able to not just cycle through modes and activate the HiLo beam but also to leave it locked on.

To do that you need to press the large power button once, which punts you into dual-beam highest-output nirvana – but there's a catch. If you were previously bimbling along in low power, for example the eco (23hrs) or pulsing (11hrs) modes, and needed the HiLo beam for a brief period – say a bit of tasty singletrack, or a fast descent – when you leave that beam the light defaults to the highest Low beam setting. So after turning off HiLo using the big power button, you then need to use the smaller menu button or the remote to cycle back to your desired brightness setting.

Charging & run-times

The battery is listed at 3200mAh, and with the conversion to 5VDC for USB charging you are likely to get maybe two-thirds of that into your phone. Battery sizes and conditions vary widely, but most phones should get a full single charge from the PR800. Charging from flat on a 2.4A charger took 2 hours, with 1.4A charging advertised at 3.5hrs.

Run-times are pretty much as advertised – 1hr 45 minutes on the highest HiLo setting, with a noticeable decrease in output over the final 40 minutes, becoming actually degraded in the last 20 or so. The mid HiLo setting is good for around 4 hours, with the highest Low lasting 3 hours, stretching to 12 hours on Low-low. The eco mode is very frugal at 23 hours while meeting legal requirements and being just bright enough to cycle by slowly if you were caught out.

One thing you can't do is charge the PR800 while also charging your phone or GPS. As soon as you remove the charging input, the battery comes back to life to charge accessories. Likewise, charging while running the light is limited: light output while charging is limited to the Low 'mid' setting until the battery is nearly full, then the highest Low setting is enabled.

These somewhat niche use-case restrictions might be limiting for hardened all-night riding types who need to charge from a dynamo hub while also running a bright light and/or charging a phone or GPS. It would be handy to charge low-drain devices like a GPS off the light, while keeping it fed – but without that ability you're left swapping charge cables between the two, possibly in the dark/rain, possibly with thick gloves on. That said, it's a light aimed at commuting, so I'm being over-harsh here.

Overall, the Ravemen PR800 offers great optics and beam, a nice small form factor, robust build, USB-out convenience and a quality mount. The remote is of limited usefulness, there's no daylight flash, and the charging state is unclear, but you won't be disappointed by the on-road experience and the build quality.

Verdict

Great build quality and optics, though the remote could be smarter

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Ravemen PR800 Front Light

Size tested: Dimensions (Headlight): 85mm (L)*48mm (W)*27mm (H)

Tell us what the light 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?

It's for people needing a small, bright light and to charge USB devices (but not at the same time).

Ravemen says:

"The Safe Commuting Light for You And for Others

1. DuaLens Optical Design for Lowbeam Mode, providing broad closed range flood light with anti-glare low beam for commuting, no dazzle and glare for oncoming riders and pedestrians

2. Dual LEDs for HiLo Beam System, providing illuminating light similar to automotive headlight with far reaching high beam and low beam

3. Extending battery runtime by connecting with power bank

4. USB output port to charge USB-powered digital devices

5. Intelligent thermal management circuit to prevent overheat of LEDs

6. Intelligent Memory circuit remembers the last used brightness level and mode when turned on again

7. Quick release design for easily slide in and out

8. Compatible with handlebar from 22.2mm to 31.8mm diameter

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

From Ravemen:

LED: 2*CREE XP-G2 with a lifespan of 50000 hours

Battery: 3200mAh/3.7V rechargeable Lithium-ion battery

Dimensions (Headlight): 85mm (L)*48mm (W)*27mm (H); Weight (Headlight): 165g

Materials: The front and main body is made by aluminum with Mil Type III Hard Coat Anodizing; the rear part and the handlebar mount are made by durable plastic

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
10/10

Solid as. Quality.

Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
6/10

The fact that it defaults to the highest Low setting when switching from the HiLo beam is annoying, and the remote could be smarter.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
8/10

A very good clamp, held solidly.

Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
10/10

Can't fault that IPX8 rating.

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
8/10

Lasted as advertised, charge time of 2 hours using a 2.4A charger. Advertised as 3.5hrs on a 1.4A charger.

Rate the light for performance:
 
8/10

Optics and beam are great.

Rate the light for durability:
 
10/10

Solid as and immersion-proof!

Rate the light for weight:
 
8/10

190g for the light output isn't shabby.

Rate the light for value:
 
6/10

Other lights of the same output can be had for £20 cheaper, but the build quality is great and you do get USB charging.

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

I'd say good for set-and-forget – but if you are cycling on a busy road the HiLo-Low switching might annoy you.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

The optics – the beam is great.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

No daylight flash mode, and the issue with locking on HiLo then not reverting to previous modes.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

For a USB charging out device, it's pretty good.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes

Would you consider buying the light? Not really.

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes – if they were aware of the minor shortcomings.

Use this box to explain your overall score

The optics and beam are great, and even with the unclear charge/run-down state, lack of daytime flash, and annoying mode issue when toggling between HiLo and Low it's still good, so 7.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 45  Height: 183cm  Weight: 72kg

I usually ride: Merida Ride 5000 Disc  My best bike is: Velocite Selene

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, club rides, general fitness riding, mountain biking, Dutch bike pootling.

1 comments

Avatar
aegisdesign [129 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

I've had a PR800 for about a month now using it for commuting but the idea was it might replace a dyno driven Phillips Saferide light. Overall agreed with this review. It's generally a good light. The wide low beam is good for commuting. The high beam is good enough offroad for me. Being able to hold in the remote button for a quick blast is useful on corners or to get drivers to dip their lights.

I'm not sure I'd ding it for not passing through a charge when it itself is charging. If you're charging it from a dynamo you're only likely getting 0.3A-1A and nearer 0.5A average so probably barely enough to charge the light never mind a phone or GPS at the same time. It might have been a reasonable buffer battery though to even out slow speed dynamo moments and stops like a B+M USB-Werk does, which I also have already.

I've tried mine with a couple of different devices. A Pixel 3 phone seems to charge at 5V/0.5A. A Sony Z3 compact tablet charged at up to 5V/0.7A. Bear that in mind if you're choosing this to attempt to power something with a bigger power draw. You might still need to take a bigger USB powerpack for say an iPad. If you're touring almost always through the day with just a phone then I'd be happy with a dynohub & USB-Werk to charge this during the day and then use it to charge a phone overnight. That should be pretty sustainable.

Apart from the red light coming on at 60% the only other thing I don't like is the charging microUSB port is the same port you plug the remote in so you can't charge it and use the remote at the same time. I'd rather the remote had it's own less important port, preferably a waterproof jack or it plugged in to the bracket and there were pogo-pins for the connection to the light so the microUSB cable didn't dangle when the light isn't in the bracket but the remote's cable is still taped under the bar tape. Of course it'd be pricier then.