ETC is cycle distributor Moore Large's own brand of lighting and, if this Kochab model is anything to go by, the company could be onto a winner. It's simple, straightforward, nicely made and does the job superbly. At 1,000 lumens, there's more than enough power for every type of night-time road ride as well as being a fairly effective 'always-on' daytime running light.
Although Moore Large has few technical specifics about the Kochab either online or in the very wee instruction booklet, it feels sturdy in the hand with the light body made from aluminium. It's IPX6 waterproof – a shower test confirmed it'll stand up to the weather – and at 147g, it's hardly overweight.
There's no excess or confusion in the selection of run modes, either, with six on offer: high (1,000 lumens/claimed 1.8 hours run-time); medium (500 lumens/4 hours), low (250 lumens/12.5 hours), daylight running (28.5 hours), quick flash (3 hours) and slow-flash (7.2 hours). Claimed run-times are pretty accurate too – on full power it lasted 1 hour 48 mins, for example.
Officially, charging takes 4.5 hours, although in my experience it was nearer 5 hours via a micro-USB port, which is rubber-bunged for weatherproofing underneath the light body.
Charge status is shown by the colour of the single illuminated on/off/mode button.
Attaching the light mount to your handlebar is simple. You hook one end of the mount strap (the box comes with two straps, one for normal bars, one for aero bars) into the mount body, wrap the strap round your bar, then the other end has a small nut that the mount's hex bolt screws into to tighten. There's a hex key in the box for just this job. The light body itself then clamps onto the mount with a Garmin-like twist.
As with the rest of the light, it's a good step above being basic but its simplicity is a definite attraction.
ETC places great stock in the light's daylight running function and the Kochab actually has two sources of illumination – the main beam and an additional bar-shaped light above it purely for daytime. This works well and comes on in addition to the main beam in all light modes, or simply by itself in daytime running mode. I would say, to make your mark in daytime you may want to use one of the two flashing modes – which can only be accessed by giving the on/off/mode button a double tap. Incidentally, the fact that you can cycle through normal light modes without switching on flash will be a welcome feature to many.
Head into darkness and the Kochab's full power mode is really impressive. In pitch black conditions it lights the way ahead very effectively to well over 100 feet. In fact, tested alongside its more powerful sibling, the more expensive and more complicated 2,000-lumen ETC Mizar Combo lightset (full review to come), there's very little to tell between them. As far as fast road riding is concerned, the Kochab's performance is superb.
On lower power settings there's almost as much to appreciate. The Mid, half-power setting is equivalent to a 500-lumen light, will last around four hours, and is perfect for commuting.
Beam pattern is very good, too, with a concentrated but wide central circle, with luminescence tailing off gradually towards its outer edges. Essentially, it's a very easy shape to position and use. Meanwhile, slim exposed lens sections on the side help to make you more visible to traffic at 90 degrees.
Few things in life are perfect and the Kochab does have some downsides, such as not boasting any programmable potential, so you have to cycle through all four lighting modes to find the one you want. But the button's right there, next to your hand, so it's hardly a chore and, as I mentioned, even this has the upside of avoiding flash modes.
In terms of value, the Kochab is pretty good: just a fiver more than the Kryptonite F800 and the Ravemen PR800, both of which offer similar kinds of performance, if slightly down on all-out lighting power. That said, the F800 has some added tech, such as auto-economy mode, while the Ravemen has a remote control and the ability to charge USB accessories. What value you place on that is a personal decision – I'm quite happy with the Kochab being a very competent bike light.
And that, ultimately, is the beauty of the ETC Kochab. It's simply a very good, suitably powerful front bike light that will illuminate the way ahead for any kind of road rider on any kind of roads, and help to keep you safe during daylight. Really, what more could you ask for?
Fab front light with simple setup and enough lighting performance to satisfy even the fastest road riders
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road.cc test report
Make and model: ETC Kochab 1000 Lumen Front Light
Size tested: 1000 Lumen
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 a 1,000-lumen front light aimed at any kind of road rider.
ETC/Moore Large has an 'overview' that lists:
1000 Lumen Front Light with Helmet Mount
Max Lumens:1000/ Working Mode:6
Flashing Mode: Yes
Day Running Light (DRL): Yes
LED: CREE XPL
Beam Angle: 20°
Battery: 3.6V 4000mAh
USB rechargeable / Charge Time: 4.5 hours
Burntime: 1.5 hours at max ouput
Weight: 127 grams
Comes with handlebar and helmet mount brackets
Garmin Mount Bracket
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
Under 'spec', ETC/Moore Large lists:
Output: 1,000 lumens
Bulb: CREE LED
Battery: 3.6V 4000mAh
Charge Time: 4.5hrs
Power plug type: USB
Feels sturdy and simple. Handlebar clamp is a good design.
Could hardly be any easier. I really like the fact that you have to double tap the button to access flash modes.
Really good – simple and reliable.
Not great, but it's not too bad for a relatively high-powered standalone front light, and it's in line with the claimed times. In lower power modes, battery life isn't bad.
Really good – it feels like it's using all of its 1,000 lumens effectively with excellent beam design.
Looks hardy and no problems so far.
About right for a light of this type.
The Kochab is just a fiver more than the Kryptonite F800 and the Ravemen PR800, both of which offer similar kinds of performance, albeit with only 800 lumens of power. That said, the F800 has some added tech, such as auto-economy mode, while the Ravemen has a remote and the ability to charge USB accessories.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Really excellent – a fab front light for any road riding.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Simplicity of design and lighting power.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes
Would you consider buying the light? Yes
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
With excellent lighting power and a very simple setup, there's very little to complain about with the ETC Kochab. Other lights might have more functions and offer other possibilities – such as emergency USB power supply – but as a straightforward front light, this is hard to beat.
About the tester
I usually ride: Islabikes Beinn 29 My best bike is: 25-year-old Dawes Galaxy
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking, leisure