review

ETC Tauri 60 Lumen Smart Rear Light

7
£36.00

VERDICT:

7
10
Brighter than its lumen count would have you expect, and the brake light function works well
Weight: 
40g

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The ETC Tauri 60 Lumen Smart Rear Light is, indeed, a clever little thing with plenty of features: nine different outputs, auto on/off, a brake light function and various mounting options, all for less than 40 quid. You'll need a magnifying glass to read the instructions, mind.

  • Pros: Brake light is quite effective; quick recharge
  • Cons: Short battery life

Rather than using one or two LEDs for illumination, ETC has gone for COB (Chip on Board) technology where multiple LED chips are packaged together, 36 in total on the Tauri, which gives a uniform spread of output across the whole light face and quite a distinct, bright light to it – especially considering its modest 30-lumen max output in its highest brightness setting.

Yes, the Tauri is capable of 60 lumens, hence the name, but that is only when using its 'brake light' warning sensor. The rest of the time you are limited to 30, 17 or 9-lumen settings across the three modes: solid and two flashing.

Brake light

The brake light function can be turned off, but I left it on as it is quite effective. Sensors in the light detect when you have come to a sudden stop and it flashes, basically strobes at the higher 60-lumen brightness, until you set off again.

Motorists behind you might not realise that it is a brake light per se, but it certainly grabs attention to highlight that something has changed, especially if you were originally riding with it in the solid mode.

Having a fellow rider behind me to gauge how it worked, they noticed that the flashing would also be activated if I braked hard but didn't quite come to a full stop, while light braking into a bend or roundabout didn't set it off – which I'd say is exactly how I would want it.

The sensors are also used to automatically switch the light on and off. If no movement is detected for one minute the ETC shuts down until it senses vibration, at which point it'll come back on in its previous mode.

Run-times and output

Being quite a small light, battery capacity isn't massive and the run-times can be a little on the short side.

As I said earlier, there are three modes, with three brightness for each. In solid mode, high (30lm) lasts for 1hr 40mins, medium (17lm) for 3hrs 10mins, and low (9lm) for 5hrs 30mins.

Compare that to the Exposure TraceR Mk1 DayBright's max run-time of 3hrs at 75lm on a solid setting – not bad for a light that is one of the smallest models on the market.

Using the flashing modes, you can achieve burn-times between 3hrs and 15hrs depending on the brightness. I was a bit sceptical about the Tauri living up to the stated run-times – Magicshine front lights I've tested have struggled in this regard (ETC lights are made by Magicshine, with the Tauri being a rebranded Seemee 60) – and was pleasantly surprised, though it doesn't quite reach the full 16hrs claimed.

Charging

A nippy 1.5-2hr charge via micro-USB gets your battery from flat to full, depending on where your power is coming from.

Rated to IPX6, the ETC should and does resist high pressure, heavy sprays of water. Riding in heavy downpours with no mudguards saw no issues with water ingress from the spray being relentlessly chucked up by the rear wheel.

Cleverly, the ETC has its charge point hidden behind a rubber cover at the rear of the light which is then surrounded by the mount for a bit of added protection. Even the bathroom shower dishing out a soaking didn't affect anything.

Mount

The light attaches to the mount via a twist-and-lock motion and I had no problem with everything staying attached even when riding on gravel tracks.

The mount is a simple affair which is held to the seatpost by a rubber o-ring. It's pretty secure although it can vibrate around the post a bit or get nudged by your legs. The little rubber spacers keep this to a minimum, though.

In the pack there are two spacers that you stick to the back of the mount, one for aero seatposts, the other for standard round ones. Both are tapered to offset the seat angle so the light will point directly backwards as opposed to shining on the floor.

There is also a clip so you can attach the light to clothing or a rucksack.

Value

The ETC Tauri costs £36, which I think is a fair price, especially as it has given me absolutely no issues whatsoever in terms of performance or reliability.

I mentioned the Exposure TraceR above, and that's because it is one of my go-to lights. It's bright, compact and super-reliable. It's not massively cheap at £45, but you are getting more brightness and double the battery life of the ETC. To get the braking option of the ETC, though, you'll need the Mk2, which pushes the price up to £65.

> Buyer's Guide: 17 of the best rear lights for cycling

If you aren't interested in the brake light function, just brightness, there are plenty of lights out there for similar money, such as the Lezyne Strip Drive 150 Rear, which kicks out a cool 150 lumen and costs £35.

Overall, though, I'm really impressed with the ETC. The COB design makes it brighter than the numbers suggest, and the added functions are genuinely worth it.

Verdict

Brighter than its lumen count would have you expect, and the brake light function works well

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road.cc test report

Make and model: ETC Tauri 60 Lumen Smart Rear Light

Size tested: 41 x 33 x 23mm

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?

There's no description of the light from ETC, but Magicshine says this of its Seeme 60:

"With the high powered COB red LED light source, the max output is 60 lumens, capable of 180 degrees of visibility.

3 brightness levels, a constant mode and 2 flash modes can be used in any combo, note that the high mode gives out 30 lumens, while the mid and low modes 17 and 9 lumens respectively on this bike safety light.

Built with latest vibration and motion sensor, the Seemee 60 bike tail light detects when the rider has engaged in a sudden stop motion to increase its output to 60 lumens in a frenzy of flashes, warning all fellow travelers and motorists within a 180 degree viewing angle. This light pattern will be bright enough to warrant attention but not enough to cause temporary blindness which is just as likely to cause accidents. With the same sensors, the tail light enters into a sleep mode to save power after one minute of inaction. Any movement will immediately re-activate the unit.

Installation and removal of the taillight is super quick and easy, rotate 90 degrees to install and rotate 90 degrees back to remove, that's it! Micro-USB charging port is built into the back side of the tail light with water resistant silicone port cover. Seamless integration of the red lens and aluminum alloy plate framing gives the Seemee 60 an IPX 6 rating.

Tauri 60 comes with mounting setups for both the round and Aero seat posts, as well as a multi-purpose mounting clip that will turn this bike tail light into a signal / safety light that can be clipped onto your backpack, helmet strap, saddlebag, even shirt collar."

It's a decent quality light with some neat additional features.

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

ETC lists:

60 Lumen Smart Rear Light

Smart Light - Auto On/Off rear brake sensor

Waterproof: IPX6

Light source: COB

Luminous Flux: 60 lumen

Battery: 3.7V 500mA

Charging Time: 1.5-2hrs

Burntime: 1.5 - 16 hours

Product Size: 41 x 33 x 23mm

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
8/10

One button does everything so it is easy to use, but the instruction sheet is tiny so you'll need a magnifying glass to read it.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
7/10
Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
9/10
Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
7/10

Considering the small battery, burn-time is okay but it is limiting overall. A two-hour recharge is pretty good though.

Rate the light for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the light for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the light for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the light for value:
 
6/10

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

It did everything the specification list said it would.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

COB design gives it a distinctive and bright presence.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

Short run-times on brightest setting.

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

To get the brake light sensors and auto on/off you'd normally need to spend a lot more on the likes of Exposure or SeeSense. If that technology isn't a must, you can get much more powerful lights like the Lezyne Strip 150 for the same money.

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

Overall, I'd say it's good. Many standard lights can offer you higher outputs and longer burn-times for similar money, but the addition of the braking technology and auto on/off is impressive to see at this price point.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 41  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

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

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed

With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!