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The Ravemen CR800 is a punchy little unit that manages to throw plenty of light up the road without dazzling those coming towards you thanks to its anti-glare lens, plus you get decent battery life and quick charge times too. A remote control is a big bonus at this price, and the whole setup is simple to use. There's just that old bug-bear of having to scroll through flashing to get back to the highest mode, which is less than ideal.
Probably the biggest draw of the 800-lumen CR800 is the lens. Reading through the comments on previous light reviews it's obvious that some riders prefer a beam that is 'cut off' at the top, mimicking a car's dipped headlight beam, and that is kind of what the CR800 delivers.
The lens, as you can see from the pics, is diffused in two different directions, which results in what Ravemen calls a T-shaped beam.
What it basically achieves is a close-range floodlight to light up the road in front of your wheel, with a long-distance spotlight for illuminating further up the route, but with that cut-off line.
It doesn't quite give the depth of illumination on really dark roads as a light without the cut-off, for when you are travelling quickly, but it's a good compromise. There's plenty of spread to light up both verges on a country lane, and I was comfortable at 20-25mph with how far I could see.
When it comes to outputs, the High mode is 800 lumens (1.5hrs burn-time), Mid is 450 (2.5hrs), Low 200 (4.5hrs) and Eco gives you just 70 lumens but will last for 17hrs.
Other than that, you also get a Pulse Flash which sees the LED remain on in a solid state while pulsing about once a second at 150 lumens, and Rapid Flash which doesn't have the static setting but just a 100-lumen flash. Both are bright enough to be used as daylight flashers in bright sunshine.
Those burn-times seem to be achievable, and should the battery get severely run down then it will switch the CR800 into Eco mode so you can still get home, hopefully.
Charging is taken care of by a micro-USB at the rear of the light and you can also use an external power bank to increase your run-times. That does mean you'd have to sacrifice the use of the wired remote, though, as it uses the same entry port.
Scrolling through the modes is simple: you just use the single button on the rear of the light. Press and hold for on/off and then a click to scroll through the modes from the highest to the lowest.
The button also acts as a battery gauge, changing colour as the power ebbs away.
A memory setting turns the light on in the last mode selected, but as I mentioned in the opening paragraph, you have to scroll through the Rapid Flash mode to get back to High. That's fine in an urban environment, but a bit disco rave out in the lanes.
Thankfully, both the button on the back and the remote change the modes very quickly, so you can pretty much gloss over it.
Unlike the more expensive Ravemen PR lights, the mount here is held in place via a rubber band rather than secured by a bolt. It works fine, and I never had the light slip around the bar. Sometimes pushing the button on the rear can see the light dip down, but using the remote control negates this.
Some lights at this price can use a plastic shell but Ravemen has gone for aluminium with a hard coat anodising. It's definitely robust, with no signs of scratching or marking after a few accidental drops.
Water resistance is IPX6, which means it can resist high-pressure, heavy sprays of water. With the rubber cover sealed over the charge point, I tested it both in heavy rain and with a dousing from the bathroom shower without issue.
The overall finished quality is impressive too, and I like the addition of the small orange lens on either side, giving a bit of added visibility when passing junctions.
Priced at £64.99, the CR800 is up against some tough opposition.
The 1,000-lumen Moon Meteor Vortex is just £54.99, for instance. I've used a fair few Meteors over the years including the Pro 1300 (£79.99), and they are decent lights for the money. The Ravemen has a much better beam pattern, though – the Moon is more like a torch spotlight.
The ETC Capella also pumps out 800 lumens and costs just 40 quid. Mike wasn't massively impressed with the beam pattern, though, and run-times are slightly shorter.
Bontrager's Ion Comp is the same price as the Ravemen but only comes with a high mode of 700 lumens, and again, Jamie wasn't impressed with the beam shape.
So, while the CR800 may look as though it is at the upper price level for this power output, it's worth paying extra for the quality beam pattern and build quality. It is still a lot of light for the money.
The CR800 is a well-specced light with excellent build quality and decent burn-times, though the star of the show is that anti-glare lens.
Not the cheapest for its power, but the smart beam pattern makes the most of the lumens on offer
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Ravemen CR800 USB Rechargeable front light
Size tested: 800 lumens
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?
Ravemen says, "With a maximum of 800 lumens, the CR800 is designed for road cyclists that ride at night, at fast speed! Featuring the new anti-glare optical lens, the CR800 creates a T-shaped beam, illuminating the road with a flood light for close-range distance and bright spotlights for long distance while having no dazzle for other road users. With battery run time extension, the CR800 could also be used for long distance riding and racing."
I think it is a very competent light with one of the best beam patterns on the market.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
Anti Glare: T shaped lens is the second generation anti-glare lens from Ravemen
T-shaped beam with anti-glare cut-off line creates no dazzle for other road users
Wired button allows you to change the level of brightness without releasing your grip
A long press on the wired button will activate maximum output for emergency needs
Dual side lights to increase your side visibility and safety at crossroads
Extend the runtime of the battery by connecting an external power source for emergency lighting when the light is on low power
Micro USB charging port, compatible with most phone chargers
Intelligent memory circuit remembers the last used brightness level and mode when turned on again
Battery level and charging indicators and auto power save mode when it has low battery
Quick release design for easy slide in/out
Compatible with handlebars of 22.2mm - 35mm
Compact and lightweight with quick release function for convenient daily use
IPX6 water resistant anodized aluminium body for durability
LED 1* high-efficiency white LED
2600mAh/3.6V rechargeable Lithium-ion battery
100 x 29 x 32mm
The front and main body is made of aluminium with Mil Type III Hard Coat Anodizing; the ear part and handlebar mount are made of durable plastic
Battery life is on a par with many other lights of this size and power.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It balances burn-time with light output well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Great beam pattern.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Having to scroll through flash.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's at the upper end of the price range for this output of light, though it does look to hold its own, having the better beam pattern.
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
The beam pattern is very good, as is the build quality. It's also good to see accessories like a remote included, with the only niggle being that you have to scroll through flash mode to get back to high.
About the tester
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!