With a very bright output and eye-catching patterns the See.Sense ICON3 is certainly a rear light that will get you noticed. With intelligent features added, it is probably one of the cleverest lights on the market too – although for some it might be just a bit too clever. Check out our best rear lights buyer's guide for more options, intelligent and otherwise.
> Buy now: See.Sense ICON3 for £99.99 from See.Sense
According to See.Sense, its ICON3 is 20% more powerful than the ICON2, with a maximum output of 350 lumens.
I was initially concerned that this output was going to be way too bright for use in the dark – as 350 lumens is a lot of light to be spreading about. In reality, though, it never really looks as bright as that.
There are three power modes available from the light unit itself: Reactive, Eco and Constant, which give runtimes of 16 hours, 40 hours and two hours respectively. You select the modes by scrolling through the light's only button.
Reactive was my go-to mode, which I chose because it does what its name suggests, reacting to things going on around it in a way that Exposure's Blaze does when you activate its ReAKT mode. The See.Sense responds to changes in your speed and the like, by changing its flashing mode and brightness.
Eco is a lower-level brightness flash mode, while Constant gives a solid output.
You can get even more options by connecting the ICON3 to the See.Sense app, especially when in the Reactive mode.
The 'Super Visibility' mode randomises the flashing pattern in response to your riding environment, while turning on 'Light Sensing' adjusts the light's power output depending on the level of the ambient light. The Brake mode turns the LEDs solid when you decelerate quickly and are at a standstill.
If you don't have the Super Visibility mode on you can select from a range of options for how you want the collection of Chip-on-Board (COB) and focused LEDs to display, with all kinds of flashing and static effects. Basically, you have a whole load of options from which to choose.
If the light is running out of charge you have the 'Get Me Home' function, which will lower the output to give you an hour's worth of light.
Five top-mounted LEDs indicate battery life, shining green before the final one turns red to let you know that you have 20 per cent left.
Oddly, though, when you're charging the ICON3 it displays a green LED, which then goes out when the light is fully charged. Most lights show a red LED when charging, and green to say it is full. As a result of this, there were a few times that I glimpsed the ICON3 and grabbed it before a ride, thinking that charging was complete, only to find that it wasn't fully charged.
It's something you'll quickly get used to if the ICON3 is your only light, but if like me you use more than one light, take care to make sure you're not caught out.
Charging time is around three hours from flat when using a USB-C via a wall socket, and the battery claims quoted at the top of the review are realistic, though this will depend on conditions and how busy the light is working in its reactive mode.
Aside from the illumination the ICON3 also has a few other tricks up its sleeve. Firstly, there is the Ride Survey, which allows you to report things that happened to you on your ride. The opening question is: 'Did anything annoy or scare you during your last ride?' You then hit the yes or no button.
You can report things like close passes, collisions, potholes and so on and drop a pin on the map. The app also features an Infrastructure Request section, where you can highlight things that you'd like to see changed or implemented, such as a wider cycle lane or better bike parking. All this data is said to be passed on anonymously to city planners. Personally, I found it all a bit of a faff, but you may feel differently.
As with Garmin's computers and some other devices, the ICON3 also has built-in crash detection. This sends a text message to a chosen contact with a Google Maps link of your location.
I found that riding on the road this worked with issue, and there were no accidental messages sent to panic my wife. However, on a couple of rides on my gravel bike on technical sections with steep, rocky descents, the system did think I had crashed.
There is also a theft alert available, which tells you if your bike is being moved while the light is fitted. Again, it works well, notifying you on your phone, provided you're in Bluetooth range.
Overall, the light works well. It's well protected from the elements with a robust IP rating of IP67, total protection against dust and it can be submerged in water – so it should survive some rain – and the rubber band-style mount is easy to use. It's also designed to offset the angle of the seatpost.
The ICON3 costs £99.99 and you are getting a lot for your money in this small but well-considered package.
The Exposure Blaze that Liam tested is a little more expensive at £115 and doesn't have modes such as crash detection, theft and various other app-based functions. But its ReAKT technology works very well indeed, and its shortest runtime is three times longer than that of the ICON3, so you won't need to recharge it as often.
I'm also not bothered about all the available options on the See.Sense app, so for me personally the Blaze would probably be a better choice. It's not as powerful but I think 80 lumens is easily bright enough for a rear light.
Another alternative with a different aspect for improving your riding safety is the £109.95 Techalogic CR-1 that Neil reviewed, which is a rear light with a wide-angle HD camera and built-in crash detection. That said, the light itself is much more basic than the See.Sense.
If you are on a budget but still want a rear light with a brake function, then BBB offers the SignalBrake Auto Brake light for just £36.95, though Shaun felt it could have been a bit brighter for daylight running.
If you just want a rear light that you can be seen by, the ICON3 is probably a case of overkill, especially if you aren't bothered by the integration with the See.Sense app and all those extra features. But if you're after that sort of versatility, the ICON3 is a very good light. It's well made (in the UK), robust and with 350 lumens it's very bright, with eye-catching LED modes that will make you stand out everywhere.
A great light to be seen by thanks to its numerous modes and eye-catching flash patterns
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Make and model: See.Sense ICON3
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?
See.Sense says: "ICON3 is our brightest 'to be seen' light yet and with our patented reactive technology helps to attract attention faster to you than ever before on the road. Built on the success of our ICON and ICON2 ranges, and further improved with valuable cyclist feedback gathered over 5+ years, we've crammed more technology and innovation than ever into ICON3."
I found it a very capable light, and it's bright output and various modes will ensure that you're seen in all kinds of conditions.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
LUMENS REAR: 350
RUNTIME: 15hrs on Reactive Flash
WATER SEALED: IP67 Rated
MOUNTING: Quarter-Turn Mount
COMPATABILITY: iOS & Android
MADE IN THE UK
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Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
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Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
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Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
You can choose from numerous modes, which means the ICON 3 will work in both darkness and daylight to ensure that you're visible at all times.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Simple to use, and very bright.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
The green charging light caught me out a few times.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Considering the amount of technology involved in the ICON3, I feel that the cost is about right and comparable to other lights we've tested.
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
It's a well-made light that is simple to set up and use and has excellent weather resistance too.
Age: 44 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,
Quite a quick Maggie that.
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