Chilli Technology's Universal Helmet/Rucksack light is designed to be used as a backup accessory to complement your main rear light. It's flexible, bright, easy to fit and cheaper than its main rival.
If you ride in traffic you need something to be attention grabbing so that you don't just blend in to the sea of urban light spill. Positioning a light high up on your body is always a good option so it sits above the level of car lights; this is just what the Chilli Technology LED is intended for.
It uses two LEDs, one either end which are switched on and off independently of each other. In flashing mode they blink three times per second and unless you can nail starting both of them at the same time it will create a kind of strobing pattern as they flash slightly out of sync. I like this as it makes it more noticeable.
In this mode the CR2032 batteries (one at each end) will last for a claimed 100 hours. I got 97.5 but the commute has seen some recent freezing temperatures as low as -7 °C which are never a battery's best friend. The light does start to dim as the batteries get close to their expiration time so it'd be worth replacing them within say 80 hours or so.
Fitting is easy. Simple stretchy straps loop round whatever you are attaching to and are held in place with a hook. You can dial in the angle of the fit by a screw mounted adjuster. Once fitted it stays put.
The light body itself is very flexible, it'll bend right back on itself so there are no worries about compatibility with any helmet or rucksacks. It'll also fit on frames or seatposts too so versatility isn't an issue.
As far as brightness is concerned it's on par with its main rival the Fibre Flare meaning it's visible from a decent distance (300m in the Fibre Flare review) in the dark but not powerful enough to be seen in daylight. Curved round the back of a helmet you easily get 180° of visibility plus the fact the light reflects up and down as well as behind means any surface close magnifies the coverage.
Chilli Technology claim the light is weatherproof and I'm happy to give that a big thumbs up. Loads of seriously wet weather commuting has caused no issues whatsoever being attached to a rucksack and it's also taken a pummeling from a power shower. Even being submerged for an hour has caused no ill effects.
Overall it's a useful addition to your main lights and one that is certainly attention grabbing for urban riding. It's robust and easy to fit with long burn times as well. The SRP of £19.99 is favourable compared to the tenner more expensive Fibre Flare too and the only disadvantage I can see is that the Chilli Technology uses the more expensive CR2032 batteries rather than AA's. That's best dealt with by buying in bulk on line rather than from Tesco.
Bright attention grabber for riding in the dark with loads of fitting options
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Make and model: Chilli Technology LED Cycle Helmet/Backpack Light
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product 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 back up light for use on pretty much anything really but mostly targeted at helmets or rucksacks. By putting the light source up high it gives you extra visibility in busy traffic.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Solid or Flash (3x per second) modes
Easy mount by silicone straps
Up to 100 hour battery life
2x CR2032 batteries
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's a simple to use and fit light which I felt was very visible in traffic. The decent battery life and exceptional ability to keep out the elements is very impressive.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Challenged by little LED flashers on price.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Impressive performance both in terms of light and against the elements means it's a better prospect than the similar Fibre Flare which costs 33% more on rrp.
Age: 36 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Kinesis T2 My best bike is: Kinesis Aithien
I've been riding for: 10-20 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!