The EL540 employs what's known as reverse offset lens (ROL) technology, which allows 95% (ten per cent over and above conventional designs) efficiency of the light emitted. Look closely and the LED is mounted, facing backwards and towards the reflector, which projects the beam forwards. Popping off the angular shroud gives easy, tool-free access to the battery tray and internal components. Typically Cateye, materials and construction are top-notch so there's no danger of batteries and similarly sensitive components being jolted around over rough roads and towpath.
Charge times are quoted as between five and seven hours, although in practice ours has gone from zero to hero in a matter of four, denoted by an indicator integral to the thumb friendly rubberised switch turning from red to green. Easily operated in gloved or bare hands, it toggles between high, low and flashing without accidentally engaging when lolling about in a pannier.
The lens projects a square, rather than circular patch of light, devoid of halos or similar interference, explaining how I was able to navigate unlit sections and alleys with such ease, managing 20 or so mph on clear stretches round town and 18 rural. Peripheral visibility is deceptively good too, a crisp beam bleeding outward and warning others of my approach when negotiating the junctions and roundabouts. Flashing is again very effective, albeit in the be seen rather than see by sense-although a godsend should the low battery indicator start winking and resorting to dry cells isn't an option Run times have been near as dam it faithful to those quoted even with the stock batteries, so you'd be very unlucky to get caught short.
Brilliant commuter lamp for town and around if you're not overly pressed for handlebar space.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Cateye Econom EL-540 Rechargeable Front Light.
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?
Ecology meets economy. The CatEye Econom Force uses ROL technology and 4 AA batteries to provide an efficient, regulated 4000cd light beam.
"With high, low and flashing beams, a run time of up to 30hrs, and the option of upgrading to NiMH rechargeable batteries, using the built in charging port, give you as many lighting options as you". clever take on the traditional commuter lamp.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
Dimension： 114.0 X 56.0 X 53.0mm
Weight： 244 grams (with bracket and batteries)
Light source： High power white SMD LED X1
Light output： 4000cd
Battery： AA alkaline battery X4
Runtime： Approx 2hrs in high mode, 9hrs in low mode, and 30hrs in flashing mode
Other： Low battery indicator
Rate the light for quality of construction:
Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
Generally well sealed and more than up to the rigors of daily commuting.
Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
Good run times and slow charging, although this is tempered by the ability to run dry cells.
Rate the light for performance:
Rate the light for durability:
Rate the light for weight, if applicable:
Rate the light for comfort, if applicable:
Rate the light for value:
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Dubbed 'Big Bertha' the EL540 has been something of a pleasant surprise. Sure it consumes a fair bit of handlebar space but thanks to the lens' huge surface area and clever optics, I felt particularly safe at roundabouts and similarly tricky spots. Presence is better than most of this kind through the sticks too. Sure, the wall charging NIMH cells can feel a bit irksome compared to the latest USB type but in emergencies you can pop in a set of AA cells and totter home without any loss in performance.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Great ouput and beam quality.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes
Would you consider buying the light? No but only as it's not compatible with my typical riding conditions
Would you recommend the light to a friend? For town and around certainly.
Age: 38 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
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: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Good sprint for sure. Anybody know who came down in the crash and who caused it?
Tony Blackburn? Isn't he dead yet? Why do third-rate celebs think their witterings are worth listening to?
Sounds to me like they're getting ripped off. People have thrown together Raspberry Pi hardware along with a camera (there's some excellent camera...
Would it be too simple to say the categories are based on sex, not on gender?
I had to go and look that up and can only agree with you. Quite a handsome Coat of Arms as well.
Think you've got hold of the wrong end of the stick there, testosterone is reduced by taking testosterone blockers, not by 'taking oestrogen'....
I concur GP4000 is the hardest I've ever had to mount on a rim, Ultegra wheelset in my case. Shifted the outer skin on my thumbs!...
Another one who deliberately misuses the term. Looking for trouble. Yeah because in London you have to stake out a road all day to find one offence.
Ticks a box, doesn't it?...
Normally I don't have a small enough violin for them but in this case I guess it's possible that their office / secretary / intern submitted this...