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Lezyne Super Drive 1800+ Smart LED Front Light



Bright as the sun and built like a tank, but the size and weight of both combined
Great beam spread
Very bright
Easy one-button use
Rugged feel
Heavy and tall
Overbuilt mount is fiddly and can slip
Long recharge times
Goes dark between modes

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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If you simply want a lot of light in a robust package, the Lezyne Super Drive 1800+ Smart LED Front Light is a contender. The beam spread is great and it's easy to use – it'll let you ride at speed in a moonless forest with confidence, and for hours too. If you're looking for refinement or sleek, clever design, however, you won't be so impressed.

Check out some more options in our guide to the best bike lights – rear lights included.

On paper this offers a lot – excellent power, multiple solid and flashing modes, a rugged build and decent run-times. And it delivers these things on the road, too. Unfortunately, it sprinkles them all with minor irritations and missed opportunities that make actually using it less of a pleasure than it should be.

It's physically easy to operate, at least, as everything is controlled by the single button, which also lights up in various colours to indicate battery depletion or charging rate. A second positive is that it's easy to switch from the main mode – which cycles through every setting, flashing and solid –into a limited 'Race' mode featuring what's basically high and low beam.

2023 Lezyne Super Drive 1800+ Smart LED Front Light - front.jpg

Hold the button for five seconds and it swaps from regular to Race (or vice versa). In Race, you cycle between Overdrive (the full 1,800 lumens) and Enduro, a battery-friendly 500 lumens, without having to go through all the flashing nonsense each time.

Quite why you'd want a light this big, heavy and expensive for city use I don't know, but if you do need attention-grabbing intermittent stuff there's plenty of choice: a 750lm day flash, a 20lm 'Femto' for darkness (and 180 hours of claimed run-time) and an always-on, smoothly waxing and waning 'Pulse' that peaks at 200 lumens.

The problem is, even in Race mode there's a big, lightless 'blink' as you switch between outputs – a half-second of near darkness that can be fairly unpleasant at speed. I can't actually think of any other lights I've tested that do this; typically the power steps are instantaneous and the beam unbroken.

It's an oddly clunky approach, but this is an oddly clunky light. It's no surprise it's heavy – at 240g it's a noticeable presence on your bar – because it looks it anyway. Everything about it is oversized: the giant rubber foot, the unnecessarily thick ladder strap that completes the mount, the deep-set charging port and its huge, screw-tethered rubber bung... add these to the broad, chunky aluminium body and the result is both hefty and tall.

Given its overengineered nature, it's a little exasperating that the mount doesn't work better. The light is certainly not going to fall off once attached, but the strap is prone to slowly letting the lamp rotate as all that mass tests its grip on bumpy surfaces. The beam stays jitter-free, at least (even at speed on fire roads); it just slowly slips away from where it's aimed.

It's unnecessarily awkward to get on and off, too; the clip is tucked in so close you have to twist the main body 90 degrees on the mount just to get finger clearance to hitch the strap. And it's still not that easy to stretch the hefty cords up onto it.

None of this is a disaster, by the way. It all works okay, more or less, and the end result is a strong IPX7 rating for waterproofing and a sense that little short of a grenade could break it. It could just all be done better – slimmer, lighter, smaller – as such things frequently are on other lights.

On the upside, I've no complaints about the beam itself, especially on the full 1,800 lumen setting. It's not only very bright – good enough to do 25mph+ in a wet and moonless forest – but the overall pattern is good. There's a particularly good spread to the verges (the side windows help your visibility in traffic as well) and there are no deadspots.

Run-times & charging

Lezyne says the 6,600mAh battery will run this for 1hr 45m on full power, and I found it lasted 1hr before the red light (10 per cent or less) came on and started worrying me. It then managed another 35 minutes, before automatically dropping to a much dimmer glow and setting the red light flashing. It stayed lit on that final emergency level for another 2hr 20m though, which is good news from a safety perspective.

I'd say the 50% battery warning light (yellow) is hard to discern, because before the indicator goes red it looks constantly green (100%) to me. Maybe that's just me, though. For the record I'm not colourblind, unless you ask my wife, in which case I laughably can't tell my amaranth from my gamboge.

Sources close to my wife claim these are colours and everybody knows that.

Lezyne claims a run-time of 6hrs in the 500-lumen Enduro mode, but that really is best kept for lit roads or slower unlit climbs. There are two further solid modes – the 1,100-lumen Blast (2hrs 45m) and the 350-lumen, 9hr Economy – but to access those you have to be in the main mode and, ideally, not doing any switching while riding.

The one upside of the weird 'blink' between settings is that if you press three times quickly to skip the flashes they'll never actually light up at all; it'll just loop round to the start again (the Economy setting) after a pause.

> Best front bike lights – light up the road, trail or path with one of the best front beams for cycling

You can also link this to a suitably enabled Smart Connect rear light (such as the KTV Pro) and even customise and control both via Lezyne's LED Ally app, but while that's all very clever it doesn't really solve any real issues.

The final colour the button shows is blue, which tells you it's getting High Efficiency charging (up to 2A) via a USB-C cable. That'll be one you've provided; you don't get one in the box, which feels a bit cheap. If the LED is blinking green you're only on regular charging (1A), in which case you'll be watching it blink for a very long time.

Lezyne claims 6-8hrs on a 1A current, and 4-6hrs on 2A. Presumably there's some battery management 'magic' going on there, as both are considerably longer than you might expect for a 6.6Ah pack. Also, ours took longer even than that, and well over the claim: it took 8hrs from flat on a 2A rate (showing the blue 'HE' charging light) from a mains USB plug.

2023 Lezyne Super Drive 1800+ Smart LED Front Light - rear.jpg

For comparison, the 1,700-lumen Exposure Strada Mk12 SB that Stu reviewed recently takes 6hrs to charge, but has a considerably larger 10,200mAh battery.

Such slow charging makes this the sort of light you have to use quite deliberately to avoid being caught out. By contrast, the Gaciron Kiwi-1200 I had on test at the same time also lasts 1.5hrs on full power (a lower but still very useful 1,200 lumens) and its 4,400mAh battery recharges in 2.5hrs.

The Kiwi is also less than half the price, 20 per cent lighter and considerably less bulky than this Lezyne, and far from the only competitor that can say that.


At £150 this is a fair way from being the most expensive we've reviewed recently – the Exposure Strada Mk12 SB mentioned above is £345, for instance – but there are some very good lights around the £150 mark.

The Exposure Joystick Mk16 is £170 with two mounts (£155 without) and 'only' rated at 1,150 lumens max, but it's considerably less than half the weight (98g) and scored a fantastic 9/10 in our review.

For £150 the Outbound Lighting Detour Bike Light manages 1,200 lumens, is also lighter than the Lezyne at 195g, lasts around 2hr 15m on full power and takes almost exactly that time again to recharge from empty. The downside is shipping from the US, which always seems like it's calculated by a London taxi meter bolted to the plane's cockpit.

Alternatively, the Magicshine Ray 1600 is almost as bright as the Lezyne (check out our review) but just £79.99 (and lighter), while the ETC F1500 Front Bicycle Light is also very bright and very good according to our review, also a lot lighter (187g) and also £79.99.


Overall, this puts out a lot of light in a nicely shaped beam, and it's built like a tank. It'll get the job done on the very darkest roads. There are lighter and smarter designs out there, though, and at this price there are plenty offering a much slicker experience than the Super Drive 1800+.


Bright as the sun and built like a tank, but the size and weight of both combined test report

Make and model: Lezyne Super Drive 1800+ Smart LED Front Light

Size tested: n/a

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?

Lezyne says: "With three ultra-high-output LED emitters leading its 1800-lumen charge, the Super Drive 1800+ Smart front light is a force to be reckoned with. Optimized for all types of riding, our Tri-Focus Optics creates a bright center spot within a large wide-angle beam pattern for optimal visibility on the trail or tarmac. Its waterproof USB-C 2A+ fast charging capability allows for convenient recharging (cable not included), while the CNC-machined aluminum construction with cooling fins ensures durability and efficient heat dissipation."

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

Lezyne lists:

Max Lumens: 1800

Max Runtime: 180 hours

Battery Capacity (mAh): 6600

Recharge Type: USB-C

Weight: 240g


IPX7, Daytime Flash, Smart Connect, Race Mode, Infinite Light Power Pack+

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

One button and simple operation.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s

It's chunky and not going to fall off, but it's a little awkward to use and can let the light slowly rotate.

Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?

Battery life is good, but recharging is very slow.

Rate the light for performance:

Great beam spread and very bright – good enough for 25mph+ in a moonless forest.

Rate the light for durability:

Feels extremely rugged.

Rate the light for weight:

It's noticeably bulky and heavy.

Rate the light for value:

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

The spread and power of the beam is great, though the ponderous 'blinks' between modes can be scary at speed, and recharging is sluggish. It's also a chunky thing to have on your bars, and can very slowly slip away from your chosen angle.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

Impressive build quality, great beam spread and very bright on full power.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

Goes dark between modes, very slow to recharge, strap is overbuilt yet underperforms.

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

In the overall scheme of things, this is firmly mid-range.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes, mostly.

Would you consider buying the light? No, because there's so much good competition.

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Probably not.

Use this box to explain your overall score

This is a powerful and solidly built light, and the price is perfectly reasonable given the specification. Beyond its sheer brightness, however, it's outclassed in pretty much every other way by the competition – and plenty of far cheaper models too. What's more, those slightly less powerful lights are often still bright enough to do the same job the Super Drive does.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 48  Height: 183cm  Weight: 78kg

I usually ride: Vitus Zenium SL VR Disc  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mtb,

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