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Moon Rigel Max

8
£89.99

VERDICT:

8
10
Clever and customisable light for not a huge amount of money
Intuitive design
Well built
Stands up to the elements
Anti-dazzling lens not as effective as some
Weight: 
178g

At road.cc 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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The Moon Rigel Max is a very clever light, with an Intelligent Operation mode, a VLS mode that allows you to control the lumen output, and a power-off when it detects no movement. Basically, it's customisable. Even the battery life is decent considering the illumination on offer, although, as I found with its 1,000-lumen sibling, the Rigel Pro, I'm not exactly blown away by the anti-dazzling lens.

As with the Pro, the Rigel Max has just two static modes, 'pre-set' this time at 1,500 lumens and 500 lumens, giving you a main and dipped beam. 

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You can tweak the lumen output using Moon's VLS – Variable Lumen System – giving you a fully customisable setup that you can tweak for high performance or battery saving.

For instance, 1,500 lumens is overkill for a lot of road conditions, so you could tweak the brightest mode down to, say, 1,000 lumens for most rides, or even 800 lumens – almost doubling your battery life. You can actually take the brightness down to a minimum of just 20 lumens, which'll give you up to 56 hours' burn-time.

It takes a bit of guesswork, as you don't have an LCD display or anything to tell you where you are in terms of lumens, but it's pretty easy to work out.

If, like me, you hate having to scroll through flashing modes to get back to the brighter static ones, you'll be pleased to hear that Moon has kept the static modes separate from the four flashing ones; a double-click on the button is all you need to swap between the two.

You get four flashing modes: Flash 1, Steady Flash, Day Flash and SOS.

Considering the output, the battery life is pretty impressive. It's not that big a light unit either so it hasn't got a whopping battery. Using the full 1,500 lumens you'll get 1hr 40mins, while the 500 lumens will last for 3hrs 30mins. The flashing modes give anything from 48hrs up to 120hrs.

The Rigel Max has the same kind of refracted lens as the Rigel Pro, to stop you dazzling oncoming drivers or cyclists, noticeable by way of the ridges on the upper half of the lens. If you mount the light underneath the handlebar, you can flip the lens over, a cool trick.

As with the Pro, it does work to a degree, cutting off the upper light a bit, but there is still plenty heading up into the trees.

It's not as effective as Ravemen's solution on its PR1600, which has two separate lenses, one providing a properly cut-off beam for when you are riding in 'dipped' mode, the other chucking out a much wider spread on 'full beam'.

If you use the beam comparison engine above you'll see how much more effective the Ravemen is at 1,600 lumens compared with the Moon at 1,500 lumens.

> Buyer’s Guide: The best 2021/22 front lights for cycling

Out on the road, though, it does pretty well. There is a decent amount of light thrown directly forward, with a reasonable spread out to the sides. It's not the best I've used – I'd like a slightly wider beam across the road or lane rather than one so focused on the centre.

Controlling the light is no different to many others, with just a single button for operation, which also displays mode and battery life.

If you find turning a light on and off a bit of a chore, though, then you need to switch it to Intelligent Operation (IO), by pressing the button for three seconds with the power off.

In IO mode the light detects darkness and turns itself on – ideal for riding through heavily shaded areas or tunnels during the day, or if your commute starts in daylight and finishes in the dark or vice versa. It doesn't get fooled by artificial light either, so don't panic when you're cruising under streetlights.

> Buyer’s Guide: 10 of the best rear lights for cycling

The Rigel Max also has an Intelligent Motion Sensing Function, which means if it detects no movement for 20 seconds it'll switch to 10 lumens; after 60 seconds it'll go to standby; and after an hour of nothing it goes into a deep sleep.

The Max uses the same Garmin style bracket as the Pro: a wristwatch style band that'll fit a huge range of handlebar diameters, is simple to set up, and holds secure, even on rough roads.

2021 Moon Rigel Max Rechargeable Front Light - handlebar mount.jpg

And you also get a GoPro adaptor which allows you to fit the Moon where you might a GoPro, below a Garmin mount or whatever.

The Rigel Max has the same ability to fight off the crap weather of winter as the Pro, with an impressive rating of IPX7. That means it'll withstand being submersed in water at a depth of one metre for half an hour, so heavy rain isn't an issue. Riding through the latest storms and attacking it with the bathroom shower has seen no issues.

Value

Very well made and durable, the Rigel Max is competitively priced at £89.99 RRP. That Ravemen I mentioned is one of my favourite road lights, and while I don't think it's overpriced for such a clever, high-powered light, it is £139.99.

Lezyne's Super Drive 1600XXL puts out a little bit more in the lumens department, and its mode outputs are also adjustable but using an app, giving you a little bit more precision than the Moon. But it'll cost you £40 more, too.

Magicshine's Allty 1500, which, as you can no doubt work out, has a maximum of 1,500 lumens, costs the same £89.99. It's now called the Allty 1500 Daytime Running Light. Steve was impressed with it to a degree, with only the vague battery indicator and having to scroll through all the modes being the flies in the ointment.

Conclusion

Overall, the very clever Rigel Max offers decent performance considering how small it is. It hasn't got the best beam on the market, but it is still very effective for riding on a range of roads and byways.

Verdict

Clever and customisable light for not a huge amount of money

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Moon Rigel Max

Size tested: 1500 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?

The Moon Rigel Max is a powerful light ideal for all road conditions and shows very impressive amounts of weatherproofing. The customisable power outputs are a real bonus too.

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

Moon lists:

6 modes:

MODE 1 / MODE 2 / FLASH 1 / FLASH 2 / DAY FLASH / SOS

ANTI-DAZZLING lens ( Rotatable)

INTELLIGENT OPERATION

Intelligent brightness function

Intelligent motion sensing function

Parking

CNC Aluminium heat sink

Lock mode

Day flash mode

Mode memory function

Variable lumen system

Quick release GARMIN style bracket

Low battery,charging and fully charged indicator

Automatic fully charged cut-off system

High precision optical lens

Side visibility

USB Type-C remote control system

USB Type-C charging cable

Water resistant USB port

Water resistant (IPX 7)

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
8/10

A lot to get your head around initially, but once set up you shouldn't need to touch it.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
7/10
Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
9/10
Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
8/10
Rate the light for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the light for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the light for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the light for value:
 
7/10

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

A decent beam pattern and power outputs high enough for a range of conditions.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

Being able to tweak modes to increase battery life or power output.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

Guesswork required for adjusting mode output.

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

It's comparable in price to the Magicshine mentioned in the review, but the Moon offers much more technology and is customisable. Other lights that can be tweaked, like the Lezyne, are more expensive.

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

A good balance of power output and battery life combined with the customisable lumen output, make this one very versatile light. It's also well made with an impressive waterproof rating. Overall, it's very good.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 42  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,

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!

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