Well isn’t that just typical? You wait for years for a well designed compact cordless rechargeable bike light bright enough for pitch-dark country lanes to appear on the market for a reasonable price, and then three turn up all at the same time! Here we look at the Moon X-Power 500, a light that offers very similar features, performance and price as the recently reviewed Lezyne Super Drive and NiteRider MiNewt 600 cordless LED lights.
Moon X-Power 500 Design
This light is somewhat smaller and cuter than it appears in the photos and it has a solid and expensive feel. It’s half made of a tough plastic, but the business end that holds the lens and LED assembly is made of a cool zinc alloy.
It comes supplied with both a handlebar mount and a helmet mount. The handlebar mount uses a cam lever arrangement which may be operated without tools. The helmet mount uses a velcro strap threaded through the helmet’s vents to hold it in place. The light fits to the bar or helmet mount with an easy to operate the quick release. Both mounts and the quick-release work well.
The light is charged by USB and both a lead and a mains adapter is supplied in the package.
Sealing all round the light is very good and I have no worries using this in any weather. The USB socket underneath is covered by a rubber plug. Using the rubber plug is slightly fiddly and only attached with a very thin strand of rubber. Care must to be taken when removing the cable as I imagine it would be all too easy to accidentally grip the plug with the cable and rip it out.
A groove is cut into the rear of the light. Inserting a pound coin and twisting anticlockwise releases the battery. This is a proprietary lithium Ion cell. Extra batteries are available to purchase so carrying extra cells to extend run time is an option. Interestingly the size of the battery is almost exactly the same size as an 18650 type and it wouldn’t surprise me if the plastic shell just contains such a battery.
A single push button is used to operate the light. One press of the button switches the light on in the highest brightness setting. Then subsequent presses switches the lights through the various brightness modes and flashing mode and then off.
The flashing mode has a flash rate of approx 3-4 flashes per second. I would say it is slightly more eye catching than the Lezyne without being overly irritating.
The button can be pressed reasonably easily when wearing gloves but I did find it tricky fumbling around for the switch to dim the light for oncoming traffic. In the end I found the best strategy was to keep the light on maximum brightness but point it slightly downwards to avoid dazzling motorists. (Actually the same was also true of the Lezyne light and NiteRider lights recently reviewed).
A cool blue indicator LED illuminates the switch surround. This is used to indicate charge status when charging and remaining battery when in use. This indicator flashes red when the batteries are running low.
In my battery life test on the highest power setting and following a full charge, the battery low power warning light started flashing after only about 45 minutes. But then it continued to run for a further hour before it started to dim noticeably. I ran it for a further 10 minutes (by which time it was getting quite dim) before I gave up waiting for it to run out and charged it up again. All in all very good battery life for such a small and bright light. Charge time using the supplied USB cable and mains adapter is around 3 hours.
The light is bright in use with a similar but wider beam pattern to the Lezyne Super Drive. It’s a good all rounder suitable both for being seen in town (for which the low brightness mode is sufficient) and also for hurtling down country lanes.
Overall I’m very impressed with this light. It has a great combination of low weight, sturdy build quality, excellent brightness with a good wide beam pattern, and all at a great price. I would happily use it for my daily commute and highly recommend it especially if you do a lot of riding on unlit roads.
The Moon XP-500 can be purchased from this store.
You can find the official manufacturers web page for this light here.