21/11/2012 | 2 comments
The latest Electron Terra 3 headlight pumps out a broad, clean beam that’s bright enough for rookie night riders in particular to decide if after dark antics are for them. Its one-unit construction makes it compact and convenient and its price is very reasonable for its performance.
While companies like Exposure, Hope and Niterider have pushed the performance of high-end, spendy LED lights in the last few years, there’s been quiet but huge progress in the less expensive end of the market.
With a claimed 800 lumens from its three emitters and up to three hours run time, the Electron Terra 3 is a great example. A few years ago, you’d have paid over £300 for a light like this, but the Terra 3 is a very reasonable £150.
It puts out a broad spread of light that throws far enough down the trail for medium-speed riding, with enough light at the peripheries that you can see what’s coming round corners before it bites you in the arse.
The Electron Terra 3 is powered by a lithium-ion battery that lives in the same housing as the LEDs. That’s not a new idea, Exposure has been making lights like this for years, but a genuine hassle-saver compared to the faff of separate batteries and cables. If you need stupendous amounts of light or run-time, then systems with separate batteries are still worth looking at, but for a couple hours blatting round the woods after work, we’ll take a single-housing system any day.
It takes a double-click to power up the Terra 3, and it comes on in the middle of three settings, putting out 500 lumens. That’s plenty of light for pootling about, riding uphill and getting to the trailhead. We like that it doesn’t power up in full beam so you don’t take off and blow through a substantial part of the charge just getting to the start of your ride.
A single click takes you up to 800 lumens, another down to 250 lumens, which is good for visibility round town. The switch doubles as a battery charge indicator, changing colour to warn you that it’s time to head home before you’re plunged into darkness.
The Electron Terra 3 mounts to your bar via a built-in flexible plastic 31.8mm clamp. Open it up, wrap it round your bar, use the spacer if your bar is 25.4mm, and tighten the thumbscrew to cinch it into place. It holds the lamp firmly with no wobbling as you ride, though it’s not as convenient as Exposure’s separate quick release mount.
Experienced night riders will want more than the Electron’s 800 lumens, but if you want to dabble with night riding without breaking the bank, the Terra 3 is an excellent buy.
Great performance for the money in a really simple, convenient unit.
Lots of light
Convenient one-lump design
Decent run times
No flashing mode
More information: Electron Terra 3 rechargeable light
UK supplier: Madison Cycles
What Electron says about the Terra 3
- The perfect light for the serious off-road cyclist
- Three high power Seoul LEDs in a handlebar mounted unit
- Huge 800 lumen light output, with tiny power consumption for great power to runtime ratio
- Engineered reflector for a great spot and wide beam light pattern
- Compact, light-weight and water resistant headlight design
- 3 modes – high, low and strobe
- Advanced Sanyo Li-Ion battery with runtimes of up to 4 hours on full power
- Li-Ion batteries are lighter, more reliable and more compact than lead-acid or Ni-Cad alternatives
- Built in USB smart-charge and protection circuit, maximising battery life
- Low battery indicator provides warning to make sure you’re not caught out in the dark
- Fully integrated design, no batteries or wires
- Quick release O-ring designed bracket
- Enhanced side visibility for on-road use
- UK mains USB fast charger included