13/12/2012 | 4 comments
This miniscule lamp packs an impressive 900 lumens and the CNC-machined hardware and smart battery makes this one of our favourite lights yet. It may be pricey but lights really don’t get much better than this.
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Two Cree XM-L U2 LEDs push out 900 lumens onto the trail. The beam pattern provides a good pool of light with a bright centre spot and good peripheral spread. We found it best, but not limited to, helmet mounting, in combination with a more powerful bar mounted light. Reach is adequate if you’re using it on its own.
This is the lightest and smallest light we’ve tested, at just 55g for the compact twin LED lamp unit. Complete system weight is 300g. The light and the handlebar and helmet mounts are CNC-machined aluminium with a shot-peened and hard-anodised finish. This gives the light a very solid and durable feel.
The handlebar mount uses a very slim offset clamp that places the light over the centre of the bars and uses a quick-release lever for easy removal. It’s a very stable clamp and even over rough ground it stays firmly in place.
Even better still is to use the supplied helmet mount. A small cradle is fixed to both sides of the light unit with two Allen bolts and velcro holds it in place. It’s a very easy to use design and provides a secure attachment. You can fix it right at the front of the helmet and it’s so light you don’t notice it at all. The extension cable makes it easy to carry the battery in your hydration pack or jersey pocket.
The Piko is available with a choice of two batteries. We tested the larger 5.6 Ah which gives an impressive 3.20 hour run time on the brightest mode. Switch down to the middle 560 lumen setting and you get close to 6 hours. This is a good battery life if you have any plans to so some 24-hour team racing events next summer. The Smartcore battery has an incorporated battery fuel gauge which displays the remaining run time in 10% steps.
The Piko 6 allows programmable light output. The factory default is three levels of brightness, but you can change to two and four modes or three step modes with a flash setting. The small rubber power button proved a little tricky to press with thick winter gloves, requiring a good firm press.
From the moment we pulled the Piko 6 out of the box and handled the CNC-machined parts and the smart battery design, we knew we had a very well designed product in our hands. In use the Piko 6 offers an exceptional run time combined with a very good beam pattern and a solid clamp.
All things considered, the Lupine Piko 6 easily justifies the price tag. It’s extremely well designed and is solidly dependable.
Tiny and lightweight lamp unit
More information: Lupine Piko 6
What Lupine say:
“Our Piko rules with its concentrated light power of 900 lumens and its compact size smaller than a matchbox and a weight of only 55 grams. The ratio of weight and performance in the Piko is unrivalled throughout the world. Whether as a helmet or head lamp – our Piko is the perfect lamp for biking, jogging, trail running, geo-caching, alpine touring, rescue missions, fishing & boating and much more. It isn’t difficult to build a 900 lumen light, what makes it hard, is to make it so small and lightweight you can’t even feel it on your helmet.
Piko 6 comes with a 5.6 Ah Smartcore battery and was developed as the world’s best headlight but we would not be Lupine if we did not offer an optional nice quick-release handlebar mount as well.”