World exclusive: Exposure Reflex Mk1 front light review

Brighter when you ride faster, dimmer when you slow down, Exposure’s new Reflex sets a new benchmark with clever adaptive technology. It backs it up with a 2,200 lumen output, good battery life and digital battery gauge. Here’s the world’s first full review.

The Reflex is Exposure’s new flagship light and is special in several notable ways. Not only is it their brightest ever light at 2,200 lumens (and smaller than the previous Six Pack, a chunky light if ever there was one), but it houses some clever electronics they’ve dubbed Reflex Technology. This automatically adjusts the brightness of the light depending on your speed.

That means when you’re pootling up a steep hill at 5mph, the accelerometer and temperature gauge inside the light reduce the light output and conserve the battery. Such is the sheer brightness of the light that even when you’re going very slowly, there’s still enough light to see your way ahead.

When you ramp up the speed, the light powers up to full beam. It’s very clever and in use it works extremely well. It takes a little getting used to, but after a while it’s completely natural. The transition is seamless, and after a while you barely notice it.

Three LEDs pump out 2,200 lumen in a well balanced beam with good spread and reach.

If you prefer a bit of manual control, you can have that. With the Optimised Mode Selector (OMS) there are 11 modes to choose from, only three of which use the Reflex functionality. The burn time for each of the modes is handily printed on the base of the light and there are combinations to suit everything from trail blasting to 24-hour racing to commuting. It shows Exposure have really thought about who will use this light and how.

Choosing between modes is simply a case of holding down the power button for a short while, then cycling through to the desired mode, displayed on a digital screen. From the factory the light is in Reflex mode. This LCD screen displays the remaining battery time and is far and away the best battery gauge we’ve ever used on any light. It vastly increases the light’s user friendliness and is almost worth the money alone.

Digital readout shows battery life and mode selection.

Three XML LEDs are arranged in the lens and encased in a compact and smartly designed CNC-machined case. It’s light at 252g and you don’t notice it on the handlebars. The light emitted by the three LEDs gives a good broad spread and there’s ample reach for all but the very fastest trails, where it lacks a little depth. There’s good punch in the centre of the beam where it hits the ground so that you can pick out details in the trail.

It’s smaller than the old Six Pack yet brighter. Shown next to popular Allen key tool for scale.

Battery life is two hours on the full-power mode but can be extended out to 36 hours on one of the lower settings. The burn time on Reflex mode will depend on how fast you ride, but you will get closer to three hours on the first of the three Reflex modes.

Fitting the light to the bars is simple with Exposure’s tried-and-tested quick release mount. The mount fits 31.8mm and 25.4mm bars, with a 4mm bolt holding it in place. The light slides and clicks into the mount, and can be remove by pulling down on the red plunger. There’s still no easy angle adjustment, but by leaving the clamp just loose enough you can adjust on the trail without the light beam bouncing about.

Sturdy mount is very secure. No vertical angle adjustment though.

Any scepticism we might have had when the light arrived was quickly banished when we got riding with it, and now we’re fans. The Reflex tech is impressive in the way it smoothly alters the output of the light. We just turn the light on and ride, no worrying about switching power modes frequently to conserve the battery. It’s a bit like the speed-adjusted volume on car stereos: at first it’s a bit odd but you soon get used to it and grow to really appreciate it. Sure it’s pricey. but every part of the design just makes it so much nicer to use. We’d buy one. Yes we really would.

Verdict

We’re really impressed with the Reflex Technology and can’t wait to see it trickle down to more affordable lights. The Reflex, while expensive, is a staggeringly good light for the frequent and serious night time riding addict.

Pros

Reflex technology really works
Very light
Compact
Bright with good beam pattern
No cables
Good battery life
Choice of 11 modes

Cons

Lacks a little punch on faster trails – best combined with a good helmet light

It’s at the top-end of pricey (but you can pay a lot more if you want)

Price: £449.95
More information: Exposure Reflex Mk1 front light

What Exposure says about the Reflex Mk 1

The Reflex is the ultimate cycle light and the new flagship model of the 2013 Exposure range. It boasts innovative new Reflex Technology and the very latest LED and Battery developments. The Reflex produces an incredible 2200 lumens output in a compact lightweight package. 200 lumens brighter than the Six Pack but as light as a MaXx-D.

The Reflex is capable of producing such incredible outputs by using Exposure’s new Reflex Technology which monitors the surroundings to intelligently distribute light power to suit the terrain. When climbing Reflex gradually eases off the power preserving battery life for when it is needed most. As soon as the light senses acceleration or that it is heading down hill, Reflex quickly brightens to give the maximum output.

The Reflex benefits from a brand new digital fuel gauge and mode indicator display which gives an accurate burn time countdown leaving you free to concentrate on the ride ahead.

OMS, Optimised Mode Selector is a new feature for 2013 and allows you to easily select from a concise number of programs to provide the optimum lighting for your ride. OMS programs enable you to obtain the lights full potential and optimise the output whether it’s a two hour trail burn or a week’s commuting.

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