Tag Archives: light

Planet Bike Beamer 1 Headlight & Blinky 3 Rear Light Set

Complete Score: 33 / 42 = 78.6%

When I bought my single speed Shogun from Bikes not Bombs, I also picked up a few accessories and related gear items. Immediately, a helmet, headlight and rear light were added to the cart. Both the Planet Bike Beamer 1 headlight and Blinky 3 rear light use LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) as their light source, ensuring an efficient brightness to energy used ratio.

Value

The rear light and headlight are part of a set and can be found at Amazon.com for $20 (Note, Amazon.com is our affiliate). I bought the Planet Bike light set in April and rode nearly every day and many nights with these lights and they kept going and going and going up until late August, when the front light finally died. For those keeping track, that’s about five months strong on one set of batteries!

A few days later the rear light followed its partner and begged for a battery exchange. Considering the set is only $20, five months of near nightly use is a fairly good deal.

The Beamer 1
The Beamer 1

Neither the Beamer 1 nor the Blinky 3 are super-bright. The Beamer 1 headlight will illuminate a little bit of the road if you’re stuck in a dark area but more importantly it will alert drivers to your presence. It’s tough to knock this light for not being extremely powerful, since it would then not be as energy efficient. Still, it’d be nice if this light was just a little bit brighter to help see when on unlit roads. The rear light seems bright enough for most other vehicles to see easily and features two settings, flashing and constant, just like the front light.

Score: 3.5 / 5

Quality

The lights have been through several rain storms and have been knocked around a bit and so far they’ve held up quite admirably. My only issue is the bracket which the headlight attaches to is not a snug fit on my bicycle’s handlebars. When going over big bumps the light has a tendency to flip around, thus requiring a spare hand to flip it forward again.

Score: 3.5 / 5

Innovation

A light is a light unless it’s an LED light! LED lights have come a long way and as the long lasting power of the Beamer 1 headlight and Blinky 3 rear light show, LEDs are a great option for bicyclists and other users who need a reliable and durable light, rather than sheer strength. Pedaling about the city of Boston, there are not many roads without ample street lighting, thus my main need for these lights is to act to make my presence known to other vehicles. It does it’s job well enough.

Score: 4 / 5

The Blinky 3
The Blinky 3

Social Benefit

LEDs save batteries, which in turn cuts down on all sorts of pollution and trash, plus these lights help alert drivers to bicyclists and allow cyclist to see a little bit better in the dark. Plus, Planet Bike donates 25% of their profits to bicycle advocacy! Overall, I’d say the world is a better place for having fairly priced good bike headlights.

The headlight is rated for 100 hours on a set of AA batteries while the rear light is supposed to get 200 hours on a pair of AAA batteries. In actual use, I’ve found the usage times of both lights are closer together than the specifications state. Though it should be noted I leave the rear light in a blinking state while the headlight stays on a constant beam setting. The blinking light taxes the battery and circuits more than just the constant light, but also makes me more visible to motorists and distinguishes my light from a tail light or stop light.

Score: 4 / 5

Freestyle!

Overall, it’s very tough to find faults with the Beamer 1 headlight Blinky 3 rear light. They’re cheap, efficient, and get the job done. The light could have a small solar panel to extend battery life, the beam could be a little bit brighter, and bracket could be a bit more stable, but these are all nitpicking points and in the $20 range, you won’t find a better set of bicycle lights.

Score: 18 / 22

Beamer 1 & Blinky 3 Set
Beamer 1 & Blinky 3 Set

The Planet Bike Beamer 1 and Blinky 3 LED Bicycle Light Set is available from Amazon.com. (Note, Amazon.com is our affiliate).

Note, all images are via Planet Bike’s web-site.

Complete Score: 33 / 42 = 78.6%