Aspen Times Weekly: The Blaze Laserlight
A green laser beam shoots from my bike handlebars. It hits the pavement, refracting into a shape with two wheels and a frame.
London-based Blaze is a bike-light company trying something new. Its flagship Laserlight product offers a piercing LED glow as well as the namesake green laser.
Superimposed on a dark road ahead the virtual biker bobs and shifts as I coast toward a busy street. Cars streak past, their headlights igniting the road.
Blaze built its product to keep you safer biking in the dark. The company calls the Laserlight the “safest bike light on the market.”
Made with a metal case and quality design, the light costs £125, or about $190. You can order it from Blaze.cc.
For that price you get a blindingly bright light. The green laser feature is a side benefit the brand touts “makes your presence known, alerts drivers to your approach, and lets you be seen when you’d be otherwise invisible.”
It does do some of that. But after a couple months of testing, I was not sold on the laser function.
People in cars can see you a bit better with this setup. But the laser light is not overly effective. On more than one occasion, while waiting at an intersection, I had cars actually run over my tiny green bike without seeming to notice.
Other bikers noticed. I got lots of strange looks and questions. The green glowing bike, which blinks and skips around on the road, is also a bit hypnotizing while riding on a dark night.
The company designed the laser to alert drivers of your presence. Coming up along the side of a truck, for example, the laser shines ahead, ostensibly warning of your arrival from a blind spot.
Beyond the laser, the light worked great, with up to 300 lumens of brightness at its max. I love the solid build and the mount is among the best I’ve seen. It is waterproof, and the light recharges via USB and holds its power for hours of use.
Anything that can make you more visible on the road, in my opinion, is a good thing. But at nearly $200, and with mediocre laser effectiveness, the first generation could use an upgrade.
Stephen Regenold writes about outdoors gear at http://www.gearjunkie.com