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Thursday, October 24, 2019

Review: Victagen Bicycle Light

In 2017, I settled on the Blitzu Gator as the standard solution for all lights in the house. The light was cheap, had a decent mount, and having had a bunch of them in use at one point or another since 2017, very reliable for a cheap product. Since then, the price of the Blitzu Gator has gone down to about $16, but one of our lights was losing battery life. The Blitzu is not repairable when the battery goes (the battery is soldered onto the motherboard), so I went online to see if in 2019, there are better lights.

The victagen is $20, and claims a 1000 lumen top setting with a 12 hour 250 lumen setting. Compared to the Blitzu's 320 lumen claim, it's a brighter light, but it would be a big stretch to call it 3 times brighter. Set against that is the weight: excluding the mount, the victagen's 138g, while the Blitzu's 58g. That means you can have 2 Blitzus for the weight penalty of one vicatgen!

The mounting system on the victagen is better built than the one on the Blitzu: it comes with two rubber washers that can be stacked, and the thumbscrew looks better. The gasket protecting the mini-USB recharging port is also better built --- it looks like it'll survive manhandling than the one protecting the Blitzu, and is in a better place --- on the back instead of under the light, where spray from the wheel will get it gunked up and broken in a hurry if the gasket falls off.

The biggest problem with this light, and the main reason is going back, is that the flashing modes are much worse than the Blitzus. I use the flashing modes in the Blitzus as daytime running lights, and they survive for about 6 hours. The victagen's flashing mode is supposed to last for 12 hours, but they're very annoying, with one high frequency beam that looks like it's designed to cause epileptic seizures in drivers, and one SOS-morse-code pattern that's obviously inappropriate for use. You could use the low beam as a day-time running light, and the battery life would survive, but in addition to the weight penalty however, it was just too much. And for the weight you could just carry a spare Blitzu and swap it out when the battery from the first one goes low. This one's going back to Amazon. I guess 2 years isn't enough for dramatic improvements from the cheap Chinese light manufacturers.

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