The first thing you notice about the Blaze light is the packaging. Like opening an iPhone for the first time, the box it ships in is astonishingly nice. In fact, Blaze says its lights are made by some of the same factories that make Apple products. The light unit itself is jewel-like as well, with a solid, hefty feel to it and a smooth, polished body.
It mounts via an included metal clamp with a rubbery gasket to keep it from slipping and to adjust for handlebar sizes. It pops on and off with a push of a button and can be swiveled side to side a few degrees.
The key feature in the blaze is of course the laser projection of a bicycle on the road ahead of you. The green image is controlled via a separate on/off button and lands approximately 20-30 feet in front of you, depending on how you angle it. Despite its brightness Blaze says that it is safe to the eye if it catches someone accidentally, but I wouldn’t volunteer.
The laser projection certainly looks neat on the road, but it isn’t bright enough to be visible during the day. It also gets washed out by street lights in intersections, which is exactly where it would be most useful to alerting pedestrians or drivers that you’re headed their way. It has to be quite dark to be visible enough to catch someone’s eye if they’re not paying attention.
Operating the laser also uses a lot of battery power, and the run times are much longer with it turned off. The colored battery indicators on the top will keep you in the loop, but when power gets low it will slip into an energy saving mode that will get your four more hours of runtime. To keep a waterproof seal on the body it charges via a special, proprietary USB cord, so be sure to keep an eye on it.
The Blaze is an interesting concept but to me it isn’t worth the considerable investment.
- Price: $200
- Weight: 223 grams
- Output: 300 Lumens
- Claimed runtimes (with laser on): High – 2 hours, Low – 4.5 hours, Flash – 9.5 hours.