Blaze Laserlight—Something Special for Your Nighttime Bike Ride.
When it comes to riding at night, people on bikes are looking for the perfect way to be seen. There are many different types of bike lights, yet this one stands out in the night. Announcing your coming presence is a green laser outline of a bicycle leading the way with each stroke of the pedals. Some of the rear laser lights seem to be more of a gimmick than a safety feature, but the Blaze Laserlight really turns that tide. It is also just cool as can be.
This light is rock solid in its construction and materials. Fully waterproof, it is designed to be rustproof too. Powered by a long-lasting lithium battery, the run time between charges should out-last most rides. It offers several modes and some nice safety stuff tied to its electronics. NYCeWheels sent it to me because they know how much I like to review and experience (and report on) the latest in bike light technology.
My first experience with laser bike lights yielded much fun and also drew a lot of attention to our bikes (laser safety zone taillights). We would leave them on when parked so many could check them out. I always get a big laugh seeing so many people look to the sky (I guess thinking that aliens from outer space were their origin) after first noticing the lights on the ground. One night a young child bent lower and lower in an attempt to look right into the light and that stuck a chord with me. I was able to stop him, but it did bring a new respect to these powerful, focused laser beams.
Blaze says their light is eye-safe and has been certified to not cause any damage. That is good to hear, but still I think some caution should be exercised. They have added other features in this respect. One is that the laser light can only be turned on when the light is locked into its handlebar mounting bracket (so you can’t point it in random directions). Two is that it can only be turned on after the main headlamp is activated. Three (and not as much) is a switch-able full lockout of the power (more to keep the light from coming on when in your pocket or bike bag).
So anyway, enjoy what this Blaze Laserlight has to offer, but stay aware of the possible issues. What it offers is a 300 lumen headlamp (also with low and flashing modes) and the laser bicycle outline (that also can flash or stay on steady). USB charging with a magnetic connection to the light (more on this later) and a super strong handlebar mount that should fit most any bike. A quality lithium battery and only the best materials finish the bill of features.
When mounting it to your bike, you are instructed to have the laser bike outline hit the ground about 5-6 meters (just less than 20 ft.) ahead of you. At that point, secure it tight (with the Allen screw and wrench included with your light). This not only sets the green laser bike at a perfect spot, but sets your headlight beam position in a decent spot too. I found having it a bit farther away from the bike suited me fine though, (maybe 25 ft). The laser bike outline is close to 2 feet wide at this setting. It is large and bright enough for everyone around you to see it well when the sun is down.
In addition to the safety part while riding, I have been having a ton of fun with this Blaze Laserlight. During the ride it moves from side to side while you steer your bike, which helps catch the eyes of others. When you are behind other riders, the bike outline shines on their bike and legs with a cool effect. As you approach and prepare to pass them, the bike shines right in front of them, and believe me they know you are behind them, although at first they get kind of tripped out.
At one meeting of the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, I kept shining it on the chest of our Executive Director, Andy, during his talk. He never saw it, but kept wondering what all the fuss was a about. Everyone got a kick out it and the muted laughs were easy to read (for everyone, but not Andy). Sorry about that Andy. Of course I am planning plenty more of those high jinks in the future with this light. And like that night, I will be careful not to shine it in anyone’s eyes.
While riding I have also been on the lookout for pets and kids (in strollers too) to do my best to keep the beam from passing over their face. The beam itself makes the outline of a bike on the ground, yet you can see a very concentrated fine line beam in the center. If it is misty or dusty, that fine line leaves a cool, totally visible laserlight beam through the night air. I thought that part was fun to watch while riding. I think by now you realize the real reason for this light is to allow motorists and fellow people on bikes to see you coming before you actually get there. So with all the fun aside, its purpose is to get you seen to prevent anything bad during a night ride.
I use the flashing headlamp during the day too, in hopes of catching the notice of anyone who might miss seeing me. I feel this is so important to prevent left turners in front of you, to stop people coming from driveways and intersections on the right, and to make sure no doors get opened in your path. That bright flashing light during the day can make all the difference to get you on your way in one piece. No matter what kind of light you have, use them day and night for full effectiveness.
A bit more on the charging and switches is in order. The USB charge cord not only magnetically hooks to the light, those spots are lights that tell you your charging progress—and charge level when the cord is disconnected and the light is turned on. The switches work several ways depending on if the light is mounted to your bike or not. When not mounted, the laser light is inop, as is the flashing headlamp and the highest level of the headlamp. BTW, to get the laser to work at that meeting, I took the mounting bracket off the bike and hooked it to the headlamp (not really recommended).
Get your Blaze on, Turbo Bob.
“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.”—Elizabeth West.
Blaze on the web and Facebook.
NYCeWheels on the web and Facebook
Here are a couple videos I shot with the Blaze Laserlight