ThorFire Bike Lights—High-output & Low Buy-in

ThorFire Bike Lights—High-output & Low Buy-in.

This is everything that came in the packages—BL02 on the left, BL01 on the right.

I don’t know about you, but my head spins every time I see a person on a bike at night with no lights. Many just have the dimmest of taillights thinking that will keep them seen and light the way. Don’t think so. I’ll be the first to admit as a kid I rode countless night miles with nothing but an occasional moon to light my way (no reflectors either). Back then you had two choices (three if you count mine), a wheel turned generator set that barely glowed and taping a two-celled D flashlight to the handlebars. Things have really changed with bike light selections, road density and the lack of careful, observant drivers.

This BL02 from ThorFire packs a big punch. Well made too.

I’m not sure if money is a reason for those riders with no lights, but if it is, here is the solution. ThorFire lighting systems (I call it a system because they pack a cool laser taillight in the box at no additional cost) have put out an incredibly bright pair of headlights at a fee that anyone who can afford a bike in the first place can handle. The strong lithium battery is good for hours of riding time and all the needed goodies are in the box. There is no longer an excuse for riding dark.

The first thing I liked about these lights was that once I decided to try some, they were at my doorstep before the ’check’ cleared the bank. They are available on-line from a couple sources, including that big one that wants to start delivering with drones. I got mine by a truck that seemed to have the speed of a swooping, flying delivery machine. This company has many LED products for all kind of uses, yet the ones for bikes got to me. They will have more bicycle oriented items out very soon.

Just setting on the ground, the laser taillights cast an eerie pattern.

I got the single light (BL01) and double light (BL02) sets. These are complete with lithium battery & holder, wiring, charger, O-rings (to mount the lights) and a pretty good manual. Like I said before, you will find a free laser taillight in the box too, let’s talk about that first I guess. It runs on a pair of AAA batteries and is not the same quality level of their headlamps in a couple ways. These are more or less regular LED lights with a added twist. The laser part is called a safety zone light. These are two high-intensity focused LED lights that shoot red beams on each side of your bike.

The laser part is kind of a gimmick, but cool enough. The approaching cars won’t see it, but you and your riding friends will. The lights are all plastic and the taillight part is not nearly as bright as many I use. Still, with several blinking modes it will do the job (the laser lights can blink too). They hold to your bike with beefy O-rings and that is ok for these light-weight units. Unlike the modern electronics in the headlamps, to turn them off you need to toggle though all the modes, while the headlamps just require you to hold the button for a couple seconds.

Here you can see the small LED that does some big work. No focusing is involved—just lots of light. The BL01.

The headlamps are well built and made mostly of sturdy aluminum. The wiring appears well done too. They have 3 levels of brightness and include a blinking function too (way bright). The aluminum acts like a heat sink to keep things cool, yet when on high you don’t want to touch them until they cool after being shut-down. The switch on the back (remember I am talking about both headlights for most of this) is water sealed and has a good feel. Surrounding the switch is a light to tell you the charge left in the battery with different colors as the indicators.

The beam is un-focused and un-diffused. Not a big problem here as most LED headlamps are the same. Only two out of the many lights I have used (these were top-end European units) are focused with a flat beam on top, like cars and motorcycles. The beam the ThorFire lights project is fully round with most of the light in the center. It is up to you to aim the light in a way that works best for you and the surrounding world. At slower speeds point it down a fair amount, yet a bit higher as you speed up so you can see the road ahead well. When I use the flashing mode in the daytime, I set the light level to the ground so it really catches the eyes of all ahead of me.

The power button is on top, the back has a three color light to tell you how the charge level of the battery is doing.

When you first turn it on it goes to max output. The next push is for medium and then low. If you double toggle, that actuates the flashing beam (high-output only). When you hold the button it turns it off. This pretty much the norm for most good bike lights, and makes good sense as you use it. The run times are long with the high-capacity battery. We are talking 24 hours for the double and 57 for the single when set on low. Most likely you will use the medium beam and get 6 and 8 hours respectively. At high they are speced at 2 and 4 hours.

Lumen ratings———-BL01 (single)—–High (674)—–Medium (240)—-Low (85)

BL02 (double)—-High (1240)—-Medium (450)—-Low (150).

Weight (w/battery)—-BL01 (single)—12 oz.——BL02 (double)—14 oz.

The safety zone taillights are cool, but more for you and your riding friends, than the rest of the world.

There are a couple things to mention here. One is that the Velcro strap on the battery holder is designed well for large diameter bike frames and the such, but not so much for the smaller handlebars. You can modify it or add another strap of your own I guess. On several of the bikes I used them on I just put the battery in the front carry bag. The cord is long so the battery can fit anywhere that works. The charging unit supplied isn’t a smart charger. The instructions don’t cover it, but their tech squad told me about 5-6 hours is the correct time when the battery is flat of charge. Best to give them a 24 hour first charge, but only that time, don’t leave them plugged in more than that 6 hours if you can help it.

As far as when to charge, the built-in light (on the back of the headlight) will glow blue when all is well. It will go to yellow to tell you it is at maybe half capacity left, and when it hits red you are overdue for a recharge. There is an extra cord included to allow you to recharge one battery from another, which really doesn’t make to much sense to me, yet the option is there. Last up is the O-ring mounting. It just isn’t strong enough to hold the headlight solidly in place when you hit bumps in the road (making it tilt down). Two diameter sizes of O-rings come with each light. I am thinking about getting some beefier ones, yet in the meantime I just readjust the light every now and then. I also tried a cardboard shim under the O-ring that helped make it fit tighter.

It’s hard to photograph how bright they are. Check the videos I posted too.

These are very bright lights. The manual reminds you not to look directly into it. That includes the people and pets around you. As with any bright light, be responsible and smart. Turn it off or point it down when you feel it might harm others. Don’t touch it (or let others) if it has been on high for a while. These lights can save your skin, but keep in mind what else they can do that isn’t good.

Did I mention they are radically affordable? Turbo Bob.

“She who succeeds in gaining the master of the bicycle will gain the mastery of life.”—Frances E. Willard.

Just Google ThorFire for more info and ordering sites.

Here are the matching videos I posted.

 

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About Turbo Bob's Bicycle Blog

E-bike Enthusiast Vintage Bike Enthusiast
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