Lumicycle kindly sent us their re-branded LED3si lights, now know as Freeway. They too come with a battery pack that can be securely mounted to your bike and have an excellent quick-release mechanism that not only allows you to fit and remove in seconds, but also holds the light in place. The emitter used in the lights is unknown but there are three of them!
The construction is excellent as you would expect, with a solid feel and a slight brow to help reduce unwanted dazzling. There are four different modes to choose from with the maximum stated lumen rating of 850. This is a lot less than the alleged 1800 lumens on the Q5 but given that this exceeds the capabilities of the emitter (and the specifications on Cree’s website) I think we can assume it more like the Lumicycle’s maximum output. Again the beam setting is fixed with no zoom capability but as these lights are designed for road use, Lumicycle have tailored the beam to suit the expected environment.
We tested battery life by running the lights on the default, medium setting. This is broadly comparable to the settings we used on the other two lights in terms of output. Performance was impressive from ‘only’ a 2400mah battery. We managed 11 hours out of the lights which is astonishing. Our tests showed that according to the manufacturer stated battery capacities the Lumicycle lights were 11 times more efficient than the Q5 lights running a 18650 battery, and over 5 times more efficient than the T6 set. Interestingly they were only 3 times more efficient than the Q5 using AAAs – another indication that there’s some fibbing going on with our budget batteries’ capacity. According to the Lumicycle website you can even run these at full belt for 3 hours which would easily beat the runtime on the T6 at maximum output.
Brightness levels were good right across the range of power outputs. Only the centre of the beam on the T6 matches to the Lumicycle on brightness and there are significant differences in beam pattern. The Lumicycle’s beam is very even with no patches and a nice, smooth reduction in brightness across the board on our test. The benefit of this is more clearly seen with the images taken of the bikes. Even on the lowest setting you can see more reflection on the spokes furthest away from the centre than with the other lights which means you are more likely to spot hazards in your peripheral vision.