To get this out of the way, buy that 40 dollar Chinese knock off bike light. I bought one, it was great, it did what I wanted it to do and was brighter than the surface of the sun. But, remember, you always get what you paid for and that is exactly what I found out on my last trip on the Huracan 300. My particular cheap bike light decided to shit the bed in what I can describe as probably the most inopportune time, a section filled with bears, overgrown trails, set ablaze by a controlled burn…. in the middle of the night. We experienced some chilly nights on this year’s Huracan resulting in completely zapping my battery dead. It could not be revived. This is where the Gemini Xera comes in.
On this same trip Sean had bought a Xera to use. At the hotel the night before the start of the race Sean was showing off his new light. I immediately noticed how small it was, wondering if it could pack the punch I needed to light up the night. At 950 lumens, the Gemini XERA LED Bike Light using a single CREE XM-L2 U4 LED emitter it was more than bright, about if not more bright than my knock off, even though it swears it’s 1500 lumens (yeah right). In the room he showed off how well directed the light beam was. It emitted a beam that almost seemed like it had side blinders which gave it a narrow focus about the width of a standard bike trail but spread out nice and evenly the further away you looked. It did have quite the range. I immediately bought one once I returned from the Huracan and was excited to give it a try on the streets of Atlanta
I commute every day to work by bike and sure, I probably don’t need this kind of light for inner city riding but I am on a kick of annoying people who park in bike lanes so I enjoy the brightness of this light and how easy it can penetrate into the souls of offending car drivers. There are 10 brightness levels at 10% increments with 3 pre set at 20%, 60% and 100%. I usually have mine set at 20% and it is more than enough for street riding. The light allows for you to customize to your liking through some button presses giving you flashing options as well. All this is wrapped in a rather nice looking 55g package.
The light is attached on a mount that is secured to your handlebars using a silicon o-ring. You are given two sizes in the box in order to accommodate different bar sizes. Also in the box is a rather convenient wire extender in case you want to place the battery back in a frame bag. On the base price set you are given a 2 cell battery which on low will last about 8 hours. Also included is a helmet mount. I opted to upgrade to the 4 cell battery for 30 extra dollars, which has really proven to be an asset for day to day commuting and mountain biking clocking in at about 17 hours. More than enough to last my week of commuting. The housing it comes in is durable and insulated. On some of my chilliest nights and mornings I have not run into any problems with draining or becoming inoperable. The battery back also has a rather hefty yet elastic velcro strap so you can put it on pretty much any bar on the frame of your bike.
At a price of 100 or so bucks for the 2 cell and $140 for the 4 cell this is an excellent light if you are getting started into night riding on trails or in the streets. I know that external battery lights can reach up into the four to $600 dollar range so this light is definitely a must have.
On the negative side of things I did have with the light is I had charged the battery pretty recently and I plugged it in and within a couple minutes the button turned red indicating that it was low on juice. I turned it off the rest of my commute and went about my day. On my ride home I plugged it in and it was green and lasted for several more days after that. I suppose it was just a fluke but curious to see if it happens again. Also, and maybe I’m just not well versed in all things Lithium