Cateye TL-LD610 rear LED light

 

A compact rear light with outstanding power efficiency. In the three years I have owned this unit I have charged the two AAA cells every couple of months and never had a battery expire while riding.

Being a row of five LEDs mounted on Cateye’s universal fitting, it can be mounted horizontally or vertically; horizontal is good for a pannier rack, vertical for a seatpost.

With a number of flashing modes and a steady mode, providing various levels of conspicuity, it can be set to suit the circumstances. For instance, if riding with a group of other cyclists, the steady setting won’t annoy them.

The availability of spare Cateye brackets means that one light can very easily be moved to other bikes. Extra brackets which are sold in bike shops for about the price of a cup of coffee. So if you have more than one bike, you don’t need to buy more than one light.

Whilst stowing the light isn’t a real concern for the sports cyclists or the recreational cyclist, for the commuter it’s an essential consideration. A problem with the TL-LD610 is that the power button is highly prone, being located in the centre of a convex surface. As a result, when the light is knocking around inside a bag or pocket it can be switched on accidentally as I found when I found my light on inside my bag or flashing through my jacket pocket. To prevent this I initially carried a small box to stash the light when away from the bike. I later discovered a neater solution: stretching a thick rubber band around the edge of the light to cover the switch means that it requires a much firmer press (through the rubber). This also affords some protection to the plastic case if the light is dropped on the ground.

 

Reliability:  6 / 10

Practicality:  4 / 10

Power efficiency:  10 / 10

Illumination:  9 / 10

Average score:  6 / 10

 

UPDATE December 2013: This light failed after six years of occasional use. Condensation got inside the plastic case and corroded the printed circuit board. There was no way of removing the front to let the innards dry out. Reliability mark has dropped from 8 to 6 as a result.