Bike Lights & the FL-1 Standard

November 17, 2018

Light & Motion is the first bike light company to adopt and certify every light to the FL-1 Standard, a testing protocol to scientifically measure a light’s brightness, run-time, and water/impact resistance.  This gives you the consumer an accurate and honest way to evaluate lights and allows us to honestly stand behind our products because they have been certified to perform.  When purchasing your next bike light, verify that the FL-1 icons are clearly labeled on the packaging to ensure accurate performance.  For full test results of both our lights and various competitor models, please visit WeTestLights.com

 

ANSI/NEMA FL-1 Standard Icons

 

Light power is measured in lumens – which is the total output of visible light.  We use an integrating sphere to accurately measure total lumens from each light and take this reading at 30 seconds after the fully charged light is turned on.  As this measures complete light output, you should also consider how the beam pattern will affect your riding experience.  For example a 1000 lumen light with a tight spot may seem very bright as those lumens are very concentrated, but a 1000 lumen light with a poorly designed reflector that spreads the light could appear too dim for riding.

 

 

Runtime accurately gauges how long a light will last on a complete charge.  Testing is calculated when total output diminishes to 10% of the initial lumen reading – please refer to complete lumen graphs on WeTestLights to gauge how lumens change as a light is being run down.  Also external factors such as cold weather or older batteries will affect runtime – testing is accomplished with new lights at room temperature with a fan keeping it cool (to mimic real world riding conditions)

 

 

Light & Motion is the only bike light company certified to withstand 1 meter drops on concrete. Each model is  dropped 6 times, once on each side, to ensure flawless operation.  Then they are submerged 1 meter underwater for 30 minutes for the FL-1 Ingress Protection test.  We feel 1 meter gives a very accurate representation of possible accidental drops from cycling such as when unstrapping the light from a helmet or handlebar.  No other bike light delivers this level of robust performance.

 

 

Ingress protection is measured after the drop test and determines the level of resistance to both dust and water.  The level of protection is rated by an IPxx (Ingress Protection) number, with the first digit referencing dust protection and the second water protection.  For example an IP54 rating means the light is dust protected (5) and resists splashing water (4).  Almost all Light & Motion bike lights are IP67 rated to be fully sealed from dust (6) and can withstand full water submersion up to 1 meter for 30 minutes (8).  If a bike light claims to be waterproof but is not IPx7 rated – be aware this is misleading the customer as anything less than ‘7’ is only water resistant.