Monday, January 3, 2011

Product Review | Planet Bike Blaze

The Planet Bike Blaze One Watt light ... but where is the off switch?
Product: Planet Bike Blaze One-Watt Light with "Superflash."
Price: $45
Where purchased: REI
Use: Back-up Light for overnight brevets; urban commuting

I had high hopes for this light. Lightweight, bright, portable, a long run time on 2 AAs. I bought it last summer before I headed off to California for the Santa Cruz 1000K. I mounted the bracket on my handlebars and stowed the light as a back-up in my handlebar bag. If I used it at all during the ride, it was simply to rummage through the front bag at night. It saw no use as primary light; my Schmidt Edelux performed flawlessly.

Since then, I've used the light as a commuter light. It's easy to swap the mount on and off various bikes. It's not as bright as the Edelux, but it doesn't have to be to light the city streets. The one or two times I've used it in the countryside without the Schmidt  it has been adequate. However, I don't want adequate in a bike light; I want strong to very strong.

On Tony G's latest 200K, held on 1.1.11, the light got its biggest test to date. We were socked in by a heavy fog all day and we rode through moderate rain during the afternoon. I used the Blaze in flash mode during the day to increase my visibility for oncoming cars, and I switched it to a steady bright mode as darkness descended. The light wasn't very good on the wet roads, but frankly neither is my Edelux.

All good so far. Safely back to the ride finish, I put the bike in the back of my car for the two-hour drive home. About halfway there, I noticed the Blaze was still ablazing. When I attempted to turn it off, no luck. I cycled through the three modes (low, high, flash) and back to off. The beam remained on with the brightness of a standlight.

Is the light supposed to do that? Maybe that's how it acts when the batteries begin to run low, although all three modes still seemed to be plenty bright. Maybe it was the rain, although it did not appear any moisture had penetrated the light's seal. Maybe it was the extended use in flash mode.

Whatever the cause, I took it back yesterday to REI and swapped it out for a new one. I've read a few other complaints online about this light, usually involving the mount or the soft push button on top. Those have not been an issue for me. But a battery light that will burn up your batteries between rides is a real problem.


Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with your light. Both of my Planet Bike taillights stick on, off, or in or in flashing mode once they get saturated. Try putting your new light in a glass of water. My Edulux performed flawlessly in the rain. Joel

Jimmy Williams said...

I rode with a Planet Bike blaze light on the New Years Day ride too. I mounted it at the first control when I heard a local talking about the low visibility, and used to assist with that, like you did, Mike. I used it the rest of the day, with no problems. I've never had the issue of turning it off. It is not the brightest light I've used, but is a great back up, or just to use when you are finishing a ride at the end of daylight. I can't complain with anything I have purchased from Planet Bike, which includes front and rear lights, computer, fenders, saddle bag, and shoe covers. When a company makes good products, I tend to see what else they make when the need arises.

Iron Rider said...

Mike: I'm curious about the Edelux. A while back you blogged about water intrusion issues. YOu also posted a comparison between the E3 and the Edelux.Im shopping for a dynamo powered light and considering these lights. Has your opinion changed since those blogs?

Iron Rider said...


I'm curious about the Edelux. I've read your post where you talk about the water intrusion issues and the "showdown" between the E3 and the Edelux. I want to pick a dynamo loight and woul dbe interested to know if your concerns/opinions have changed.

Mike Dayton said...


I have another Planet Bike Blaze (an exchange from REI) but i'll only use this as a back-up. I have not changed my opinion on the Edelux. That is the way to go. I've seen it many times side by side with the Supernova, and I prefer its beam. My Edelux lights (I have two) have never leaked. Also, one jumped off the bike mount onto the road at full speed, but apart from a little road rash, is none the worse for it. Very reliable.

Enjoy / Mike / Raleigh