A Spectrum Of Lights: Planet Bike Dual Blaze 1500 – by Grannygear
This is a continuation of a look at lighting for gravel/back road riding from Grannygear focusing on some off-the-beaten-path choices versus some better known brands. You can find previous posts on this subject by searching “A Spectrum Of Lights” in the search bar which will bring up all the posts in this series.
In this edition of this series Grannygear looks at a light from Planet Bike and Guitar Ted chimes in with his opinion on it as well. Thanks for reading!
What It Is: A 1500 lumen light with a solid clamp, 4 light level/mode settings, a solid case construction, and decent run times for 100 bucks? Sounds good, yes? Well, it is and then it isn’t. Here is what I found with this high output bike light from Planet Bike, but first, this is what the website has to say:
This twin beam bike light is bright! The Dual Blaze® 1500 utilizes two distinct beams of light to maximize lumen output and field of vision when you need to see the trail, path, or road. Two high ouput Nichia LEDs are powered by a Samsung 5000mAh lithium battery to deliver a whopping 1500 lumens of trail blazing light. It’s engineered with four settings so choose the power mode that best suits your cycling needs. We’ve added our famous Superflash strobe for daytime riding so vehicles are quick to notice you on the road from more than a half mile away even in peak daytime sun.
In the box is a light, of course, which looks to be well made with a metal case and some heft to it. It has twin LEDs and two optics with different beam patterns…flood and spot. There is a solid looking clamp, a charge cable, a small users manual, and that is about it.
At the back of the unit is a rubber boot covered USB C port. The power/mode button is easy to access and is easy to press and select modes. It is not illuminated.
I have used this now for several rides, typically leaving in the late part of the day and finishing at night, most of the time over dirt roads, but with some faster road riding. I got off to a late start because I had concerns with the effectiveness of the clamp/light interface as the *click* action of the light body into the clamp was so light and iffy that I requested some feedback from Planet Bike before I tried to use it. They did send out another light and while that one was slightly better, I never came to trust the mating of the light to the clamp. It never let go on me, but unless you were very certain you were ‘in there’, you could certainly lose the light on the first big bump.
Most lights I have used like this have a very solid *CLICK* into the mount and would take a good amount of thumb pressure to release them. The release on the lever to dismount the Planet Bike Dual Blaze 1500 takes almost no pressure at all.
Besides that, what do I think? Well here are my thoughts for the good and the not so good.
- The light is bright enough, especially on high, although I have no way of verifying the actual output level. Low is good enough for slow and non technical climbs. Medium is enough to cruise easy on dirt roads. High will allow for quite high speeds even on uneven roads.
- The light beam itself is a pretty tightly focused cone of light (on High) that reaches far down the road, allowing for good visibility for upcoming conditions.
- The mount is easy to fit to the bars and is far better than some rubber band thing. I never had it slip or move on me and I never really had to set it that tight on the bars.
- The mode button is easy to press and move through the modes quickly.
- It does not seem like a toy in that it is solid, not plasticky.
The Less Than Good:
- The Low setting uses one side of the light only which is the flood pattern optic. That makes good sense and the level of light is fine for slow climbs. But the pattern is very irregular and looks like you have leaves stuck to the lens, making for shadows and dark spots in the pattern.
- When on High, the cone shaped beam of light reaches out very well, but is also narrow enough to not let you see very well around the turn, and then juuuust before you have the bars pointed that-a-way. I only noticed this on winding fire roads and single tracks. On trails like that, especially the single tracks, I had to slow way down or ride by braille.
- Aside from that, the beam of light (in any static setting) as a whole is a bit unrefined with shadow areas in-between the bright spots. It’s just okay.
- The mount itself is solid. We already discussed the poor fit of the light to the clamp itself, but the other thing about the clamp is a wiggly sided to side motion when the light is actually on the bike. It’s enough to allow the light to point off center to one side or the other and with that narrow beam, the off-center pointing was noticeable. It also lets the light micro-bounce when riding so the light beam is a bit jiggly.
- You do have to roll all the way through all the modes to get back to High once you leave it and that includes a Strobe mode which I simply hate about any light (although most of them do this, even more costly ones). It is difficult and even dangerous to have that happen when you’re riding in the dark. However, if you tend to ride in flatter areas and you do not change modes all that much, then it’s less of a concern.
- The rubber boot cover for the charging port is pretty wimpy and does not stay put well, so I would not trust this in anything but a slight chance of precipitation (hence the IP64 rating).
Guitar Ted’s Take: The Planet Bike Dual Blaze 1500 is a light with a lot of promise, but as Grannygear has pointed out, there needs to be some refinement before it takes a spot on our handlebars away from some of the other lights we’ve reviewed here.
The mount on my example wasn’t quite as problematic as the one Grannygear had, but I agree that the ‘click’ in is very weak and I always am double-checking the light when I mount it to make sure it isn’t loose or not 100% into the mount. I also noticed that the light would not stay where I aimed it over gravel roads, and I would have to reach down and correct the ‘aim’ often during a ride, which is one thing I would not want to have to do.
The beam pattern is, as Grannygear says, “okay” on high, but I was not at all satisfied with the lower settings on the light and, frankly, that is where I would want to run it most of the time for longer duration riding. So, in the end, I was a bit disappointed in the light in similar areas that Grannygear was, and I agree with his following conclusions.
At The Finish: So, overall what do I think? Well it is not a terrible light in many ways. It is bright and the modes are reasonable for all round use, commuting, etc. It is bright enough for 25+ mph fire roads in the dark and then some. The beam pattern is about right for straight ahead riding. It would make for a good road bike light. But the mount is a bit of a miss, both in the way it barely clicks into the light and for the side to side wiggle.
The cost is okay at a hundy, but I would rather use that Amazon light, the BurningSun Bike Light we reviewed earlier. It is just as well made (at least on the outside), more solid in the mount, has a more refined beam pattern, and is one third the cost. It may not be as bright, but it was bright enough for sporty riding ventures.
So for me, I have a hard time recommending the Planet Bike Dual Blaze 1500 until it gets just a bit more refined. A re-mold of the clamp to get a more firm ‘click-in’ and to chase out the wiggles and some better optics would make this a nice light to own.
Till then…there are other options in this market that are a bit more compelling.
Note: Planet Bike sent out a few examples of the Dual Blaze 1500 light to Riding Gravel for test and review. We were not paid, nor bribed for this review and we always strive to give our honest thoughts and views throughout.