I have been given the chance to review some products from the C&B Seen Ltd range after reading one of their adverts in a MTB mag. The firm was totally unknown to me so I did some background research. C&B SEEN is a UK company which imports and retails some good quality Chinese lights. They also source their own batteries and accessories to bring to the UK cyclists an affordable and reliable high output light package with a proper UK warranty and good and quick customer service.
This is my first review of a C&B SEEN range product and this is for their 1200 lumens bike light and helmet kit.
What's in the box
CABS-1200 bike light and helmet kit
This came in a brown cardboard box with "bicycle light" and stylised bicycle logo printed on it. Included in it is the head light with a single Cree XM-L T6 LED, a waterproof battery pack and securing bag, a charger, a small bag with two glow in the dark securing "o" rings, a one metre extension cable and an elasticated head band. Everything looks good quality and I loved the green anodising! By the way, you have a choice of colours - green, blue or red.
Initial overview and feel
The light head has a CREE XM-L T6 LED quoted by the manufacturer to be 1200 lumens.
The light head supplied for the review was in a bright green and is made of anodised 6061 T6 aluminium and meets the IP65 waterproofing standards.
The light has a removable bezel, which has to be removed to fit their accessory diffuser lens (if required). As mentioned, this light is bigger (43mm OD x 63mm long) and weighs 136 grams (head/band).
Light on the right hand side is their smaller helmet light CABS-1200HMT which I will review later on
The head appears to have very good heat dispersion as the whole body warms up on medium or high.
Their supplied fitting is the common elongated "o" ring method which works well as long as it is very tight on the bar.
Two different sized glow in the dark "o" rings for different thickness bars or mountings are supplied.
The CABS-1200 could also be used as a headlamp with the enclosed adjustable headband. I have tried this on a Giro Hex and 661 Recon helmet and, on both occasions, the band would not stay in position unless secured with zip ties this may work on a road helmet as they are generally squarer at the front.
So if you intend to use this light as a MTB helmet light, I would advise you to buy their helmet mount or convert/adapt the headband.
The band is fine for normal headlamp use, ie work lamp, but a little heavy and bulky.
The 4400mAh battery supplied is enclosed in a waterproof rubber sleeve and is contained in a battery holster with two retaining velcro straps.
The two strap system gives a positive battery hold to your frame/bar or helmet. The battery pack size is approx 3½" x 1¾ x 1¾" (88 x 50 x 50mm) and 232 grams.
The battery is waterproof as demonstrated on their website, so rain should not be an issue.
A 9V -900mAh
A UK battery charger is enclosed, which will give a slow charge to the battery pack. C&B SEEN has confirmed to me that the 9V battery charger is perfectly fine to recharge their battery packs
Extension lead and diffuser lens (not included in kit), all female connectors have a soft rubber shield which give a waterproof and firm connection.
Manufacturer Data (latest)
CABS-1200 Lumen Helmet Light Kit
Operating Environment -20C - +50C
Operating V. 6V - 8.4V
Storing Environment 0C - +50C
Power Output High: 10W / Med: 6W / Low: 3W Pulse: 5W
Bulb Type XML-T6 LED
Battery Pack Waterproof 4 x 18650 Rechargeable
Lithium-Ion in Nylon Web Pouch for 4400mAh Total Capacity
Approximate Run Times High: 3 hr / Med: 6 hr Low: 10 hr / Pulse: 8 hr
Charge Voltage 8.4V ± 0.1V
Luminosity 1200 Lumens max
Switch Waterproof button switch
Bulb Life Span ≈≈ 2500 hrs
Weight 0.62 Kg
Material 6061-T6 Aluminium
High100% / Medium 70% / Low 30% Pulse 30& - 70%
Waterproof Standard IP 65
Usage Instructions & General Maintenance
: When the light is connected to power supply the switch glows green. It remains green whilst the power balance is
within the 70 - 100% range. When the balance drops below 70% the switch glows blue. When the balance drops below 40%
the light glows amber, and then, when balance drops below 15% it turns red, indicating approx 20 mn usage remaining.
Flashing red indicates imminent power down.
: To turn light on & off hold switch down for 2 secs. Light starts at low setting, single clicks will cycle through medium
and high settings. Double click in any mode will instigate pulse mode which is constant low with pulse medium.
: If water or dust is ingression the light body then replace sealing 'O' ring with provided spare. To prevent the
lens holder sizing to the light body thread should be lubricated twice a year with light lubricant.
A two second press of the switch is required to start the light in low mode - a single press will cycle you through the modes low/medium/high.
The flash is a hidden mode and is accessible once the light is on by quickly pressing the switch twice.
The flash, is a very effective pulse mode, giving you a constant low output with a medium pulse (none of the annoying strobe/fast flash often found on Chinese lights)!
Reverting back to a constant mode from the flash only requires one push of the switch. Turning the light off will require a two second push of the switch.
The light has no memory, so it will always start in low. The mode spacing I believe are 10w - 100%, 5w - 50%, 3w -30% and the pulse is a constant 3w with a 5w pulse
Riding with CABS-1200
The light was tried on two different bike handle bars a 31.8mm and a 25.4mm.
With the smallest "o" ring fitted on the smaller bar, the light moved every time I changed modes, which did not happen on the bigger bar with the bigger "o" ring, so this just down to sizing and this is just a matter of how tight the band is!
This can be easily sorted by increasing the OD of the bar with black PVC tape or a piece of inner tube!
A better option is to get a quick release mount. C&B SEEN list one in their accessories list, which I will review shortly.
See their QR clamp
The CAB-1200 for a single led light does give a wide and bright beam due to the size of the light but I decided to fit their diffuser lens to see what impact it had on the beam.
At first, I found their smooth bezel a little hard to unscrew due to a lack of grip on it,
which would benefit from grooves or flats to allow for better grip. Once the glass lens was swapped for the diffuser lens, I found the diffuser to be a good option in that it gave me a broader light without losing to much output.
The CABS-1200 still works well without it, so this is a personal choice.
With diffuser lens
Light with diffuser is on the left
I tried the battery pack under the stem and attached it on the top bar of my frame and on both instances this was secured firmly by the two strap system.
The CABS-1200 was also used as a bar light on the road during my commuting to work and did give good result.
The pulse mode is very good and is ideal for day light or night riding in lit up areas.
Trying to replicate what the eye sees at night via photos is not easy, so to help a little with your perception of the light performance here are the setting used during the beam shots.
Canon PowerShot SX110IS & SX320HS
Exposure: 1.6 seconds
White Balance: Daylight
Quality: Jpeg High
The grey item in the middle of the track is my rucksack 25ft away and the small tree/fence are 50ft away
Photos below are from the CABS-1200 with diffuser and CABS-1200HMT with standard lens.
I know that they are two different lights, but the beam is quite similar in their standard configuration and you can see what difference the diffuser makes!
Note both lights are fitted on the bar CABS1200 with diffuser and their smaller CABS1200HMT helmet light.
The reflective item in the middle of the track is my rucksack 25ft away and the small tree/fence in the back ground are 50ft away
The C&B Seen Helmet bar light was tested with my home made light sphere and a cooling fan was used between the readings
(please note there will be a small margin of error for the readings as the light was removed and repositioned on the sphere for the various readings).
As this is a home-made integrating sphere, I cannot make any true claims as how close my result would be to results coming out of a lab integrating sphere costing thousand of pounds,
but this does give a rough idea as how the light performed and enables you to monitor the output versus runtime.
The ambient light measured in lux in my "kitchen (lab)" was showing 88 Lux, position on work top 1.4 metre from the ceiling
The test/monitoring was started 3mins after initial turn on, which is in line with ANSI method of testing flashlights.
all bellow readings are in LUX and x 100 (ie 406 = 406000 lux)
During my rides and while commuting, I got normal battery light indicator function, ie green, blue, yellow, red and flash but this was not a continuous test, the light got switch on and off over a few days.
During my home tests, ie switch on high and monitor until the light switch itself off.
I did record some inconsistency this why, I have not mapped the time and the sequence the warning light did change.
All I will say is I had about 25mn left when the light start to flash red.
As you can see the discharge line is a flat so you output virtually will remain the same during your ride!
Good output level
Fully regulated giving over 2 hours 20 minutes of steady constant high output
Hidden flash mode
Very useable pulse mode
Choice of colours
On the battery supplied, my run times where a little shorter than advertised but still very respectable
Lower than expected lux readings (on my home home made IS)
no diffuser included
I could not achieve the run time quoted, but again for a fully regulated light running on a 4400mAh battery the run time achieved is good for a mid range light. From experience,
I know that in real life cycling you will get much longer run time as you are very unlikely to keep the light on high for the full duration of your ride.
Like many bike lights, I believe the lumens output is more a theoretical one and despite the fact that the CAB-1200 is bright,
I very much doubt if they are getting 1200 claimed lumens out of a single XM-L T6 LED, but again, who is, as most manufacturers are over inflating their Lumens output!
So to sum up the review, this is a capable bar light (for me better with the diffuser ) available in funky colours and able to give you a long enough run time with a CONSTANT high output for a decent price all that with the backing and guarantee of a UK business.
RRP £55 including UK postage (14/12/14)
Light send to me for review by C&B SEEN
Skyraider59 ( UK )
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