Well I finally got a chance to try out my new Jet Lites A-51. This is Jetlites entry into the LED market, and it is Made in the USA, 700 Lumens for $199 ...$229 if you want the most excellent Bar Mount which I purchased.
Specs from the web site.
720 Lumen LED
95g (3.3oz) Light Head
Dimensions: 1.58"OD x 2.38"
Beam color: 6500k/White
7.4v Lithium Ion
250g (9oz) Battery
IP-68 Rated thread lock waterproof connector
*For use with A-51 Only
Battery Run Times:
Run Times: 3 Hours High, 5.5 Hours Low, >12 Hours Strobe
So here is how it went.
Charging was easy, safe and confidence inspiring. The charger shuts-off when the battery is completely charged. I disconnected and reconnected and after a minute or so it shut back off. The charger can get warm to the touch while charging but it never got "hot". The chargers LED indicator is pretty easy to follow as it is printed on the the charger itself but the documentation indicates a green LED which is not on the charger. Looks like the docs and final product are a bit out of sync.
Set up was pretty easy, the handle bar attachment is best I have seen, easy and secure on, centered and adjustable.
Interestingly it interfered a bit with my garmin (short Stem) but I just loosened it up and rotated it a bit forward and it was fine.
I did have a small issue with the attaching the battery pack to the frame but I got it to work ok ... although not exactly the way I would want (of course my frame is Square which doesn't help so it is not most conducive), The velcro seemed a bit short but it was OK and will be fine when I put a bottle cage. It can also be setup up on the handlebar, but I am not a big fan of that. This could have all been pilot error. The documentation is sparse. NOTE : I did find the installation guide on line so kudos to that, but nothing in that about attaching the battery, I guess it is supposed to be idiot proof...what does that say about me.
The beam pattern is nice/difference a little less "hotspot / center" than the MagicShine , the center brightness is a little more spread out/smoother transition. It seems a little "Less Bright" than the MS, I think it is just the different beam pattern because according to the MTBR LUX test they are almost equal with the A-51 have a little more overall brightness. I know that is subjective, maybe I will get used to it. It did seem brighter than my TriNewt and size and weight wise the TriNewt is a beast compared to the A-51. I had no problem seeing the trail and I did feel that the periphery was fairly well lit.
Here is the MTBR beam pattern shot :
Here are my beam shots (not professional, always hardest part)...looking down from the gate at the top of Blackstar (sorry probably not that helpful) I did not do a great test. I will say that there was *much* more flood/spread that shows up but I do think it shows the smooth spot area, instead of a real "hot spot" with a quick "roll off. I will try to take a better shot later / next time and update
Here is a much more representative shot Also from MTBR
A few more Beam shots from an MTBR poster
JetLites A-51, anyone get one yet?
* Build Quality
* Good Warranty
* Great Connectors and Mounts, including the snap away helmet mount.
* Sealed Battery
* Lite Light Head
* Smart Charger
* Pretty light weight overall.
* Price per Lumen at $199
Areas for Improvement:
* Battery Mount : Just Need more / longer Velcro for oversized or square tubing.
* No Low Batter Indicator
Subjective: Brightness and beam pattern
Beam pattern is not the Hot Spot with faint flood, it is has a wider center spot with a more even transition. I am still getting used to that, it may take a few more rides.
Overall the A-51 is a 4 out of 5 particularly Price ($199) per Performance per Quality. I do think however I was looking for a little more "Umph" maybe I should have bought a brighter light? Maybe My eyes are getting old, but for the price, I think it would be hard to beat.
With that said I survived just fine on my Blackstar ride, I felt like I could see pretty well, I did not over run the light and I was flowing pretty good but I am not a night speed demon (although I did hit speeds between 20-25mph) and maybe after a while I got a little more used to the "smoother center beam". I will add for completeness sake I also used my MiNewt Helmet light combined as I always do in conjunction with my bar light. The duo together made a fine combination.
I didn't really miss the low battery indicator as I usually climb on medium and switch to High on descents, plus my night rides are usually less than 3 hours. I was out for 2:40 on the ride, some on medium, no sense of battery life issues.
It is so well constructed and lightweight that its a keeper for sure, and if I end up getting a brighter bar lite, I believe it will become my powerhouse Helmet light with its awesome helmet mount.
POST NOTE: JetLites contacted me about the "Small Filing Needed" (see Here) on the mount, I noticed that but I just thought that is was a really tight secure fit. I filed it, works great and they sent me a new "chute" since I scuffed mine up a bit, very cool upfront and proactive, so they get "insta-kudos" for customer service.
And JFTR : I am not affiliated with any product or retailer company, just a Joe Mtn Biker.
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