1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT- Mtbr.com
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    1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT

    The CABS-1200 is a single XM-L T6 small helmet light from a UK company

    The Light was send to me for review by C&B SEEN, a small UK company, based in Kent.

    Please note that despite the fact that this light was not purchased by myself, my review is done under the same format as for the one I do purchase.
    In my reviews, I try to expose the light weakness and strength but while being fair to its specs (no comparison to other products unless stated!).
    My reviews are done to share my own experience with other riders who may think of purchasing the same light.
    The lights I do review are not always a reflection of what I do prefer or do ride with as all I am doing is trying to give you un unbiased opinion of what product I have tried/reviewed here in the UK!

    I am no professional reviewer and so can only give you my own opinion based on my own experience and what I have tried.

    1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT-cbseen-7-.jpg

    If you have seen my first review of the C&BSeen bar light, you will notice that some of the accessories photos have been shared between the two review as,
    I did not see the point of photographing identical items twice.


    1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT-img_0012.jpg

    What's in the box
    CABS-1200 HMT helmet light kit.
    Again this light come in a brown cardboard box with "Bicycle light" and stylised bicycle logo printed on it. Inside is a foam inlay to hold and protect the various components of the kit. Included are the small black 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 diffuser lens, a one meter extension cable, a head strap and a helmet mount.
    1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT-cbseen-78-.jpg

    Initial overview and feel
    CABS-1200 HMT helmet light kit.

    At first glance every thing looks good quality. Cables are flexible and of good diameter, the connectors are tight and waterproof, the wire exiting from the light has a small rubber seal, anodising on both lights received is flawless, helmet mount and head band mounts have small ridges on the curved section which should help with the grip. The velcro for the helmet mount is very sticky and of sturdy construction. The headband is wide, thick and stretchy.

    1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT-cbseen-81-.jpg

    The light head is fitted with the CREE XM-L T6 LED, not the latest Cree out but still a good performer, the body is black anodised 6061 T6 aluminium (no data on the anodising) and come with a removable silver bezel.
    The bezel has some flats which facilitate its grip during removal. The light is a 38mm OD, 56mm long and weigh 103gr including the retainer glow in the dark "o" ring).

    1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT-cbseen-80-.jpg

    The fitting to the mount or handle bar is the common elongated "o" ring method. Worth mentioning is that the curved retainer bracket is lined with a ribbed rubber pad to give more grip.
    1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT-cbseen-66-.jpg

    The head appears to have very good heat dispersion as the whole body warms up pretty equally on medium or high modes.
    The head is waterproof to IP65 standards and the switch and battery gauge are situated on the back.
    1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT-cbseen-65-.jpg

    An accessory plastic diffuser lens was enclosed to give a wider spread of light. The fitting of the diffuser requires the removal of the light bezel, glass and "o" ring.
    Refit is a little fiddly as you must ensure that the lens pattern runs vertically.
    Instructions are given on the C&B Seen website on how to best achieve this!
    The diffuser as expected gave a small reduction in the light output and transformed the beam from a round spot to a rectangular shape (see photo).
    1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT-cbseen-45-.jpg
    1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT-beams.jpg

    on the left CABS1200HMT with diffuser on right CABS1200 (diffuser was re-adjuster after the photo to get the beam horizontal)

    The helmet mount has a 15 inch long buckle less velcro strap which in most cases will require trimming.

    1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT-cbseen-11-.jpg1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT-cbseen-51-.jpg

    An elasticated head band with central support strap is also supplied in case you want to use the light as a work lamp.
    1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT-cbseen-60-.jpg1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT-cbseen-61-.jpg


    The 4400mAh battery is enclosed into a waterproof rubber sleeve and is contained into a battery holster with two retaining velcro straps.
    The two straps system gives a positive battery hold to your frame/bar or helmet.
    The battery pack size is approx 3" x 1" x 1" (88 x 50 x 50mm) and 232 grams.
    A little heavy to be attached to your helmet, but can be placed in your jersey pocket or in your ruck/camelback once coupled up with the extension cable.
    The battery is waterproof as demonstrated on their website, so rain should not be an issue.

    1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT-weight-1-.jpg

    The helmet kit: helmet mount, light head and battery will add 363 grams to your lid if the battery is attached to it.

    1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT-cbseen-49-.jpg

    A 9V-900mAh UK battery charger is enclosed. This 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.


    Manufacturer Data (latest)
    CABS-1200 Lumen Helmet Light Kit

    Product Features

    Operating Environment -20C - +50C Operating
    Voltage 8.4V
    Storing Environment 0C - +50C
    Power Output High: 10W / Medium: 5W / Low: 3W
    Bulb Type XML-T6 LED
    Battery Pack 4 x 18650 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion 4400mAh
    Run Time High: 4hr / Medium: 10hr / Low: 20 hr / Pulse 15h
    Charge Voltage 8.4V } 0.1V
    Luminosity 1200 Lumens
    Switch Waterproof button switch
    Bulb Life Span ≈≈ 2500 hrs
    Lamp Weight 96 grams
    Material 6061-T6 Aluminum
    Waterproof Standard IP 65

    Usage Instructions & General Maintenance

    Switch
    When the light is connected to the 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 red. When the balance drops below 30% the light glows flashing red.

    Modes
    To turn light on and off hold switch down for 2 seconds. 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.

    Waterproofing
    If water or dust is ingressing the light body, then replace sealing 'O' ring with spare provided. To prevent the lens holder sizing to the light the body thread should be lubricated twice a year with light lubricant.



    Settings
    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% and 3w -30% and the pulse is a constant 3w with a 5w pulse.

    Riding with CABS-1200 HMT

    The light is fairly small and light, and it was positioned on the front of my helmet to make it less prone to catching low branches. No instructions were supplied as how to fit the helmet mount. This puzzled me for a minute or two until I realised that the strap has to be looped through the second slot on the helmet mounting and then secured back on to the strap. This worked well and looked more sturdy that some of the buckle-type straps included in some of the Chinese lights. Once the light was turn on and cycled to high and adjusted, I was pleasantly surprised how far the beam reached, this typical of the single LED fitted into a light with a reflector, the CAB-1200HMT did give you a good throw with a fair peripheral spread for a single LED light. The tint was on the cool side of neutral and worked well. The light like most single led lights with reflector and clear lens did have a hot spot clearly visible if the light was adjusted in your close vicinity, much less visible if pointing further away. I did try the diffuser which converted the beam from a round spot to a rectangular bar giving a wider beam, but to the expense of losing some of its output. This was taken off later on and I went back to the original configuration, it was nice to have the choice.
    1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT-img_4522.jpg

    The battery pack enclosed with this kit is the 4 cells configuration.
    For an helmet light this is neither small or light so careful placement will be required so as not to unbalance your lid too much.
    The light head, mounting and current supplied battery will add 363 grams to your lid.
    For some this may be too much and the battery will be positioned in their back pack or jersey!

    C&B Seen have provided for this as a metre extension lead is also supplied.
    1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT-cbseen-9-.jpg
    I will mention in this review another item sent to me for review was their CABS-BATTCASE helmet battery case. This for me was a better option due to it lower profile shape.
    1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT-cbseen-5-.jpg
    You can see fitted to the back of my helmet. I carried some test with two PLUZPOWER 3400mAh, I still got 1h33mn on continuous run on high mode. see other review.

    Despite the claimed 1200 lumens output, this was not enough for me to ride comfortably at speed on some of my local trails unless accompanied by a bar light. for more spread.
    The CABS-1200HTM was also used as a bar light on the road during my commuting to work and did give good results for a single LED light similar to their CABS-1200 (see other review).
    The pulse mode again is cyclist designed one and a nice brake from the usual Strobe or fast flash usually encounter on Chinese made lamps. This ideal for day light or night riding in lit up areas.
    1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT-imag1570.jpg1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT-imag1571.jpg

    The photo was taken while in pulse mode but with their CABS-1200, as the light have virtually the same outputs, I felt it was unnecessary to take more photos



    Home test
    The C&B Seen Helmet 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 78 Lux, position on work top 1.4 metre from the ceiling, a little less than its bigger brother

    The test/monitoring was started 3mins after initial turn on, which is in line with ANSI method of testing flashlights.

    Initial reading 3mn before the test were 389000 lux with the C&BS supplied pack and 394000 lux with the PluzPower batteries

    Note figures are in LUX not LUMENS
    1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT-graphblk.jpg

    I did carry out another further test with both batteries and I got exactly the same time 2h 40mn

    From flashing red warning to turn off, I had between 30 to 60mn (pink section) according to battery pack used.
    Like with every lights I would advise you to do a rough test to get an idea of how much time you have before turn off as these lights will not give you any warning!
    (This is vital data for you to have once on a ride, specially if you are running just one light, which I would not advise to do, do ride with two lights! so if one do run out of battery, you still have one going!

    1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT-runtestblk.jpg

    The graph is interesting as you can see that by using the C&B Seen twin battery helmet box with high amperage and high quality batteries will still give you 1h33 of fully regulated continuous high beam. This was fine for my usual 2H+ club rides, but the light was managed properly, ie not used on fire road or wide trails!


    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
    Manual setting
    ISO: 200
    Exposure: 1.6 seconds
    Aperture: F4.0
    Focus: Manual
    White Balance: Daylight
    Quality: Jpeg High



    (NOTE THE LIGHT IS FITTED ON MY HELMET AND THE ONE YOU CAN SEE IN THE PHOTO IS THE CABS1200 BAR LIGHT WHICH IS TURNED OFF!)
    1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT-cbseenhl2.jpg
    CABS-1200HMT medium
    (NOTE THE LIGHT IS FITTED ON MY HELMET AND THE ONE YOU CAN SEE IN THE PHOTO IS THE CABS1200 BAR LIGHT WHICH IS TURNED OFF!)
    1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT-cbseenhl3.jpg
    CABS-1200HMT high

    (NOTE THE LIGHT IS FITTED ON MY HELMET AND THE ONE YOU CAN SEE IN THE PHOTO IS THE CABS1200 BAR LIGHT WHICH IS TURNED OFF!)

    ******************

    The two photos below are with the two CABS: the CABS1200 HMT on my lid and the standard CABS1200 one on my bar.
    1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT-cbseeng2dhl2.jpg
    medium
    CABS1200 HMT on my lid and the standard CABS1200 one on my bar
    1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT-cbseeng3dhl3.jpg
    high
    CABS1200 HMT on my lid and the standard CABS1200 one on my bar.
    1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT-img_0029.jpg
    Helmet light is fitted with the C&BS helmet battery box, much better due to its low profile.
    You will not loose much run time if you use high quality/high amperage 18650 batteries.

    Photos below are from the CABS-1200 with a 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!
    1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT-cabs1200hmtl.jpg



    1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT-cabs1200hdif.jpg1200 lumens Helmet light kit UK mini review of the C&B SEEN CABS-1200 HMT-cabs1200hmth.jpg






    For/Against
    Please note that some of the For or Against may be reversed for you as every one has slightly different criteria.

    For:
    small size head
    good throw (for single LED light)
    good output level (for single LED light)
    fully regulated giving over 2.5 hours of steady constant high output on stock battery but was unable to achieve the advertised 4h
    lots of accessories included
    hidden flash mode
    very useable pulse mode
    easy interface
    2 years warranty (6 month battery)


    Against:
    Lower than expected LUX readings
    On both batteries tested, I was unable to get close to the 4h advertised
    battery included is not specifically designed for helmet use
    The light does not give you any warning before switching off and you are unable to see battery gauge once fitted on your helmet.
    I would like to see a warning via the beam a few minutes before automatic turn off).
    *

    If you do decide to make a comparison with other lights (which I am not trying to do), please do it with "like for like"
    ie single LED light and in relation to what you can get here in England as this is a UK review.

    So to sum up this review: a capable single LED helmet light with many accessories and with the backing and guarantee of a UK business. (important to UK cyclist) .

    Despite the slightly lower LUX reading than its bigger brother, I do prefer this light to their CABS-1200, you also get more accessories with it and can run it as a bar light if you wish!
    The run time I got did not matched the advertised one with only 2hours 40mn on constant high, but in my book, it is still very respectable and for many will be plenty!
    Like many bike lights, I believe the lumens output and run time given for their CABS-1200HMT is more a theoretical one
    and despite the fact that it 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!
    What I like with the C&BSeen lights is that they are fully regulated which means that you get a constant high output from the time you switch the light on to the time the battery runs out.
    This is not the case with many of the cheaper lights where the original output start dropping very quickly!
    But Beware, this will not give you any prior warning as to when the light will switch off, so monitor/test your own battery run time!

    I would also take this opportunity to advise anyMTB'ers to use a two lights set up for their own safety.

    RRP 55 including UK postage (21/12/14)
    I believe that for the moment they are only retailed in the UK.
    I understand from their website that their lights are Chinese made from reliable manufacturers and do come with a full UK guarantee as well as UK after sale service.

    Skyraider 59

    C&B Seen have just launched a twin XM-L wireless light which I hope to be able to review for you in 2015
    Last edited by Skyraider59; 12-21-2014 at 07:02 AM. Reason: photos upload

  2. #2
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    nice test!

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