Dorcy sent me their $55USD Hawkeye LED bike light to review. Unfortunately we’ve reached the time of year in Canada where to get truly dark conditions you have to be up between 11pm – 5am. I am usually in bed early and not getting up at 3am to test a bike light! So I figured I would post some initial thoughts now until I get an opportunity to do some proper testing come the fall.
I’ve had some goofy requests for reviews these last few months and not gone through with any until now. What got me interested in this product was the claim it had a vertical cut off so that it didn’t shine a powerful beam of light into the eyes of on coming riders, peds and drivers. That’s a rare, but very important feature in a bike light so I decided it was worth checking out if this light delivered on that.
The first thing you notice when you pick up the Hawkeye is that it isn’t small or light. It’s over half a pound and quite bulky – 12cm x 8cm x 4cm.
The metal body of the light comes our of the bike bar mount easily and is quite attractive. If I was selling this light I would throw away the bulky and ugly bike mount and use a simple o-ring mount to attach the metal light body directly to the bars. It would be lighter, cleaner and more pleasing to look at.
One nice feature of this light is that it can be used as a flashlight off the bike.
The power button on the rear of the unit is easy to use with gloves on and cycles between On-Flash-Off modes. Flashing bike lights are evil so don’t use that mode! 😉
The bike mount will attach to any handle bar and is easy to use.
The graphic above from Dorcy’s website shows what they see as the benefit of their lights’ beam vs. the typical spot LED bike lights being sold.
The Hawkeye does deliver a rectangular light pattern as advertised. Reasonably wide and with a vertical cutoff. It also throws some light down on the road closer to the light for dodging potholes. I’m standing ~16′ away from the side of the building.
I had a PB Blaze 2W light handy for comparison that puts out a much tighter beam of light, is less bright and doesn’t have a vertical cut off so you put as much light up into the trees and into people’s eyes as you do down on the road. I have faced a lot of these lights on my dark commutes and they are blinding.
At first glance it seems to be a decent option for a commuter bike light. I’ll put it through its paces and compare it to Sharon’s B&M Ixon IQ battery powered light and see how it compares. You’ll have to wait a few months for that to happen. At the moment it’s light out pretty much any time I’m likely to be on a bike! 🙂