One of the earliest kickstarter projects that I backed was for an American made high intensity bike light. The campaign ended in Oct 2012, with a projected delivery date of January 2013. However, the delivery was repeatedly delayed, and in the end I did not get anything for my initial $161 US pledge. However, just a couple of months ago I received an email that the original vendor was starting to sell a second generation version of the light. The only compensation for original backers was a discounted price. I took the chance of throwing good money after bad, and after payment of an additional $67.50 I received the light in short order.
Inside the box, the light with integral mount and two batteries.
The light looks solid, although there is a bit of the homemade feel to it.
We’ll see how long this plug attachment lasts.
The light weighs 255g with the mount.
Here it is mounted. If you use the appropriate amount of silcone wrap, it stays in position pretty well.
The mount is part of the light, so when you take it off the bike, all that is left is the silicone wrap.
Here is the beam pattern.
Compare this with a Planet Bike Blaze 2W.
Or the Ixon IQ Premium.
The last time I compared several headlamps, the brightest one was the PDW Lars Rover 650. The beam pattern is circular, and I’ve set a shutter speed and aperture so that just the central hotspot is visible.
Now the Oculus at the same camera settings, on the brightest of five settings.
By eye, the brightness of the Lars Rover 650 at its highest setting (nominally 650 Lumens) is between the 2nd and 3rd brightness levels for the Oculus. As another comparison, the Oculus on the second lowest level is about equivalent to my Lumotec Eyc dynamo light.
The beam pattern of the Oculus doesn’t have the sharp horizontal cutoff of the german lights. It looks like five overlapping tightly focused beams. The upper two look like longer distance spotlights, and the lower row of three fills in at closer distances. It is a very effective beam pattern.
In summary, the Oculus puts out an impressive amount of light. Somewhat surprisingly for a light that was originally designed four years ago, the performance/cost ratio still appears to be higher than other comparable lights, such as those from Light and Motion. (The retail price of this 1500 lumen light is $150 US.)
However, the long term durability of the light is unknown as you are essentially buying a light from a home builder.
If you are one of the original Kickstarter backers, there’s not much to be said. Kickstarter gives no guarantee that the items promised are actually delivered. Given that at least some of the backers got their lights, I wouldn’t put this campaign on the level of the cooler, or the Pebble watch. If you never got a light, you can contact Barry, and you’ll be given the same options as I had.
On a somewhat related note, I went over to Hoopdriver Cycles and I saw that Knog is now selling the retail version of their Oi bike bell. The small bell in particular is both louder and more sustained than the ones I got from Kickstarter. I guess than we Kickstarter backers are a bit out of luck on this campaign as well.