This is an update to an earlier post about the new Planet Bike Blaze Micro 2W Headlight, and the updated Superflash Turbo.
Up until this point, my favorite headlights and taillights were the Blaze 2W headlight, and the Superflash taillight (non-Turbo). My prior tests indicated that the runtime of the Blaze 2W was better than advertised, and that the non-turbo version of the Superflash ran much longer than the Superflash.
These new lights are reported to have quite good runtimes, so I had to put this to the test. As with my other runtime tests, I use low discharge AAA or AA batteries for these tests, specifically either the Sanyo Eneloops, or the made in Japan Duracells that are allegedly the same battery.
Video with timelapse of the high beam and low beam tests.
Firstly, Planet bike appears to be more circumspect than in the past about claims of battery life for the Blaze Micro. Their website says that it should have 64 hours in flash mode. Several reviews have repeated this number, and have also talked about a 10h runtime in high beam.
Keeping in mind that runtimes using rechargeable batteries are typically lower than those with alkaline batteries, my measured runtimes for the Blaze Micro were underwhelming, and greatly inferior to the older Blaze 2W headlight. There is one difference in behaviour of this new headlight: after it fades out, it stays on in an intermittent flash mode for a while longer. This low power flash mode is totally different than the regular flash mode. The time lapse does not accurately capture this behaviour since I am taking only one frame every five seconds. My measurements of the runtime for the older Blaze 2W are in line with my earlier data on this light. The high beam test was run twice with different batteries, just to make sure that the Blaze Micro only runs about 5 hours; the reported figure is an average of the two runs. The low beam and flash mode tests were only run once each.
The other surprise is that the updated Superflash Turbo runs much longer than the older version. The older version of the turbo cut out abruptly after about 3-5 hours, whereas the new light fades out gradually over a 24 hour period. On flash mode, it does meet the claim of 100+ hours runtime, although it gets pretty dim at 100h.
Bottom line: the new Superflash Turbo taillight is highly recommended, since it has much superior runtimes than the old one. You can distinguish the newer light by the red rubber on/off switch.
When I checked MEC last week, all the Superflash Turbos were the new version.
I cannot strongly recommend the new Blaze Micro over the old Blaze 2W. As noted previously, the new light is smaller, and brighter with full batteries, and it is cheaper. However, the runtime is much shorter, and is more in line with the PDW Cosmic Dreadnought. It is possible that I got a bad example of the light, and I would be interested to see if others have a more positive experience with it.
Update: I see that this review from Urban Velo quotes runtimes of 5/12/60+ for hi/lo/flash, which are more in line with what I measured.