I’ve been riding for a while with the Blaze Laserlight, and I thought that I would add to my initial impressions. In particular, I was somewhat underwhelmed by the intensity of the laser pattern as seen from the rider’s perspective: here are some shots from a ride I took a few weeks ago. You can barely see the green outline of the bike,
although it is somewhat brighter when reflected back from a vertical surface such as the side of an SUV.
Granted both of the above photos were taken under the most unfavourable conditions, where there is a lot of background lighting, and my point and shoot camera adjusts exposure accordingly.
After thinking about this a bit, it was obvious that what the rider sees is highly dependent on the degree to which the road surface scatters the light in the backward direction. Laser light being what it is, if the road was a perfect mirror, the rider would not see the image at all since all of the laser intensity would be in the specular direction. Therefore, I took some pictures with a better camera at fixed exposure settings, which would be a fairer representation of the Laserlight’s performance.
As expected, the view from the front is by far the brightest image, which is why most of the images and video of the light are shown from this position. For this particular road surface, the view from the side is particularly dim.
Nevertheless, the image is highly visible to oncoming traffic, and in a very different manner than a regular bike light. I definitely get comments from pedestrians and cyclists when I ride by at night. No comments from motorists yet, but maybe that’s a good thing.
Here is a video taken under two different conditions: a medium dark street (Queensway at Windermere) and the brightest street I could find: Bloor at Bathurst, just by Honest Ed’s.
A couple of other comments:
- battery life degrades when it is cold, like all other bike lights. However, the light has no problem working at -15°C.
- the blink mode for the laser is much less intense than the full on, so I don’t think that I will use it at all.
- more than a few people have asked where they can buy this gadget.
- I see that Blaze has taken the trouble to ship some upgraded components for the light mount. Fantastic customer service, although I have had no complaints. Shipping thicker shims to fit smaller handlebars seems to be a bit overkill; nothing a few wraps of electrical tape wouldn’t fix.
- others have noted that it would be great to have the laserlight project to the rear. In this case, it would have to be red. I will note that the Blaze laserlight is superior in all respects to this other laser taillight that I’ve seen around town.
- There are now at least two Blazer Laserlights in town. Both of them were on a recent memorial ride.