Verdict: 
A small light with plenty of modes to cover all eventualities
Weight: 
139g
Contact: 

The Meteor Vortex Pro is one of the latest lights from Moon and it sees a decent hike in lumens matched by some impressive burn-times. Nine mode choices could see you really stretch out that battery life too.

The Vortex Pro is quite a small unit compared with a lot of the lights on the market today, especially those that boast an output of 900 lumens, as the Vortex Pro does in its Boost mode.

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It uses a single Cree XM-L2 LED and what looks to be a simple lens and round concave reflector to deploy the light in a very torch-like way: a central spot which Moon claims has an angle of 17 degrees before fading out to 80 degrees.

It's not perfect for road use where a wider, flatter beam is better to reduce the chances of dazzling oncoming traffic, but angled down I didn't seem to irritate anyone while still getting the light shining up the road. You need to have a bit of common sense and courtesy with the lumen output too.

Moon Meteor Vortex Pro Front Light - side 2.jpg

You get four solid modes: 700/400/200/80 lumens, plus give the button a double tap to get that Boost mode I've already mentioned.

On main roads you can easily get away with the 400-lumen setting which also has an impressive 4.5-hour burn-time. There is enough light there to be able to see a decent distance ahead and pick up potholes and the like, though if I switched onto the back lanes I'd step that up to the 700 lumen, especially if things got a little twisty.

Each mode is selected by pressing the top button and you cycle from bright through dim, although the light does have mode memory so whatever mode you turned the light off in is the one it comes back on in.

Moon Meteor Vortex Pro Front Light - side.jpg

The mode display changes colour to let you know where you are, and sitting just in front of that is the battery display which changes from blue through red as the power drops.

Moon keeps the flashing modes separate, which I like, so you are never scrolling through a disco on a technical back lane to get to a steady beam.

You press and hold the button for a few seconds to swap from steady to flash, and then you have another four flashing modes plus an SOS setting.

FL1 and FL2 are simple flash modes with 20 lumen and 100 lumen respectively, with FL3 offering a 400-lumen flash while the LED stays on at 20 lumen output. It's similar to Exposure's pulse mode where the light never actually goes out.

DF stands for Day Flash and it is a double shot of 400 lumens, plenty bright enough for you to be noticed on a sunny day as you filter through traffic.

All of the burn-times here last for absolutely hours too.

> Read more road.cc reviews of front lights here

The button is a little on the small size, plus it is quite stiff which did make changing the modes a little bit of a faff on the fly.

Resistance to the weather is always a concern for use in British weather. The Meteor Vortex Pro is rated to IPX4, which basically means it'll withstand splashing water from any direction. Alongside riding with them in the rain, I also like to give all the lights I test a good soaking from the bathroom shower to replicate really heavy rain. The Moon sailed straight through with no water entering the battery compartment, lens or charging port.

You'll find the charging point underneath and it uses the small USB type found on most mobile phones. It's protected by a small rubber cover.

Charging from a flat battery takes four hours. Once full capacity is reached, the light reduces things down to a trickle charge to reduce the risk of damage.

The light itself is pretty robust. The front half of the body is made from aluminium, which easily resists being dropped onto the road without issue. I would like to see a better warranty though: one year for workmanship or material defects and a mere 120 days for the battery doesn't seem long enough to me.

Fitting the light to the handlebar is a simple affair, with a bracket that uses a rubber band style clamp. The neat thing is the little nub that you fit the rubber band around is hinged, so the bracket can be used on any shape bars, even aero wing style. It's a snug fit too, and sees very limited slippage, though you might get a touch if the road is really rough.

Price-wise, £69.99 is pretty good for a light that chucks out this much power. The recently tested Niterider Lumina 900 Boost costs an extra £15, plus the Vortex is the same price as the 600-lumen Ravemen PR600.

For the whole package I'd say the Moon offers a sensible price for what you're getting, and even putting the few little niggles aside it makes a great general purpose light.

Verdict

A small light with plenty of modes to cover all eventualities

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Moon Meteor Vortex Pro Front Light

Size tested: Dimensions 30 x 31 x 111mm, 900 Lumens

Tell us what the light is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Moon says: "The Vortex front light delivers 900 lumens of output from a Cree XML LED, which features a rich powerful beam, ideal for all seasons, whether your riding off road on your mountain bike or racing on your speed machine. It features an 84 degree total beam angle, so you can see anywhere and everywhere. This powerful front light is ideal for all cycling uses and can even be operated using a wired remote control. Featuring side visibility and a high precision optical lens, rapid charging system and a handy remote control, this light gives you full visibility of the road in front of you. Using its quick release mounting system, it's never been so easy to install your light."

The Moon Meteor Vortex Pro is a very good light for the money offering plenty of power and decent burn-times for such a small unit.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?

Moon lists:

1 CREE XM-L2 high brightness LED

CNC Aluminum heat sink light cap

Mode memory function

Day flash mode

Boost mode, 4 steady modes, 4 flashing modes, SOS mode

Quick release rechargeable Lithium ion battery (3.7V 3350 mAh)

Quick release universal bracket (fits all round and AERO style bars)

Mode indicator

Low battery, charging and fully charged indicator

Automatic fully charged cut-off system

High precision optical lens

Side visibility

Recharge time 4hrs

Water Resistance (IPX 4)

Mode Lumen Runtime

BOOST 900 1:45

MODE 1 700 2:30

MODE 2 400 4:30

MODE 3 200 9:00

MODE 4 80 22:00

FL 1 20 80:00

FL 2 100 24:00

FL 3 20/400 18:00

DAY FL 400 48:00

SOS -- 90:00

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
7/10

A lot of modes that are easy to navigate but the button is quite small and stiff, making it tricky to operate on the fly.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
8/10

The band bracket is a clever design allowing it to be used on round and aero shaped bars.

Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
9/10
Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
8/10

A claimed 2.5 hours for 700 lumens is pretty impressive, and after a few charges I got close to that on most occasions.

Rate the light for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the light for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the light for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the light for value:
 
7/10

A light with a 900-lumen boost for £70 is pretty good, especially considering the quality.

Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose

The beam pattern could be a little better but it offers plenty of usable light on and off-road.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

The clever bracket.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

Small button.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes

Would you consider buying the light? Yes

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

The Meteor Vortex Pro is a compact package with decent output and burn-times and what looks to be a good build quality, all for a sensible price.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 38  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: Kinesis Aithein

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed

Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.

3 comments

Avatar
pdw [64 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I bought one of these for use as an off-road helmet light.  Overall it's a great light, but two minor niggles.  Firstly, it's often sold as having a replaceable 18650 battery.  In fact, it's a proprietary battery (basically an 18650 with both terminals on one end of the battery), which means you can only use Moon's own batteries which are quite hard to come by.  Still, the ability to carry a spare battery to extend runtime without more weight on your head is a bonus.

Secondly, the included helmet mount only has very coarse settings for angle.  The light has a fairly tight beam, which is great for a helmet light, but means that getting the angle right is critical.  For me, one position on the mount is too low, and the next click up is too high.

Merlin have these lights for £45, although you have to Google for it.  The site search only finds the less powerful non-Pro version. 

Avatar
Disfunctional_T... [225 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

The best bike light is a regular flashlight... specifically the 1,000 lumen Nitecore MH10 ($45) with an Exposure Quick Release Mount plastic bracket ($20).

It is USB rechargeable, uses a standard 18650 battery, puts out a lot of light, and is more compact than most all of the dedicated bike light options.

Avatar
Welsh boy [389 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Disfunctional_Threshold wrote:

The best bike light is a regular flashlight... specifically the 1,000 lumen Nitecore MH10

The problem with that is the big difference between the High (1000 lumen) and next setting (240 lumen) plus the fact that the high output is on a 5 minute timer before it automatically drops to the lower setting means it is not very good as a bike light.

Bike lights have a specific design characteristic for a very good reason.