When you get this tail light out of it’s packaging, you notice how large it is. At 87mm x 50mm, it’s no skimp in the size arena. And for most applications where you’re going to be using a tail light, this is not a bad thing. It’s kind of the whole point of having a bright red light on the back of your bicycle. You don’t want anyone to miss coming up on you and this light is going to let them know you’re in front of them. This tail light also has the ability to be turned 90 degrees if you prefer your tail light to be viewed horizontally rather than vertically. I’m not that picky, but it’s there if you want it.
I wanted to see the light on, so I grabbed the batteries that it came with (such a nice touch) and went to install them. Dorcy needs to come up with a better way to get the clear face off of the base to insert the batteries. It is ridiculously difficult to remove this clear cover and the entire time that I was trying to remove it, I was trying to not break the tabs or cut myself. Just getting my fingernails in between the clear tabs and the base and putting pressure on the tabs to try and remove them hurt my fingernails (pansy!). Once the batteries were wrestled in, the light worked great. It was nice and bright and the reflective material helps the three internal LED’s illuminate the rest of the large body of the tail light.
There are three modes to this light: constant on, flashing on and off. I love this. Nobody needs to cycle through 10 different flashing patterns just because they are trying to turn their light off. The button to cycle through the light modes is on the backside of the case and is not the easiest to access. It would be nicer to have the button on the side of the case so that it was easier to access during riding. I know that not everyone adjusts their light while riding, but even if you stop and have one foot clipped in, you may not want to completely unmount and having this button more accessible would be more convenient.
The mount is easy to place on your bike frame / seat post and comes with a couple of rubber spacers if needed. The clip on the mount that holds the tail light in place is also easy to operate. Just press it down and slide the tail light on / off the mount.
The design of this tail light is in stark contrast to the Dorcy Hawkeye headlight. The headlight is a beautiful anodized aluminum piece while this tail light is all plastic. It’s interesting that these are the only two cycling light products offered by Dorcy and they are so different in design.
I’ll be using it over the next couple of weeks and, as usual, will update this post when I have some real life experience with it. Stay tuned and until then, check out Dorcy’s website for more information.
So after using this tail light a couple of times over the last few weeks, I’m left unimpressed. I’m not saying that it’s a bad light at all. It’s basic and it gets the job done and it’s what I expected. Nothing more, nothing less. I still wish that the button to turn the light off/on and change function were bigger and in a better location. This is my personal preference, of course, but I can’t see how this wouldn’t be more preferential to the average rider. Getting your hand back behind the light and finding the small button that sits flush with the back of the light was just inconvenient.
I didn’t notice any difference in the brightness of the light during my use over the last couple of weeks which means that the battery life is fairly decent for this light. I would expect as much with it only running three, small LED bulbs. Dorcy claims 100 hours with the light running steady and 200 hours when the light is blinking. Very respectable for a tail light.
Long story short (TL;DR, for those in the know), this is an average tail light for people that aren’t picky. If you don’t expect too much out of your light and you like Dorcy products (or aren’t particular about your brand), this light is going to work just fine for you.
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