Gloworm was founded by Bruce Davey, a mountain biker and outdoorsman from Auckland, New Zealand, and his aim is to offer more affordable lights for riders who want to get out at night but aren't prepared to spend an entire paycheck on a lighting solution. Davey does all of the product design, sales and sourcing himself, while the products are manufactured in Asia under the watchful eye of Vaggelis Monogyios, the man behind the in-house production of Gloworm's lights. The company has grown quickly from its small beginnings in New Zealand, and Gloworm's lights are now available in most countries around the world. The very competitive price is obviously a big reason for this, but Davey is also quick to point out that his lights have the best weight-to-lumen ratio on the market. We spent a good amount of time using his 950 lumen X1 that retails for $189.99 USD, as well as the more powerful XS model that boasts a retina melting 2200 lumens and a $350 USD price tag.
• Lumens: 950
• GoPro, Velcro, switch adapter and O-ring handlebar mounts
• IP67 waterproof rating
• Three beam pattern options
• Two cell Li-ion battery, 2900mAh
• Colour: black anodized
• Weight: head - 58g, complete - 178g (actual)
• MSRP: $209 USD
XS Details:Light Heads
• Lumens: 2200
• Quick release handlebar mount, helmet mount, switch adapter
• IP66 waterproof rating
• Three beam pattern options
• Four cell Li-ion battery pack, 6800mAh
• Colour: black anodized
• Weight: head - 110g, complete - 330g (actual)
• MSRP: $369 USD
The X1's 32mm wide, 58 gram body is home to a single Cree XM-L2 U2 LED emitter, and it features an interchangeable lens system that allows you to customize the beam pattern between what Gloworm refers to as Superspot, Spot, and Flood options. The head itself is CNC machined, and it carries a IP67 waterproof label that means it's both fully dust-proof and can be completely submerged in water for up to thirty minutes at a depth of one meter. It's probably best not to take it into the bathtub with you, but Gloworm is confident that it'll stand up to any wet weather that you'll possibly ride in.
The X1's nicely made helmet mount sticks to your lid with an adhesive backing.
The 2200 lumen XS sports three Cree LED emitters, each one slightly smaller in size than the single unit in the 950 lumen X1, and the same Superspot, Spot, and Flood lens options can also be taken advantage of. The head itself weighs 110 grams, which is just under double of what the X1 comes in at, and it carries a similar waterproof rating that should see it be impervious to some pretty nasty weather. Gloworm has machined a number of cooling fins into the head, a step that helps to reducing running temps, and there's a built-in heat sensor that will automatically reduce the power if things get too toasty from sitting still with the light on for an extended time.
The X1 comes with an alloy mount with an adhesive backing for your helmet, as well as a GoPro compatible mount. The XS can be fitted with either a quick release handle bar or a helmet mount. Both lights come with an extension cable, and the Velcro backed remote switch is standard, offering you better flexibility for those on-off moments.
The XS' offset mount allows the light to sit directly over your stem.
The X1 is supplied with a 2900 mAH Li-ion battery using two Panasonic cells, giving it a run time of two hours twenty five minutes on maximum 'Boost Power'. The battery has a fuel gauge that displays how much charge remains, and coloured LED indicators show 40%, 80% or full charge levels. If used on the 'Special Dim' setting, a full forty-eight hours of light can be squeezed out, which means that you could potentially go weeks between charging if you're only using the light for commuting. The battery can be recharged in four hours using the smart charger. The more powerful XS boasts a 6800 mAH Li-ion battery using two Panasonic cells that provides a two hour run time at 2200 lumens. Charging time sits a five hours.
The quick release mount on the XS allows you to attach the light to your bars in seconds, although I struggled to get the Velcro remote switch to stick to the shot-peened finish of my Renthal handlebar. I also couldn't get the switch as close to my grips as I would like due to the 780mm width, and they'd need to be closer to 700mm to put it in range of a thumb. Adjusting the angle of the XS is easy - there's large degree of rotation that can be tensioned using the bolt on the mount. Fixing the X1 to my helmet was no problem due to my already installed GoPro mount, and this time the Velcro switch stuck itself to the side of my lid with no issues. I first tried fitting the battery pack to the back of the helmet, but there was just too much weight and it was bouncing around too much if I didn't go overboard with over tightening the helmet's retention system. Handily, the extension cable was long enough to store the battery in my coat pocket, the perfect solution as I don't always want to take a full pack if I head out for a quick evening blast.
The sleek mount of the XS takes up hardly any room on the handlebar.
Once everything was in place and I got to the trailhead, a few of my buddies quickly experienced the Medusa effect by looking my way - both lights are very, very bright. Group night riding can depend on your crew all using somewhat similar powered lights, otherwise you can end up riding in the dark, but also in your own shadow, which isn't ideal. I think most of the group experienced this to some extent, and I'm sure some went home after the ride considering a more powerful setup similar to what I was using. The range and the spread of the XS is huge, and when the battery of the X1 was in my pocket, the helmet mounted spot gave me none of the previous problems of the bobbing helmet obscuring my vision. Toggling between power outputs is a cinch, and it's easy to find the mode you want after a short period of prodding. Both lights offer a wide and even beam pattern that didn't leave me guessing as to what was coming up, which is always a good thing when you've got some speed behind you.
The XS' large battery didn't feel overly secure when strapped to my bike, although the rattling never did lead to it actually falling off.
The larger four cell battery pack that I attached to my down tube was always moving a little on rough stuff regardless of how tight I strapped up the Velcro, although it never actually escaped from its perch. I also couldn't get the Velcro pad for the remote button to stick to my Renthal bar for any longer than a photograph for love nor money, but Gloworm does produce a small, plastic switch mount than can be zip-tied to the bar which is available separately. The length of the remote switch cable on my bars continued to be frustrating as it didn't make it any more convenient than reaching all the way to the light itself to toggle between modes. Mounting the switch on the side of my helmet did make life easier, though. No reliability concerns popped up when it came to the performance of either the X1 or XS. Pinkbike's take:
|My only real issue was the remote switch, which only adds more complication than needed in terms of extra cables and fitting issues, and then the fact that to use it I always needed to remove a hand from the bar. Having said that, Gloworm's X1 and XS lights tick all the right boxes when it comes to output, reliability, and cost. The huge spread and range offered by the XS, and the miniscule X1 that adds hardly any extra weigh to your helmet, as well as the good value make them both winners in my book. - Paul Aston|