Blackburn Flea USB + Solar lights: Parts Check

May 7, 2010 at 16:31
by Mike Levy  
If you are one of the lucky few who get to start your day with a ride into work and finish it with a ride home, you'll want to have a look at Blackburn's commuter focused lights. The Flea front and rear lights are not only bright and extremely small, they also feature a novel solar panel charging option.

Read on...
Blackburn Flea lights
Blackburn Flea lights


Blackburn's Flea lights aim to be not only the lightest and brightest miniature commuting lights around, but also one of the most convenient to use and charge. Both the front and rear lights incorporate built in Li-Ion batteries as opposed to the standard heavier NiCad units that you can find on most other commuter lights. On top of being one of the smallest lights around, the Flea's also feature a novel solar charging panel in addition to the included USB port charging adapter.


Blackburn Flea headlight
Blackburn Flea headlight


The pint sized front light is built around four white Nichia LED's that put out a claimed 40 lumens. While certainly not enough output to tame your local forest trails, the Flea should be great for your early morning or late night commute. The LED's that Blackburn has equipped the Flea with are much easier for drivers to spot due to their higher intensity than older style halogen bulbs. The front Flea features three modes to choose from at the push of a button: standard mode, a highly visible flashing mode, and overdrive. The Flea's overdrive setting is a large step up in lumens when compared to regular mode, but it does bring the burn time down to around an hour. When set to flashing, the Flea has a 5 hour life span, and will run for 3 hours on standard.


Blackburn Flea headlight in pink
Blackburn Flea headlight in pink


Flea Front Light Details

• Four Nichia LED's
• 40 lumens
• Three modes: standard, overdrive, and flash
• Built in Li-Ion battery
• Includes USB adapter and Solar charging panel
• 3-5 hour burn time (1 hour on overdrive)
• Weighs under 20 grams
• MSRP $50.00 CAD


When it does come time to recharge the light, you have three options two choose from. Included in our package (and also available separately) was both the novel solar panel and tiny USB adapter. The small USB adapter should appeal to those who use a computer for work frequently, plug it in for a couple of hours while you work away and your light will be ready to roll. The solar panel will certainly be used by less riders, but those that take advantage of it should find it useful. Use it for your ride and then set it out on the deck or balcony to refill. Charge time will vary depending on conditions. It's also worth noting that the Blackburn solar panel is capable of charging certain other electronic gadgets that use a USB port, although not all. The last option is a 1.5v charger that pulls any remaining juice from any old Nicad batteries that you may have thought were dead. While those old batteries won't power your TV remote anymore, you may get any extra charge on your Flea out of them.


Blackburn Flea solar charger and USB charger
Blackburn Flea solar charger and USB charger


The matching Flea tail light is of similar small stature and also uses four LED's to keep the rider safe. Modes include steady, flash, and chase, and have corresponding 6-12 hour burn times. The front light attaches via a simple velcro band that has a built in anti-slip coating on its underside to prevent either light from rotating while in use. On top of the velcro option, the rear Flea also can be attached to a pocket or belt with its built in sturdy metal clip.


Blackburn Flea taillight
Blackburn Flea taillight


Flea Tail Light Details

• Built around four LED's
• Three modes: stead, flash, and chase
• 6-12 hour burn time
• Includes USB charger (compatible with solar pad as well)
• Weighs under 20 grams
• MSRP $50.00 CAD


Blackburn Flea taillight
Blackburn Flea taillight

With each light having three modes to choose from, multiple mounting and charging options, as well as weighing less than 20 grams, the Flea's are built to be some of the most versatile commuting lights available. Small enough to drop in your pocket when you arrive at your destination, these certainly are not your dad's old halogen lights.

Do you commute? How do you feel about the Flea's neat solar panel charger?

Head on over to Blackburn.com to see their entire lineup of lights and accessories.


20 Comments

  • 2 0
 I have a front flea USB, first charge worked fine, second charge refused to charge, had thrown away packaging by then, not sure if i can get a new one on warranty. I have to say though, when they work they are very good lights! sounds like a reliability issue though.
  • 2 0
 You know what would be nice... is to have some pictures at night time showing the illumination. Who cares what colors they come in, or claims they have until we see some real world shots Smile

I'm definitely interested in this. Would be nice to have one on the bars and one helmet mounted. That would eliminate all the lame parts of night riding.
  • 2 1
 That looks really great. Pretty tempting if you ask me. Small, looks easy to attach/detach put into the pocket, fast to switch between bicycles. Always possible to charge at home or at the office without the need of replacing bloody bateries, finding a charger and all that crap. For me it's free from all features in most bike lighting products that put me off both from buying and using them. I might actualy go for these in the near future. Great product design guys!
  • 2 0
 The USB Fleas don't hold a charge for shit. My co-worker bought one, charged it all day, and it burned out in 20 minutes. Get a Knog Frog and save yourself a headache and some money.
  • 1 0
 for the size, the front light is the brightest i've ever come across. the usb or wired chargers can be finicky, you have to get the contacts just right or nothing will happen. they may be a little spendy, but i've yet to see anything as bright that's so small and light weight.
  • 3 0
 I think these are some cool gadgets! A little pricy but who can put a price on personal safety and convenience?! NICE!
  • 3 3
 had a set of "Flea" lights sitting in my shop for 2 years

finally sold them last week, customer comes back next day...rear light will not take a charge

oh well...back to distrib. for warranty


front light looked VERY bright for a small unit
  • 7 1
 Well if it's sitting for 2 years in your shop doing zip.
  • 1 0
 the battery probably completely discharged. Lithium ion bat's (which I'm guessing is what it uses, too lazy to read more carefully) can't be completely discharged to 0. Doing so can cause major charging issues (sure, not in every case, but there is a good chance). Reason most devices shut off and won't let it power on once it hits that set point. Forgot how many volts it was. 3+/-?

I know this happens to quite a few of the older ecigarettes (for an example of lit ion issues). bat's drain to zip then don't charge (before product is sold).

hamp, if you get another one in the shop can you take a real world pic of it in the dark?
  • 1 0
 yea, noticed it was a lithium-ion in this light. You most likely have your answer to why it died hamp. I wouldn't say this is a product issue at all people.
  • 2 0
 I don't think front light would be mtb usefull. Provably just for urban biking... if there are enough street lights XD
  • 2 0
 I bought a flea back and front lights kit, it´s not working and blackburn do not answer my e-mails... not good at all!
  • 2 1
 I have a pair of these, and for the size they are awesome, fine for ragging round town at night on.
  • 2 0
 could i charge my iPod using the solar panel on a road trip?
  • 1 0
 If it has a 16/32/64GB flash drive build into it i would bye it Wink
  • 4 0
 david cameron could carry important documents on his way to work in his bike light... lol
  • 1 0
 then lose them, like the rest of the goverment seem to manage lol
  • 1 0
 What handlebars are those in the picture? I want them.
  • 1 0
 Those are Easton Haven bars. Easton is coming out with Haven AM bars and stems to match their new wheelsets. I have no clue when they'll be availible or how much they'll cost.
  • 1 0
 I want one!

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