By David Hayward
The Wiz20 fits into a growing bracket of mid-range, mid-budget lights. Lights in this kind of range tend to be backed up by much better quality assurance and warranty procedures than their cheaper cousins, but still come in a fraction the price of more fully featured brand name lights.
The angular body isn’t the most bang up to date design, but it’s all metal, and the construction feels solid all over. Like many current night riding lights it’s based around a pair of Cree XM-L2 LEDs. Which means a lot of light, and quite a bit of heat. However, in use – even doing a static runtime test on my desk with the light at the brightest setting – it never got any hotter to the touch than a mug of tea – and light output didn’t suffer. So, adequate cooling: check. The runtimes were also spot on compared to those quoted, which is a good indicator of a manufacturer that cares about engineering, rather than just shifting product. The custom printed circuit board mounted inside the battery door (as opposed to cheap generic battery contacts) is another of many signs that Ituo build for quality.
Some sellers don’t include batteries, but Bright Bike Lights ship it with two Ituo branded, 3100MaH 18650 cells. To anyone who’s messed about with cheaper lights, this will be a familiar type of battery, and these have protection circuits built in to stop them discharging too far. A battery door pops open on the back of the light, they slide in and the unit is completely self contained – no cables, battery boxes or messing around with velcro. The battery door catch did make me worry it might pop open if something hit it, but in two months of riding it never did. Removable batteries also mean you can throw a spare set in your pack, though if you only use the brightest setting for descents, the Ituo cells will easily outlast most night rides. When they get low, the button on top of the light changes colour from blue to red.
The Wiz also has a sealed MicroUSB port underneath, for charging with any phone charger or USB port. Of course, it might go faster if you buy an external charger for the 18650’s, but it’s great to have the option of just plugging the light into something you already have.
The mount it comes with is solid: All metal construction, rubber padding, a quick release clamp with a screw tightener to fit different bar diameters, and a quick release shoe for the light body. If you’re the kind of person who immediately messes around with new things before reading instructions, be warned that you can very easily slide the light onto the mount the wrong way round, and once done it’s quite difficult to get back off… not that any Singletrack reviewer would ever make such a mistake (cough). There’s only a little bit of play if you grab the light and try to wobble it, but I never noticed it moving on rough descents.
The light has three brightness settings, which all throw a good spot quite far in front of the bike, while giving a little bit of flood. It’s quoted as up to 1500 lumens, and with the main spot about 20 – 25 feet in front of the bike that was enough light that I could confidently accelerate on descents.
The light is programmable, and if you’re planning long rides or races you might be able to get more out of it this way, but the default settings were perfect for my riding. Using the batteries included, the default modes will give just over two hours on the brightest mode, four hours in the middle setting, or fourteen hours on the lowest, which is still bright enough for climbs.
Overall: I’ve been riding once or twice a week with this light for two months. It hasn’t annoyed me once; I clip it on the bike and it just works. It’s never failed, it’s stayed waterproof, and it hasn’t faded. If anyone asked me about budget lights nowadays, this is what I’d point them to. Compared to the faffing I did with very cheap lights and batteries in years past, upgrading to something like this would be a no brainer. Recommended.
|Tested:||by David Hayward for 2 months|