24th October 2017 / Comments (0)

Exposure Flash & Flare lights

Flash & Flare with mounts and charger

Flash & Flare with mounts and charger

The Flash and Flare have been a staple of the Exposure range for some years now. In fact, I can’t quite remember when I bought my set, sometime in late 2012 or early 2013 and they weren’t a new release then! So this is a review of an item tested over at least four years! I was for a while an advocate of those bargain Cree LED lights that are all over eBay, you know, a claimed 7000 lumens and with a worrying name with fire in it. It was a 120km winter ride and a failing cheapo light that led me to try Exposure and see whether the higher RRP was justified over an eBay special.

The ride was an 80 mile loop taking in Tunstall and the bridleways of the Sandlings on the Suffolk Coast, and being November lights were an essential. I was equipped with my Chinese specials and James had a Flash & Flare and a Joystick, at the time a whopping 4-500 lumens?

It was here I had my rude awakening. Firstly eBay lumens are often wildly over estimated, if you are lucky they are based on the theoretical maximum an LED might manage in a lab in ideal conditions, at worst they are a blatant lie. Secondly, there is a difference in quality  versus quantity. My eBay specials might actually have been brighter the light pattern just scattered every where. The truth was, despite modest lumens the Exposure lights just did a better a job of lighting the way, kind of the whole point really!

So back to the flash and flare. I opted for the rechargeable set, more expensive initially, but having rechargeable batteries means there is no need to “save” the batteries and the type used aren’t all that common to buy spares. There is also that whole environment thing too. In the box is a quick start guide, both lights, a pair of batteries and the plug/charger unit. In 2013 this cost in excess of £60 and I’m pleased to report that at the last check the same set will now only cost £50 albeit on clearance. This seems to be because the proprietary charger plug has now been replaced with a USB cable. No great loss as I expect most households/workplaces will have a number of USB chargers to hand. Additionally Exposure also offer the functionally similar Trace and TraceR  feature built in batteries and micro-USB charging ports.

In use the lights can be a bit fiddly to operate, but you soon learn the knack of twisting the light head to operate them and alternate between flash and static beam. For such small lights they pack an amazing punch. While primarily for being seen you could almost use the flare to light your way. To aid your being noticed the twisting section is translucent so allows for some sideways illumination as well. The flare can spin in its mount but the flare slots into a notch in its mount and stays put. Despite use on some very rough trails neither light has ever been ejected. Run-times are similarly impressive, even now after 4 years of use the batteries still give a useful light over a winter dusk until dawn night ride.

Along the way they have however needed some TLC,  such as a light scrub of the terminals and a dab of grease to keep corrosion at bay and stretching the spring that supports the battery. I believe it was the flash that also required a new o-ring, but all in all not much effort for the hours of use they have provided, unlike the eBay specials that have long since been consigned to the bin. The image below shows mine after four years of use. The Flash is a bit grubby but you can see where a succession of bike-packing seat packs have worn flats onto the alloy body of the Flare!

Used Flash & Flare lights

Four years later….

In summary then, highly recommended if you need reliable, bright and resilient I’m here lights and you don’t mind investing for the future. Should these ever let me down then I’ll be sure to replace them with a Trace/TracerR combo or whatever Exposure are producing then!

Exposure Flash & Flare


Highly recommended


Last modified: 23rd November 2017

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