Zeta 5000R Review
The Zeta 5000R from Xeccon is a bright biking light, no doubt, but is it 5000 lumens bright?
- 1 light with handlebar mount
- 1 cable tie
- 1 extension cable
- 2 O-rings
- 1 helmet mount
- 1 charger
- 1 battery pack
- 1 remote
|Maximum Output||5000 lumens|
|LED||6 Cree X-ML|
|Run Time||~2.3 to ~20.5 hours|
|Mode||Low – Mid – High|
On/Off (hold 2 seconds), Strobe (hold 3 seconds)
|Battery Pack||8.4V 5200mAh Battery|
|Weight (w/o battery)||120g / 4.3 oz|
|Weight (w/ battery + remote)||434g / 15.3 oz|
|Dimensions||48mm deep x 53mm wide x 50mm high|
A note about Lumens … and temperature.
I wonder where the manufacture gets the number of lumens from and what exactly it means.
Lumens is an amount of light being emitted. The bigger the number the more light.
There is a tradeoff though. Usually, the more light you get, the more battery juice, i.e. – current, is used and the faster the light will use the battery up.
The more efficient the light design is, the cooler it will be. You may notice that some lights have “fins”. Those are there to help with dissipating the heat and keeping the current usage down and ultimately have a longer running light so you can stay out longer.
Don’t be alarmed if the light is warm or even hot to the touch. It just means it is doing its job as best it can.
Nothing like a few pictures to spell it out for you.
Xeccon is good about telling you the weight of the light, but for whatever reason doesn’t include the weight of the battery which certainly has an impact on the overall weight. The remote control does add a little more weight, not much.
The light by itself weighs in at 4.3 oz / 120 grams.
If you include the weight of the battery (10.2 oz) and the remote control (0.6 oz), the total weight is just under a pound at 15.3 oz / 434g.
The product is covered by a warranty to two years for the light and one year for the batteries, commencing at date of purchasing from an authorized Xeccon distributor.
The warranty does not cover caused by deliberate damage, violent impact, unauthorized dismantling. Warranty service should only be undertaken by Xeccon or Xeccon Authorized Service Provider, if you attempt to repair or modify Xeccon product by yourself, you will fail … just kidding, it will not be covered by warranty.
Prior to return, please contact Xeccon Authorized Service Provider or Xeccon directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain a Return Authorization Number. All returned products must be packed carefully and enclose the warranty certificate (proof of purchase) with instruction for repair.
The battery for the Zeta 5000R is a Samsung ST-B1 Li-ion rechargeable battery rated at 8.4V (volts) 5.2AH (amp hours) that is protected for over-charging, over-discharging and short circuiting.
It comes in a useful stretchy pack that you can wrap around just about any post or tube on your bike.
Run time is quoted at 2.3~20.5 hours. What isn’t clear is under what conditions those are. My light experience to date – and remember, I am a light snob – is that total run time depends a lot on the environment.
If it is cold out, don’t expect to see the type of run time that is quoted. Also, over time, the batteries don’t seem to hold the charge as well and run time is usually less.
Not sure whether I like this or not.
The idea is great. Push a button to control the on / off feature of the bike light and the different levels of brightness plus the strobe feature.
It was a bit of a PITA to mount this. I did not know that you could slide the actual remote control device out of the holder. I ended up threading the strap in a weird way till I realized there was no way it would work. Then I figured out how to slide out the remote – d’oh!
Once that was figure out, then it was a snap to mount on the handlebar just inside the right hand grip. The velcro strap is longer then necessary and I will likely trim it shorter so I can attach it tighter. I found that the button would slip a little bit when actually using it because the velcro wasn’t as tight as it could be.
To turn on/off the light and adjust the brightest level, you have to push and hold down the button for a brief moment. I don’t know about you, but when I am riding, especially in the dark and downhill I don’t want to have my hands distracted for any amount of time. Yes, having the button right next to the grip is better than having to reach over to the light on the handlebars or up to your helmet. However, having to wait for the expected change to occur isn’t my idea of a good time on the bike.
Xeccon, if you are listening to this, consider redesigning the remote so that it requires a simple push only and not a push plus hold to make a change. Even better, add a “click” so I can feel that something has happened. I know you are trying to be like Apple with your packaging … you might as go all in and make everything “Applesque”
The mount on the Zeta 5000R probably works best on the helmet.
The best way to explain is to compare the mounting platform of the Xeccon to the MagicShine.
The bike light on the left is the MagicShine, on the right is the Xeccon Zeta 5000R . If you compare the two mounting platforms notice the MagicShine has two slots cut out where the rubber band can slip through. The Xeccon mounting plate does not have that.
This allows the rubber band to lock in one place and not slip around. And that is a good thing.
Of course, no free lunch. I suspect the MagicShine mount is slightly heavier and for the manufacturer slightly more expensive. And to keep things in perspective, none of this is a major issue. A smaller rubber band will likely take care of any slippage issues that you might experience.
It is difficult to explain how bright this light is without actually being the one using the light in the dark.
Sure the picture above shows the difference when the light is on the lowest and highest settings, but what good does that do you?
This is where an actual ride in the dark and previous experience with different biking lights comes into play.
Stay with me on this one as it is very unscientific, but I think you will get the picture.
What better way to review a product then to actually go out and use it!
I have owned a number of bike headlights in the past and have 4 lights, yes I am a bike light snob, that I use. On for the helmet and one for the handlebars.
My first “bike light” was actually a flashlight that I velcroed to my bike helmet. Speak of unreliable. Just about every time I took a hit on the bike, the flashlight would smack against the helmet and go off. That’s no fun when you are bombing downhill at 20 MPH / 32 KMH in the dark.
My lights prior to the Zeta 5000R are MagicShine in the 1000 lumen range. Great lights that work reliably.
With those as reference and my friends – I will explain why friends are important in a minute – I took the Zeta 5000R out for a ride in the dark.
I ended up using the 5000R for about 30 minutes of the ride – from the high point in the ride till the end – and I kept the light on all the time at the highest setting. The light was on my handlebars, slightly to the left of the stem because the Garmin 120 GPS was on the right, like it always is.
Additionally, I had a MagicShine on my helmet set to high that I turned off when we stopped to regroup.
What I Like
This light is bright! How do I know that? You are going to love this … I was able to keep up with some friends on the downhill that I normally can’t keep up with.
Told you it was unscientific.
I’m not the fastest downhiller in my group of mountain bike friends. Often I am the last one down. For this ride, not the case. And I am speculating it is because I had the brightest light out there.
I have been in front of someone else before who had a brighter light than I did – I am talking to you, Kelly. When that happens, I end up casting a shadow in front of me that makes it difficult for me to see what is right in front of me even though I also have my bike light on. The only thing to do is slow down and let him pass so I can use my mere mortal headlight.
I kept up with someone who I usually don’t keep up with on the downhill with no problem and am speculating that I was giving him some “headlight hell” with my bright light – sorry Ray.
But more importantly, there were no shadows! I could see everything in front of me, no questions … no whoop-de-dos with a dark drop on the backside that I couldn’t see. Everything was lit up.
What I Would Change
In hindsight, I would have this light on my helmet and not on the handlebars.
Don’t get me wrong, the light works great on the handlebars as I am sure it does on the helmet.
When I was going downhill over all the bumps, the light slipped a little and pointed downwards. I had to reach down a couple of times to readjust – not fun.
Looking at the design of the piece that rests on either the handlebar or the helmet mount, it seems to be a little smaller than what I have on my MagicShine light. In other words, not really enough surface to press down on the larger diameter handlebar. Sightly annoying, but something I can live with.
I don’t know of any lights that have innovated the mounting portion of the light system. This is an area for improvement.
Some images for the Zeta 5000R Review.
The Zeta 5000R accessories include a helmet mount, rubber rings, extension cord and cable tie.
Battery and battery case.
Dog, light, remote … everything you could ever want.
Front view of the Zeta 5000R bike light.
The side view. No kidding, this bike light can get hot. Note the fins on the side to help with dissipating heat.
Top view of the Zeta 5000R . Hold the button on top to turn on/off and low/med/high/strobe. The button color will cycle through green, blue, red to indicate battery level.
What it looks like when the light is turned on.
Battery pack attached to the top tube.
Mounted on the handlebars ready for action.