The Moon ADJ-1300 is a powerful front light with neat extra features that will keep you on the road through the dark nights. However the heavy weight limits its usefulness as a helmet-mounted light, and the separate battery pack puts it in the shadows of its competitors
If, like us, you’re having to plan your winter miles around the nine-to-five then it is nigh-on impossible to avoid the odd morning or evening pounding the lanes in the dark. This is where a good front light is absolutely essential.
On well-lit urban roads you can get away with a cheaper commuting front light, but get out of town and you have to splash the cash. At £179.99 the Moon ADJ-1300 is a significant investment, and comes in at price point already crowded with offerings from the likes of Exposure and Hope. So what do you get for your money?
As the name would suggest, the Moon ADJ-1300 emits 1300 lumens, fairly standard for a light of this price, and enough to get you along the darkest of country lanes, providing you know your way round and aren’t trying to break any KOMs. All those lumens are emitted by two Cree XM-L high brightness LEDs housed in the head unit.
A common problem with front lights is that they struggle to provide both spot and flood lights, meaning that they either light up what’s immediately in front of you or the entire street, rarely both. What makes the Moon ADJ-1300 unique is that the two LEDs can be moved up and down independently eliminating this problem as you can have one pointing straight at the road so you can keep an eye out for potholes, and the other illuminating the distance so you can see where you’re going.
Of course there’s no need to be pumping out 1300 lumens when it’s just a bit gloomy in the middle of the day, so the Moon ADJ-1300 has no fewer than six different light settings to adapt to changing conditions. There are four different steady light modes, ranging from the full 1300 lumen ‘Overdrive’ down to the 300 lumen ‘Low’, ideal for a gloomy commute.
There are also three non-steady settings, Flashing, Strobe and “SOS”, just in case you find yourself stranded and need to signal for help in morse code. Moving between modes is easy enough with a good-size button on top of the light unit or an optional remote switch.
All of this is powered by rechargeable lithium ion battery, which, unfortunately comes in a separate unit. This brick-like unit is attached to the light housing with a single cable which has proved resistant to wet weather, and attaches to your handlebars (or helmet) with a Velcro strap which has also defied preconceptions by holding the battery firmly in place over seriously pot-holed roads. There is also the option of mounting the battery elsewhere on the frame thanks to an extension cable, although one cable was enough for this reviewer.
Effectively doubling the size of the product has a predictable effect on its a weight. Light and battery combined, the Moon ADJ-1300 tips the CW scales of truth at a hefty 300g. Of course this isn’t a problem when mounted on the handlebars, but strap light and battery to the top of your helmet and the weight really becomes noticeable.
This is a particular problem on bumpy roads where having the extra weight attached to your helmet will pull it forward and backwards with tedious regularity.That said the battery does a good job of keeping the light running. Battery life for the top Overdrive mode is quoted at 1 hour 40 minutes, an accurate amount of time according to our tests.
This may not seem much but in reality you’ll probably find the 550 lumen Standard mode is your go-to option. The battery life for this mode is 3 hours 40 minutes, and if you’re spending longer than this riding through the dark then you’re more motivated than me!
Charging is done through a mains charger which plugs into the rear of the battery pack, and takes 3.5 hours for the Moon ADJ-1300 to go from flat to fully charged, fairly standard of most lights of this power. However charge is very clearly indicated with five red LEDs on the battery pack meaning that you shouldn’t have to charge the battery from flat. Moon also claim that these red LEDs can be used as a rear light, although we weren’t brave to test this out and would recommend a dedicated rear light.
A high-qualty and powerful front light, the Moon ADJ1300 will keep you out on the lanes throughout the winter. The two adjustable beams ensure good long and short distance visibility, and the good selection of modes mean the light can be adapted to different conditions. However the hefty battery pack limits its usefulness as a helmet-mounted light.