Princeton-Tec is a well respected and innovative company, and a leader in sports lighting products for over 30 years. The Yukon HL Bike light is a good example of why they are so successful. My testÂ of the Yukon HL Bike light, was Â to evaluate it’sÂ effectiveness and worthiness as aÂ bicycle commuting headlightÂ for aÂ daily commuter.
As a product reviewer forÂ Commute By Bike,Â I am providing my unbiased opinion of any products provided to us by any company. I do not posses any type of relationship with the products company or parent companies. I am not compensated in any way by companies that send in their goods to be reviewed.
Columbus, Georgia – a mid sized city, about 300,000 in the metro area. My roads vary from concrete with expansion cracks every 16 feet, to asphalt. My route crosses more than one construction area on most days. Traffic can be light, heavy, fast, slow, or grid locked. Columbusites are not the most cycle friendly drivers in the country. My commute runs about 5.3 miles one way, covering various roads from the quiet suburbs, to major roads with high speedÂ traffic,Â to full fledged urban cycling and all that entails. All testing was done aboard my Giant Cypress LX hybrid bike.
I’ve been commuting by bike for one year now, 2-3 days a week for the first few months, building to 5 days a week for the past 6-7 months. My commute puts about 60 miles a week on my bike, and I put an average of 40 more miles in recreationally each week.
Princeton Tec “Yukon HL Bike” headlight.
- Made from high impact resistant plastics such as LexanÂ® and XenoyÂ®
- Designed to function like waterproof cases, ensuring the lights water resistant integrity during wet weather rides
- ALL L.E.D. hybrid which combines the long, wide throw beam characteristics of the Luxeon 1 Watt L.E.D. for night riding, along with 3 super bright L.E.D.â€™s for when a cyclist needs to be seen or when long burn time is more important
- Run Time 25 – 120 Hours
- 3 AA batteries included
- Adjustable Beam
- 54″ Battery Cord
- Total weight – 11.1 oz.Â with batteries
- Helmet and Handlebar mounts included
In the last 8 days,Â the Yukon HL Â has accompanied meÂ for 128 miles, and about 10 hours of riding. 4.5 of those hours were in the dark, and aboutÂ 66 of the miles were actually commuting. All miles were on roads, no off road.
I installed the light with 3 new Energizer AA cells, even though it came loaded with Duracells. I did this just to be sure I had brand new, top power batteries. My life may depend on it.
From the first click “on”, I knew I would be “seeing” with this light, not just being seen. The 1 watt LED doesn’t sound like much, but the beam is strong, focused, and bright. I can easily see 15-20 feet ahead, plenty of time to avoid trouble. In the picture below, debree and aÂ recylce bin are easy to spot.
The beam is adjustable, but once I had it where I wanted it, I saw no reason to change it again.Â After my first ride, I found I had to tighten one screw to prevent the light from moving up and down on the bumps. Since then, it only moves when I move it.
For 4Â hours, I’ve been using the “high beam” (the 1 watt LED) because it is so much brighter. Today on my 30 minute ride to work, I used the 3 LED array, which is more of a “be seen” mode. It spreads a wide, brightÂ light out in front of you, useable to about 10-12 feet, but only half as bright as the 1 watt LED. But the spread out characteristic of the light in “low” mode, makes it easier for me to be seen, especially from the front.
I switched to the low mode today, because yesterday a truck pulled out in front of me, forcing me to skid.Â The driver sheepishly yelled out a quick apology and said he didn’t see me. The day before, a driver in my parking lot at work said the same thing. I never had that complaint with my previous light, which did not even cast a beam to the ground, but was brilliantly bright when viewed head on.
After only 4.5 hours run time, there is absolutely no discernible drop in brightness. After about 10 hours of city roads, the light remains solid, not making the first little rattle. The battery pack case is very well insulated to cushion it’s contents, and small enough to tuck out of the way anyplace. The light is intended to be able to be installed and removed easily, and I guess I could cut and replace wire ties to do that, but I see no need. It’s pretty much a fixture for me. I would have liked to had a “quick disconnect” of some type, so I could quickly pocket the light when I park it.
- Very bright, good illumination.
- Dual mode operation
- At aboutÂ 16% of the price of a friends expensive light, the Yukon HL Bike wasÂ about 80% as effective as his.
- Very good construction, watertight lamp and battery compartment.
- LooksÂ good. (looks are important!)
- Long battery life.
- Can’t quickly remove the light when parking
- No “flashing” mode (I like flashing, some people don’t.)
I really enjoyed a true headlight, showing me the way. But I may clip my old Serfas cheapie on too, so I can use it to be seen, while I use the Yukon HL to see. This light really works, and for the money (around $50.00) it’s a whole lot of light. This is exactly the type of deal I look for when I shop for accessories.Â I have no desire to drop two or threeÂ hundred dollars on a light, yet I still need to have a light that will protect me, and illuminate the road aheadÂ when required.Â Is that asking too much? Not of the Yukon HL Bike – “Yukon do it!”