The SCORCH makes for a neat little package with more punch than Kostya Tszyu
In case you needed reminding, we triathletes can be a strange bunch. We can spend thousands on bikes and parts yet scoff at race entry prices. We can invest big in aero carbon goodies to make our bike “slippery” yet go in to a race overweight. Our priorities can also be strangely skewed when it comes to investing in our own safety. The taillight stuffed into a jersey pocket due to the inconvenience of mounting it on an aero frame is a prime example.
Front lights, or a lack thereof, can be another shining example of how we prioritise our triathlon spending. If you only ride in daylight then it is possible to get away with a flashing LED but if your busy life means that any portion of your riding is done in the dark then it is important to be well armed when it comes to lighting your way.
Over the years on our FORUM there have been many threads on lights, be it “best” or “best bang for buck” and the thread inevitably ends up split into two camps, those that espouse the virtues of well-made brand name lights and those who believe the generic “Chinese” lights are “good enough”. Personally I have never been in the “good enough” camp as I see my lights as an investment in my safety not an expense. In saying that though, as I get older and become more of a bike snob, I have become a little more discerning with the lights I choose. I have moved away from light with separate battery packs in favour of “all in one” units for a cleaner, simpler look. Now this makes the choice of lighting a little more limited but there are still some good units out there and there are also some very powerful units available.
Anthony from FULL BEAM AUSTRALIA sent me the SCORCH light to test to see if it ticked all my boxes.
The SCORCH touts itself as a “fuss-free, lightweight and cable free light” and that it is. Furthermore there is also no switch as such. The SCORCH utilises touch screen technology. A touch of the lens turns the light on, off or toggles through the settings.
The SCORCH is a neat looking unit. Designed and manufactured in the UK, the body is machined from solid aluminium alloy which gives it an almost military spec look. It comes in at under 150 grams including the standard mounting bracket and is smaller in length that a mobile phone but don’t let that fool you the SCORCH is claimed to pump out 1400 lumens, even on low setting the SCORCH puts out a very respectable 700 lumens.
The SCORCH weighs in smaller and lighter than an iphone
Run time for the SCORCH is dependent on the battery option chosen. With the high-capacity (3400 mAh) battery the SCORCH will run for 1.5 hours at 1400 lumens and a whopping 4 hours 20 min at 700 lumens. The smaller capacity (2600 mAh) battery still gives a respectable 1 hr 10 minutes a 1400 lumens and 3hrs 20 minutes at 700 lumens.
The test unit we received included the higher capacity battery and our run time testing was in line with the claimed figures.
The battery screws on securely and smoothly thanks to some precise machining
The mounting of the SCORCH is a simple affair on road bars. The mount securely attaches with an O-ring and the clever design allows for the light to be rotated slightly for those with a touch of O.C.D who can’t stand their lights not shining on dead centre.
While the mount is simple and effective, for such a beautifully machined light the mount does seem a little less refined and the interface between the alloy head and the nylon mount could be a little smoother.
The battery is a “plug and play” affair, and is fully self-contained. The battery pushes onto the light head and the screw in collar keeps everything securely in place. It also means that, for those that want extended battery life, a spare battery can be swapped out in seconds.
The standard mount for the SCORCH is a little less refined than the rest of the unit, but still effective
So what about the light emitted? Well there currently seems to be two distinct schools of thought when it comes to lighting. Beams can be either “cool white” or “warm white”. The cool white is the bright white light. Warm white is the slightly “yellower” light. The SCORCH is more in the cool white category. I find that the cool whites are preferable for on-road use as they tend to appear brighter and give the appearance of more light. The warm whites I find preferable for off-road use as the light is softer and gives better contrast and depth for spotting variances in terrain, something hopefully not as essential for road riding.
The SCORCH has 4 LED's and the lens also acts as it's switch.
The SCORCH provides oodles of light, and I found that the 1400 lumens was only required for areas where there was no ambient light at all, in most other situations the 700 lumen setting was more than adequate. Switching between settings is a simple matter of a touch of the finger to the lens which is an easy task while riding and the mount keeps the whole shooting match securely in place while you are changing settings.
I found myself, on most occasions getting home after a pre-dawn ride, having not needed to pump up the power at all. However, knowing that you have 1400 lumens in the bag just in case it’s needed is comforting.
The SCORCH provides enough light to allow you to ride as fast as you dare anytime day or night. Comparing the SCORCH on the 700 lumen setting with another self-contained 700 lumen light shows that the SCORCH has a more consistent light across the spread of the beam without “hot-spotting” which I assume is down to the fact that the SCORCH has 4 LED’s as opposed to the standard single LED configuration. This lack of a central "hot spot" tends to alleviate the feeling of tunnel vision from trying to continually focus on the best spot on the road.
The 700 lumen single LED light on the left shows a hotspot versus the SCORCH on the right.
The SCORCH on full power
The SCORCH comes in at $329.00 when purchased with the standard battery option. While those who settle for lights that are “good enough” may see this as extravagant, anyone who has browsed quality lighting options would know that this is in fact a pretty good bang for lumen option.
The SCORCH can be purchased with either the standard road bar mount or a helmet mount. The helmet mount may end up being the better option for triathletes as one of the shortcomings of TT bikes and lights is the limited mounting options available to suit a TT rig. If however you are after something more refined, FULL BEAM have a range of mounting options that may suit your setup.
The SCORCH is a very small, lightweight, well designed light with plenty of punch. Enough light for you to see your way and for others to have no excuse for not seeing you, even on the low setting. It is well designed, beautifully machined and ingeniously simple in its execution.
Distributor: Full Beam Australia