The Hope Vision R8+ is the ultimate 3000 Lumen light. 8 Cree XP G2 LEDs with 3 lenses provide near perfect lighting over an amazing area, allowing you to go hard over any terrain at night.
Of the 8 LEDs the top four are pure spot beams providing sharp penetrating light over a great distance. The bottom two outer LED's have diffusers which provide a broad light ensuring good peripheral vision. The lower centre two have an elliptical pattern, think of this being a leaf shape with most of the light being concentrated in the middle area. These three combinations ensure that all bases are covered providing good bright light to all areas in front of you.
The R8 uses a new 6 cell ES Li-Ion battery. This new battery has a metal case rather than plastic and features an 'Energy Status' (hence ES) indicator (battery charge indicator). The ES Meter has 5 levels so you know roughly how long the light will last.
For simplicity Hope have said that the R8 is not compatible with the 2 and 4 cell batteries from the other vision lights. In truth they are compatible but the R8 may not be able to run at full power with older batteries and will drain them quickly. They do however make a good back up option.
The R8 shares the same mounts as the R1 & R4 which are a bar clamp, cycle helmet mount and head strap. All offer the QR bayonet fitting. At 180g the light unit is twice the weight of the R4 so it may be a little cumbersome when head mounted. At nearly 500g the battery is only ever going to be carried in a pack or bumbag.
*Burn times are calculated not tested so my differ in actual use. This will be updated when Hope provide the information on actual burn times.
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This light turns night into day. It is well designed, solidly built and very bright. Roots, ruts and singletrack at full speed are no problem, however anyone in front of you with a lesser light will be riding in their own shadow.
My cycle buddies brag about their bargain lights but they don't always last the ride (battery) or the winter (wiring). I reckon I will save money in the long run as this Hope light looks built to for last several years.
A few notes of caution: the battery takes several hours to recharge, the velcro strap for fixing the battery to the bike is lame and needs upgrading and, being solidly built, the light is probably a lot heavier than other manufacturers' offerings.
First of all the delivery to the Netherlands (yes, we Duchmen wants to fly at night over singletracks :-) :This was quick, clear and accurate.
Then the price/quality of the 8+:
Well, I'm a scuba instructor and cave diver, so I know something about lights. Compared to divelights is the r8+ a bargain, you'll get a lot of light for a very reasonable price. Any concerns about investing in a bikelight? Well, what does it cost if you're biking in the dark and because of lack of light you fall hard. Isn't it worth to invest in light to avoid this? So please stop being parsimonious and invest in a good amount of light.
Use of the r8+:
Besides the fact that it gives a lot of light, the finishing is great and the included acessoires are great! I see a lot of people talking about the weight but I have tried it first on the bike and then the same track mounted on my helmet. The helmet is favourite because where I look I have light. Besides that is the contrast better compared to the lower bike mounting. But the angle is wide enough for steer mounting. I expected that the lamp would feel heavy and uncomfortable on the helmet, but was surprised that this was not the case. Yes, the R4+ is a lot lighter but produces less light. (I own both and yes, the ultimate combination is to put the r8+ on your handlebar and the r4+ on your helmet).
It is not neccesary to use the r8+ on full power (blue led, mode 3). Mode 1 (white led) will be enough in 80% of the time. I use mode 2 (green) for very curvy singletracks and downhill. At the moment that you're going full speed downhill, I can imagine that you'll using mode 3 (blue) but to be honest, ask yourself if that is a clever idea in the dark.
The output in the trailsettings is significant lower compared to the race settings. When I'm cycling along public roads I use the trailsettings (mode 1 pink or mode 2 yellow) to avoid blinding oncomming traffic. It is enough to see what is in front of you but not more than that.
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