I’m usually pretty skeptical of companies I’m not familiar with, so when JET Beam offered to provide one of their ST Cycler LED lights for testing, I really didn’t know what to expect. But I did a little research, and found out that they’re known for high quality, durable, and very bright flashlights. That was reason enough to accept one for review.
When it arrived, I opened the shipping carton to find a fairly fancy presentation box containing the light and accompanying instructions, along with a lanyard, a couple of spare o-rings, and even an extra rubber boot for the switch. That’s a nice touch right there. JET Beam had also included a mount for bicycle handlebars or helmets, to facilitate testing. The 4.7″ light weighs about 2.5 ounces empty, and will run on either two CR123 batteries, or a single 18650. (We recommend using rechargeables whenever possible, not only for the environment, but for your wallet as well) Once loaded with batteries, the light has a bit of heft, which I really like. It feels substantial, without feeling too heavy. There is some light knurling that complements the flat spots to allow for good grip,with some raised grooves on the lens end, to make switching modes easier. The tail cap switch is recessed a bit. This design feature protects the switch from damage or accidental activation, and also allows the light to be stood on its end, if necessary.
In operation, the light has two modes, each with its own settings. The “Outdoor” mode is accessed by the usual clicks of the tail cap switch, with the following settings:
Turbo – 425 lumens/90 minute run time
High – 190 lumens/3.5 hour run time
Mid – 50 lumens/14 hour run time
Strobe – 425 lumens until you get a raging migraine
To access the “Cycling” mode, just loosen the head a bit, not even a 1/4 turn.
This allows for the following settings:
Low – 10 lumens/45 hours
Warning Signal – 425 lumens
Warning Lighting – 270 lumens/2 hours
SOS – 425 lumens
Unlike most lights that revert back to the first setting, and make you scroll through them, the ST Cycler remembers your last setting. Although this only works in the Outdoor mode, it’s still a nice feature.
Testing consisted of the usual dog walks, scanning trees, and annoying neighbors, along with a bit of bike riding. The Turbo setting is great for lighting big areas when camping, or high speed cycling at night, but limits the run time. Switching to High offers sufficient output for most tasks where a lot of output is needed, while still offering decent run time. I found the Mid is best for general usage like lighting the path when out for a walk or slow bike ride. The Warning Signal is a slow enough strobe that it gets attention without being annoying. The Warning Lighting provides continuous illumination for faster riding, but with a gentle strobe as well.
Overall, the ST Cycler impressed us with its feature-rich design. The multiple settings are easy to access, and quite useful. The light itself looks good, and performs well with the CREE XM-L T6 LED. They don’t specify the actual alloy, just “Aero grade aluminum”, but it appears to be pretty tough. With an IPX-8 waterproof spec (suitable for continuous submersion) and a military grade, hard-anodized finish, it should hold up well to the elements. If there is a fault, it’s that JET Beam needs to get their name out there more. They offer a large variety of lights for different applications, and if the ST Cycler is indicative of the quality, they are certainly worth a look. JETBeam.com