Review: Blackburn Central 100 Front light

Handy commuter light packs a punch

Lights Lights Shootout

2015 Lights Shootout

Light is omnidirectional with just a little side visibility.

Light is omnidirectional with just a little side visibility (click to enlarge).

The Central 100 Front light from Blackburn is an interesting and compact little light. Shaped like a matchbox and weighing in at 51 grams, it features three forward facing LEDs and an internal lithium battery charged by a USB port. Runtime is 3 hours with a claimed 100 Lumens of output. The interesting observation with this light is we measured it at 148 Lumens in a laboratory integrating sphere. That means it is brighter than claimed and it’s incredibly bright for a $35 light.

So this is indeed one of the pleasant surprises of our light testing. The light it emits is forward-facing, very similar to a phone but about ten times more powerful. It’s not only useful on the bike, but handy in one’s pocket or around the house as well.

It doesn’t have a distinct forward facing beam pattern, so it’s more of a ‘to be seen’ light, but it is so bright that a bike commuter can actually see with it in a pinch.

This light measured 148 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 100 Lumens. Compare all Lumen Tests here »

Weight is a light 51 grams but it packs a 148 Lumen punch.

Weight is a light 51 grams but it packs a 148 Lumen punch (click to enlarge).

Strengths
  • Extremely bright at 148 Lumens and brighter than claimed
  • Good runtime at three hours
  • Great value for a $35 light
  • Has a lot of utility beyond the bike
Weaknesses
  • Light output can be better utilized with a focused directed pattern and side visibility.
Specifications
  • Price: $35
  • Claimed Lumens: 100 Lumens
  • Measured Lumens: 148 Lumens
  • Lumens per $: 4.23 Lumens
  • Lumens per gram: 2.90 Lumens
  • Time on High: 3:10 Hours
  • Charge Time: n/a Hours
  • Mounted Weight: 51 grams
  • Category: Flashlight/Commuter
Overall Rating

5 out of 5 Stars

For an affordable commuter light with lots of utility, this one is a winner.

For more information visit www.blackburndesign.com.

This article is part of Mtbr and RoadBikeReview’s 2015 Lights Shootout. To see all the bike lights tested CLICK HERE.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)
About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a lugged commuter, ultralight carbon road steed, singlespeed or trail bike. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. This obsessive personality has also turned him into a bit of an addict when it comes to high quality coffee and IPAs.


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