Updated 12 Apr 2017

Cateye

HL-EL135

Bottom line: This replaceable battery "be seen" front light has only just OK overall light output. It is OK to fit and remove and easy to use on the bike. It failed water testing - water got into the battery compartment.

HL-EL135
Consumer score
56
Price

$40

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Test results

Overall score
OK
56
Performance
Just OK
4.8/10
Steady 0°
Good
7.5/10
Steady 20°
Just OK
5.2/10
Steady 45°
Poor
3.0/10
Ease of use
Good
7.4/10

Good points

  • Good light output at 0°
  • OK to mount to bike
  • Good mount versatility
  • Very easy to use on/off/mode button
  • Extremely easy to remove and refit light
  • Very easy to replace batteries

But

  • Just OK light output at 20°
  • Poor light output at 45°
  • No battery indicator
  • Failed water testing - water got into the battery compartment
  • Heavy

How we test

Overall score:

  • Light performance (70% of overall score)

We measure light output in our lab. Many lights make output claims in lumens, which describe the total amount of light available. However, we think lux (lumens per square metre) is a better measure of light performance. We measure lux at 0°, 20° and 45° to build up a picture of the quantity and quality of light output.

For front lights we calculate light performance combining 40% of the score at 45°, 40% at 20° and 20% at 0°.
For rear lights we calculate light performance combining 20% of the score at 45°, 40% at 20°and 40% at 0°.

  • Ease of use (30% of overall score)

This includes an assessment of “in-use” performance (50% of the ease of use score), which includes turning the light on and off and selecting the mode (with and without gloves), usefulness of the battery indicator, and robustness of the mount to knocks and vibration. Daily convenience (30%) includes removing and refitting the light, charging or changing batteries and carrying it in a bag. Ease of fitting and versatility of the mount adds the final 20%.

  • Water resistance

We left the lights outside for several hours during heavy rain, then thoroughly doused them with a garden sprinkler for a further 2 minutes. We checked they all worked correctly while soaking wet, then towel-dried them and inspected for any water inside the lens and battery compartment or charge port. We don’t include water resistance in our overall score, but we won’t recommend lights that show signs of water ingress.

  • Burn time

We measured burn time of the USB rechargeable lights on their maximum steady setting. If they switched to low-power mode as the battery drained, we recorded the time spent on full and low power.

Full specs

Model

Type
Front
See or be seen
Be seen
Price
$40
Lit area size
Medium
Lit area quality
uneven (spot)
Water test pass
No
Weight (g)
93.1
Battery or USB
Battery

More ease of use test results (/10)

Fitting
6.5
In-use
7.1
Convenience
8.4

Specifications

Batteries or USB
2x AA
USB type
n/a
Charge time (hr:min)
n/a
Burn time to low (hr:min)
n/a
Burn time to off (hr:min)
80 hr (claimed)
Shape
torch
Bought as a set
×
In set with
-

Features

LEDs
3
Steady modes
1
Flash modes
1
Pulse or chase modes
-
Mount to bike
bracket
Mount type to bike
ratchet
Mount type to bracket
slide/clip