As a pair, the Dorcy LED bicycle/personal light and tail light offer decent lighting and some questionable construction qualities.
My previous bicycle light sits in an Arizona garbage dump. I don’t miss it. The light kit was purchased at a hardware store for less than 20 dollars. In the end, the unit was held together by tape and functioned just well enough to get me by. There was no love loss as I tossed it in the trash.
Lightless, I was excited to learn that Dorcy sent RYK its new LED bicycle and personal light and tail light in exchange for our honest feedback. I jumped at the chance to test the lights on some local streets and urban trails.
In short, the light kit got me around alright during my night rides, but I do have a few reservations …
Bicycle and Personal Light
The Dorcy LED bicycle light is made up of two components, the light itself and the plastic hardware clamp that attaches the light to the bike. The light feels substantial in a good way and is made from “aerospace-grade aluminum alloy.” The textured aluminum looks nice and gives the unit a mini-lightsaber sort of vibe. I can see why Dorcy refers to this light as a bicycle and personal light. Either use would work.
The light is powered by three double A batteries which are included in the package and the battery compartment is very easy to access. However, as I was installing my batteries for the first time a rubber seal of some sort fell out. The seal was snapped and now sits on my desk.
The bicycle light has three settings; off, on, and flashing. You switch between the light modes by pressing a button on the back of the light. I found the button very comfortable to use. The Dorcy LED bicycle light illuminates the road in a rectangular pattern. Dorcy touts this lighting pattern as a “Wide Angle Uniform Light pattern.” It looks a little odd at first, but I found the light illuminates the road ok. I wouldn’t say the road is exceptionally lit, but I felt mostly comfortable riding around the streets at night.
The light I tested rattles a bit on the inside near the bulb. This may turn into something, or nothing. Time will tell.
The Dorcy bicycle light attaches to the bike by way of a plastic hardware clamp. According to Dorcy the plastic clamps will “…fit any bike in the the North American market…” I didn’t need any tools to attach the clamp to my bike. After attaching the plastic clamp I was then able to attach the light unit. The whole process is simple and allows a person to easily add or remove the light as needed. I like this feature as it makes it easy to toss your light in your bag so it doesn’t get stolen.
One negative, the location of one of the tightening screws makes it hard to use. My fingers didn’t fit in the small space very well. I was able to tighten the light to the bike fine, but it was harder than it needed to be.
The Dorcy bicycle tail light appears bright and is relatively inexpensive. I was actually surprised at how bright the tail light is. There are three light modes on the Dorcy bicycle tail light; on, off, and flashing. You simply press a button to change between the different light modes. The tail light is easy to install as well. No tools were needed. The Dorcy bicycle tail light easily connects and disconnects to the bike by way of the plastic hardware clamp. My only concern was that I had to remove my under-the-seat pouch in order to fit the light.
I did find it extremely tough to remove the plastic casing in order to install the batteries. I actually asked my brother for help. I was worried about breaking the plastic clasps, but in the end I was able to open the unit with no damage done. Later on I used a a flat-head screw driver to help me open the casing and it helped out quite a bit.
Overall, the Dorcy LED bicycle tail light seems to work well. The light doesn’t feel very sturdy, but as long as it continues to work that isn’t a big deal to me. The first tail light Dorcy provided quit working properly almost immediately. Dorcy sent a replacement which worked fine.
The Dorcy LED Bicycle and Personal light and Tail Light got me around at night. I felt like I could see fairly well in most situations and people could see me. I appreciated how easy it was to install and adjust the positioning of the lights. I do have some reservations about the construction quality of these products.