Giant Recon HL 1800 Bike Light Review
In this article, we review the Giant Recon HL 1800 front bike light. The Recon HL 1800 features a max of 1800 lumen capacity, as well as a, claimed “industry-leading usage time”. The Recon HL1800 monitors ambient light to change output accordingly, helping to save battery power for when you need it. Shines brighter, runs longer and works smarter.
Read on to learn our thoughts on how this light performs, if Giant’s usage claims live up to the hype and what additional features this light has to offer.
- Smart Mode light sensor monitors ambient light to adjust light output accordingly
- Pairs with Garmin series computers via ANT+ to see battery information and light mode on screen (HL1800 only)
- ANSI certified lumens and run time
- Focused optics with sidelight design for over 270-degrees of visibility
- Heat-dissipating CNC-machined aluminium casing
- Power status indicator alerts remaining run-time before powering off
- Includes adjustable GoPro mount
- Priced at £119.99
- Size: 103x32x47mm
- Weight: 190g without mount
- Colours: Black
- Output: 1800 lumens
- Runtime: High (1800LM) 1.5hrs, Middle 3.5hrs (900LM), Low 7hrs (450LM), Smart (100LM>450LM with flash output in Day) 40hrs; (900LM with steady output at Night) 3.5hrs, Flash (100LM) 65hrs
- Battery: Li-Ion polymer battery (6400mAh)
- Water resistance: IPX6
- Certifications: ANSI-Standard FL-1
The first impressions of the Giant Recon HL 1800 are the build quality is superb. It has that weight to it that screams premium build. The housing is made from CNC-machined aluminium that has a nice texture and durable feel to it. The casing also acts as heat sync for the light.
The light is on the larger size compared to other bike lights I have used but that is not surprising with the high lumens and usage time.
The light features a “Smart Mode” lighting sensor that monitors ambient light to adjust the light output accordingly which essentially means it will change how bright the light is depending on how light it is outside. This is a particularly nice feature if you are riding through frequently changing conditions such as through tunnels or roads in wooded areas or more likely a ride that starts of in the day and ends up in the dark. This feature helps maximise usage time by optimising what power is used.
Fitting the light to my bike was incredibly easy and took only a few minutes. The light comes with two mounts one that attaches to your handlebars with an adjustable wrap-around style attachment. It’s easy to fit with just a single Allen key and is sturdy once tightened correctly. The second mount is a GoPro style mount which I like as it allows me to mount the light to existing mounting points I have from using a GoPro such as on my Helmet.
The brightness of this light means it can be used both on the road and on MTB trails. For this test though I mainly used it on my road and gravel bike.
To test the light I headed out on my gravel bike in the early evening before it started to get dark so I could see the smart mode working. As the night drew in and the skies got darker the light got brighter which made for seamless riding where I didn’t need to think about the light at all. I really like this feature as not only does it manage the battery life superbly but it means I can be seen by cars in the day without having to keep changing brightness modes.
Charging the light is straight forward just plugin in the micro USB cable to the port on the bottom of the light and a few hours later it is ready to go. One thing to note though is that the cable supplied is tiny. Thankfully with today’s tech all shipping with micro USB cables I had some longer ones I could use.
With longer use, I did notice the light unit getting quite hot. You wouldn’t want to grab it with a bare hand for more than a second or two but again this is no surprise with a high lumen output. The aluminium case does disipate the heat quite quickly once turned off though.
Giant Recon Battery Life
As mentioned above the Giant Recon HL1800 battery life is quite impressive thanks to the smart mode. The smart mode effectively manages lumen output based on the current light conditions, meaning you can leave it on throughout daylight heading through dusk into the darkness with the light adjusting as it goes. You are not required to manually adjust the levels and can focus on your cycling knowing that the optimal light levels are being used to keep you safe and the battery life of the torch extended.
I was impressed by the Giant Recon HL 1800 battery life and wish some of my other torches had this feature too!
So in summary I am really impressed with the Giant Recon HL 1800. Priced at £119.99 it’s by no means a cheap light but for what it is I think it’s great value for money. I’ve now been using it for a few months and it’s still like new. The performance is excellent and will get you through most rides with no problems. The Lumen output is bright making visibility a non-issue. Again Giant have really thought through this product with additional features such as allowing you to connect to a Garmin device (untested as we didn’t have a compatible device at the time of testing) and the GoPro style mount. I don’t think you would be disappointed if you were to purchase this product. I slightly longer USB cable would be useful though.
You can read some of our other articles about lights here:
and here are some other articles we’ve done with Giant:
- Giant Airway Dual Side Bottle Cage Review
- Giant Rail SX MIPS Helmet Review
- Giant Unveils New Trance X Advanced 29 Trail Bike
- Giant Line Trail Shoes Review
You can purchase this light directly from Giant Bicycles here: