Axa Luxx 70 plus

On the main page I wrote in the section about headslamps that might be of interest:

Axa Luxx70 Plus: Axa says: 95 metres 'to see'. Yeah right! For a cat maybe, for humans this is unlikely :) I mean the road surface (and unevenness/holes in it). And seeing objects on the road is possible at such distances only if they are big enough, and not a very dark colour. A user experience can be found here (in German): It seems no real improvement on the best headlamps already out there (I wrote this before the Luxos U became available), but the Luxx70 plus does have a USB power output.


Luxx 70 plus in box Luxx 70 plus in box Luxx 70 plus in box Luxx 70 plus in box Luxx 70 plus in box

Mass: ca. ??g with mounting bracket and cable to dynamo and taillamp.
Size: width: ca. ??.2 mm, height: ca. ??.9 mm, length ca. ??.1 mm.
Mounting width: ca. 8.8 mm at the bottom joint, more on this and using possibly other mounts to follow.
LED: 1 power LED and 2 fairly bluish 5mm LEDs for near field light at low speed. LED light colour: Cool white
On/off: Switch at the back to choose off, auto, USB. It looks as if it's not possible to have the light on and charge USB devices at the same time.
Price: ca. € 90,-


See also the Bicycle lamp size page for comparison pictures with other headlamps.


I wasn't expecting much of this lamp, because of what I had read in a German forum, but it was better than I expected. The feeling of using the Luxx 70 plus after having used the Luxos U for several weeks was relief. The Luxos U badly overexposes the near field, and as I explained in another review, when you use another headlamp that doesn't have this the feeling you get is similar to when a noise source suddenly stops. You feel "ah, nice and quiet" even though you might have believed there is no problem at all. Subconsciously such things irritate and switching to another lamp can immediately show it.

The near field light with the extra 5mm LEDs seemed gimmicky and annoying even at first, because it has a tendency to go on-off-on-off etc. at around 13-15 km/h, so when I decelerate from cruising speed (ca. 25 km/h) for a corner or traffic light, or when I accelerate to cruising speed I get this flickery bluish light close to the front wheel that attracts my attention. It does help on narrow, slow roads, or on hills where you ride very slowly. But it's still gimmicky and I doubt whether such a switchable near-field beam is better than a more even beam that's always on (so only a small gap from front wheel to main beam, and the intensity of the beam should start there lower than the beam from ca. 15 m, and this should be done with a smooth increase of brightness. This is the type of beam I designed a reflector for, more developments about that will follow soon, I hope.

The beam starts with some blobs of light, then a cone of light which lights up the road up to ca. 45 m. This has a 'hot section' in the middle, a narrow strip of light, well, its shape is like a long balloon/zeppelin but with more pointy start and ends. It's nowhere near as good as the Philips Saferide 80, nor as good as the Saferide 60, but it has other advantages of course, such as auto on/off, and USB power output which is good for charging up phones and other gadgets on long trips.

Standlight is only with the main LED, which gives a beam starting ca. 5-6 metre from the front wheel. This makes it useless to use it to put your bike away in an unlit shed.

The lamp has a switch that selects light off, on, and USB, so you can't charge devices while the light is working, even at a small current enough to top up use for navigation of a phone for example, which is the only point on which the Luxos U really wins over the Luxx70 plus.

2013-7-13: USB power output: It seems to work quite well, charging a Samsung Galaxy Y from 81% to 91% in a 25 minute ride over 10 km (average speed ca. 23.4 km/h). When starting to ride the Galaxy Y beeped several times that it was charging, losing the charger etc. until I got to a reasonable speed (more than around 6km/h). Charging a Galaxy Tab2-7 will be tested next. And a more precise power output test to come as well.

Tab2-7 charged about 4% (big error margin possible of course) on a ride of the same distance in about the same time, about the same speed. So charging a tab2-7 could take about 10 hours. Which means the Luxx70 plus seems to charge at about 0.5A or slightly more, as a 2A charger takes about 3 hours.

Measurements to follow.

Conclusion, preliminary

It doesn't have the lightoutput of the Luxos U when that is in high mode, but the high mode of the Luxos U is hampered with the same problem that the Luxos U has in normal mode: A bad overexposure of the near field. This means you can't see as well in the distance as you could if this didn't happen, and it means that the Luxos U is not much better than the Luxx 70 plus in this respect. The LEDs for the near field light work when going uphill or on a path where you must ride slowly, but the light colour of it is too bluish, and it has a tendency to go on-off-on-off etc. in the range around 13-15 km/h which is a bit annoying. And they are off when standing still, another fault. Both the Luxx 70 plus and the Luxos B/U show that since the Philips LED bike light in 2009, there is still nothing close to that in beam quality in commercial dynamo lamps, which is extremely disappointing, especially as it's possible...

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