Oxford Ultratorch 500
The Ultratorch is Oxford’s mid-level front light, coming with four modes and a maximum output of 500 lumens, as the name indicates.
At £39.99, the Ultratorch is the cheapest in this test. For the price you get a sturdy bit of kit but compared to the Exposure, Lezyne and Blackburn units it’s not a pretty light.
The 500 lumens put out by the Ultratorch, however, do more than enough to keep you visible on lit streets and even put out decent enough power to keep you safe if you happen to find yourself on an unlit detour.
Twinned with a nifty rim of light around the edges of the light, Oxford has clearly thought about keeping riders seen from all sides.
The UT500 comes with a flimsy plastic holster that is fitted to the bars with a rubber strap, which was not quite up to the job of holding it firmly.
When taking on some of Britain’s more weathered roads, the Ultratorch did not fare too well against potholes and broken surfaces, the unit often moving in its plastic unit and supplying some unwanted strobe effects.
The battery life varies hugely depending on the mode — you get one and a half hours on high constant, three hours on medium, six hours on low and 12 hours on flash.
A 90-minute burn time for high constant may fall a little short of the mark, particularly if you’re commuting in the dark both ways.
In summary, the Oxford UT500 can kick out enough light for riding on unlit roads, but since it will only do an hour and a half
at its maximum 500 lumens it’s probably worth spending a bit more and getting a more powerful light. However, as a ‘be seen’ light it works well. www.oxfordproducts.com