Using the Izone ARC 850 front light feels like I’m using my car’s full beam – Kieran, website review

Izone ARC 850 Light

Cycle lights are an essential part of cycling if you are going to travel to work by bike, cycle in low light or simply want to improve your visibility.

When it comes to cycling, I’ve always lived by the adage, see and be seen. So whether you’re using the eye blistering Cateye Volt 6000 front lights or strangely over engineered Brainy Bike Lights, it’s important that you can see where you’re going and be seen by other road users.

Izone ARC Cycling Lights

Izone ARC are a range of USB rechargeable front lights for cyclists. The range consists of five lights; ARC 400, ARC 450, ARC 600, ARC 650, ARC 850. The Izone ARC 850 sits at the top of the range and stands out from the others by way of its powerful 850 lumen beam.

The lights all share the same features (see below) and simply differ in regard to output power or lumens (the measure of the total amount of visible light to the human eye) and the length of run-time. The following table compares models, the run-times are based on each light being in High mode and are the manufacturers’ claims.

Model: ARC 850 ARC 650 ARC 600 ARC 450 ARC 400
Output: 850 lumens 650 lumens 600 lumens 450 lumens 400 lumens
Run-Time: 1.5 hrs 2 hrs 2 hrs 3 hrs 2.5 hrs
RRP: £99.99 £79.99 £79.99 £59.99 £59.99

The Izone ARC 850, and the rest of the range for that matter, are built inside a compact metal package. When you first take it out of the box, first impressions are that it feels solid, well-made and produced using quality materials.

Items that are solid-built, often leads to additional weight, especially over items made with lower quality materials. For example, plastics are generally lighter than metals and whilst the Izone ARC range are made of metal, you really do get the sense that these lights are made to last.

Specifications for the ARC 850 are scarce, even the Izone website doesn’t list much information. So I’ve searched the Internet to bring together everything that’s available on the ARC 850, including product description, features, technical specifications, weight, length and of course user reviews.

Izone ARC 850 Specifications & Features

To combat the lack of official specifications, I had to resort to getting the kitchen weigh-scales out to find the true weight, but then again, at least I know the actual weight, which is 132g. This compares to 91g for the Exposure Joystick, which is an excellent front light but one that is more expensive than the ARC 850 (more on this later).

Izone ARC 850 (image by Wheelies)The Izone light is housed in a striking matte finish, and looks dark grey rather than black, either way it’s an attractive finish.

The marketing blurb highlights that the ARC 850 is housed in a patented dual density heat sink with machined aluminium alloy cooling fins to keep the temperature under control. It sounds flash but I can attest that it both looks and feels a top quality light. The cooling fins are designed to prevent the light from over-heating, which seems to work well.

One thing you want from a front light as you cycle down an unlit path or B-road, is for the light to be projected forward and no loss of output to the sides. Izone achieve this by use of a Collimator lens, put simply, this narrows the beam. In comparison to the Exposure Joystick and the Cateye Volt 800, you’ll see from the images below, that the ARC 850 has a narrower beam.

Izone ARC 850 Features

  • Output: 850 Lumens
  • Lens: Collimator lens
  • Runtime: Flash – up to 10hr | Constant – up to 3hrs | High – up to 1.5 hrs
  • Technology: Patented cooling system
  • Charge: USB rechargeable Li-ion battery (cable included)
  • Modes: Max, Eco, Flash, Beacon, Strobe
  • Race Modes: High, Eco
  • Weight: 132g (confirmed)
  • Length: 105mm (measured)
  • Waterproof: IPX4 (protects from splashing water, no matter the direction)
  • Bracket: Secure tool-free handlebar bracket
  • Battery Monitor: Real-time battery gauge

Izone ARC 850 front light test

ARC 850 FAQs

How to Charge the ARC 850

Charging it quite simple and easy to do. At the rear of the light, you will see a semi-transparent plastic cover over the micro USB port. Gently pull this back to reveal the USB port (it looks like many mobile phone charging sockets), then insert the USB cable that comes with the light. Be careful to ensure the adapter is the right way up, don’t force it.

The charging cable can then be connected to the appropriate mains socket. I couldn’t find any official charging time but in test, it took around 3 hours.

How to Mount the ARC 850

The ARC 850 comes with a rubber strap that attaches to your handlebars tool-free, which means that unlike other front lights, you don’t need an Allen key to attach it.

The light is quickly and securely fastened around the handlebar in a matter of seconds using the rubber strap. To ensure the light doesn’t move, especially on rough roads, simply pull the strap tighter and connect it to a hole further round the strap.

How to Operate the Light

The ARC 850 has two functional modes, Race mode and Standard mode. Race mode has two light options, whereas the Standard mode has five.

In Race mode, you have the option of High and Eco, the former being the strongest light and the latter an eco-mode to conserve battery life. The High beam is bright, really bright and offer very good visibility. The Eco mode is generally suitable for longer rides when you know you’ll need to preserve battery power. To enter Race mode, click and hold the mode key for 2 seconds.

Standard mode offers a wider range of options, which include Max, Eco, Flash, Beacon and Strobe. Max mode appears to be the same as High in Race mode, and Eco mode looks to follow suit. The additional options offer some useful options and all are bright.

Flash mode is just that, a quick flashing light repeating 3 or 4 times per second. Beacon slows the flashing to around once per second and Strobe is a constant beam overlaid with about two flashes per second. To enter Standard mode, double click the mode key and click once to cycle through the modes.

ARC 850 Key Functions

Izone ARC lights feature an intelligent battery level indicator built into the single button at the rear. When in use, the button uses a colour-coded system to indicate battery energy levels:

  • Green: optimum performance
  • Amber: extended run time
  • Red: reserve power warning lights

When the light is charging, the light indicates:

  • Flashing Red: below 30% charged
  • Flashing Amber: 30-70% charged
  • Flashing Green: 70-90% charged
  • Solid Green: 100% charged

Compare Izone ARC 850

The Izone ARC 850 delivers a wider beam at higher brightness

Izone ARC 850 vs Cateye Volt 800

Izone ARC 850 vs Cateye Volt 800

Izone ARC 850 vs Exposure Joystick

Izone ARC 850 vs Exposure Joystick

The above images were taken from the Tredz Cycling Light Comparison Tool which allows cyclists to compare cycling lights side-by-side. They have a wide range of lights to compare from the top 20 light manufacturers.

Both the Cateye Volt 800 and Exposure Joystick lights are excellent, I have used these lights for a couple of years and can wholeheartedly recommend them. Both lights offer comparable lumen strength to the ARC 850 and both deliver a bright front light.

The photographs above show the ARC 850 to deliver its power through a narrow beam, which comes from the Collimator lens, whereas the Cateye Volt and Exposure Joystick are shown as having a wider beam.

In my experience, this is completely inaccurate and I found the ARC 850 to have around a 40% wider beam than both lights. What’s impressive about the ARC is that it delivers this wider beam with higher brightness.

Izone ARC 850 vs Izone ARC 650 & ARC 450

The following images are taken from the Wheelies website and show the comparison between the ARC 850 and its stablemates, the ARC 650 & ARC 450. As you can see from the first image, the ARC 850 is shown to have a wider beam than in the Tredz image and delivers a bright light which projects well ahead of the rider.

In practice, I found this image to be a true reflection of what the ARC 850 is really like.

Izone ARC 850 vs Izone ARC 650 & ARC 450

Buy Izone ARC 850 Lights

Izone ARC 850 Front Light was £99.99 now £49.99 Find Cheapest Price
Izone ARC 650 Front Light was £79.99 now £34.99 Find Cheapest Price
Izone ARC 450 Front Light was £59.99 now £29.99 Find Cheapest Price

Izone ARC 850 Customer Reviews

The following reviews are extracts taken from customer reviews on the Wheelies, Tredz and Bike Bible websites.

Reviewer + Positive Comments – Negative Comments Scores
Annie, Salford Excellent range and spread of light for unlit roads, good battery life and easy to take on/off bike. Strap looks like it could get over stretched with time. 9 / 10
Baljinder, Peterborough Brilliant day time light. Feel relaxed when riding knowing drivers aware of my presence on road. None 10 / 10
Andrew, Cardiff Provides a great spread/depth of light, even on the lower setting and easy to use. None 10 /10
Gavin The light is amazing and super bright. The strap it comes with works perfect, you just have to put it on correctly. I haven’t had any problem with it. None 5 / 5
Paul The light is plenty bright enough and I love being able to see well ahead and avoid those potholes. Battery life is adequate for my use (40 mins commutes). The fitting is a real pain so I have unscrewed it and fastened it to a Catseye fitting that slides and locks onto a carrier on the handlebars. 4.3 / 5
Kieran Incredibly bright light on pitch black commute, good options inc dimmed and flashing for less dark areas. Easy to take on/off bike. Battery life allowed me approx 1hr 10 mins on full power constant mode before turning to amber. The only negative for me is the battery life. 4.8 / 5
Bike Bible This rechargeable front light offers outstanding performance in a compact, lightweight and affordable package. Attachment system needs some improvement. 9 / 10

Product: Izone ARC 850
Review: 4.5 / 5 stars