There are certainly similarities between the Exposure lights range and the Ravemen range of bike lights. Most obviously, they share the most important feature for me – being entirely self contained with no external battery (although both ranges will accept piggyback booster batteries if you really need them), but there are plenty of others on the market these days that take the same approach.
Both this Ravemen PR2400 and Exposure also have fixed point mounting brackets in that you angle them appropriately and then bolt them up. The bracket stays in situ and once you have bolted it up there is no other adjustment, although you can take the lights off easily enough (the exception to this is the lower-powered lamps in Ravemen’s range, which use a screw-on bracket that can be angled from side to side).
What is different between the Ravemen and Exposure ranges is cost, technology and manufacturing location. The Ravemen has some interesting features which I’ll come to, but Exposure have long led the field in terms of output and how it’s maximised for best effect – via a touch-tap in some cases, by accelerometers and motion sensors in others – all of which extends runtime for a given output or just makes things extra bright for shorter periods. This technology comes at a premium in terms of cost, particularly with UK manufacture.
The Ravemen by contrast has fewer, simpler tricks up its sleeve – a well optimised lens, decent battery capacities, bluetooth remote switches and of course, it’s made in China. All of which tend to come at a lower cost to the Exposure technology.
But this review isn’t really about Ravemen vs. Exposure – both at their price points have a lot going for them and I mention it purely to show that the lighting game (with its focus on pairing reliable output to the latest tech) is as fierce a battle as something like Apple vs. Android. It’s just the market size and money involved is a little different!
This review specifically is about the Ravemen PR2400.
I’ve been running the Ravemen PR2400 light since around the end of 2021 so it has seen me through the dark UK winter months and is just now starting to become fundamental to my mid-week rides again. Prior to getting the PR2400 I had been using it’s little brother, the Ravemen PR1200 for about three years until I managed to drop it one time too many. Until then it had shrugged off multiple knocks but dropping an LED light onto driveway pavers never does it much good. A shame, because it is a very good light in itself.
It doesn’t take a great deal of imagination to work out that the output of the PR1200 is 1200 lumens and the output of the PR2400 is therefore 2400 lumens! There also happens to be a PR1600 in the range with the two higher output models using bluetooth switches to switch between settings.
So, part of my reasoning around getting the PR2400 was continuity. I used the older light across multiple bikes and the plan was to do the same with the replacement.
Immediately I stumbled across a problem; one that irked much more than expected.
The mounts between the PR1200 and PR1600 are not the same as that of the PR2400! Ostensibly they both use a simple slide and click bracket but the PR2400 is a bigger and heavier lamp that needs a more substantial mount. Gone is the screw on bracket that allows side to side adjustment of the beam, in comes a bolt on alternative that results in a fixed angle. The base plate on the light is also a different thickness ensuring no-one is able to use the old brackets even if tempted.
That really annoyed me if I’m honest although I can see how this came about.
With Exposure, they started with large lamps and then got smaller so their brackets have been unchanged over years and are more than capable of handling whatever is required. With Ravemen, they started small and got bigger meaning that at some point their original brackets just weren’t up to the job. What would be nice would be standardising around the bigger options, but that requires all sorts of production and packaging changes to models that already have a good enough option. To be clear, the old PR1200 compatible brackets are very robust; just not up to handling the extra weight.
More compatibility issues are apparent when you look closer at the Ravemen range, probably for similar reasons. Technology moves forward. So while the PR1600 and PR2400 both have bluetooth switches, they are not compatible across models either. And a much bigger criticism for me – I can’t buy a second switch to use with the light on a second bike. I have one switch on one bike (which can be moved if I want to) but I can’t clone it and have a second switch permanently ready on another.
Ravemen PR2400 features
Compatibility issues aside, what does the Ravemen PR2400 have to offer? Well, for the £199rrp, quite a lot (I seem to remember paying much less than this btw).
First of all – and the primary reason I like Ravemen products so much – is the fact their front lights offer both a dipped and main beam. That’s very unusual in the world of bike lights. In the case of the PR2400, there are five LEDs arranged in a ‘X’ formation with the centre LED sitting behind a dipped lens. This anti-glare approach results in a nice flat top to the beam and is ideal for using on the road. In this ‘low’ setting you get up to 900 lumens across five levels of output, including a flash option with run times varying between 3.4 to 45 hours.
Toggle to high mode though and all five LEDs kick in, producing up to 2400 lumens with a strong throw of light that also allows for good peripheral vision. Here you have just three output levels with run times between 1.5 and 5.5 hours.
Switching between modes is easy, either using the bluetooth handlebar switch or by pressing the large, round, green glowing button on the top of the unit itself. A press and hold on the bluetooth switch can also flick on main beam so if you are on the road you can briefly flash drivers if you want to signal them or think they have missed seeing you. A smaller secondary button on the bluetooth switch or the LED unit allows the brightness levels to be changed, with the unit remembering where you were previously as you switch back and forth between main and low beam.
You can see how much run time remains or which mode you are in from the OLED panel on the back of the lamp which is bright and easy to read and the timings have proved to be pretty accurate. Charging takes place via a modern USB C port which makes things easier and there is a “USB out” socket too if you want to charge your phone. If you really need to you can also plug in a reserve battery although it’s not something Ravemen actually supply themselves.
As for build quality, it is excellent with a solid anodised body and waterproofing to IXP8 levels, which means submersion to depths greater than 1m. The unit is 105mm x 51mm x 36mm and weighs 282g that some might consider heavy vs an Exposure Race which offers similar performance for 190g. In practice, this light goes on the bars and I haven’t felt the weight is an issue at all other than the impact of requiring a stronger mount, discussed previously. The mounts will fit 31.8mm or 35mm handlebars and are of good quality, with spares readily available.
Ravemen PR2400 performance
Here’s the key question – how does the Ravemen PR2400 perform? The answer is very well indeed! On the road it offers a precise beam pattern with a decent throw down the road even on lower settings. I have never been flashed by oncoming traffic for example yet feel I can navigate pretty well on dark roads.
In fact, I use the full 900 lumens of the dip beam when I am off road too for much of my general riding, only switching to the the maximum 2400 lumen output when things get fast, twisty or both. Even then, the 1200 lumen mid setting works surprisingly well, leaving a wide margin on run times even when in the depths of winter when the evening ride is dark from the off.
Full beam is super bright for my needs but still not as bright as some. Anyone with an Exposure or Lumicycle lamp on overboost can still put me in shadow if they are following me closely on gentler trails but once we are doing our own thing downhill its as bright as it needs to be. I certainly don’t feel I need to slow down (admittedly I have an Exposure Diablo on the crash helmet too). Particularly appreciated on the high beam setting is the wider spread from running all five LEDs at once, which fills in the foreground nicely, especially closer to the bike.
After running the smaller PR1200 light for some time I am confident in the durability of the basic design, assuming I don’t drop the light on the driveway multiple times! Incidentally, if you want a cheaper, lighter light for predominantly road application the PR1200 would be a very good lamp to go for and can be picked up for around £80 these days.
Speaking of costs, at £199 for the Ravemen PR2400 it is at least a 1/3 to 1/2 the price of similar Exposure models even before using your Google-fu to pay less. Yes, Exposure models probably have an edge in performance but they can’t get close on price.
I would give the Ravemen PR2400 a solid thumbs up. If you are a night novice, or habitual winter rider, this is a good place to start.