Every now and then someone makes a tweak to a product and you think – actually that’s so obvious, why didn’t anyone think of doing this before now?
The Lezyne Zecto Auto is one of those products.
The Zecto light isn’t new – it’s been around at least a season already but some bright spark at Lezyne obviously thought one day – hey why don’t we make this light motion sensitive, so you don’t have to remember to turn it on? Brilliant – why not indeed.
I have automatic lights in my car – why can’t I have them on my bike? Well now I do.
The Zecto Auto adds in a motion sensor, so when it detects any movement of your bike, the light switches on. It’s quite a sensitive sensor too – it doesn’t take much movement at all to switch on. The Zecto Auto is designed to automatically switch off after 3 minutes and on the one I have this works quite well. I’ve been timing it with a stop watch and it’s reasonably consistent.
Why 3 minutes? Well my theory is to allow for the length of stopping at traffic lights. Sure not many will see you waiting that long but we can probably all think of a few junctions that feel like it takes forever between phases. The 3 minute period keeps you illuminated and hopefully safer while you wait to get moving again.
The Zecto Auto is a fantastic rear light. It’s USB rechargeable, it has three bright LEDs which can be switched to flash in a range of patterns. My favourite is the one where they flash in a circular sequence …. Just in case you wanted to know. There are 4 indicator lights on the side that help tell you how much battery is left but they also give you some welcome side visibility.
Another small plus on the USB charging is that because its using micro USB, you might find (like I did) that you can use the same charging cable as on your phone, which keeps things a touch simpler.
The design of the fitting on the rear of the light is slanted for setback seatposts, which is nice. The rubber band for fitting works easily with different size seatposts. Also nice. The only flaw I’ve found is that design doesn’t work well with aero seatposts, but Lezyne’s not the only brand with that issue. I was involved in a Twitter discussion with Lezyne a while back where they said they’re working on alternate mounts for the future, so hopefully this issue will go away in time.
I’ve found the run time to be 2-3 hours and a bit less when it’s really cold. Good for most rides, but in winter I typically carry a spare rear light with me anyway – stowed in a pocket or saddle pack. To be honest, the battery performance is my only real reservation on this product but I’ve found battery life with all rechargeable lights …. well a bit patchy or at least less than you’d hope for. Battery life is never as long as you’d like and performance deteriorates over time with more charging cycles. On my wish list would be a light like this with 5-7 hour run time. I didn’t find the claims of run time on the packaging to match real world use.
As the battery runs low, the fancy patterns disappear and the light will run with all three LEDS lit for a decent amount of time at lower output setting that’s still easily visible – just not nearly as bright.
My previous favourite Lezyne LED rear light was the Micro Drive, but the Zecto Auto definitely tops it.
You can find more information here: http://www.lezyne.com/product-led-sport-zectoauto.php#.VICKxdWsV2I
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