Thanks to the new Sunday delivery for Amazon Prime, today I received the Cygolite Expilion 800, which will replace the Cygolite Expilion 250 (here’s my past review) I’ve had for a little over three years. Due to a new job with good flexibility, the light hasn’t gotten any use during the last two years. Now with my schedule changing, I have a need for a light again, and so I figured this was a good time for an upgrade.
The new light is only slightly longer than the old. The back black part is about the same length on both, but the front part with the LED is slightly longer on the new light. The new light is closer to the camera in the photo below, so the size difference is greatly exaggerated.
The old and the new mounting brackets have slightly different shaped release tabs.
But underneath the lights are almost the same, so the old and new mounts are both fully compatible.
The new bracket is different, in that it doesn’t have the removable spacers to fit the oversized bars.
Instead of using removable spacers, the new one just opens a bit wider to fit the oversize bars.
I prefer the more compact look of the old mount without the spacers. But the new mount will still be useful as a spare mount, since it will fit on both standard and oversize bars without having to worry about losing the spacers.
The helmet mount bracket (which I have never used) has changed slightly. There’s now a thumbscrew to change the angle, rather than a Phillips head screw (not visible in the photo).
The chargers are identical, though the USB cable on the new one is slightly shorter.
I took some photos of the beam patterns in my backyard. Due to limited space and ambient light, the best I could do was to take photos with the lights four feet from a wall. I compared all of the steady modes of the 800 to the highest setting on the 250 (since that was the only setting I used on that light). The 250 seems to get dimmer in my photos, I’m guessing that’s due to the camera exposure changing as I bump up the 800 to subsequent higher settings. Clearly, this photography is not my area of expertise, but at least the photos accurately capture the difference between the two lights.
Expilion 250 at full strength (250 lumens, 3 hr run time), versus 800 at medium (400 lumens, 3 hr run time)
Expilion 250 at full strength (250 lumens, 3 hr run time), versus 800 at high (550 lumens, 2 hr 15 min run time)
Expilion 250 at full strength (250 lumens, 3 hr run time), versus 800 at boost (800 lumens, 1 hr 15 min run time)
Expilion 250 at full strength (250 lumens, 3 hr run time), versus 800 at low (150 lumens, 9 hr run time)
The 250 makes the best use of the limited light by focusing the beam in a tighter spot, while the 800 is able to cast a wider beam. The center spot at the medium 400 mode is only slightly dimmer than that of the 250, but the trade off of having the wider beam makes it worthwhile. I anticipate that most of the time, I will run the light at the medium 400 setting, bumping it up to the high 550 setting for downhills. That still leaves the boost 800 mode in reserve!
Overall, I’m happy that I upgraded from the 250 to the 800! Amazing how much light technology can change in just a few years!