Aldi recently offerred a twin set of front and rear LED cycle lights at £3.99. A set of lights at this price is a snip but, like most things, you get what you pay for. So what are you getting for your four quid? Not a lot, it has to be said. The lights come in plastic sealed packaging is probably more durable than the lights themselves.
Included are two mounts and batteries. The mounts are of poor quality with nuts and bolts that don't fit particularly well and require tools to fit. Basic spacers are provided for fitting to different diameter bars and stems. The rear mount is for a seat post only not frame. The lights are fixed to the bike by sliding their clips into the holders on the mounts. This clip on the rear of each light is a nice touch since it can be used to attach to a rucksack or clothing.
The lights themselves are three LED units running off two AAA batteries. Both lights are of similar design and cheap construction with a hard plastic seal, which probably doesn't so I wouldn't anticipate continued operation in wet weather. They are basically a back plate with batteries either side of a central circuit board holding the four standard low power LEDs and the switch sensing circuit. These are not high power high intensity LEDs and consequently the light output is relatively weak. The battery contacts are also flimsy. On one set they didn't make contact with the circuit board so the lights didn't work. The lens cover snaps onto the back plate to close the unit, it's clear on the front and red on the rear. The units are are small, which is a nice thing about these lights - they are easy to pop into your pocket.
The lights work by pressing a small rubber button on the back of the light. Two modes are available, flashing and steady. The front uses cheap light-green LEDs rather than the better white LEDs more commonly found in lights and torches these days. The rears use red LED's. In operation, these lights fulfil the basic legal requirement for UK Road Vehicle Regulations but are not very bright. They certainly don't emit enough light to see by and only sufficient to be visible in the right conditions. For winter use in traffic and bad weather, these lights are inadequate to be seen by. Battery life is indeterminate - I haven't used them long enough to find out.
These lights are cheap for the money and it shows. They are suitable only to be seen by on traffic-free routes, cheap back-ups or, at a push, getting back from the pub. As a get-me home option, probably OK for the summer, but for busy road riding on winter nights, steer clear and get something safer.
Supplier: Aldi £3.99
Value for money: 4/10