Review: Cat Eye Nano Shot (HL-EL620RC) front light

When I bought my little Dahon back in 2013, I bought this tiny front light from Cat Eye along with it. Let’s see what it’s got.

Next to an RSA security token and a laptop’s cable lock key.

FEATURES

  • Single LED emitter with OptiCube optics and reflector design
  • 1050 mAh internal battery
  • Three modes
    • High: 250 lumens
    • Low: 100 lumens
    • Flashing
  • Rechargeable via USB
  • Mounts to handlebar via FlexTight bracket

IMPRESSIONS

Mounted to the Dahon Vitesse T20.

The Nano Shot is a small self-contained front light, reminiscent of a small flashlight, with a single LED emitter flanked by two hex bolts. On the rear is its lone control button, which turns the light on and off and switches between high and low modes. To make it flash, you push the switch twice in quick succession. There is a low battery charge indicator inside the switch that glows red when the light goes low on juice.

 

Some fin-like shaping runs the length of the light’s body, likely to help it dissipate whatever little heat it generates. It never really gets hot to the touch.

Charging port exposed and low battery warning light active.

Underneath the Nano Shot’s body is the rail for mounting onto the handlebar-mounted FlexTight bracket, and its mini-USB charging port, sealed away by a rubber grommet. The light’s battery sits inside the body, which acts as its shell. If you were to dispose of or recycle the battery, Cat Eye recommends undoing the two hex bolts in front, pulling out the innards, and disconnecting the little wires connecting it to the rest of the light.

MTBR.com had a Nano Shot join its shootout of front lights, and it put out a measured 206 lumens in high mode. While that’s pretty close to the claim, it still means the Nano Shot is really a “to-be-seen-with” front light at nighttime.

 

Even though it’s not so good for this purpose, Cat Eye does at least shape the beam to make the Nano Shot more useful for seeing things with. The beam pattern spills a little more light downward, resulting in a narrow but long rectangle of illumination.

A closer look at how the FlexTight bracket works.

That internal battery is ultimately what does the Nano Shot in, though. 1050 mAh was decent when it was new. After three years of use, mine barely holds a charge, and replacements are pretty hard to find. Since front light technology improves with every passing year, I’d just replace mine with a more powerful model with better charge capacity.

VERDICT

Still, the Nano Shot is a good front light for beginners to cycling at night. As this is a 2012 release, it’s outdone by many newer models released since.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Review: Cat Eye Nano Shot (HL-EL620RC) front light

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s