To see and be seen is no easy task, whether you are ripping through city streets or roaming country roads, visibility is important; it’s a matter of safety, and day or night, it enhances your sense of freedom. This is why we created the PUSH – a self contained, 100 lumen vessel of visibility. With an easy push of the oversized on/off switch, you quickly toggle through high, low, and ‘don’t-stare-at-it-too-long’ flash modes. Because drivers on cell phones come from all angles, the power of the front light is augmented by independent light pipes that emit though side windows ensuring over 260º of visibility. And if you’re venturing off the tarmac and onto the trail, a simple hold of the button allows the side flash to be disabled, allowing you to focus solely on the twists and turns ahead. The PUSH is mounted to your bars utilizing our race proven bracket system, so you can not only take it on and off instantly, but you can be sure of its firm and reliable grip.
- 100 Lumens of Power
- Maxbright LED
- LED optic Collimator
- Focused Narrow beam
- Waterproof level IPX4
- Uses 3 AAA or Rechargeable Batteries
- Low beam – 40 m and 14 hours of burn time
- Flash – 70 m and 63 hours of burn time
- High beam – 70 m and 4 hours of burn time
- Available in three colors – Red, Blue, Titanium
- Weight – 124 g (4.4 oz)
- Retail – $50
Princeton Tec has been pioneering new technologies and making lights for over three decades. They make products for Scuba, Outdoors, Cycling, Industrial, and Tactical activities. They make handhelds, headlamps, and task lights. In the winter, I started testing several lights for commuting in the dark and Princeton Tec was willing to have me review the Push.
I have a 16 mile each way commute to work and in the winter months the ride home is in complete darkness. This proves to be a great testing ground for cycling lights. The ride takes from an hour to hour and a half depending upon the wind. The ride is uphill on the way home.
The Princeton Tec Push is a high-power multi functioned LED light. The light can be broken up into three sections. A metal front housing where the light and lens sit, the plastic rear section with the button, red lights, and battery storage, and the retention mechanism. The front metal housing is the section that will be colored depending on what you order, the rest of the Push is the same. The Push uses a Maxbright LED, which is the highest quality LED from Lumileds. This single LED emits a smooth, and powerful white light. Princeton Tec has used an Optic Collimator which gathers all available light from an LED in the form of scattered rays and re-emits the light as parallel rays. This makes the LED more optically efficient than just a standard reflector. This is what gives the light such an extensive range, 40 meters in low mode and 70 meters in high mode. They have also created a focused narrow beam for a long, powerful bean of light. This allows it to illuminate better at lengthy distances.
The Push has three settings that can all be controlled by the same rear button. Just push the button to scroll through the settings, they include: high, low, and strobe. I would call it flashing, but it is not uniform and more like a strobe light. The setting will greatly impact the amount of burn time of the light, ranging from 4 hours on high and 63 hours on strobe. The Push is powered by 3 AAA batteries and can use rechargeable if that is what you have available. To get into the battery case, the front section just twists off, it is marked with two small lines on the underside of the light. As an added feature to the push, they have put in little light vents down each side of the light that flash red when the light is in use. This gives the Push 260 degrees of visibility. The Push has a waterproof protection of level 1, which is similar to the international equivalent of IPX4. This means the light can handle splashes or even a quick dunking. In other words, as long as you don’t ride into a lake, the light is good.
The Push has an easy to use clamp mechanism with internal rubber pads to hold it in place and not damage whatever it is clamped to. This mechanism allows the light to be attached to a wide variety of things as it can adjust sizes very easily. The unit will also have a small amount of horizontal adjustment when it is secured so if you bar does not point exactly straight the light can be twisted slightly to accommodate that. If you do not want to use the clamp, the mechanism can easily be removed by just sliding the light out of the slots. I was not able to figure out what the Push was made of specifically, nor was I amble to find any information on the Princeton Tec website about green or sustainable initiatives. For this reason, I gave the light a one in sustainability, giving it credit for being able to be used with rechargeable batteries.
Battery Life (20%)
Ease of Use (15%)
Weather Resistance (10%)
I used the Push on my commutes mainly. It is a 16 mile each way ride where the morning is light, but the ride home was often done in the dark. I generally had good weather but there were some rainy and snowy days thrown into the mix. Nothing like what you might experience in Portland on the other side of the mountains. Our rain is fairly light by comparison. The Push had no issues with any of the weather I put it through. It has an IPX4 rating so it should be able to handle anything apart from dunking it in water. The light feels solid and durable. I have not had any issues with it. One of my friends has the same light, and he has broken off the internal tabs that hold on the alloy section. He said he twisted it wrong and snapped them off. I have not had that happen, but if you look inside you can see it is possible as they are plastic.
The Push has an excellent clamp system. It is simple yet effective. I really like how there is a little horizontal adjustability to the light when it is mounted. With different handlebars and shapes you often do not get the light shining in the perfect direction so having some slight adjustability help get the light where it can be most effective. If you do park your bike and want to take the light but keep the clamp attached it is really easy to slide it off. Just push down on the tab and pull it back off the mount. To reattach it, you just slide it back on. The single button is also easy to use. One push gets to high, two pushes to low, and three pushes to the flashing setting. The light has 100 lumens of power on the high setting, and that worked well enough to light up a dark road by itself. The beam is oval in shape and is strongest near the center so it was good for both distance and seeing some of the objects off to the sides. If I paired this with a helmet light, then I had a nearly perfect setup. The Push has some flashing red lights on the side that are there to give added visibility. While I like the idea, I found a negative with these lights. One is that since the light is on your bars, it is likely that the rider’s arms and hands will block some of the visibility of these lights. I am sure they help more than none at all.
My biggest negative with the Push light is in regard to the battery life. On high mode the 3 AAA batteries only get four hours of life. That means I would have to change out the batteries over once a week on my commute if I ran this on high mode for my ride home. This seems to me as a terrible waste, switching to a rechargeable system or using rechargeable batteries would definitely help but have their own limitations as well. On the other modes, battery life improved but at the expense of power output.
Overall, the Princeton Tec Push Headlight is easy to use and has a good long beam. It is an ideal light for road cycling where speeds are higher and needing peripheral vision is not as necessary. The clamp system is both easy to use and solid. I really like the adjustability that is built into the mount as well. I do know people who have had issues with durability when getting in and out of the battery compartment. I would say to just not take it apart but with the shorter battery life his is inevitable. I wish it was a rechargeable system or some other ways to reduce the waste that comes with switching batteries often. I personally liked pairing this light with a helmet light as I could use the Push on low, save the batteries, and have a mounted light to go with one that moved with my head. Princeton Tec even makes some lights that can work on your helmet. The Princeton Tec Push retails for $50, but will cost you a lot more if you go with standard batteries. I still recommend it as a commuter light, especially if you do not need the high mode. As always, your mileage may vary.
Pros [field name=iFrame]
- 100 lumens on High
- One Button Operation
- Solid and Easy to Use Clamp
- Mount can Swivel Side to Side
- Side Lights Help to Be Seen from the Side
- Side Lights Can Be Obstructed by Hands & Arms
- Only 4 hours Batter Life on High
- Plastic Tabs on Inside Have Been Reported to Break, I Had No Such Issues
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