The Strada has been one of my favorite road lights over the past few years, and I've reviewed the Mk 3, the Mk 4, and the Mk 5 for road.cc.
Like those previous versions, this Mk 6 model is a self-contained unit (the battery lives within the same tough aluminum shell as the LEDs) and it mounts to your bar via the same quick-release bracket, but it's more powerful than ever, boasts improved side visibility, and gives you better information on the amount of power left in the tank.
You get plenty of light here. You can choose from five different programs, each with different levels of lighting. So, for example, if you were to choose program 2, you'd be able to cycle through high, medium and low modes. The high one would give you about 4hrs of light, the medium one would give you about 12hrs, and the low one would run for around 36hrs.
That would be difficult to remember, so Exposure prints the details on the shell of the light. Changing modes is just a matter of pressing a button, and switching between programs is nearly as easy. You can do it in seconds when you're out on a ride.
If you go for one of the highest lighting modes you'll have no problems seeing everything you need to see when riding fast on unlit roads. Nearly all of my night riding is on unlit roads and this light has allowed me to cut loose on the descents exactly as if I was riding in the daylight.
Most of the time you don't need the high modes; you can happily ride along on the flat in a medium mode or even using a low mode if it's dusk or the road is partially lit, so you just take the light level down. You can do this by touching the button on the back of the lamp unit or by using the remote switch – a button at the end of a 30cm cable that plugs into the Strada.
I've fitted the remote switch a couple of times but I prefer the simplicity of having an uncluttered handlebar. One of the best features of the Strada is the cable-free design, so why add a cable into the equation? If I was using the Strada every day rather than taking it on and off my bike, maybe I'd consider running the cable underneath the bar tape and positioning the switch close to the levers, but probably not. I'm a cable-free kind of guy! Still, it's part of the package and you can use it if you like.
Anyway, back to the actual lighting... The Strada's beam pattern is broad enough to light the full width of the road and the verges too, which is good news if you're worried about any of our furry friends running out into your path (I could tell you a few stories, believe me!). Dark lanes are its forte and I had no trouble at all riding potholed gravel/chalk surfaces. Not a problem. Plus, one of the Strada's main points of difference from the majority of high-power lights out there is that the beam is shaped so it doesn't dazzle oncoming traffic. You don't want to be anti-social, do you?
The Strada now comes with decent side visibility too, helping you avoid getting sideswiped when you pass a junction and keeping you legal.
Previous versions of the Strada had LEDs on the back to indicate the remaining battery level. That system was simple enough to understand but it's even easier now because the time you have left is shown on the back of the unit using what Exposure calls an OLED Status Display. All you need to do is read it.
At the moment I'm in program 1 and it's telling me that I have 1:35 (hours) of light left in the high mode. If I move to medium mode it tells me that I have 5:12 left, and in low mode it's 12:21. Exposure says that the accuracy of the information can be affected by temperature, but I've found it to be pretty much spot on.
The mounting bracket is the design that Exposure has used for years. It works! It's a hinged aluminum ring that you bolt to your handlebar (using the spacers provided, if necessary). The Strada itself is held securely in place on the mounting bracket by a sprung pin. Putting it on and taking it off takes a couple of seconds. Easy peasy.
The only slight issue is that you can't alter the angle of the light on the fly. Whether you're riding at 4mph or 40mph, the focus of the light is a set distance in front of you (as with many other lights out there) unless you move the bracket with a hex key. In truth, the amount of light the Strada is capable of providing means this is rarely a problem.
You can recharge the Strada from the mains or via a USB port; cables for both are provided. You're looking at a charge time from the mains of about 9hrs from empty.
As far as I'm concerned, the only real sticking point here is the price. The RRP is the same as it was for the Strada Mk 5 and this is a better light in several respects; the trouble is that other brands have upped their game lately and are offering very impressive lights at lower prices.
The Cateye Volt 1600 that we reviewed recently, for example, has quite a similar output and beam shape (they're by no means identical), but it's £80 less at full RRP. On the other hand, the Volt 1600 doesn't offer side visibility or the OLED display, so the Strada certainly wins in some respects.
Overall, this is an exceptionally good road-specific light, it just comes down to whether you want to spend this much money.
Exceptionally good road-specific light that benefits from some upgraded features, although the cost might make you think twice.