Our M232 versus other bicycle wheel lights
We took a look at our M232 Monkey Light against other wheel-lighting options on the market. We wanted to see how they compare when lit up on a bicycle wheel. We mounted all lights on the exact same motorized wheel and photographed the results. We wanted to be as impartial as possible, so each light was photographed under the exact same conditions and camera settings:
- Shutter speed: 1/3 second
- Aperture: f/2.8
- Focal length: 40mm
- ISO speed: 200
We did some processing in Adobe Lightroom to correct exposure, since there was a lot of variation in the amount of light that each wheel light produced. We applied identical processing to each image, and then we turned those photos into an animated GIF. You can see a little bit of the tire in each image, in the upper right hand corner, and depending on the amount of light produced, you can see more of our test setup, and the wall behind it. We used 2 different spinning wheel displays, so if you pay close attention, you can see slight differences.
Overall, we were really surprised at how much brighter our M232 is. We see a ton of them every day, so maybe we have just gotten used to it. Our M232 is fully waterproof, emits 200 lumens of light. The M232 has 42 unique themes, 5 shuffle settings, hundreds of color combinations, and will run up to 20 hours on a single charge. With 32 full-color LEDs, it provides 360-degree visibility for your bike.
Hokey Spokes manufacturer description:
Hokey Spokes are unique bicycle safety lights that allow riders to display computer-generated images and text inside the spoke cages while riding at night. Not only are Hokey Spokes fun and interesting, but they also provide important side visibility, which is mostly unavailable in today's standard bicycle lights.
Mounting the Hokey Spokes was frustrating to me. I had to use a Philips head on a loose bolt/retainer nut while mounted on a wheel and I had to hold the light in place at the same time.
There are 16 LEDs total, but they are mounted to shine on both sides. Each LED is a single color, so while there are green, red, yellow and blue LEDs, there is no color mixing. This really limited the types of patterns that the light could generate. Also, The text was hard to read. You can program your own text, but you have to do this letter by letter, using one button to scroll through your choices. Letters are represented by a 5 LED code. You are also limited to 16 characters, including letters and spaces. You need to do the programming while looking back and forth between bright LEDs and the code key on the box. This would be best programmed in daylight because trying to read the instructions in the dark after you just looked directly at a bright LED is problematic.
Fantasma OWL Image Fun
Fantasma OWL Image Fun BK-2071
Fantasma OWL Manufacturer Description:
- Preprogrammed LED lights with 8 different themes
- Showcase your design taste to friends
- Last up to 20 hours
One side of the light clips on to the spokes, while the other has a grooved plastic washer that slides along a track so that you can adjust it to your spokes. The grooves on the washer are meant to grip the spoke, but they also happen to fit perfectly onto the ridges surrounding the adjustment track. This was initially confusing because the ridges on the track seem to serve no purpose other than to hold the washer in place, but that puts the ridges on the washer perpendicular to the spoke. I feel like more than one person worked on this design and they weren't talking to each other. In any case, the Fantasma OWL Image Fun BK-2071 ended up being one of the easier lights to mount compared to some of the other non-Monkey Lights.
There is no way to change the patterns. The light just randomly moves through a pre-programmed playlist. I felt like each pattern should have been given more more play time because I could hardly tell what one was before the other started. It's full color but lacks vibrancy.
LED Bike Spoke Light (orange diamond)
LED Bike Spoke Light (orange diamond)
LED Bike Spoke Light Manufacturer Description:
LED Bike Spoke Light - shows Riding Time 40 Light Patterns
This light mounts with two short metal bands that are held with two screws each. The battery compartment is sealed with 6 Phillips head screws. The plastic seems brittle, and I think the screws will strip out the holes in time.
The patterns were okay, but the light is single color and only one sided. If you mount the spoke light on the left side the lettering will be backwards. You can fix this by holding the power button. This will change the orientation. The light comes with a magnet that mounts to your fork or seatstay or chainstay. There is no way to orient the letters or patterns based on magnet location, so the words might be upside down depending on your magnet location.
Meon (Front wheel)
Meon (Rear wheel)
Meon Light-Up Bike FX
Meon Wheel Writer Light-Up Bike FX Triple Pack includes all of the following:
- Wheel Writer - Picture appear in your bike wheel as you pedal
- Light Striper - Pinstripe your bike frame with bright electroluminescent wire
- Gyro Flasher - Spiraling patterns of light appear in your bike wheel
Bike FX Wheel Writer
Pictures Magically appear in your bike wheel as you pedal. Mount the Wheel Writer directly to the spokes of almost any bike wheel (20" and up) and as the wheel spins, the super-bright computer-controlled LEDs flash on and off to create a dozen different images and patterns - including a real working speedometer.
Bike FX Light Striper
Pinstripe your bike or scooter with cool futuristic light. Includes 8 feet of bright blue electroluminescent wire allowing you to make radiant one-of-a-kind designs that stand out from the crowd. The Light Striper mounts to your handlebars or under your seat and include 10 clips and 20 elastic bands for easy installation. Can be used solo or combined, as solid light or in several blinking patterns.
Bike FX Gyro-Flasher
Vibant, multi-color rings of light appear on any standard bike wheel (18" and up). The Gyro Flasher mounts directly to a wheel spoke and two ultra-bright LEDs make unique patterns of spiraling light as you ride. They are the cool and colorful way to trick out any bike.
This product, the Meon Light-Up Bike FX, comes with two single sided wheel lights, and a light up electroluminescent wire.
One light just creates random, abstract multi-colored patterns with 2 LEDs. The other creates specific images in red and can also function as a speedometer.
The wheel lights come in three pieces. You screw the 2nd piece in while the light is in the wheel and then the third while holding the rest of the light in place. The light that creates specific patterns can be set to scroll through the patterns or you can choose your favorite. There is a way to set the orientation so that the images are right side up, but the light single sided, so if you mount on the wrong side, the letters and numbers will be backwards.
The Gyro-Flasher light only has 2 LEDs, so it's basically a bulkier, dimmer M204 made from hard brittle plastic. And you can't select the patterns.
The battery compartments on both require a Phillips head to open.
Bike FX Light Striper:
This isn't designed to be a wheel light, so I didn't mount it for this test.
Thanks for taking a look at our comparison! We hope that this has been helpful and informative for you.