Review: Znex ØM3 Front Light

Last week, I reviewed the Znex Notstrøm Power Bank; an innovative portable power source for USB devices, which looks and feels much like a hand pump, but will deliver 10,000mAh of charge. The ØM3 front light, is another tool from the German brand Znex, which partners with the Notstrøm to provide a compact and well made night riding light.

The ØM3 uses 3 CREE XM-L LED bulbs, which pump out 950 lumen on maximum power. Combined with the high capacity Notstrøm battery, the light will run on that maximum power setting for just over four hours (impressive!), and then for another hour in reserve (activated by switching the light back on after it has "run down").

The unit is pretty light at just 150 grams for the head unit and 290 grams for the Notstrøm; it is also made from aircraft grade aluminium, so it's robust and waterproof, too. The light has four modes: low, medium, high and ultra-high; and you can toggle between them using the illuminated button on the rear of the light. Without doubt, the initial spec's of the ØM3 looked promising, and I was keen to see how the light performed in action...


I've been testing the ØM3 out on my commute, which involves a fair few rough roads and fast downhills (not the park pictured above - that's just to show beam power). It is performing well, and has some great features that are well thought out and designed.

The remote battery pack design has fallen a little out of vogue in recent years, but it still provides one of the best options for a discrete and low-clutter bar-mounted light. Moving the weight of the battery to the down tube also has the advantage of not affecting steering as much, and if you choose to, you could use this as a helmet-lamp, with the battery stowed in your riding pack (a helmet mount is provided).

Using the light is simple. Once you've switched on the Notstrøm, the light remains in 'standby' until you hold down the illuminated button; you can then flick through modes easily, even wearing full finger gloves, and the ease of toggling means its quick to conserve battery life by placing the light on a lower level for climbs and better-lit roads.

The light mounts to your handlebars with a simple rubber O-ring; a design which is becoming all the more common with computers and lights alike. The rubber strap seems to keep the head unit well secured, and although I did have a few times when I hit very large holes, and the light dipped down, I found it was easily rectified by placing a small piece of grippy bar tape under the mount. The Notstrøm battery mount remains simple but strong, and the Velcro straps provided with it, allow you to keep cables out of the way.

950 lumens is a pretty hefty output, and although there are now many lights on the market with higher illuminating properties, I personally think that 950 is as high as is really necessary, especially for road riding. It is enough to illuminate the road ahead, even on fast down-hills, and it will pick out potholes and debris a long way off. 4 hours is a good run time too, and as said, it is simple to toggle-back to conserve juice when you can.

Build quality is superb, as you'd expect from a Vorsprung durch Technik brand. Everything from the screw on seal where the cable enters the light, through to the light body itself, feels robust and capable of standing the test of time (and rough riding).

Overall, this is an impressive little light. It reminds me a bit of the old Hope Pro Vision light, and that's a good thing. It's built to last, it's built to be functional, and it performs well up the standard necessary for adventurous night riding. A good partner for the Notstrøm battery pack if you're going touring or just on the daily commute.

View the Znex range at Znex.de (Link) 
Mounting with the rubber band is secure and reliable

Cables can be tidied away with the provided straps

The input into the Notstrøm is water tight and waterproof certified

The battery sits neatly alongside the frame, with the juice gauge clearly visible

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