First Date: Gemini Xera LED Light System
The first thing you notice when you pull the Gemini Xera out of its box is how small the light head and battery unit actually are. This is indicated by the low claimed weight of the system, but didn’t really strike me until held it in my hand. The actual weight of the light head and two-cell battery is 200 grams, the light head itself weighing 5 grams more than Gemini’s claim of 52 grams.
At 200 grams including the battery pack, the Gemini Xera is super light weight for its 800 lumen output.
The Xera’s compact size and light weight make it ideal for attaching to helmets. With both light head and two-cell battery, my helmet still felt balanced and comfortable. My Giro Hex allows installation of light heads without any extra hardware – a function that may not have been considered in its design, and if so, a happy accident.
The Xera has three power modes to extend battery life – something to keep in mind with the light weight battery pack.
What is the tradeoff for weight loss? Battery life. With the smaller of the two battery packs, the Xera has a run time of 2 hours at maximum output – and 4 hours with the larger battery pack. The Xera does tell you when it’s running low on juice, by pulsing the light beam on the high power setting.
I took the light on a rain ride and used it for at maximum output for over two hours, so Gemini’s usage estimate is conservative at least with a new battery. The light transitions smoothly into the low-power pulse mode, and even though it was my only light source, the Xera was adequate for normal riding on a North Shore XC loop.
The battery pack has a good quality hook and loop strap to attach wherever you’d like.
Included in the box:
- light head with two beam pattern options
- 2-cell battery
- extension cord
- helmet mount
- headlamp strap
Two options for lenses give the Xera a leg up in versatility. The opaque plastic lens is a 16º diffuser, while the traditional reflector projects a 12º beam.
A neat feature in the Xera is an interchangeable lens in the light head. The 16º Optics lens is a solid plastic diffuser, while the 12º Reflector lens is a traditional mirror with glass front. While the 12º reflector has a tighter main beam, its overall halo is wider for peripheral vision. If pairing the Xera with another light, the interchangeable lens allows you to adjust its beam to complement the other light source.
Gemini did some beam pattern testing with theirs and some other lights, as well as showed a comparison between the two lenses, at their site HERE.
The two lenses in profile.
In my opinion, a rider should always carry an emergency light source. While in the summer, you may not want to carry an entire winter light, the Gemeni Xera is light and small enough to carry in your bag year round if your approach to backcountry preparation is on the cautious side.
A self-contained unit at 200 grams will have the Xera coming along on more rides than just the winter nights.
As a lamp for quick night rides or an emergency light source to keep in your bag, the Gemini Xera with two-cell battery is ideal. With the four-cell battery, run time doubles, making the Xera a great primary light as well. Fit and finish is excellent and all the accessories you might need are included in the box.
MSRP for the Gemini Xera LED Light System is $199.99 USD
The First Date is a brief overview of a product’s specifications, as well as our initial impressions both on paper and in-field. It also covers how the marketers and engineers have pitched the product and how they intend to see it used – plus how we intend to test it, where it is being tested, and how long we expect to be testing it for. This is not a full review of the product yet but provides the background for a forthcoming review and allows reader feedback (perhaps there is something specific that readers want to find out about this product and the further review stages can address that).
The Gemini Xera looks like a tidy little package, with a good amount of versatility. Would you like to get dirty at night with Xera? Spill it below…