I bought the Garmin Varia UT800 Smart Headlight to replace my Garmin Varia HL500 Smart Headlight, which is now discontinued.
The HL500 was a very good headlight, but for one design flaw. The power button is made of a rubber-like material which degrades over time and eventually breaks off. This is the same design flaw that affected the Garmin Edge 100 bicycle computer.
The power button on the UT800 is much sturdier solid plastic. Just like the power button on the Edge 1030.
The UT800 emits a maximum of 800 lumens at the high setting. 400 lumens and 200 lumens modes are user selectable. Garmin says the 200 lumens mode provides 6 hours of lighting time. The UT800 also has two flashing modes.
The UT800 is certainly bright enough for the nighttime road riding that I do. I usually run the light on the low setting, only switching to high when there is no street lighting.
Which brings me to my favourite thing about the UT800. It can be turned on and off, and switched between modes from a Garmin Edge cycling computer. So no fumbling in the dark for the button on the UT800.
My minor gripe is with the locking ring mount used to attach the UT800 to the supplied out-front mount. If the locking ring is not aligned with the quarter-turn fitting on the out-front mount, the light will not be securely fixed to the out-front mount. There is no positive sign - like an audible or tactile click - to alert you that the UT800 is securely attached to the out-front mount. I found this out the hard way when my UT800 fell onto the road after I hit a couple of bumps.
To its credit, the UT800 survived its fall onto the tarmac with just a couple of scratches.
The UT800 is not the cheapest headlight, but it works as advertised. I think it is worth the price premium for the convenience of being able to control it from my Edge 1030.
Just make sure that locking ring is properly secured before you head out onto the road or trail.
I have to agree with many of the other reviewers. It's a nice light. It syncs up with your Garmin. It changes intensity depending on speed like it's supposed to but the battery life is not good for $100 light. I commute 45min to and from work. Going home is in the dark. After 5 minutes I lose 1 of the 5 bars on my battery life. After 15min I'm down 2 bars. When I'm 10min from home I get the warning flash indicating that the battery is low. It's just disappointing that it doesn't last longer. My L&M lights can get 2 days on a charge on high at 1000 lumens. If Garmin can get the battery to last longer, this is a home run.
I ride about 40 miles in the morning before the sun comes up and will say, this light is amazing with how bright it is and how the beam gets stronger the faster you peddle. With that said, I really wish the battery life was better. For the price, it's a bit of a headache to be riding in the dark and the light go out without warning. I charge it after every ride now but still, for as expensive as it is I probably would've bought something cheaper knowing what I know now
This light performs and keeps me safe while on the road. I wish the battery lasted longer so that I could use the light in its full-on settings. I always use it in the daylight blinking mode. It lasts me then on my long rides.
It's been the best light though that I've ever used.
Gets the attention of drivers in urban areas. I have a smaller front light for daytime, but I have used this light in more congested areas. Also works well at night.
Such high quality. I paired it with my Garmin 1030, so I can control it from the computer. I have it in a mount that fits in the stem-no more clutter on my handlebars! I am so happy.
This light works amazingly well with the Garmin mount allowing the installation of the light under the computer and not on your bars taking up space. That said even though the light comes with an upfront dual mount, that mount places the Garmin Edge (1030 in my case) too high above the bars. But that might be as well a matter of opinion. I purchased from BTD the Garmin Out Front Mount (Edge 1030) Part Number 010-12563-00 and that places the Garmin at my preferred height flush with the bars. Pairing the light with the Garmin Edge is a snap and very easy to operate while riding as far as changing from the various settings. Highly recommend this light.
Ive used this bike for about 1,000 miles in sunshine and dark morning rides. First the good, it is compact and mounts well to a GoPro style mount well. I have had to really synch it tight to keep it from slipping down when I hit bumps but as long as I do it works great. The beam at night is really bright and the road is well illuminated I can be seen and see very well. In daylight I use the flashing mode to be seen and to conserve battery. My riding buddys tell me its really visible from a long distance and the flash mode Really catches the eye, which is why I bought it and use it every ride. switching modes manually is reallyeasy with the large tactile button. My rides are 2-3 hours long and I have no battery problem with 1 hour steady and 2 hours flashing. I have not syncd with a cycle computer as mine was not compatible, yet. It takes a while to recharge and once fully charged slowly discharges over time. I charge mine after every ride and if I go a couple of days without use it will lose about 30% of its charge so I have to top off the charge the day of ride if I plan to go long. Hence the 4 not 5 stars. all in all, I would recommend this light.
After 6 month of use i really like this product. The only thing I could knock would be light adjustable angle pincher screw mount. Sometimes when going over rough road the light will loosen and change angles. I do not want to over tighten it do to the mount is plastic. Garmin should go to a grooved lock design that will stay put.
Easy to attach to the Garmin computer dual mount without taking up space on the handlebars. Also, very easy to turn on andor adjust mode while riding. It has a reasonable operating time before required recharging. It is also water-resistant as I found out when I was caught in a rainstorm. The headlight continued to function properly while my taillight (another brand) was not able to handle the deluge. However, the Varia is more expensive than other headlights of similar wattage.
The best thing about this light is that it doesn't clutter your handlebar with another gadget, but fits under a Garmin in a dual mount. I don't ride at night, but went to Europe and felt comfortable in the long, dark tunnels.
Nice beam, but there are some Bontrager and Light & Motion lights that have better ones. Good battery life, but when you use the smart life features the battery can burn through in 1.5 hours or less. Not incredibly expensive, but also not a great deal.
On its highest setting you'll be lucky to get 45 mins of light. Probably less. But wait there's more... when you sync the light up to your Garmin cycling computer using the smart technology be prepared to have the cycling computer completely freeze up and require a factory reset. That's right..... you'll need to re-program all your screens, personal data, etc... On the plus side, it looks nice.