Product Catalog > Bicycle Accessories > Taillights
Blackburn Mars 4.0 Bicycle Taillight
Dimensions: Length: 6.3" Width: 5" Height: 1.4"
Blackburns most powerful rear flasher - 1 Watt Ultra Bright Red LED - 2 Amber Side LEDs - 50 hour runtime steady; 150 hour runtime flash - No tool battery installation - Two AAA batteries included - Versatile mounting system with rack adaptor
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Not visible enough
by: on: 21-Oct 2010
The Blackburn Mars 4.0 Bicycle Taillight is OK. I would not recommend it. It is only bright when you are directly behind it.
I ride my bike 11 to and from work and ride home after sunset. Memphis is rated as one of the worst cities to ride a bike in. I want to make sure I can be seen. I use the Blackburn Mars 4.0 Bicycle Taillight flashing Taillight light, but I don't feel that it is bright enough unless you are directly behind it.
The side LEDs may as well not be there. You can hardly see them.
Do NOT be fooled, not every bike light is the same!
by: on: 21-Oct 2010
Do not be fooled, when you are looking at bicycle tail lights. Read the description CAREFULLY, there are multiple versions of almost every one of the lights in this category. If it seems like you cannot find the specification in the product description or title its probably NOT ALL THAT BRIGHT! And if they are not the same sort of light, they may not produce the same amount. (WATTS is ENERGY CONSUMED, not light produced, so if you are wanting to compare an LED light to a Xenon bulb, there is no way to do that. LEDs produce more light per watt than about anything made today. That is why they are so popular, and why they are coming out so frequently.)
This light is a one watt main led, and two side auxiliary LEDs. The main led is designed for rear viewing, and the other two are for viewing from the side, or at an angle. (LEDS cannot be seen at wide angles, it's the price you pay for getting more light for your buck.) Let me say, DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE LIGHT when you turn it on, it will produce an image when you close your eyes for about a minute.
This is One of the better light on the market, and it MAY be the best. You can indeed see this light in broad daylight (in my case, NOONDAY IN CENTRAL TEXAS bright).
The other aspect you need to consider is how long the light lasts (flashing, or not and the brightness when it is flashing). If it is bright but only when NOT flashing, it will use up your battery quicker, so be sure to compare apples to apples, not to oranges or grapefruit or even blueberries.
The only problem with this light is the complete lack of words in the printed instructions in the package, and if you are not going to do more than clip it onto your backpack or your panniers where it is visible, you won't care. But if you want to permanently afix it to your bicycle, there ARE mounts included, but no instructions on how to use them. This enables them to use the same line art in every package no matter what language you speak.
But it does not convey subtleties well, or at all. NOT a problem for most users, but I do happen to have a permanently tail light mount on my rear rack, and I'd like to use it. It seems you have to disassemble the spare mounting parts, but how they are to be reassembled is not clear.
The Best Ever
by: on: 18-Oct 2010
If you're looking for a tail light for your bike, look no further. The Blackburn Mars 4.0 is extremely bright. It also has yellow lights on the sides, too. You'll be partially blinded if you look straight at it. I set it to flash as you can see it from a mile away and to save battery.
by: on: 15-Oct 2010
This rear light beats out the PrincetonTek and SuperFlash in brightness and viewing angle. On the way out the door, it lights up the apartment. Others riders complain about this light regularly while ignoring other people's SuperFlash lights. The SuperFlash's flash is bright but very brief. This light bares no relationship to the Mars 3.0.
Downsides: It chews through the AAA batteries pretty quickly. I wish it took AAs. Taking AAs would make it far more possible to use rechargeable, too. It slowly gets dimmer over time, leaving you to try to remember how bright it is supposed to be and wondering how much life it has left. Like so many bicycle accessory manufacturers, Blackburn thinks plastic makes a good spring and wear surface. After changing the batteries a few dozen times, the plastic shell got worn down to the point where it routinely flies apart during normal city riding. Mine is held together with a rubber band now. Long before that, the plastic surfaces that clamp together on the mounting bracket just got floppy no matter how tight you try to tighten them and the light drooped down.
Reading reviews for other lights here, it seems like there's a lot of interest from people more than willing to pay more than $25 if a manufacturer could step up the quality. If a Mars 5.0 comes out, I'll be all over it with high hopes.
Short version: Brighter than the others, even off center; flash is longer than a quick strobe; eats batteries; steadily gets dimmer on a set of batteries; typical crummy plastic mounting and snap together casing.
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