CatEye’s AMPP series of headlights offer everything from commuter lights to high output headlights to match any riding style. In this review, we’ll be looking at the CatEye AMPP500 front headlight which offers 500 lumens at an affordable price point. The light retails for only $39.95 and shares the same OptiCube lens design as the other AMPP lights. CatEye has incorporated four output modes including their signature Daytime HyperConstant mode for additional visibility on the road. The light also uses the simple FlexTight bracket to quickly install or remove it from handlebars. However, as an older light in the lineup the AMPP500 still uses a micro USB recharging port.
The CatEye AMPP500 bike headlight combines an affordable price point with bright 500 lumen output with their OptiCube lens.
|Rating||8.3 / 10|
|Measured Weight (in g)||102 (headlight), 16 (handlebar mount)|
|Likes||+ Compact form factor|
+ Wide beam with OptiCube lens design
+ Eye catching Daytime HyperConstant flash
|Dislikes||– Dated Micro USB port|
– Lacks a multi-level battery status indicator
|Where to Buy (US)||CatEye|
The CatEye AMPP500 headlight comes in a simple white box with a plastic window and red accents to allow you to interact with the light. Inside the box you’ll find:
- AMPP500 headlight
- Micro USB charging cable
- FlexTight handlebar bracket w/ rubber spacer
- Instruction manual
The packaging design is nicely done with all the accessories hidden behind a cardboard holder.
CatEye has incorporated their standard tab style headlight mount on the AMPP500 headlight. It’s a simple design with slots that slides onto the provided FlexTight handlebar bracket and has a release button to release the light. Although we would have preferred a more generic Garmin style mount, like those on Magicshine lights, CatEye has been using this design for so long that most brands offer adapters. The FlexTight mount is a simple zip tie style plastic mount with a rear dial to adjust the tightness. It’s a tool free design that is quick and easy to install on a bike with a release button to quickly remove the light while leaving the bracket on the bike. We’d recommend using an out-front mount like the CatEye OF-200 for a cleaner setup than the included handlebar mount.
FIT & FINISH
The CatEye AMPP headlights all share a similar distinct beveled rectangular design. With the AMPP500 you have a durable aluminum alloy body with a semi-gloss black finish and a fairly compact form factor. Branding is limited to AMPP500 printed on each side and the CatEye logo on top. The light also features CatEye’s OptiCube lens technology which uses a single LED to create a wide beam angle. Transparent side lens extensions also illuminate when the light is on to ensure the light is visible from nearly any angle. This is a non-directional lens which means you can mount this light upside down without any issues. However, the AMPP500 uses a micro USB charging port and not a USB-C port as it’s a somewhat older light in the CatEye lineup.
The AMPP500 uses a simple one button interface with a rubber button mounted on top of the light. A long hold turns the light on and off and mode memory which ensures the light always turns back on in the same mode it was shut off in. A single press cycles through the four available modes which are low, high, Daytime HyperConstant and standard flash. CatEye has also added a double press feature which lets you jump to the 500 lumen high constant mode from any mode. It’s a nice feature that lets you avoid cycling through all modes when you need more output. Unfortunately the only battery status indicator is a low battery status light that illuminates behind the power button when the light is under 20% charge. That means you should be careful and recharge the light regularly to avoid running out of power on a ride.
The CatEye AMPP500 is programmed with four output modes, two constant modes and two flash modes. For constant modes you have the full output high mode that puts out 500 lumen for 1.5 hours and a low mode that is 250 lumen and 3 hours. CatEye’s signature Daytime HyperConstant flash mode alternates between 250-500 lumen output for up to 5 hours. The last mode is a more economical flashing which has 250 lumen output and the highest runtime of 50 hours. Unlike other lights like the Magicshine Allty or Fenix headlights, it is a one level menu which requires cycling through all the modes to change the intensity. However, you can double press the power button to switch to the full high mode from any state which can be helpful if you need instant illumination.
Even though we’ve been spoiled by high output lights like the 12,000 lumen Magicshine Monteer 12000, the AMPP500 did surprise us. The OptiCube lens design creates an interesting square beam pattern with sharp edges with a uniform flood pattern. Combined with the center hot spot from the single LED it’s a pretty nice beam shape that illuminates the road. For higher speeds you’ll want to stick with the high constant modes while low is more useful for commuting or illuminated areas. Our favorite mode is the Daytime HyperConstant which has an erratic flash pattern that’s perfect for daytime riding. While we’d still recommend a brighter light for high speed road cycling, CatEye offers the AMPP in more powerful forms, the AMPP500 has great side visibility and a compact form factor.
Overall, we found the CatEye AMPP500 to be a well priced and designed bike headlight. With its aluminum housing and simple interface, the AMPP lights are all easy to use and mount. The headlight features a bright daytime visible flash mode as well as a full output 500 lumen constant mode for night time riding. While the AMPP500 isn’t the brightest headlight on the market, the OptiCube lens makes the most of the output with a unique square shaped beam. The main downsides of the light is that it uses an older micro USB charging port and lacks a multi-level battery status indicator. That said, if you’re looking for an easy to use headlight at an affordable price for commuting or dark trails then the CatEye AMPP500 is a good option.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by CatEye. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.