Garmin's Varia UT800 Smart Headlight is penetratingly bright and versatile. At its highest setting, this mountable bike light shines at 800 lumens and provides 270 degrees of visibility. The Varia UT800 has 5 manual modes of operation and smart auto-adjustability based on speed (higher speeds trigger a brighter beam) and ambient lighting (well-lit environments trigger a softer beam). In turn, these automatic adjustments help conserve the battery for extended use between charges.
Lightweight and highly water resistant, the Varia UT800 can be used in all kinds of conditions: rain, snow, and it can even withstand occasional splashing. This smart headlight syncs to Garmin Edge computers, remotes and light sensors for greater versatility and ease of use.
In the box:
Dimensions (LxWxH): 96.6 mm x 33.5 mm x 29.7 mm; 44.7 mm with flange; Weight:130.0 g.
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Standard (Bike Mount)
Mfg PartNum: 010-01673-00
Light Type: Rechargeable
Trail Edition (Helmet Mount)
Mfg PartNum: 010-01674-00
Light Type: Rechargeable
Mfg Warranty: 12 Mo. Parts & Labor
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've had another UT800 for several years which was a warranty replacement within the first couple months of that initial purchase due to greatly diminished battery life. The replacement was great and met or exceeded the stated battery life through several years of use. I recently purchased another UT800 and from day 1, battery life was well below stated and less than half of the old light in the same use cases. Garmin, admirably sent me a warranty replacement but unfortunately it has the same poor battery life. I don't know if it's a bad batch of batteries, a change in firmware or what, but I can't get past an hour of daytime riding without getting a low battery warning and another 30 minutes of power save flash mode before it dies. The old light is always good for 3-4 hours, even with more time at higher output settings, so a substantial difference. I probably wouldn't consider this light again, even though I like having an integrated system of Garmin head unit, radar and headlight. The battery life just doesn't cut it on the last 2 units I've received.
I use the headlight primarily during daytime road riding and use one of the flashing light settings. During these rides I keep the headlight disconnected from my Garmin 1040 since I don't need the additional controls (set and forget at start of ride). During rail trail rides where I will be going through tunnels I do have the headlight as part of the 1040's light network for the additional controls. Most of my rides are 2 to three hours long so I started to recharge the headlight after every ride since I haven't found a reliable way to determine remaining battery charge.
I have been through several headlights despite the fact that I do not ride at night. I have used the daytime flash on all of the ones I have owned because the majority of my rides are on roads, not bike trails. Previous ones I owned have not had the battery life of the Varia UT800 which barely touchs the battery in a 3 hour ride. Those that came close were far more fragile or had a far from ideal mounting system. Assuming you own an Garmin Edge 800 series of 1030 (more recently 1040) this one uses a mounting system that attaches easily and securely to the underside of the OutFront Garmin mount leaving your handlebars unencombered by the device. I like this particularly because it is both secure and allows me to keep my hands on the bar tops rather than the hoods. Like all Garmin products, it is really sturdy. It can also be controlled with the Edge computer setting the style of lighting you want without having to touch the light at all while you are riding. I use it in combination with the Varia Radar light in back, so I feel pretty certain that I am being seen from both direction well in advance. Aesthetically, it looks solid and professional. It in no ways detracts from the beauty of your top of the line bike. As a night time unit, it throws a powerful beam which should be sufficient for any rider needing to see the road in front. I do recommend it if you have the upper level Edge computers.
I use this as a stand-alone light (not synced with a computer) The light works very well and has a strong beam. I can see potholes and other road hazards easily at 20 mph. My one peeve with this light is that, after charging t, if it sits for more than a week, it seems to lose its charge. Then it will automatically go into an energy saving mode on the next use, even if you need full beam for a short timespan. I think that it's maybe using up battery searching for a Bluetooth connection. My work-around is just to charge the night before a ride. But my other lights can be charged and left to sit for weeks without losing their charge. Otherwise, this is a good light and the attachment options for this light work well for my needs.
Great integration with Garmin Light Network. I leave it in STBY along with my Varia Radar Light. My 1030 plus controls everything when I turn it on. Leave both in AUTO and it does a great job of maximizing power usage. It's a tad heavy but I don't mind for what it does, I'm okay with the weight. Wish it had USB C .
It synced to my 1030 plus immediately. It adjusts brightness according to speed. It turns on during the day without me needing to think about it. The 1030 tells me when the battery gets low. It mounts well to the underside of my out front mount.
I haven't had enough time with it to really judge battery life but it seems okay. Remember that because it turns itself on when you start an activity that you have be ready to charge it even if you're only riding during the day. I've only been commuting with it and haven't had it out on a multi hour ride yet. I don't usually do more than an hour in darkness on either side of a ride anyway so as long as it lasts an hour I'm okay.
The Garmin Varia UT800 Smart Headlight is used daily on my bike! A realiable product and a must to as a cyclist. Daytime/nighttime, it doesn't matter this light gives me security while on a ride. It is connected to Garmin 1030 and lights streets and pathways automatically. The Garmin Varia UT800 Smart Headlight is a great investment and a must have!
This headlight is very bright, easily adjusts to different modes, and it's best feature is how it mounts out of the way by mounting on the bottom of the GPS. Only disappointment is it still uses the old micro usb to charge
They should probably take "lightweight" out of the light description. The weight is my greatest complaint about the light. I like that it sits underneath the garmin computer. I primarily use it as a daytime flashing light and it's very effective for that purpose. It is plenty bright enough for later this year when I start riding an hour before sun up to avoid the Arizona heat. Attaching the light to the garmin out front holder took a little getting used to but overall it's no problem.
Bought this light because the reviews online were solid, and importantly, it seamlessly mounts on the same Garmin Out Front mount (included in Varia box) that my Garmin 1030 bike computer does. The light performs exactly as it is advertised with multiple modes to accommodate both low light and daylight conditions. I mostly ride a high end road bike in daylight conditions on suburban roads, so the bright, flashing daylight mode is perfect to grab the attention of boneheaded motorists approaching me. Have only had the light for less than a month and roughly 15 hours of outdoor riding, but it has yet to need recharging, and is still throwing out intense light on the daylight flashing mode. The only issue that I have had with the the light is that it does not seem to pair with my Garmin 1030 as expected. Not a big deal, because I really only wanted the daylight flasher and Garmin Out Front mount option anyway.
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.
needed a new bike headlight and wanted to get one that is compatible with my garmin edge 530. like the fact that it sits under the bike computer and off the handlebar. also, like on the sides it shows the illumination so you are not leaning over the handlbars to see what light mode you are in. it does work automatically and nice it shuts off automaticallty when you put the computer in rest mode. especially like the flashing mode while riding in the daytime. the battery deplete after about two hours.
This is a very nice light, bright and well built. It also has a good battery reserve, lasting for multiple long rides in near-freezing weather. It is too expensive by itself, however. The price only makes sense if you have a Garmin set for it to integrate with. It can then change brightness, mode and distance based on speed and ambient light. I have an Edge 820, and the rear radar, and the full set works well and is worth the cost. Of course, the one problem is Garmin's tech issues (ridiculously clunky if not inept for a tech company), but once figured out (or worked around), it works well.
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 is a great headlight. the mounting to the underside of the out-front mount is fantastic as it removes connections of gear on your bars. The connectivity to my edge 530 is awesome. turns on automatically, adjusts the beam intensity for speed. Combine this with the Garmin rear view radar/tail light for the best possible set up. I thought this light was so good that i bought one for my wife as well. looks great. The windows which provide light to the sides is a great feature for visibility.
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.
The auto feature through my Garmin head unit makes the light really convenient. I haven't let the battery run all the way down but I get about 6 hours of use (varying from full on to flashing) before recharging with the battery just below half. It is a pricey light but I feel the convenience it offers and the quality was worth it.