A Preview of Garmin Varia Radar and UT800 Lights

A Preview of Garmin Varia Radar and UT800 Lights

A quick preview of the Garmin Varia Radar and UT800 lights

Whether it’s to be seen on the road day or night, or playing in the woods at night, a good set of lights is essential. We have a set of Garmin Varia lights to try out this winter. This preview is to give you just the basic details, the review will follow.

GarminVaria UT800 Headlight

Garmin Varia UT800

First up is the Garmin Varia UT800 headlight. This is a reassuringly solid metal cylinder measuring 98.6 x 19.7 x 39.6 mm. It weighs in at 71g and has ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity. The CREE LED can put out a maximum of 800 lumens in five different modes. Battery life is up to 16 hours in flash mode and 1.5 at full power. The Varia UT800 also has an IPX7 water rating; which means it will withstand incidental exposure to water of up to 1 m for up to 30 min.

The Varia UT800 comes with either a Garmin out-front mount, or a helmet mount for your off-road adventures. When using the out-front mount the UT800 connects underneath; leaving the top free for a bike computer. The rubber covered charging port is situated at the rear of the light, away from most of the dirt and water. A single button controls all functions, with a single multicolour LED hidden at the rear to let you know what’s going on.

The ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity allows you to connect to some Garmin computers and watches. Once connected you can change the light’s brightness and lighting modes from the device. Also some Edge bike computers can detect ambient light conditions and automatically adjust the headlight’s brightness accordingly to help you conserve battery life.

Garmin Varia Radar Tail Light

Garmin Varia Radar

The Varia Radar is much more than a rear light. Not only will it alert other road users to your presence, it will give you early warning of their approach; up to 140 metres away. This is a pretty unique feature for a light and will offer extra security to riders. You can use either a compatible Edge device or pair it with the Varia app on your phone. Once connected you get a visual display showing approaching vehicles; you can also set your phone to vibrate or give an audible alert. The app also allows you to check your battery levels.

Mounting is via a quarter turn mount, using one of the shaped adaptors, so you should be able to find a fit that works with your seat-post. Dimensions are 96.6 mm x 33.5 mm x 29.7 mm; 44.7 mm and it weighs 130 grammes. It can put out 800 Lumens and the battery will last up to 25 hours in night flash mode. Running it on the maximum high setting will drain the battery in an hour and a half. Like the UT800, the Radar has an IPX7 rating and Garmin say it can be seen up to a mile away.

Below is a chart detailing the Varaia Radar’s lighting modes.

ModeLight IntensityDefault Flash BehaviorFlash Behavior when Vehicle Approaches
Solid (default)HighNoneLight flashes
Peloton (group ride)ModerateNoneLight flashes softly
Night FlashHighSlowLight flashes quickly
Day FlashMaximumOccasionalLight flashes quickly
StandbyNoneNoneThe device does not detect vehicles.

Garmin Varia Radar

Garmin UT800

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