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"Bicycle Times", January 1, 2013

NITERIDER LUMINA 650

BY KAREN BROOKS

PHOTO BY JUSTIN STEINER

PRICE: $120 MADE IN U.S.A. WWW.NITERIDER.COM

LUMENS: 650 STEADY MODES: HIGH, MEDIUM, LOW, WALK FLASH MODES: FAST

RUNTIME (STEADY): 1.5 - 18 HOURS WEIGHT (WITH MOUNT): 176G

MOUNTS INCLUDED/AVAILABLE: HANDLEBAR AND HELMET

CHARGER TYPE: MICRO USB CHARGE TIME: 5.5 HOURS

Last year’s version of this light had 50 lumens less output, was slightly chunkier, and cost $30 more. NiteRider also improved the handlebar mount so it stays tight on any size handlebar, even on bumpy trails. The light’s aggressive fins serve to dissipate heat and let the Cree LED stay brighter longer.

The Lumina was plenty bright enough to use on dark forest paths and lonely country roads, with a nice, even beam pattern. A small hood keeps the light out of your eyes when leaning over the bars. It’s slightly visible from the sides, but not as much as those lights with holes or scoops. The flash mode requires holding down the button to access; it might seem inconvenient, but I liked it, as I tend to only use flash by itself on rainy days and the three steady modes for nighttime. However, the flash pattern was aggressive — not my favorite. I liked the lock feature for keeping the light turned off inside a bag. There’s a colored LED gauge in the button, and in case you’ve ignored that, a handy automatic reserve mode that kicks in when the battery is almost drained.

This light seems like a bargain given the output and price, along with NiteRider’s excellent reputation.

WHO IS THIS LIGHT GOOD FOR?

If you want to go off-road — way off-road — occasionally, or if you frequently swap your headlight between bikes, this light is the ticket.

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