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Sep

20

2012

Tested: Niterider Lumina 650

niterider-lumina-650The Claim: Niterider says the Lumina 650 packs potent lighting into a small body, offering up to 650 lumens and longer burn times in a set-up that weighs 30 percent lighter than the brand’s popular MiNewt Pro 750. 

 

The Trial: I ran the Lumina 650 during group and solo night rides on tight, technical singletrack around New England. 

 

The Verdict: The Lumina 650 offers four settings, including a 40-lumen battery-saver mode. I started with the light on my mountain bike handlebars at 200 lumens. It was enough to throw shadows away in front of me and kept me riding confidently on mellow sections and uphills in the woods, while providing sufficient light for my evening road commute. At 400 lumens, the Lumina emits a clear, 45 degree cone of illumination that extends 50 feet. I found that was ample lighting to take meandering singletrack at full speed. Toggle to full power (600 lumens) with a button on top of the unit, and a full-powered spotlight lights your path. It’s so bright that the beam cuts down on shadows necessary for good depth perception. The portable light helped me navigate all terrain save hairpin berms, steep rollovers, or sharp corners in thick forest—but none of those are easy at high noon, either. Battery life claims proved accurate: charging with a laptop USB port for five hours yields three hours of 400-lumen power. Plus, the body stays cool enough to handle. The small, lightweight body (172 grams) and quick-release bar mount occupy slight real estate on bike handlebars. Lumina also provides a helmet mount, but this added noticeable heft, rocking my lid forward on more jarring descents. The Lumina 650 packs value into a small package, opening up more ride time in autumn. $140; niterider.com —Ryan Dunfee

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