Review: NiteRider Lumina 750 (first impressions).
In a previous review, I covered the Cygolight Expilion 680. Initially I was pleased with this light. However, my experience with this and other bike lights have taught me that is takes time to get an accurate picture of the quality of a bike light. After I wrote the review of my Cygolight, the waterproof cover for the charging outlet fell out twice and was lost, the rubber power button fell out, the handlebar mount started rattling, the unit experienced power surges and finally the power button stopped working. Maybe my expectations were too high, but what started as positive first impression has now descended into a negative experience.
After my negative experience with the Cygolight, I did a lot of research before choosing my next light. I ended up purchasing a NiteRider Lumina 750. My initial impressions are quite positive. The question is: How will the NiteRider Lumina 750 hold up over time? It is my intent to answer both questions with this article. Now I am focused on my initial impressions, but as time goes by, I hope to add updates to this article. So you will eventually get the whole picture.
I ended up buying my light from my Velo, my local bike shop. I had started online reading reviews at Amazon, but wanted to see the light in the flesh. To my surprise, the light was $80 on Amazon and only $75 at Velo! They also swapped the regular handlebar mount for the one I preferred for free. Just a reminder, if you are shopping for a deal, don’t overlook your Local Bike Shop! At this point, I have used my Lumina for about 10 commutes. What are my impressions?
The NiteRider Lumina 750 is a little lighter, narrower and shorter than my old Cygolight. It is just a bit longer. As is the norm, the light is recharged via a USB cable. The NightRider has an abundance of power settings. They are as follows:
- Press the power button once for Low: 200 lumen, – 5 hours 30 minutes run time.
- Press the power button twice for Medium: 300 lumen, 3 hours. Two button pus.
- Press the power button three times for High: 750 lumen, 1 hour 30 minutes.
- Press the power button for two seconds to turn the light Off.
- Continue to press the power button after two seconds to cycle through two Strobe Settings: I don’t know how long these settings last. Strobing lights are annoying AF!!!
- Press power button one more time from the second strobe setting for Walk: 40 lumen, 18 hours
- Press the power button for 7 seconds for Standby Mode. This settings prevents you from accidently turning on your light if you stick it in your pocket or in a bag. Press the power button for another seven settings to come out of standby mode.
Wow! That is a lot of settings! However, in practice, it is actually very intuitive. The power button glows blue in normal operation but will switch to half red and half blue when the battery is low. It will blink red when power the battery level is critical. If you switch to a lower setting, the light may return to blue to indicate extended run time in a lower setting. The NiteRider Lumina 750 comes with a replaceable battery. New batteries are available on the NiteRider website for about $25. So that is a rundown of the NiteRider Lumina 750’s features and settings, but what is the verdict?!
- The NiteRider Lumina 750 feels like a well-built unit meant to withstand the vigors and vibration of daily bike commuting.
- The only negative thing I read about the NiteRider Lumina 750 was related to its rubber band style mount. I got the clamp style mount which is far more solid. It will fit a wide variety of bar sizes without modification.
- My old Cygolight’s low setting was only 120 lumen. Obviously the NiteRider Lumina 750’s 200 lumen in the low setting is better.
- The standby setting is great! Nothing worse than accidently turning on you light while its rattling around in your backpack.
- For the low setting, you only have to hit the power button once. This is the setting I use most. This makes life easy!!!
- I like knowing I can easily get a new battery from NiteRider’s website.
- The clamp style mount is very solid, but it takes a while to put on. Switching the light from one bike to the other can be a pain.
- The manual says I will have to go through a few charging cycles before the battery has its maximum run time. I have charged my NiteRider Lumina 750 twice, but suspect its run time will be shorter than my old Cygolight.
- There is supposedly a low battery indicator where the power button glows blue and red. I have never seen this. It has only gone straight to critical level (blinking red) in my experience.
- My old Cygolight had a nice soft glow. The beam emitted from the NiteRider Lumina 750 has a much harder edge. Not a big negative, but it is a noticeable.
So far, I really like my NiteRider Lumina 750. It is brighter, sturdier and more reliable than my old light. I hope it continues to perform well. I will keep you posted!