The very well built NiteRider Lumina Micro 600 is one of those lights that can cover a multitude of tasks thanks to its size, performance and battery life. When taking its price into account as well, it's an even more attractive proposition.
Quality lights have really been coming down in price over the last few years as technology trickles down, and it's great to see something like the NiteRider with 600 lumens, plenty of modes and a battery life of 90 minutes for less than 50 quid.
You get three solid light settings: 600 lumen (1hr 30), 300 lumen (3hrs 30) and 150 lumen (7hrs 30). Toggle around between the three and you can get a decent amount of time out of the battery (the figures in brackets are battery life).
The 600-lumen mode is only really necessary when you are out in the sticks on unlit lanes – or even off road – and even if this is where you are spending the entire ride, 90 minutes of burn time is still pretty impressive from a light of this size.
When you are riding in complete darkness my only criticism of the Lumina is that the light is focused into quite a central spot with little bleed out to the sides compared with the Hope R2i that I regularly use. This can affect perception a little, especially at speed when things can feel a bit like tunnel vision. There is plenty of light spread in front of your tyre, though.
On main roads with other traffic and cats-eyes, the 300-lumen mode is ample, especially if the roads are dry, and if things are street lit you can even drop it down to 150.
Everything on the light is controlled by one single button. You need to press it for seven seconds to turn it on (this stops it being turned on by accident, in the bottom of a rucksack for instance) and the button will light up to give you an idea of battery life. It's blue if things are okey dokey, changing to red when it gets to less than 25 per cent, although unless the temperature is below freezing (cold can hammer battery life) these battery levels won't come as a surprise as the NiteRider comfortably achieves those quoted burn times.
NiteRider quotes two charging speeds using a micro USB cable, depending on whether you're topping it up straight from the mains or via a PC. If you plug the light into a USB 1.0 or USB 2.0 port on your computer for instance supplying 500mA, it'll take 3hrs 30mins from flat battery to full; using USB 3.0 or a mains charger delivering power above 1 Amp will do the same job in 1hr 45mins. Either way, you could fully charge it during your working hours if you're a commuter.
For daytime use the NiteRider comes with a full power flash for getting you noticed even in bright sunlight. It's ideal for filtering through slow-moving traffic, being striking enough to be picked up in a driver's rear view or door mirrors. To access this mode you need to press the button for three seconds when you are in the solid light setting, and do the same to switch back.
There is also a 40-lumen torch mode, which extends battery life out to 21 hours.
It's not just a matter of chucking a bright LED and battery into a plastic shell, either. The Lumina Micro is a solidly made piece of engineering that will stand up to plenty of abuse without damage; if it falls from your handlebar onto the road at speed it isn't likely to be game over, judging by the tests I've carried out...
To attach the bracket to the handlebar, the Lumina uses a rubber band with holes in it like a watch strap to locate around a plastic pin, and it is a pretty secure solution. It holds tight on all but the roughest of surfaces and there is plenty of scope to use it on 31.8mm or 35mm diameter bars; it's a little sloppy on old school 25.8mm options though.
The light can be removed from the bracket by pushing a side button to slide it off, leaving the bracket in situ, which is great if you have to leave your bike in public often. Simply reattach the Lumina by sliding it back on until you hear and feel a click – you have to concentrate, mind, as it isn't the most definitive.
I've had lights switch themselves in the dark after water ingress from heavy rain and it isn't much fun. Thankfully the Lumina stands up to its IP64 rating, one that states it should shrug of water sprayed from any direction. Something that was proved by real world testing and the power shower test.
In terms of value the Lumina is well priced at £48, which is over a tenner cheaper than the last 600-lumen light we tested, the Lezyne Macro Drive 600XL, and nearly half the price of the Knog Blinder ARC 640.
NiteRider's warranty is impressive too, with a lifetime one on mechanical components, two years on electrical components, and one year on the battery.
Solidly built and compact light with impressive power and battery life, at a sensible price
If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website
road.cc test report
Make and model: NiteRider Lumina Micro 600
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the light is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Niterider says: "Producing 600 brilliant lumens, the NiteRider® Lumina™ Micro 600 is smaller, lighter, and more compact than the original Lumina™ series. Its compact profile and high light output make the Lumina™ Micro 600 ideal for helmet mounted applications, helmet mount available as an optional accessory. Using the included handlebar strap mount with quick release tab, prevents any chance of theft by allowing convenient removal and installation of the head light."
The Lumina Micro 600 is great for urban use and as a secondary light, but also bright enough to be used in the lanes for short jaunts.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
4 Light Levels plus 1 Daylight Flash Mode
IP64, water resistant
Ultra lightweight 600 lumen head light
Easy on and off handlebar strap mount with quick release tab
Fits standard and oversize 35mm handlebars
Convenient USB rechargeable
Low battery indicator
Lock Mode, perfect for use during storage and transporting the light
Backed by NiteRider's lifetime warranty
Solid housing and a robust clamp.
Clear instructions and easy to use.
Rubber band clamping system, which needs tweaking a bit on rough surfaces.
The IP64 waterproof rating means the NiteRider is supposed to shrug off splashed water from any direction and it had no issues with heavy rain or road spray.
One and a half hours on full is good, and a quick recharge time makes it commuter-friendly.
The pattern isn't perfect for road use, being quite a bright central spot, but on the whole it's a decent performer.
It feels solidly built, and no problems so far.
Looks pretty much spot on against the other compact, rubber band clamp style lights we've tested.
£48 for a light of this quality and performance is quite impressive.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A simple light to use with decent performance.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
A small light with a lot of versatility.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Beam a little too focused centrally.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes
Would you consider buying the light? Yes
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
As a compact light for commuting, occasional jaunts into the lanes or as a secondary helmet light, the Niterider is a cracking little companion, especially when you take the price and build quality into account.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: Kinesis Aithien
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.