Good lights are a must in my world. Being seen day or night is absolutely critical whether you are riding in the city, suburbs or out adventuring. It can literally be a case of be seen or die.
Images - Andrew Clifforth
Today it's all about being seen from behind by approaching drivers. These days there are plenty of pretty bright LED lights that will do a reasonable job in full darkness... But when you're riding during the day, or at what is probably the most dangerous time, dawn or dusk you need something that throws out some serious power to make sure you are seen. Enter stage left my current absolute favourite light - the Niteflux Red Zone 8.
With up to 500 lumen of raw red LED light this thing is an absolute cracker. Out of the box I was playing around with it, switched it on and in the process managed to demolish my retinas. Awesome. No I am serious, awesome. While this might seem like overkill, I'm wanting drivers to see me hundreds of meters out, not at point blank range, that is way too late.
The build of the Niteflux 8 is fantastic, it's built in Australia, USB rechargeable and can be configured into eight light settings. The unit is IP67 water ingress rated, basically meaning it will work even when submerged for 30 minutes in water... so it can handle some horror conditions. There's other nice touches, like a power gauge, easily mountable to strange seatposts, bags or even helmets using the included mounts.
The light actually ships with 3 modes enabled, a high flash, low flash and solid setting. For most people I think these three do the job. If you're riding in a group stay away from flash (as you should be anyway) or you're have angry riders behind you.
On its lowest setting you'll get 100 hours out of a charge... but on that setting the light is not exactly pumping. At the other end of the spectrum there's the solid high output setting that will give you three hours run time.
The 500 lumen flash, punch you in the face setting claims to give you four hours... I went for a three hour ride on this setting then left it in the shed running... I came back after an hour and it was still flashing strongly... I also found a fairly agitated cat in the shed. I returned after another 30 minutes and it was still going... but once I returned at the five hour mark it was done. Interestingly, when I switched to the low setting it came back to life and kept running through the entire day until I had to put it back on charge for the next morning. It's a great 'escape' setting to have up your sleeve.
The Niteflux 8 is a largish light, but not massive, coming in at 93mm tall with a diameter of 30mm and tipping the scales at 75 grams.
On the road this light is just brilliant. It's my absolute go to for riding solo, when I most want to be seen. On the commute it's a winner with its massively wide throw of light, meaning you're not just visable from directly behind.
Could this light be better? Well I think the unit is just bang on, the supplied mounting system is ok but I did find it took me a while to work out. The guys at Full Beam Australia also supplied me with the optional 3D printed saddle rail mount, this thing is awesome. It makes mounting the light a one second job, and looks really neat and tidy. Very very nice.
This is not a paid review. I actually love this light. Thanks to Full Beam for providing us with a test unit.