A solid night light best suited for a helmet, there are some well thought out features but it’s pricey for the performance
Jan 8 2018
Lights - front
Solid, reliable feel
Large power button is easy to use
Power button can be locked in 'off'
Light emits very focused spotlight beam
Helmet mount needs some revision
Top lumens only available for 1hr
You travel a lot with your lights and want a small cordless helmet light to use alongside a brighter bar light or singularly on commutes
The NiteRider Lumina 1100 Boost is a useful night light for the bars on a road bike or a lid for mountain biking. Whilst construction is solid and there are some well thought out features, it’s pricey for the performance and the beam is quite focused.
The Lumina 1100 Boost sits middle of the NiteRider range both with regards to output and price. On full whack this light puts out 1100 lumens but that’s only when you double click the, easy to find, power button for the ‘boost’ and that will be available for just an hour. You’ll more regularly be using this light at 900 lumens or less as you cycle through the other 6 options, 225 lumens for 6hours, 450 for 3 hours and 900 for 1hr30.
Onwards from there, the Lumina will stay in a flashing mode on a full battery for between 6hrs 30 and 10 hours or will emit just 45 lumens if you need low light for walking, say for seeing your way to the toilet in the middle of the night out in the wilderness. The other useful feature here if using the light whilst travelling there is the ability to ‘lock’ the light, ensuring it cannot be inadvertently switched on or off.
One Cree LED emits the light beam in what only can be described as a spotlight, the beam whilst relatively long reaching is quite focused making this light really only useful as a secondary light on a mountain bike or on the bars if you are riding on the road. Around the main beam of light there is little diffusion meaning a sharp contrast between light and dark on the perimeter. As alluded to above, the 900 lumen setting was the most used as night rides tend to be over the hour mark. For anything longer than 1hr30 though and the lumens have to be dropped to 450 which is adequate as a secondary light but not for single light use on serious trail rides. There is a light indicating fuel gauge on the main button meaning if you choose a higher mode, you can keep track of battery life. 2Pure who distribute NiteRider told me that the Lumina front light was intended to suit both mountain bikers and road cyclists. They said NiteRider intentionally made the beam pattern narrow compared to their Pro series lights, which have larger reflectors and therefore a wider beam, to avoid dazzling other road users when used on the road. Pro series lights have an external battery so what you give with one hand you take with the other.
The USB chargeable, water resistant light feels well made, and feels like one that should survive some rough and tumble, seeing you through a good few seasons of night riding. We've ridden in damp conditions and the light has proved to repel small amounts of water but it has to be said we haven't had it out in a downpour, it's important to note this light is water resistant not waterproof.
This light comes with a handlebar mount but due to its focused beam, it’s better suited to being a head light so that’s where we used it. If you thought the £110 price was reasonable, then you might want to think again, a helmet mount will set you back £15 which brings this light frighteningly close to the 1000 lumen USE Exposure Joystick territory. That said, if you were to use this as a handlebar light the mount provided utilises a rubber strap to attach to the bars, it's easy to use, stable, usable on any width bars and won’t mark them either.
The helmet mount is our main bone of contention here, it’s large, unwieldy, substandard compared to the competition and although easy to fit on most helmets it leaves webbing tails flapping with no way to secure them, less you devise your own way. The screw attaching the light mount mechanism to the base also feels loose on lid mount, it never came undone but despite copious amounts of screwing (*shocked face*) it refuses to tighten. This leaves the light open to being inadvertently adjusted up or down if knocked whilst riding, luckily the range of movement isn’t that great so won't leave you in the dark. There is another option available, a smaller, stick on mount useable only if you intend on never removing it.
Overall the NiteRider Lumina 1100 Boost is a robust light with a focus spotlight beam most suited to a job as a secondary light attached to your helmet. The cordless design is desirable for a lid mounted light and it's easy to find the big power button whilst fitted. Additional extras such as the helmet mount make this a pricey option and unless you are only riding for 1 hour laps, we think you’ll hardly use the 1100 lumen boost function making brighter competitor lights more appealing.
Helmet mount is an additional extra but this is not a light you would want to use on the bars of a MTB as the light beam is too focused. Money spent on mount takes the light closer to the price of better performing rivals
Front light for MTB'ers, commuters and road bikers
Light design extra:
Light itself is small and neat, if a little heavier than competitors. Helmet mount is large and the straps are not easy to secure
Light clamp extra:
Light waterproof extra:
Water resistant - ok in short bursts of light rain
Light battery extra:
Light lasts allotted time
Light performance extra:
Focused beam makes this a better light for road riders rather than MTB'ers
Light performance beam
Light performance beam extra:
Light weight extra:
Light and helmet mount weighs a combined 173g - heavier than some competitors but still comfortable to use on a helmet
Deputy Editor here ar off-road.cc, Rachael is happiest on two wheels. She's been riding bikes for a good few years now after horses got too expensive! Partial to a race or two Rachael also likes getting out into the hills with a big bunch of mates. She's been writing for publications such as, Enduro Mountain Bike Magazine, Mountain Biking UK, Bike Radar, New Zealand Mountain Biker and was also the online editor for Spoke magazine in New Zealand too. For as long as she's been riding and is equally happy getting stuck into a kit review as she is creating stories, she also coaches mountain biking and when she's not busy with all the above she's serving coffee from a horse trailer!