- 4 / 5 Bee's Knees -
Championing reliability, NiteRider has released its latest lights here in 2016 with a handful of changes to the platform. What remains unchanged is the ease of use, familiar design and operation that has set the standard for all other bike lights. Introducing the Lumina 950 boost, the brother of the 800 after consuming a couple energy drinks.
Again, the 950 should look familiar as the basic housing design and foot remains the same. In fact, more elements remain unchanged than have seen updates, but for good reason, this platform has proven reliable, durable and cost effective for years. For those new to the lumina, the housing is a mix of materials including an aluminum heat sink and mixed composites for reduced weight. A mode selection switch is illuminated to indicate present charge. While the light is USB rechargeable like others, improvements have shaved the charge time down to as little as 2.5hrs @ 1amp. Changes have also been made to the mount to universally fit with all generations of lights but now implements a strap rather than a screw-to-secure type. A boost feature that pushes the light from 800 to 950lm distinguishes it from others but exponentially decreases runtime.
When it comes down to the riding experience, the boost 950 delivers as expected. An intense center spot with graduated flood is identical to its predecessor. Selecting each mode is easy as always and now two taps affords a rider with the boost setting. I suspect NiteRider isolated this setting because of its appetite for juice. It would be easy enough for a rider to cycle up to the highest output and burn through its battery in well under an hour. But again, thankfully the boost setting is isolated. Otherwise, light temperature/color is typical and appealing and the organization of each mode follows NiteRiders established logic.
What I’ve referred to as the shoe, or the base of the light which attaches to the mount, is unchanged. The mount it interfaces with however now features a double wrapped strap to provide extra leverage for tightening down your light. While there was likely some market demand for this design, I don’t find it any more convenient or secure than the old style. With that in mind, this newer design works effectively with minimal light jitter. Aesthetically it is an improvement over its predecessor but it lacks some of the simplicity that other brands have mastered in strap design. Like previously, the mount still offers lateral adjustment to compensate for swept bars. And this is where most manufactures stop…but NR goes further. Offering the following: a hot shoe adapter, belt clip mount, tripod mount, helmet or headband mount, stick-on style mount and even a lens diffuser, any Lumina model becomes instantly more versatile than most other lights with vast expandability.
Over the last several years of reviewing bike products, NiteRider has earned its mark as a predictable brand. For some riders, this lack of uniqueness is an instant turn-off. For most however, the Lumina 950 boost (among other lights) can easily be the tool for a safe commute, enjoyable evening joyride or fulfilling any bike lighting need. Within the lineup of NR lights, the 950 pushes the envelope of output from a compact single emitter light while remaining terrifically affordable to virtually any rider. At the risk of sounding like a broken record after reviewing numerous NR lights of similar style, the Niterider Lumina 950 Boost is a solid light with proven designs that receives only minor tweaks to both retain design elements that work but appeal to new trends in consumer desires.