We’ve been waiting for the new high-powered Lumina lights since seeing them on its website a while ago. Typically for the 25-year-old US company, the Lumina 2000 is tough, easy to use, and has a powerful punch through great optics that compete with the best mountain bike lights. Very short full power battery life isn’t the no-go issue we thought it might be either, as long as you’re prepared to ration your run times.
The Max follows the same distinctive HR Giger vibe as Niterider’s smaller Lumina 1200 lights with curving cast alloy fin cooling sections sandwiched between fiberglass reinforced nylon fore and aft sections. The gentle trumpet shape opens into a big circular front optic for the single LED with a pronounced upper ‘peak’ at the top. Translucent backlit up and down power buttons sit on the top of the light, while a well-sealed micro USB port hides underneath for charging. It’s also equipped with a Bluetooth connection to Niterider’s NiteLink rear lights and/or a handlebar remote switch. The design of that is so spectacularly crude and retro you’d really have to like the functionality (or be a massive fan of original Atari video game controllers) to bolt it onto your bars. In total contrast tapping your smartphone on the VerifR logo on the light will access a registration app link to instructions and lost or stolen report sheets. There’s also a lock mode to stop it from getting set off accidentally when being transported (a small drawstring bag is also included) and you get a dedicated USB charger for a three-hour rapid charge.
The light slides on and off a separate, chunky hinged bracket with an integrated thumb screw that has a long threaded shaft that lets it clamp onto any diameter of round bar. It’ll even fit some slightly aero shapes if you’re a roadie/gravel jockey. There’s a K-Edge Go Pro adaptor ($19.99) and an ‘out front’ mount ($39.99) available aftermarket too.
Flex in the clamp and no rubber grippers means you’ll need to tighten that thumbscrew up more than you might think for a secure bar hold though. We certainly didn’t get far on our first rough run before the Max shook loose and was pointing at our forks, not potential problems ahead. By the way, I’m not as dumb as that makes me sound and I’m well used to the level of torque required on most light mounts. Get it secured properly though and the 2,000 Lumen (it’s an AP verified light and we’ve no reason to doubt that rating) Boost setting is enough for flat-out riding even on twisty tech decent. It’s definitely medium spread with a more powerful center spot for pushing vision an impressive distance but the peripheral fade isn’t jarring and there’s no obvious distortion anywhere either. The ‘peak’ over the lens stops you from getting blinded if you’re over the bars out of the saddle too.
You’re only going to get around 35 minutes full power run time before you get close to a panicky level of remaining charge, it also gets seriously hot if you stand about for long without dimming it too. The second of the four settings is only 650 lumens which aren’t enough to ride remotely fast on technical off-road trails and only just adequate on roads. Unlike most high-tech lights around this price, there’s no way to change the menu or power settings either. That said we managed to complete a two-hour winch and plummet ride on our local super tech session hill with a bar of charge remaining by reserving Boost for the descents and crawling uphill at walking pace on the lower settings. Separate up and down power toggle switches and an 8 step LED battery indicator on top of the light makes rationing run times easy too.
Despite Niterider starting as a surf light company, it’s only IP64 dust/splash proof though and while we’ve not had any trouble riding in the rain, don’t go dropping it in puddles or otherwise drowning it just in case. Dropping it, in general, shouldn’t be an issue though as Niterider’s we’ve tested before have always been totally bombproof. There are 2,500 and 1,500-lumen versions too, but the former only lasts a claimed 30mins at max power and the latter lasts no longer than the 2,000.
As long as you properly tighten the clamp the Niterider Max is powerful enough to push your limits on any trail or road and it’s light and bombproof too. Short battery life means careful rationing of that power is crucial though and while the up and down switching is useful and the Bluetooth connectivity clever, the bolt-on remote is far less refined than the rest of the ‘Alien’ aesthetic.
Tech Specs: Niterider Lumina 2000 light
- Price: $229.99 / £185
- Weight: 260g (including mount)
- Lumens: 2000 Lumens
- Run time: 44 mins (averaged from three max power runs)
- Colors: Black/Alloy