We’ve seen prototypes of what was to become the Exposure Flare for about a year now and have been a bit excited about it, a rear light that's small, easy to fit and remove and actually punches out a decent amount of light. The possible answer to our prayers?
The new stand alone rear light from Exposure is a spin-off from their Red-Eye rear light that runs off a lead out the back of one of their front units the Flare gets its juice instead from ‘normal’ replaceable batteries.
The anorexic 46g Flare pumps out 75 Lumens of bright red light via a Seoul P4 LED, the lens is diffused and about 1cm deep so there's a certain amount of useful side visibility there as well. It runs off a single CR123A battery, think camera battery, and Exposure say you’ll get 9hrs use out of the light on constant with a disposable battery and 3hrs with rechargeables, or squeeze out 22hrs and 8hrs respectively in flashing mode.
Turning it on is a simple matter of twisting the lens clockwise, and turning the Flare off and on again within three seconds will change the mode from constant to flashing or vice-versa, and once turned off (by screwing the lens anticlockwise) the light will automatically turn on again in the mode you turned it off in. The flashing mode isn’t an on/off flash, rather the light is on constantly with the flash pulsing over the top.
The Flare's party-trick is to be dropped into a pint of beer and to stay working until people get bored, or someone wants their beer back. With no on/off buttons to press - a traditional weak point with lights for moisture to enter, and an O-ring seal between the lens and CNC aluminium body mean water, or alcohol, has a hard time getting in.
The light clips into its moulded bracket quite firmly and the bracket is attached to the bike with a silicone band that will fit all seatposts from 25.0 to 34.9, and because of the shape of the bracket and stretch of the band will fit increasingly common aero seatposts too. It's real easy to slip it on and off the bike, no need for screwdrivers or allen-keys here, hooray for multiple bike users or those that don't want a light bolted on their bike all the time for aesthetic or security reasons.
At £40 for the light, bracket, silicon band and disposable battery it might seem expensive for a mere rear light but it’s significantly significantly brighter than 4 of those trendy but mostly feeble silicone £10 lights put together, and better made than all those disco rear flashers so it should last an awful lot longer. If you’re one of those people, like us, who has lost count of rear lights they’ve got through in a Winter due to water-logging, or just bouncing off, or have realised too late that your rear-light is only emitting a weak glow then the Flare soon looks to be good safe value.
Exposure can also sell you normal or rechargeable batteries to go with the light, or you can invest in their rechargeable battery pack and if you want the full dinky lighting package you can buy the Flare with it's Flash front light counterpart. Here's what Rory from USE had to say about the Flare when we bumped into him at Eurobike.
Playing about with the light we looked straight into it and were seeing red spots in our eyes for several minutes afterwards and putting it on the bike for a grey and wet ride the rider stuck on our wheel said it was "bloody bright". It is piercingly bright and looks perfect for anyone that cycles at night, and also bright enough for the peace of mind of those riding into the Killing Sun that makes bikes invisible. We'll have a more comprehensive test later, when we're subjected it to a few hundred miles of water spray, grit and rattling around a courier-bag or back pocket.
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he’s not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he’s not doing either of those he’s pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he’s agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours doesn’t. He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.