The Exposure Blaze Mk2 ReAKT is certainly expensive as rear lights go, but it's bright and durable with a very good run-time, and it varies in intensity according to how and where you're riding.
- Pros: Bright, tough, clever tech varies intensity
- Cons: Not cheap
That last bit first: in the ReAKT bit of the name, the AKT stands for Ambient Kinetic Technology. Huh? Here's what you need to know, straight from the horse's mouth: 'ReAKT (Ambient Kinetic Technology) is at the next generation of rear lighting, a light that adapts to the conditions of the ride. By flaring up under braking forces or automatically adjusting to the surrounding ambient light ReAKT Technology makes your rear light a beacon for safety.'
There you go. It's the same technology as Exposure uses in the TraceR MK2 ReAKT rear light (£59.95) that Dave recently reviewed, and is similar to that of the See.Sense Icon.
Does it work? Yes, it flares up under braking, and it gets noticeably brighter according to the conditions. Whether or not this makes you any safer on the road I couldn't say categorically but, anecdotally, it can grab the attention of anyone riding or driving behind you.
Even without the ReAKT feature, this is a very good rear light. It might look a bit like plumber's pipework but I reckon it has a quirky charm. You might have your own views on that. It's certainly a long way from being one of those identikit plastic blinkies. Obviously, you don't want to drop any light on the ground if you can help it, but if you do the Blaze's aluminium shell is tough and provides good protection.
It contains a Li Ion 1,500mAh rechargeable battery (the charge time from empty is around four hours) and, like Exposure's front lights, it offers you a choice of different programs. If you go for program one you'll get around 6 hours of use with the light on constant or 12 hours in flashing mode. If you switch to program two the light is less intense and you get double the run-times. With program three the run-times double again. If you're anything like me you'll instantly forget all that, but it doesn't matter because the info is shown on the shell.
Program one is bright at 80 lumens – a little brighter than the TraceR's 75 lumens. The maximum output is actually 150 lumens when the ReAKT kicks in. I never felt the need to use program one except in flashing mode for daytime riding.
Program two is the one I went for at night, offering plenty of luminosity and a very good run-time. Swapping between programs is an easy job using the single function button.
That button also acts as a fuel gauge to tell you how much power is left in the battery. When fully charged it glows green, changing to amber at 80% and then to red when there's only 20% left in the tank. When there's less than 5% remaining, the light automatically switches to the low flash setting.
The Blaze clips into a plastic bracket that's secured to your bike by a silicone band. It's pretty low tech but you get a secure fit even on non-round seatposts like you find on many aero road bikes.
The Blaze Mk2 ReAKT is £50 more expensive than the TraceR MK2 ReAKT, so why might you consider it? First, it's a little brighter, although that's not particularly relevant if you don't use the high setting much. Second, you get longer run-times. The Blaze has a run-time of 6 hours in constant mode in its high setting rising to 48 hours in flash mode on its low setting, while the TraceR has about half that.
On the downside, the Blaze is heavier than the TraceR but we're talking about an extra 42g (91g, including the mount, as opposed to 49g, on the road.cc Scales of Truth) which is hardly going to make the difference between getting home in time for the Six O'Clock News and walking in just in time to turn off The One Show. Would I pay the extra? Personally, I'd go with the TraceR and save a bit of cash, but maybe you'll feel differently.
All in all, the Blaze Mk2 ReAKT is a durable and simple to fit rear light for both daytime and night-time use. It offers very good run-times and, although expensive, is a high-quality option if you want loads of brightness.
Bright and tough rear light with an intensity that varies according to how and where you're riding
road.cc test report
Make and model: Exposure Blaze Mk2 Reakt
Size tested: 80 lumens
Tell us what the light is for
Exposure says, "The Blaze ReAKT is the ultimate rear light from Exposure. Packed with technology and power in a robust aluminium body it delivers both safety and quality for rear lighting. ReAKT (Ambient Kinetic Technology) is the latest innovation enabling the light to adapt to conditions, flaring up under braking or entering brighter environments, becoming your safety beacon for the open road."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
Battery: Li Ion 1,500mAh
Max Lumens 80
Run Time - High 6hrs | 48hrs (Pulse)
Battery Li Ion 1,500mAh
Charge Time 4hrs
Dimensions L - 70mm x D - 28mm
The aluminium shell and the mount are tough.
It's simple to use and swapping between programs is easy too.
The clamp is held in place by a silicone band. That might sound a bit primitive but it works well.
It's quite heavy as rear lights go but you need to consider the aluminium shell and a battery that offers good run-times, and you're still only talking about 91g, including the mount, so it doesn't make a lot of difference.
If you don't want to spend much money you can get a much cheaper plastic rear light. This costs more but the quality is high, the features are good and it will prove durable.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's very bright and will get you noticed both day and night.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Bright, good battery indicator system, easy to attach to your bike.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
Over £100 on a rear light is a tricky one to swallow.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes
Would you consider buying the light? Yeah, although Exposure's TraceR MK2 ReAKT is also appealing.
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes, but as above.
Use this box to explain your overall score
Personally, I'd be inclined to save some money and go for Exposure's TraceR MK2 ReAKT because that would suit me equally well, but if you want the brightness and the long run-times this is an exceptionally high quality light and it's definitely deserving of a 9.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.