We tested the Exposure TraceR's fancier stablemate in November and really rated it, and the TraceR MK1 DayBright is a slightly simpler version that's every bit as good but more affordable.
- Pros: Very bright, lots of modes, good run-time, price
- Cons: Umm... etched graphics a bit worn already
I won't bore you by repeating everything Dave Arthur said about the MK2. Suffice to say, I don't disagree with any of it. The main difference in the MK1 is the absence of ReAKT technology, which allows the light to adjust intensity automatically, depending on light conditions and braking forces. Since Dave's main dislike of the MK2 was the price, he should be pleased to know the MK1 comes in a full £20 cheaper for leaving out the ReAKT gubbins. And it's 2g lighter for it.
All the other good features are there. Exposure's 'Optimum Mode Selector' technology is boffin-speak for 'three power settings' but what's cool about it is that under each setting you can scroll between just two simple modes (pulse, steady), making it much easier to use from the saddle.
Setting which of the three power levels you want involves pressing and holding the power button until the red light flashes. First flash is high power (more on that in a moment), second flash is medium, and the third is low. Obviously, you need to be able to see what you are doing so this is not an operation to be performed in heavy traffic. However, once selected, it's very easy to find the power button (if you make sure you put the light in the bracket with the button facing upwards) and switch the light on or off, or between modes, just by feel. I even did this with heavy winter gloves on.
The brightest setting is what Exposure calls 'DayBright', and as well as using all the 75 lumens on offer, the flash mode gives a double strobe to really emphasise your presence on the road. It could be a life-saver on winter days with low sun, though you won't win friends by using it in traffic at night.
The looks have proved divisive, judging by people's comments on Dave's review of the MK2. Yes, it does stick out like a sore thumb, but on the plus side, if you ride with a very crowded seatpost area (racks, saddle packs and so on), it's much easier to get it in and out of the bracket than some clip systems that involve sliding the light up or down. Like Dave, I found the bracket simple and secure.
Exposure prides itself on its UK design and build, and spares and servicing are a real thing here instead of the break-it-and-buy-a-new-one approach so prevalent in many areas these days. So, given the lower price ticket over the MK2, I would say this offers excellent value.
A simpler version of the MK2 light we liked so much, and at £20 cheaper it's also great value
road.cc test report
Make and model: Exposure TraceR MK1 DayBright
Size tested: 75 lumens
Tell us what the light is for
Exposure says: "The TraceR is the ultimate answer for the cyclist who needs a super compact rear light, with USB convenience and superb build quality. Featuring Optimised Mode Selector, 3 brightness levels, side illumination and Fuel Gauge displaying the remaining battery life using a traffic light system making it clear when you need to recharge, the TraceR ensures you stay visible, both day and night, in the urban jungle and on rural roads."
"Recommended uses: Road, commute."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
Max. 75 lumens
Run time: 3 - 24 hrs. (full - pulse modes)
Battery Li-Ion 700mAh
Charge time: 4 hours
Dimensions: 57 x 28mm
weight 35g (plus mounting bracket)
Features: "Day Bright" mode, "Optimised Mode Selector", "Internal Thermal Management", "Fuel Gauge", "Cable-Free Design"
Well made and sealed with a pleasing machined finish and anodised red. The etched graphics were already worn when it came to me.
You need to be able to see what you are doing to choose which of the three brightness levels you want. After that, it's easy to switch on and off, or between modes, from the saddle. The button was easy to locate even with gloved hands. Simple to remove for charging, though you do need a USB cable to hand.
A very simple bracket, made of tough nylon, into which the light clips. It's held securely and the bracket mounts with a silicone band (the red silicone is a nice touch).
Excellent. A simple silicone ring covers the on/off button and the USB socket. You don't need to remove this for charging so it's unlikely to get lost. Withstood some very wet rides and a couple of hosings.
I got 3 hours 10 minutes on full-power, 2hr 30mins recharge. Exposure says 3hrs run, 4 hrs recharge so actually better than claimed.
Excellent – bright, easy to switch, good side visibility.
Should give years of good service – if not, Exposure is easy to contact.
For the rugged build and durability it's hard to fault this.
Very competitive, given the quality construction, materials, tech support and performance on offer.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Exposure TraceR manages to combine a good selection of possible functions with ease of selection, which many lights don't. Well made, reliable, bright.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Super-bright day-flash mode, easy to use, reliable mount, well made.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
The etched graphics wore quickly. A bit over-packaged.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes
Would you consider buying the light? Yes
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's a versatile light that's easy to use, bright and with good side visibility, well made and reliable.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale CAAD10 My best bike is: Tomassini Prestige
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking