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Exposure Blaze MK1 DayBright



Excellent, but expensive, rear light with a few minor design flaws

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Exposure Blaze MK1 Daybright is a top quality rear light with enough punch for daylight running and plenty of battery life for long night rides.

  • Pros: Excellent build quality, sensible flash mode, battery life
  • Cons: Bracket (and proprietary charger cable) are easy to lose, expensive

Exposure has been making highly regarded lights for many years now and its distinctive black CNC machined units are a familiar sight on any overnight ride. They've never been cheap, but you really do get what you pay for. In addition to a two-year warranty Exposure also offers servicing and repair, which is reassuring.

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At nearly £90 RRP (£63ish if you shop around) the Blaze MK1 Daybright couldn't exactly be described as cheap, but it's a very good light and Exposure's reputation for quality and service is reassuring.

The MK1 Daybright is an 80-lumen rear light which is designed for punching through low winter sun and grabbing some attention in busy traffic. It's not an anti-social blinder though, the flash pattern (always on, two quick, one long) is distinctive rather than brutal. Even so, you might not make many friends on group rides, but that's what the lower steady setting is for.

There are three programmable power levels, each with the same steady/flashing modes. Once you've chosen a level, by holding down the button for the required number of flashes, the light always starts there. I was quite happy to set it at the lowest level and leave it there.

Battery life is excellent – even on the highest steady setting you'll get 6 hours, and on the lowest setting you'll get 48. Charging is via Exposure's proprietary cable rather than the ubiquitous USB. That's standard across all its lights, so presumably it isn't a huge problem but I always worry about losing bits and you'll have to be more organised if you need to charge away from home. The port is on top of the (fully sealed) unit, covered by a robust rubber cap to keep spray at bay. The button, also covered by the cap, acts as a fuel gauge, showing green/amber/red as the battery runs down.

> Buyer's Guide: 14 of the best rear lights for cycling

The bracket isn't my favourite. The light clips, very securely, into a plastic mount which is held onto your seatpost with a silicone strap. I wasn't worried about the light on my bike, but the non-captive strap is pretty much designed to vanish into the depths of a pannier or rucksack. You can get spares (and an aero-post-specific mount) from Exposure, but I'd prefer to have a captive strap that couldn't go AWOL.

Needless to say, you're limited in your mounting options – this is strictly a seatpost-only light and you'll have to get creative with shims if you need to alter the angle.

The Blaze MK1 isn't perfect and it certainly isn't as versatile as other (much cheaper) alternatives but as posh rear lights go, it's very good.


Excellent, but expensive, rear light with a few minor design flaws

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Make and model: Exposure Blaze MK1 DayBright

Size tested: 80 lumens

Tell us what the light is for

Says Exposure: "The Blaze is Exposure's most powerful rear light, 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. A high capacity Lithium Ion battery makes it adept for time away from power. The Blaze inspires confidence to be the perfect partner for your weekly commute, or a Transcontinental adventure, both day and night."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?

From Exposure:

80 lumens

1500 mAh li-ion battery

Programmable settings

Machined aluminium case

Rate the light for quality of construction:

Exposure makes good quality kit.

Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?

Three programmable power levels and two modes – steady and a flashing pattern.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s

It feels secure but I don't like multi-part clamps. Too easy to lose parts. It's also impossible to adjust for angle and will only fit on your (round) seatpost. Exposure will sell you an aero-post mount as an optional extra.

Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?

Completely sealed, just make sure you fit the rubber cap correctly.

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?

48hrs on the lowest flash setting is very good.

Rate the light for performance:
Rate the light for durability:

Exposure lights have a good rep for longevity. Exposure also offers servicing and repair.

Rate the light for weight:
Rate the light for value:

There's no doubt about the quality and performance, but you could get eight Smart 1/2w lights for the same money.

Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very good.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

Excellent build quality and a catchy flashing pattern.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

Very expensive, proprietary charger cable and an easy-to-lose bracket strap.

Did you enjoy using the light? Yes, although I was always worried about losing bits.

Would you consider buying the light? No, I prefer cheaper and more versatile rear lights.

Would you recommend the light to a friend? Probably not.

Use this box to explain your overall score

I have mixed feelings about spending loads on rear lights, but if you've got the money and don't mind the (minor) flaws this is a very good light.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 47  Height: 5' 8  Weight: er....85kg

I usually ride: Genesis Flyer  My best bike is: Hewitt Alpine

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, audax and long distance solo rides

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