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Verdict: 
A good sturdy light that performs well at a decent price
Weight: 
115g

The NiteRider Lumina Micro 850 offers everything you want from a light to see you through this winter – and quite a few more. Its beam is plenty powerful enough for riding on unlit roads and it has modes for urban use; the run-times are ample for most riders' needs and it's well built, all for a reasonable price – even more so if you can find it discounted online.

  • Pros: Brightness, run-times, size, weight, build quality
  • Cons: Maybe beam could have a little wider spread

Importantly, the light is easy to operate, even with gloved fingers. It simply slides on and off the sturdy handlebar mount, which offers lots of lateral adjustment, and a large, accessible button on top doubles as the power/mode button plus battery and charging indicator. It has a sensible number of modes: three steady beams (850, 450 and 200 lumens) plus a very bright flash that is ideal for daylight use to alert drivers to your presence, and lasts about 10 hours. A fifth steady 60-lumen mode is advertised as a walking mode and claimed to last 35 hours.

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The button glows blue when the light is on, and turns red to warn you when the battery is low on charge. On full beam it gave a good 10 minutes' warning before changing to a lower setting, staying on for another 15 minutes or so before dying. On low beam it lasted a good hour on red before switching off.

Charging is a doddle, and the port is sensibly positioned on the base of the unit, with a rubber plug to seal it and further reduce any chance of water ingress. Use the supplied Micro-USB cable to charge at home or work, via your computer or a wall socket plug; the latter is quicker and it does a full recharge in about 2 hours. The button flashes during charging then goes solid blue when it's charged, and even if you leave it plugged in overnight the 'intellicharge' function prevents overcharging. A very handy feature is the lock mode, so it won't accidentally switch on in your bag. Press and hold the button for 7 seconds to activate and deactivate.

NiteRider Lumina Micro 850 - side.jpg

I used the Micro 850 on my commute, which includes unlit towpath and city streets. The beam is amply bright to light my way along the canal, and spot the black dogs off the lead in the distance. The beam gives a good projection and decent spread; if I was being picky I'd like a touch more peripheral illumination, like the Kryptonite F800 gives, for riding on unlit roads/tracks, but if you stick mainly to streetlight areas this is inconsequential.

To switch from the steady beam to flash you have to hold down the button for 3 seconds, which can seem a while if you're doing it while riding along the road, but to revert to steady it's just a quick press.

I also have a 2017 NiteRider Lumina 1100 Boost, which is noticeably bigger and heavier, and there's not a lot of difference in the beam strength and pattern. That had an RRP of £110, which makes the Micro 850 a real bargain. The Micro 850 also has a similar beam pattern to 2017's Lumina 900 Boost (£85) reviewed on road.cc, but this has already been superseded by the Lumina 1000 Boost (only £80 RRP), so NiteRider is constantly updating and improving its offerings.

> Buyer's Guide: The best front lights for cycling

There's not much to find fault with here. Maybe it could benefit from a touch more peripheral illumination for unlit roads/paths, and there are no windows to make the light visible to other road users from the side. And it would be great if the helmet mount could be included, especially as NiteRider describes it as an ideal helmet light, or at least make it a lot cheaper to buy as £20 seems excessive compared with the cost of the light itself.

Verdict

A good sturdy light that performs well at a decent price

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road.cc test report

Make and model: NiteRider Lumina Micro 850 front light

Size tested: 850 Lumens

Tell us what the light is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

NiteRider says: "Producing 850 brilliant lumens, the NiteRider® Lumina™ Micro 850 is smaller, lighter, and more compact than the original Lumina™ series. Its compact profile and high light output make the Lumina™ Micro 850 ideal for helmet mounted applications, helmet mount available as an optional accessory. Using the included handlebar mount (fits up to 35mm) with quick release tab, prevents any chance of theft by allowing convenient removal and installation of the head light."

Considering it's advertised as an ideal helmet light, it's a pity you have to buy the helmet mount separately, especially as it costs £20.

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

NiteRider lists:

Lumen Output: 850

Run Times: 1:30 – 35hrs

Quick Charge Time: 1:45hrs at 1Amp

Normal Charge Time: 3:30hrs at 500mA

Weight: 130g

Battery: Li-Ion

All New Collimator Lens, produces a generous even widespread beam

4 Light Levels plus 1 Daylight Flash Mode

FL1 Standard IP64, dust and water-resistant

High output light using a CREE LED at 6000k

Lightweight; 130g including mount

Secure on and off-road handlebar mount

Fits standard and oversize 35mm handlebars

Small compact design that's perfect for helmet mounting (Helmet Mount Sold Separately)

Convenient USB rechargeable

Low battery indicator

Lock Mode, perfect for use during storage and transporting the light. Press and hold power button for 7 seconds to lock out operation of light

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Like all NiteRiders I've seen, it's built very well. The housing is solid and will easily withstand a few knocks and drops.

Rate the light for design and ease of use. How simple was the light to use?
 
8/10

The single button is simple to use, although to access the flashing mode you have to hold it down for 3 seconds, which is quite a long time if you want to do it as you're riding along. But then to return to steady beam you just press it again, no holding.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
8/10

It's a new hinged clamp design that closes in an oval shape, rather than round, and fastens via a long screw that you can easily tighten by hand holding the plastic end 'twizzle'. It is designed to work with all bar diameters, up to 35mm. Once tightened it stays firmly put thanks to the rubber shim, which is good and secure but means you can't easily swivel the light up and down, like some clamp designs. There is lots of lateral adjustment of the clamp head, though, which is useful. Fitting and removal is quick and easy – just slide it on, and press the tab to release it to slide off.

Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
9/10

It is IP64 rated, ie splash resistant, but I had no worries using it in quite heavy rain.

Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
7/10

Claimed run-times:

Mode One: 200 lumens light output – 9 hours battery life

Mode Two: 450 lumens light output – 4 hours battery life

Mode Three: 850 lumens light output – 1.30 hours battery life

Mode Four (Flashing): 10 hours battery life

Mode Five (steady): 60 lumens light output – 35 hours battery life

My sample lasted a bit longer on full beam, nearly 2hrs, while the 450 low beam dimmed after 7 hours, so 2hrs less than claimed.

Recharging (via USB cable) times are quite adequate. They're cited as Normal Charge Time: 3:30hrs at 500mA, Quick Charge Time: 1:45hrs at 1Amp and that's about right.

Rate the light for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the light for durability:
 
9/10

Both mount and head unit feel sturdy, plus NiteRider offers a lifetime warranty that "covers any defects in mechanical components (housings, covers, mounts and fasteners) and LEDs". I've had other NiteRiders that lasted a good few years.

Rate the light for weight:
 
8/10

130g for light and mount is hardly noticeable.

Rate the light for value:
 
6/10

It represents solid value for the performance, especially considering its durability and lifetime warranty. It's cheaper than some of equal lumenage, but more than others (see below).

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

Very well: it has a decent beam pattern and enough power to light up unlit country roads, a daylight visible flash, good run-times and quick recharging.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

Brightness, run-times, size, weight, build quality.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

Nothing really, although perhaps the beam could be a little wider spread. A helmet mount could be included, too, or be a lot cheaper to buy as an extra.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

It's the same price as the Kryptonite F800, which doesn't throw out as much light; it is significantly cheaper than the Cateye Volt 800 (RRP £90), which has a near-identical beam pattern, but it's a little more than the Lezyne Lite Drive 800XL (£57 RRP), which isn't quite as bright but has better peripheral illumination, although shorter run-times.

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

A very good and versatile light, suitable for daytime, urban and off-road use. Great build quality, easy to use, good burn-times and quick charging – all for a sensible price.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 196 cm  Weight: 85kg

I usually ride: Trek Fuel EX9.9 2012  My best bike is:

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: commuting, touring, club rides, mountain biking, audax

5 comments

Avatar
contender [22 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes

Very bright, very robust  great for might MTB work too: full beam for the trail, flash mode for the approach  

 But: the mount can snap on the clip you use to push down and then you are looking at £12 for a new mount, or shell out £20 for the helmet mount instead. 

 

Just bear that in mind: treat the bar mount as something which will cost 1/4 of the original price to replace. 

Avatar
LastBoyScout [647 posts] 10 months ago
1 like

I've got a MiNewt and have to agree that they are great lights, although I think the battery on mine might now be on the way out.

BUT the brackets are rubbish - my second one is not going to last much longer!

Avatar
ldw [1 post] 9 months ago
2 likes

Niterider has a great customer service. Last year I bought this model thru Amazon replacing my older lumina. However it was defective that it cannot be turned off. Unfortunately that particular transaction Amazon and the seller only have a return and refund policy while I prefer a replacement. I try my luck; both me and the seller contact NiteRider customer service directly with the details of my issue and the wish of having replacement. To my surprise they stand behind their product and offer me a replacement and send it to Indonesia for free. The story does not stop there. After more than 3 weeks waiting it seems USPS misplaced the package. As USPS needs the sender to initiate the search, i contact NiteRider again. Another surprise as they basically says USPS is too complicated to deal with, we’ll just send you another one. The second one arrive safely and works as it should be. Kudos to Christos Angelopoulos @ NiteRider!

Avatar
CXR94Di2 [2762 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

Ive got the slightly older 750 model, I've actually got 4 for my family.  They are solid, ultra bright (will light up a dark road like a car headlight) and reliable.  Regarding the brackets, Ive never had a problem with them, just a little thought sliding on or off and less heavy handed. 

Avatar
ChrisB200SX [1072 posts] 9 months ago
1 like

I bought two 750s for the first Red Bull Time Laps. Stretchy strap to attach but super bright. One battery died after nearly 11 months, whole unit replaced under warranty.

Brilliant for the price you can get them for.