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NiteRider Lumina Micro 650 Front Bike Light

7
£50.00

VERDICT:

7
10
Tough, easy to fit and with a sensible range of power outputs for urban commuting
Simple to use
Dustproof and water resistant
Sensible modes for city commuting
Slightly narrow beam
Weight: 
162g

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The NiteRider Lumina Micro 650 is a solid and dependable front light. It might have a slightly clunky look, but it's tough, water resistant and will serve you well as an every day commuter light, keeping you visible and allowing you to ride more safely in the dark.

Looking for illumination? Our best front bike lights buyer's guide rounds up our favourite front lights for all sorts of riders.

There isn't much complexity to the NiteRider Lumina Micro 650. It's quick and simple to mount on your handlebar and has a sufficient range of modes for day-to-day commuting duties. The body is made from chunky nylon-reinforced fibreglass, which should make it tough enough to shrug off the occasional drop.

Its resistance from the elements is pretty good too, its IP64 rating meaning it's totally impervious to dust and resistant to water spray from any direction. Unless you submerse it in water you should be just fine.

The five modes cover all the options I want from a commuter light. The High gives you the maximum 650 lumens for two hours; Medium provides 4 hours 30 minutes at 325lm; Low gives 10h30 at 130lm. In addition to these you've got the Flash mode that delivers 650 lumens for 12h30 and a low-power Walk setting – 40 lumens for 50 hours.

I think these should be sufficient for most cycle commuters and that low-power Walk mode could well be a handy extra for you.

I found the claimed runtimes pretty accurate, even getting two hours at the maximum setting when the light wasn't quite fully charged to begin with, though I must admit I didn't put the claimed 50 hours walk mode figure to the test. Life's too short for that...

Recharging is via the familiar micro-USB cable, which I found handy, given how many of my other lights and devices use the same cable, though it is starting to look a bit long-in-the-tooth now as the quicker USB-C gains traction.

2023 NiteRider Lumina Micro 650 Front Bike Light - charging port.jpg

I'd describe myself as an 'urban commuter', riding for 15 minutes on busy, lit roads, so I'm looking for something that ensures not just that I'll easily be seen by other road users – but is bright enough to dodge the numerous potholes on my commute.

On my morning ride I tended to use the NiteRider in its Low mode, which I felt was bright enough to let me be seen – saving the High mode for the darker evening ride home when I really needed to see the road surface. During those rides I found the spread of the beam and the 650-lumen output bright enough to do the job – at least for me personally on my city-based rides. If you're cycling on unlit routes you may want a little more power on hand and a beam with a spread a couple of metres wider.

2023 NiteRider Lumina Micro 650 Front Bike Light - top.jpg

You access the modes using the single top-mounted button and I found it pleasingly simple to use – with a three-second press required to access the walk and flash modes.

The light's handlebar mount is also very easy to attach to your bar. Once you've screwed the bolt tightly to secure the mount, you just slide the light into a groove and it clicks into place, and I found it stable enough over the usual road bumps. You do have the option to purchase a helmet mount, though I'd probably choose a less bulky purpose-built helmet light such as the Brightside Topside as a be-seen-by light or the Exposure Nightstick Mk17 for unlit routes.

2023 NiteRider Lumina Micro 650 Front Bike Light - mount.jpg

I can't say that the NiteRider Micro 650 is an especially sleek design and the light and mount together do take up a fair amount of real estate on your handlebar, though I didn't really see this as a particular problem on my commuter bike.

Value

NiteRider's tagline for the Micro 650 is 'All the lumens you'll ever need for your ride at a price-point you can afford' and I think that's pretty fair. I personally don't feel the need for anything more than 650 lumens for my regular commutes, and NiteRider has hit that affordable price without any obvious compromises on quality.

When it comes to the competition there aren't that many others offering 650-lumen lights – it tends to be 1,000-lumen-plus lights for unlit riding or sub-500-lumen lights for the urban commuter market.

The Moon Rigel Rechargeable Front Light was £55 when Jamie reviewed it but it's now a tenner less and you can find it cheaper still. It's ostensibly a 700-lumen light, but Jamie reckoned it performs more like a 600-lumen one.

Ed recently tested the Lezyne Fusion Drive Pro 600+ that offers very similar features and will also cost you 50 quid.

It's also worth noting that NiteRider has essentially the same light with different power outputs, such as the Lumina Micro 900 Bike Headlight that Laurence reviewed, which costs just £10 more.

Conclusion

NiteRider's Lumina Micro 650 is a good, straightforward bike light at a pretty appealing price. It's tough, water resistant, easy to fit, simple to use and its range of power outputs are well suited to the needs of the urban commuter.

Verdict

Tough, easy to fit and with a sensible range of power outputs for urban commuting

road.cc test report

Make and model: NiteRider Lumina Micro 650 Front Bike Light

Size tested: One Size

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?

This is a compact but powerful front bike light, primarily designed for easy commuting use.

Lumina says:

Big things come in small packages and the NiteRider® Lumina™ Micro 650 is the proof. The Lumina™ Micro 650 delivers a powerful punch with 650 lumens of light output, helping you to safely navigate your ride. Allowing you to see and be seen.

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

Daylight Visible 650 lumen output head light

All New Collimator Lens, produces a generous even widespread beam

LED at 6000k

Ride safely with Daylight Flash Mode!

4 Light Levels plus 1 Daylight Flash Mode

FL1 Standard IP64, dust and water-resistant

Secure on and off-road capable Handlebar Mount

Fits standard and oversize 35mm handlebars

Compact and lightweight design that's perfect for helmet mounting (Helmet Mount Sold Separately)

Micro USB rechargeable

Low battery indicator

Lock Mode, perfect for use during storage and transporting the light.

Rate the light for quality of construction:
 
7/10

The fibreglass-reinforced nylon casing is very thick and sturdy, though the rubber charging port protector comes slightly loose, which may expose the underside of the light to road spray.

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

Straightforward to use with its single top-mounted button, with the flash and walk modes accessible after a holding the button for three seconds.

Rate the light for the design and usability of the clamping system/s
 
7/10

The clamp system was very effective but quite chunky, and it also takes up a reasonable amount of real estate.

Rate the light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
8/10

No signs of any issues when commuting through some of Britain's finest November rain...

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

For every-day commuting, really good. I've only had to charge this light once in the last month, which includes some riding at full power.

Rate the light for performance:
 
8/10

It performs exactly as intended, though I'd have liked the beam to be a little wider.

Rate the light for durability:
 
8/10

It's plastic – or at least nylon-reinforced fibreglass – but it's so thick that I think it would survive being dropped on the road.

Rate the light for weight:
 
8/10

At 162g the weight is comparable to similar lights from its competitors.

Rate the light for value:
 
5/10

On a par with other £50 lights in terms of performance.

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

It worked well for my mostly street-lit commute, and I found it easy to attach it and remove it from my bike.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the light

Good power - meets the needs of urban commuter riding.

Simple and secure mounting.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light

It's rather bulky and the mount and light take up a fair amount of space on your handlebar.

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

The price is reasonably competitive for a light putting out over 500 lumens. 

The closest competitor among those we've tested recently is the £50 Lezyne Drive Pro 600 – though for the same price I'd select the slightly brighter NiteRider.

You can find brighter lights for a reasonable amount cheaper online, however the build quality and battery life are unlikely to be as reliable.

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

The light is basic – but it performs well and I found it easy to use.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 32  Height: 182cm  Weight: 69kg

I usually ride: S-Works Tarmac  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, club rides, Gravel on a CX bike

Nick hails from the west country and combines riding bikes with hitting balls with cricket bats and golf clubs. You'll find him riding a mix of road, cyclocross and XC MTB.

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2 comments

Avatar
jamesha100 | 5 months ago
1 like

Looks good value but Micro USB and a bolt on mount seem very old fashioned compared to the Lezyne

Avatar
JoeLeeJr replied to jamesha100 | 5 months ago
0 likes

Niterider mounts use a thumb screw, not a bolt. 

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