Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Do It Yourself

As some of you have noticed, thus far there hasn't been a whole lot of talk about lights this Fall. There is a very good reason for this.


A VERY good reason...

And I'll tell you about it another time. But for now, I've got some light news to share and that will have to take precedence. This week I received lights from NiteRider, Exposure Lights, and Magicshine. Today, I'm looking at the new NiteRider lights, then we'll go through the rest in turn.

So, on to the NiteRider Pro 1200 and 600.

I previewed these lights way back in May, and now I have them in my hands. Both of them.

My first impression is one of quality. These are well made lights. Each of the reflectors is different. The Pro 600's reflector is optimized for its single emitter, while the Pro 1200 has two different reflectors, one wide and another narrow.

The light head itself is a massive heat sink with channels for air flow. In some ways this is similar to Light and Motion's Seca lights. There is a lot of room for air flow to keep these lights cool.

The battery uses a cradle attached to the bike. The cradle has the cord attached, so removal of the battery does not require undoing any cords or Velcro; just slide the battery out of the cradle.



The charger, as seen above on the left, is unlike any other. This charger doesn't just charge the battery, which slides in from the top, but has a port for a USB plug, and a connector for the light head. This is command central for the Pro series. Using the NiteRider DIY software, you can change how you, the user, interacts with the light.

You can store up to 4 different programs in the light head--that can be used at will--and each of these programs is totally custom. You set the low and high intensity, up to 6 steps from low to high, and what the run time will be for each setting.

I like keeping it simple, so my first program for the Pro 600 is a simple high and low beam. According to the software, my high beam is 600 lumens, while my low beam is 200 lumens. On high, the software says that I can expect 5hrs and 40 minutes from the 8 cell battery, while on the low the light should run for a staggering 16hrs. That's long enough for even the longest nights.

Unless you are living in Alaska. Then you might want to get a second battery, should you decide to ride all night long. In the winter.

Downloading the software took no time, and I've got it running on a netbook, so it's not exactly a resource hog.

NiteRider has taken an interesting approach on separating themselves in the crowded LED light market.

Next time, we'll take a look at the Magicshine. A new entrant that defines inexpensive.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Beamshots please! I've been dying to get mine from the interbike purchase - still not here.

James said...

I'll get beam shots as soon as this "liquid sunshine" goes away.

Rain tends scatter the light too much for a good picture.

Anonymous said...

Thanks James, much appreciated. I really enjoy your reviews and pictures - you do a great job on them.

ab138501 said...

I would like to see a beam shot match-up between the following lights:

Magicshine
Lupine Tesla
Niterider Pro 600
Niterider Pro 1200
Light & Motion Seca 900

I purchased a Magicshine from geomangear.com this fall but returned it for a complete refund because I was having issues with it. Geoman's customer service is excellent.

I'm trying to decide what light system to purchase next. I'm leaning towards the Light & Motion Seca 900. I plan to use my light system for commuting and road riding on country roads.

James said...

ab138501,

Magicshine -- yes
Lupine Tesla -- yes
Niterider Pro 600 -- yes
Niterider Pro 1200 -- yes
Light & Motion Seca 900 -- no can do.

I don't have a Seca 900 to compare, sorry.