A Spectrum Of Lights: Nite Rider Lumina 1100 Boost – by Grannygear
Note: This is Riding Gravel’s second in a series of reviews in our “Spectrum Of Lights Round-Up”. You can see the first light reviewed here. The introductory post to the series is here.
This weblink actually takes you to the Lumina 1200 Boost which is the current version of the light I have. I bought this 1100 version on sale, saved a lot of money in the process (like, almost 50%), and gave up very little to my thinking, but regardless of that, the Lumina 1200 is what you would compare this to if you go shopping. (Current pricing is $109.99) This is what the website has to say about the Lumina 1200 Boost:
The NiteRider® Lumina™ 1200 Boost provides enough light that it can be used in just about all riding conditions, whether it be on the road, on your favorite mountain biking trail, or hand-held in Walk Mode.
• Lumen Output: 1200
• 7 Modes with Run Times: 1:00 – 18:00hrs
• Charge Time: 3:00 / 6:00 hrs
• Weight: 172g
• Battery: Li-Ion
• Low Battery Indicator
• Boost Mode for Maximum LED Output
• Water / Dust Resistant IP64 Rated
Low – 6:00h at 275 Lumens
Med – 3:00h at 550 Lumens
High – 1:30h at 1000 Lumens
Boost – 1:00h at 1200 Lumens
Pulse Flash – 10:00h at 1000 Lumens
Fast Flash – 6:30h at 1000 Lumens
Walk – 18:00h at 75 Lumens
Now I cannot say that the two lights are completely comparable, but looking at the specs of the 1100 Boost I have it seems like run times are even, the operation modes are the same as far as I can see, and you gain about 100L across all light levels from the 1100 to the 1200. So I feel pretty good comparing them. As well, I have used different versions of the NiteRider Luminas in the past and this one feels very familiar.
No the whole Boost thing is a bit odd. You actually do not get 1100 lumens on High unless you do a special button press while the light is running. Otherwise High is 900 lumens if I understand this correctly. Or, in the case of the 1200L version, it’s 1000 lumens on High and Boost is 1200 lumens. To access the Boost mode you double-tap the button. A single tap returns you out of Boost mode.
I guess this is not a terrible idea although running at that Boost level really drains the battery. I do wonder how many buyers expect a light that gives them the higher output all the time on High and may not even ever use the Boost mode at all. Hard to say.
But I do know that the result of Boost is so minimal that I could not always tell that it actually ‘took’ when I double clicked the button, a task that is not that easy to do when riding. I had to stop and sit on a dark road, then double click the button to be able to tell if it got brighter. It did, but not by much. Frankly I never used it again.
The Good and the Less Than Good:
I have owned several NiteRider lights before and they have been the Fav of Mrs. Grannygear as well. The light feels very well made and the clamp is secure. Like the Light and Motion light, the rubber strap does take some uuummph to get it fastened with strong fingers. But it’s not bad. I have had these lights pop out of the mounts before while riding so make sure it is clicked in before heading out.
The NiteRider has a start button which is the best of all as far as ease of use. It is big and has a just right click factor. The beam pattern is more of a spot beam, still with some side throw, but nothing even close to the Light and Motion. There are no artifacts in the pattern to annoy. The light temperature is very much to the cool side with a whitish light.
The light cycles though the steady modes and needs to be taken into flashy mode on purpose. So you go from High to Medium to Low to High again. That is not too bad and it does give you the option of climbing with the light on low beam where the Light and Motion only had High and Medium in the Race Mode. if I do not have to cycle through flashy modes or…gasp…even OFF mode…to get back around the High I can live with that.
This light really punches out in front with a pretty solid beam of white light and it is my fav of the bunch for road riding or urban riding. I have found that while the warmer light colors are best off road, they tend to get lost in the more intense lights of traffic and city spaces. Here the whiter light of the NiteRider stood out more and that feels good to me.
On the flip side of that, if I needed more detail while cornering on bad roads, the NiteRider did not have much side spill with that more spotty beam and sometimes that was a negative. As well, that whiter light feels more harsh and intrusive when just cruising on dirt roads.
Also the mount, while solid to the bars, had enough wiggle in the light and the clamp interface to give the beam an annoying jiggle when on dirt roads. I did not notice it on the pavement. I cannot say if this is a one-off deal, but this one did it.
At The Finish: The NiteRider Lumina 1100 (and likely the 1200 version) would be my pick for road focused or higher speed gravel rides as well as city cruising. The beam pattern and intense light color are a real plus there. I would have to see what I could do about the jiggle in the mount though. The run times seem to be on par with everything else, so that was okay. It still is not my all-round favorite. That one is yet to come.
NOTE: The Bontrager and the Light and Motion lights were provided at no cost for review. The Nite Rider and the Amazon lights were purchased at retail.We are not being paid, nor bribed for this post. We always strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.
2 thoughts on “A Spectrum Of Lights: NiteRider Lumina 1100 Boost”
My experience with two smaller versions of the Niterider lights: Good, bright, battery life ok, but those lights are not made for cities or areas with a lot of people getting in your way. The lights blind others like crazy – people were yelling at me all the time. I switched to a non-blinding light (Lupine).
I owned the Lumina 1200 boost OLED. Don’t think it’s really worth the premium over the 1100 version discussed here. You get an OLED screen that shows the mode you’re in as well al battery status. The light output difference is negligible.
I found the light pattern to be a little bit flattened at the top but yeah, it’s more or less a spot. Technically, the light is not StVzO compliant (norm in Germany and some other European countries) because it can blind oncoming traffic. This means that you’re not allowed to use it on public roads. Theoretically. Whether this is enforced is a different matter. Anyway, I happily used it for about 18 months.
I was happy with the performance, 2 observations though: 1) Mine also vibrated on rough roads/gravel and 2) the sides got very hot when riding at night in summer. Like bake-an-egg hot. Can’t be good for the electronics.
Now we come to the part that resulted in me deciding not to buy another of their products, ever:
After 18 months of relatively heavy use (half of the year I need to use a light on my 20 km commute and during the other half I’m sometimes on call, meaning that I regularly find myself riding at 2 AM) the light simply stopped charging. The indicator went down and trying to charge it (with different cables and chargers) didn’t work anymore. OK, this can happen, no harm. I had purchase directly from NR and sent a mail, asking for a warranty repair (2 years of statutory warranty over here) or if that was impossible, a repair at cost. no answer. I resent the mail. After 2 weeks they got back to me, asking to send them the invoice (I purchased from them…). OK, I sent the invoice. 2 weeks later another reply saying that they would not repair it under warranty, nor for that matter at cost and that was the end of it. (!). Crass. Had they simply told me that for reason X, Y or Z there was no warranty outside the US (which I doubt) and that repairing at cost was not an option but I could purchase a new one at a discount, I could have lived with that. But not with the way they handled this so never again.