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on September 29, 2012
Some people say that the Lumina 650 has too much power. Not for me. When I ride on unlit bike trails at 20mph, I use the highest setting exclusively. I am by far the most comfortable while riding on the highest setting.

When passing pedestrians or other bikers who are coming towards you, you must dim the light or you will blind others.

Similar to another reviewer, I had trouble mounting the light on my oversized handlebars. I removed the rubber grommet and barely got the mount to fit. I added a bit of improvised rubber under the un-grommeted mount to keep it from shifting as I rode, and I'm good to go.
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on October 1, 2012
The new Lumina 650 is very bright! it throws a well shaped cone of light, and the new handlebar mount design is very secure, stable and easily adjustable. This new design affixes securely to the handlebars and to the light unit with easy vertical adjustment and click stops for horizontal aiming. An integrated rubber shim also helps to snug up the mount to the handlebars.

The multi-mode switch design cycles through Low, Medium, and High, with each successive press of the illuminated Blue Button when the unit is on. A momentary hold shuts the unit off. Continuing to hold the button pressed (past the point the unit shuts off) activates Blink Mode. I never considered I would need nor use this feature. Nonetheless, it has become my most often used mode! The rapid (approx 5Hz) flashes are amazingly bright; easily seen hundreds of yards away even in bright daylight! As I run two (2) Lumina 650 units on my handlebars during the day in blink mode, the apparent flashes are much faster. When it gets any darker than early dusk, Blink Mode can be a distraction for drivers and may even cause seizures for some! ;)

At night, I use a third Lumina 650 affixed to the included Helmet mount. This adds exceptional hands free directionality to the light simply by turning my head to look where I need the light. The Helmet mount is an an extra cost option for the Lumina 500 and Lumina 350 units. With proper alignment of the lights you get amazing coverage.

When the unit is in Blink Mode, pressing the button reduces the output to what Nite Rider refers to Walk Mode -- a very low power and extended duration mode even lower than Low power mode. An additional sustained press and hold shuts off the unit and puts it into Lockout mode. A shorter duration press simply shuts the unit off. Nite Rider ships the Lumina in Lockout mode to prevent accidental activation of the light. A sustained press and hold disables lockout mode and activates the light.

I have found each of the three units I have been using to be fairly close to Nite Rider's rated High power run time of 1.5 hours. When the units get to a particular threshold power reserve point of what Nite Rider's user guide depicts as 15 to 20% power reserve, the power button indicator light changes from Blue to Red as a Low Battery Indicator. The Light's output at this point does not change! When running at High Power, about 7 or 8 minutes after the Low Battery Indicator activates, the unit's Reserve Mode will automatically reduce the Light Output to Low Power. Once in this condition, the High and Medium Power settings are disabled. Blink and Walking Power modes are still available for use.

In my use, I have found that recharging with the provided USB cords -- even from a 2.0 Amp high current capable AC USB connection -- has taken up to as long as over seven hours! This is much longer than the five and one-half hour rating on Nite Rider's packaging. Surprisingly, the included user manual makes no mention of the recharge time. As with any rechargeable batteries, lithium rechargeables included, it can take about five full recharge and discharge cycles for the batteries to reach full potential. If you are recharging your light from a lower current providing remote USB hub your recharge time may be even longer! The light contains a single 2900mAh battery. Thus, for example, if you are using a USB connection which only provides 500mAh of current, you may discover your full recharge charge time may exceed six hours. Regardless, as these are Lithium rechargeable battery powered units, there is no harm in keeping them plugged in overnight.

When fully recharged, I have gotten from 2hrs 15mins to 2hrs 28mins of total run time. High power lasted for 1hr 21mins to 1hr 46mins (varied per unit) before Reserve Mode activated for the duration. The units then ran in Low Power mode for at least another one-half hour before going dark.

When run in High Power, the light gets quite warm. This is not uncommon for a high output light of this intensity and compact size. Nonetheless, the unit's integrated heat sink veins do a very good job of dissipating the heat particularly with the enhanced cooling effect while riding.

Overall, the Lumina 650 are exceptional! They are Bright, Compact, Secure, and deliver a great Multi-Mode capability. They're a very good lighting value, as they are rechargeable and come with both mounts.

Highly Recommended!
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on August 27, 2012
**UPDATE 10-28-2012**
Unfortunately, two months later, I have to dock a star from this product. This bums me out but it seems people are reading my review and therefore I am compelled to report this followup. I'm docking a star because I have had both of my lights fall off for a total of three times while riding. My 350 hit hard enough to break half of the mounting rail/slot. Now, at first I chalked this up to my error (not snapping it into place) or perhaps my brake line was interfering with the dismount tab. BUT I recently spoke to a friend who bought a 350 on my recommendation and he says the same thing happened to him --coincidentally his fell off three times as well. We agreed that very bumpy asphalt roads (and one very hard brake in my case) were common to our experience and when you inspect the dismount tab, note how very little force is required to push it down for light removal. It's not unlikely that extreme bumps might have caused the release tab to shake just enough for both of our lights to fall off. Perhaps it's a combo of extreme bumps and braking (as one does on bumps) so the light jiggles and simultaneously moves forward due to the bike itself slowing down.

Now, consider that this happened three times to me out of two months worth of use. But I was very concerned that both mine and my friends light(s) had fallen off. I've since used a small bungee and a small piece of velcro (overkill) to keep my light in place. Note that my bungee actually pushes upward on the release tab, therefore keeping it in a tighter locked position. I have not had a problem in the week or so that I employed this system and have ridden quite a bit in that time.

Worth noting that if one is concerned about their light falling off, then just permanently glue the light onto the mount. Then you just have to unscrew the mount each time you want to remove the light as opposed to the convenient release tab. 12 seconds vs. 1 second to remove the light. This might be a pain for commuters worried about theft (and have to remove their light multiple times a day), but for people who ride recreationally or not very often then it's not a big deal. Sure it's a pain and unfortunate but this workaround will mean you will not suffer this issue.

I'm appending this to both my Lumina 350 and 650 reviews as it potentially affects both products. \


This is my third NiteRider light product. (I also reviewed my NiteRider MiNewt.300 USB).

Now I own a NiteRider Lumina 350 Wireless / USB Rechargable Headlight and a NiteRider Lumina 650 Wireless / USB Rechargable Headlight as well. I use them primarily for road/urban riding and commuting. I mount the lights using a Paul Gino Bicycle Light Mount on each side of my fork. These are their brand new models as of summer 2012.


I'm posting this review on both product pages as they are quite similar. That said there are a couple of differences:

**Lumina 350**: Very, very bright. Great for urban riding. Perfect if you're a bike commuter. Don't even waste money on a kind-of-bright 'regular' LED light like you might get at one of those big box stores that also sells laundry detergent and toothpaste (I don't think Amazon will let me name actual stores in a review). I'm convinced serious bicycle lights like these will save your life by making the road ahead visible **AND** by making you more visible to motorists (most people don't consider that last point, I find.)

**Lumina 650**: Very, very, very, very bright. Maybe even a bit brighter than that. Great for bringing daylight with you on a pitch black backwoods trail. Seriously, this thing is crazy bright. Overkill for urban riding, in my opinion. (Then again you can use a lower setting than full brightness.) Also they make a 500 lumen model, but if you want that level of brightness why not just get the 650 and call it done. From what I've seen the difference in price around 10%.

Also the 650 comes with a helmet mount. Because it's so bright I'm wary of using it in urban settings because you'll blind anyone you're looking at if they happen to also look at you. (Granted that might be the goal depending on the situation. But that's your business.)


Here's the general review that applies to both models:

--At dusk, I use the blink mode. This causes just about all reflective surfaces about ⅛ of a miles ahead of me to also blink. Stop signs, etc. Cars tend to notice this and even if they don't realize it's me on a bike, at least they aren't droning out behind the wheel.

--These lights provide a nice big cone in front of you. Again, cars tend to notice this. I've had cars making a right turn in front of me stop and let me pass because the cone of light on the ground warned them of my presence when I was maybe 15 or 25 feet behind.

--I've ridden with my old MiNewt in rain and fog and it held up great. So I see no reason these lights will not hold up fine as well (they are advertised as basically being precipitation-resistant --though not designed for submersion).

--The one-piece design is awesome. No more extra battery pack and cable to attach. For this reason, I will likely use these as flashlights around the house as they are small and light compared to a MagLite or similar.

--The mount is waaaaay better than my MiNewt, which used o-rings. Now you'll get a pretty hardcore mount that appears to fit around a variety of bars (but not racks, at least out of the box. Doesn't look like the clamp goes down that small). Seriously, the mount looks like it's worth $15-$20 alone. And there's a tab so you can easily remove the light itself from the mounted clamp when you run into a store or something.

--These lights are cheaper than the MiNewt era of lights. So they're also a good bargain.

--They do take a long time to charge fully --maybe a few hours? But since they're USB you can just plug them in pretty much all the time and know they'll be charged. (Manual states there's no cost to `overcharging' the lights.)

--Last but certainly not least, I've contacted support a few times over the last year or so for various questions, assistance, etc. They've been very accommodating and helpful and I get the impression that they feel the customer is always right. This informed my purchas of additional NiteRider products because they responded to my emails and never left me hanging. (Not sure I need to mention this but I'm not affiliated with their company at all.)

Note: I was going to mention something about battery life, which is a perpetual complaint for any mobile electronic device, but these things are run on batteries and therefore you are best to keep on top of the charging so you're not caught high-and-dry. Someday we'll have bright lights that last for days and days on one charge, but that day simply is not here yet. (At least not at a reasonable price.)
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on October 11, 2012
Other reviewers have said a lot more than I intend to. I will relate my personal observations.

The first time I rode at night, I had not entirely planned for it. Luckily, I had a 4 Sevens light in my pack about 280 lumens. I held it in my left hand and halfway through the batteries started giving up. PRIs are important. Whoops. At any rate, the route I ride home is a dedicated MUT, no lights. I could tell right away 280 lumens would not be enough for a daily winter commute.

I ordered the Lumina 650, because it offered at its lowest brightness, output similar to the 350 lumen model with the option to step all the way up. I'm glad I got the brightest model. This week I rode with the Lumina 650 every evening. The high power mode is very useful on the darkened trail. The middle brightness setting works, but it's not yet winter. The lowest setting is definitely not enough, but would be if I were riding on lighted streets.

One gripe I have is the color temperature of the light. It's very blue. I'd much rather use a lower frequency light. Another issue is the "spot" nature of the beam. There's not much flood for the immense power of the beam. These two things combine to make an odd fuzzyness to objects in very dark conditions. Your eyes suck at blue, and the contrast between beam and the surrounding areas is substantial.

I don't know of any LED light that addresses these issues, though, so I can recommend this light.
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on September 15, 2012
This is my 2nd NiteRider light & I am very satisfied with the quality of craftsmanship as well as the brightness.
Been using it for just over a week now & I have already been approached by few motorists & joggers commenting on how bright the light is & wanted to know what kind of light it was. This speaks volumes.
In addition to this, I love the fact that it self contained & that it is USB chargeable. The only "not so-positive" comment I may have in regards to this light is the fact that NiteRider claims 650 lumens, which is somwhat exagerated. I do own a bunch of LED flashlights & I have compared this light to another flashlight that is rated at 500 lumetens(using 1 18650 battery) & that flashlight was noticeably brighter than the Lumina 650.
Overall, I love this light & would highly recommend it to any cyclist out there.... I rate it 5 stars.

Update (09/24/12): Went for a night ride tonight & set the light to "strobe" mode & what a suprise I got. The throw of this light is simply amazing & I echo the comments made by another reviewer here. You could see the stobe flashing on all reflective surfaces ahead, from road signs, stop signs, etc over half a mile away.
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on September 5, 2013
I'm giving this otherwise terrific light a one-star review because it doesn't really matter how great the light is if it won't stay on the bike. Night Rider makes wonderfully bright, very tough lights, but they've never managed the almost equally difficult task of making mounts for their lights that work well. I've had a 350 for a couple of years and this 650 for about a year. During that time I've used the lights every day, for commuting and for longer road-riding. I ride about 150 miles a week on road and CX bikes and I commute by bike to and from work daily. I use bike lights all the time--day and night--whenever I ride. NR upgraded their mounting systems at some point a couple of years ago, and they're a little better than they used to be. But the lights will rattle, all the time, if you're on any road surface other than glassy-smooth, newly paved perfection. This is as true of the Solas rear light as it is for their front light systems. And recently the 650 has started launching itself out of the mount whenever I go over rough patches of pavement: bridge joints, tracks, etc. The light's tough, as I said: it'll be there, blinking happily away, some 30 yards off the bike, as I circle around to pick it up. But clearly no one wants a light that rattles all the time or that launches like a missile from its mount at random spots on road rides!
I'm trying a friend's Lezyne light for a bit, and they (Lezyne) have figured out how to make the rubber seal around the recharging port also serve as a shim to keep the light firmly mounted and quiet. It's not nearly as bright as the NR 650, but it's also not chattering away on the handlebars or blinking from the gutter, either! I've also been checking out the Light and Motion "urban" series, and these seem even more promising. In any case,the folks at Night Rider would be well-advised to continue to do work on ways to make their mounts quieter and more secure.
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on September 12, 2012
I just got this light and am amazed at its brightness. I commute to work at "o'dark thirty" on a road without street lights. I reach speeds of 40-44 mph on the downhill sections. There is plenty of light to see what is coming at me. I can't believe how bright this little thing is, even at the lowest setting. It gives a wide beam spread that can make someone think you are an on-coming car with one headlight. The handlebar mount is tight, secure and easy to apply. I use the USB cord on my office computer to recharge and am ready to go for the ride home.
I highly recommend this light. There are others on the market that are brighter but for $125 (at my local bike shop) and 650 lumens, you won't need anything else.
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on September 19, 2012
Just got my Lumina 650 and am very impressed. It's light, compact and appears to be very well made. The light is easy to operate and really is very bright. The mounting bracket could be a bit larger. I had to remove the rubber shim to get the mounting bracket to fit the handlebar on my cannondale road bike and even then it only just flexes enough to get the nut over the lower mount clip. I live out in a more rural area and commute down some dark winding roads without any street lights. This light does a great job of throwing out a nice solid beam. Once on town the flashing mode illuminates every street sign. I am now thinking of getting a second one to mount on the helmet so that I have two for the dark rainy days. A great light that I would recommend to others.

Update - After 29 days of ownership the light has died and stopped working. Rode to work yesterday, charged the light when I got there. Went to ride home and the light wouldn't turn on. If I plug it it again the button light turns blue to show charged but the light won't turn on at all. Complety dead. Have return number from amazon and am now returning so I can try another one.

Latest Update - After over a year of constant use all year round, rain an shine the lights are still working fine. As I ride in a dark rural area I actually now have three of these lights, two on the bike and one on my helmet. The light output is fantastic but the big weakness is the mounting rails. The rails do not hold the lights on firmly enough, the flexible plastic with the notches wears out after regular use and the lights fly off the mount when you hit a bump. Several times now I have hit a pothole or unseen bump and a split second later my lights are bouncing down the street. When this happens the design weaknesses in the housing show up, one drop on the road and the back end of the rails on the light housing break off. So on two of my lights the rails are broken and I have to tape the lights on to the mounting brackets. The lights still work but the weak mounting design is a let down.

March 2014 - Adding a new update. I emailed Niterider about 10 days ago to see if I could purchase a new housing for the lights that had been damaged. Within a few minutes I got a response from Craig in the customer service department, he said he would send me new housings at no charge. I asked if he could send two as two of the light housings were damaged. About 5 days later I received new housings without any costs. Wow - great customers service and response. I am back in business.
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on October 11, 2012
I have both generations of this light, the 600 and 650. The 650 fixed every deficiency of the 600 and those were pretty minor indeed, since the 600 was a great light. The lockout mode works better on the 650. The rubber lid that covers the USB connector is robust and secure. The mount is excellent and secure. The light brightness is outstanding. The runtime is perfect reasonable given it's small size. If the battery ever goes bad, replacements are cheap and readily available from the manufacturer. Hard to get better bang for your buck than this.
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on October 10, 2012
The Lumina 650 performs as described, it is bright, easy to mount and easy to operate; provide great spread of light. The three light levels are handy but I only use the brightest level. Lower light levels may conserve energy if commuting longer distance. Charging is limited to USB; when on a tour USB charging is inconvenient and sometime hard to come. The USB charging time also seems to take a little longer but have not actually compared. I have only used the light for short time periods so I don't have experience as to how long it will perform between charging.
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