NiteRider Illumina 800 OLED First Test
By Mark B.
I strapped on and fired up my Illumina 800 OLED tonight for a test. The light is solidly designed with great feel and quality. The buttons have a nice feel and the OLED screen is very clear. The mount is also solidly made, but cumbersome in my opinion. The rubber strap is hard to slip through the slot, especially when the light is mounted.
When mounted, the strap allows for some movement. So, I found it easy to adjust the beam up and down as I was riding. Over time, this ability to move the light may turn into unwanted slippage. For now, I like the ability to incrementally move the light according to traffic or road conditions.
The screen is very clear and easy to read. One thing to note is that when the light arrived, I noticed spots on the screen. After some research it appears OLED screens often have black spots. When activated, the spots do not show. My OCD makes me not like the spots, but I can live with them since they do not interfer with the screen’s function.
The beam pattern is nicely constructed. It is wide and the light fades naturally to the edges. The center spot is not so hot that it makes you feel like you’re spotting for wildlife. I noticed that even with the light aimed down, street signs pick up the top fringe of the beam pattern and reflected nicely. I placed the bike against a tree and walked in front of the light. It is bright to oncoming traffic, even aimed down. So, for around town, I’ll have to keep the angle a bit low. Out of traffic, I aimed the light a bit higher. The light shows its power when the streets are really dark and there is no oncoming traffic to blind. I believe this light would be a nice trail light as well.
The fact that the light does not come with a power block is odd. And, the included 10 inch cable really makes charging interesting. Since most wall outlets in my house are more than 10 inches from the floor and most furniture, I found I just had to hang the light from the USB block I enlisted for charging. I am planning to get a longer cable. I think for the +$125.00 price tag, a power block and a longer cable should be included.
The modes provide several flash options, including SOS as well as a walk mode and three light levels. The lockout option is welcome considering when in use the light gets rather hot. Kicking it off in a bag by accident could be a bit scary.
I like the battery monitor. After riding around tonight, I know I have 1 hour and 18 minutes left on the battery at full power. No guess work. That feature sold me on this light. While the light may compare to a Serfas or other brand, the screen readout still makes this light the better option for me.
Keep things safe folks and enjoy the ride.