The Editors' Choice Award faced some seriously stiff competition in this review, between the reigning heir, the Cygolite Expilion 850, the NiteRider Lumina 750 and the Light and Motion Taz 1500. Each competitor excels over one or the other in different categories; yet, the NiteRider Lumina 750 stepped up and took the cake particularly for its results in our battery testing and portability.The Lumina 750 is a high performance bike light, ideal for commuting and some off-road riding. It has a relatively wide, even beam pattern and a long beam distance for its size. However, the Lumina 750 performed almost exactly the same as the NiteRider Lumina 550 in our beam, brightness, and battery life tests. For these reasons, the $20 cheaper Lumina 550 is a better value.
NiteRider Lumina 750 Review
Cons: Beam could be more even/less narrow, battery life on the short side
Compare to Similar Products
NiteRider Lumina 750
|Price||$120 List||$300 List||$249.99 at Amazon||$140 List||$95 List|
|Pros||Wide even beam pattern, bright, illuminated on/off button, swivel mount||Great beam distance and quality, lasts four hours in high mode||VERY bright, wide and even beam||Wide, even beam pattern, multiple blinking modes||Bright, wide and even beam pattern, illuminated on/off switch, easy on and off handle bars, good value|
|Cons||Beam could be more even/less narrow, battery life on the short side||Very heavy, expensive and time-consuming to install and remove||Can get super hot, heavy, short battery life, 18-hour full charge time, requires two hands to take on and off||Minimal swivel, short battery life||Short (1.5 hour) battery life|
|Bottom Line||This light is bright, swivels nicely and even has an illuminated on/off switch||This is your go to light for quality and distance of beam||This light has an extremely bright and wide beam but it does take a while to fully charge and can get hot if used for an extended period of time||Although it has a shorter battery life, it has a wide even beam with multiple blinking modes||This light not only is a great value but it has a super bright and even beam pattern|
|Rating Categories||NiteRider Lumina 750||NiteRider Pro 1800||Light and Motion Taz 1500||Cygolite Expilion 850||NiteRider Lumina 550|
|Beam Quality (25%)|
|Battery Life (20%)|
|Specs||NiteRider Lumina 750||NiteRider Pro 1800||Light and Motion...||Cygolite Expilion...||NiteRider Lumina 550|
|Max Beam Distance (m)||180 m||175 m||144 m||147 m||146 m|
|Battery Life (hours)||1.7 hrs||3.8 hrs||1.6 hrs||1.4 hrs||1.5 hrs|
|Battery Type||USB Recharge||USB Recharge||USB Recharge||USB Recharge||USB Recharge|
|Weight||182 g, 6.4 oz||500 g, 17.6 oz||220 g, 7.8 oz||174 g, 6.1 oz||180 g, 6.3 oz|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The NiteRider Lumina 750 was our favorite all-around light among all of our test lights. It is a top notch option that can take you from city paths and onto any evening ride on a dirt trail. This light is extremely versatile with both a handlebar mount and helmet mount options that come stock in the box.
This light is an exceptional option for any commuter, and walks away with our Editors' Choice Award.
The Lumina 750 is quite bright and shined 180 meters in our maximum distance tests, a little over 30 meters further than the Cygolite Expilion 850. Yet, if you examine our battery life chart, which we will shortly, you'll see that the 750's beam distance reduces down to 160-meters rather quickly. That being said, this reduced measurement still outshines the Expilion 850 by almost 15-meters through the longevity of both lights' battery lives.
As you look at the the photos below, you can see the Expilion 850, on the right, has a slightly broader beam that better illuminates the edges of the bike path.
When compared to the Light and Motion Taz 1500, the Lumina 750's maximum beam distance outshines the Taz by 36-meters. Although, as you examine the pictures below, you can see that the Taz 1500 has a much wider beam that clearly floods the bike path with light.
The brightness of the Lumina 750 is impressive, and scores almost perfectly with 9 out of 10 points, but as you can see in the photo comparison below, it is nearly identical to its sibling, the less expensive NiteRider Lumina 550. Yet, if you look closely, there is a subtle difference you can see far into the distance. The the Lumina 750 shines 30 meters farther than the Lumina 550.
Ideally, the best lens optics create a wide, evenly lit beam that projects far into the distance. We photographed each of these lights in our lab in order to see how the competition stacked up. The Lumina 750 scores an 8 out of 10, as compared to the Light and Motion Taz that earned an impressive perfect score. In the following images, you can see why the Taz scores a couple of points higher than the Lumina 750. While the 750 has a more defined spot in the middle, with softer flood out away from its centralized spot, it also outshines the Taz in terms of beam distance, as described above.
When compared to the Cygolite Expilion 850, the Lumina 750 seems to contain a similar pattern. However, when you examine the two photos below, you'll notice that the Lumina 750's beam floods to the edges of our diagram, where there are more noticeably dark edges surrounding the Expilion 850's beam.
However, as you can see in the photo below, the Lumina 750 performed rather similarly to the Lumina 550 in our beam diameter and pattern tests. Both have a strong and even pattern; although the Lumina 750 seems to have a larger central spot diameter, allowing the 750 to project almost 35-meters farther than the Lumina 550.
As with the Lumina 750's little brother, the Lumina 550, we would have liked to see a longer battery life performance from these lights. However, it is still quite comparable to the other Editors' Choice contenders, the Light and Motion Taz 1500 and the Cygolite Expilion 850.
In our previous review of this light, we measure its battery life of up to two hours while in high mode; however, in this round, the Lumina 750's lifespan dropped nearly a quarter of an hour while on its highest beam. This was one area where the 750 has a slight advantage over the Lumina 550, which lasted about 20 percent less in high mode.
As you can see in this battery life versus beam distance chart, battery life is really where the Lumina 750 excels over the Expilion 850 in more ways than just minute differences. Though the Lumina 750 wavers early on, it evens out to project around 160-meters of illumination before drastically tapering off; while the Expilion 850 maintains its maximum beam distance for just over an hour and a half before it begins a gradually decline and looses steam nearly 30 minutes before the Lumina 750.
While the Light and Motion Taz 1500 is comparable to the Lumina's battery projections, our results show that the Taz wavers drastically through its battery longevity, which is not particularly a comforting result while riding during nighttime.
Another difference that sparked our curiosity, is that due to the weight and battery size of the Taz, it heats up drastically more than the Lumina 750. While writing this review, we left both lights on high, and held both lights at the end of 20 minutes. Due to the high powered beams, both lights naturally get hot; yet the Taz was noticeably hotter to the touch, and almost hard to continue to hold in our hands.
We used five variables to determine our portability score: ease of removal from the bike rack, size and weight, ease of installation, its pivot (the ability to be portable to different mounts) and whether or not it was helmet compatible.
Portability is another area where this light excels over the Light and Motion Taz 1500, and was only a couple of points higher than the Cygolite Expilion 850, mostly in terms of some very minute differences in ease of removal from the rack. As with all the Lumina series lights, this light is very easy to get on and off the handlebars. There is an extremely smooth glide compared to other lights that require more finger strength, fussing, and general effort. It is also a nice compact size and fits easily into a pocket.
It also scores high on pivot and helmet compatibility, because included with the Lumina 750 set is its very own helmet mount, and it is easily interchangeable with other mounts within the Lumina light family, such as the Lumina 550.
The NiteRider Lumina 750 is a high powered performer that is best used for daily commutes with the occasional off-road romp.
The 750 offers great versatility between both city and trail use for the price, as well as some great bonuses, such as the included helmet compatible mount. However, within the same Lumina family it performed similarly to the Lumina 550, which costs $20 less and offers much better bang for your buck.
Check out our Price vs. Value Chart to see how both the Lumina 750 and 550 models stood up to the other lights within this review.
The NiteRider Lumina 750 really stepped it up in this round of testing to take home our Editors' Choice Award, and excels in a few key ways over its main competitors, the Cygolite Expilion 850 and the Light and Motion Taz 1500. We highly recommend this light as an all-around performer both for your bustling commutes as well as occasionally kicking up dust on your fat tire tread.
Other Versions and Accessories
Within this review, we also tested the NiteRider Lumina 550, which, as we've mentioned, performed rather similarly to the 750 and is just a bit easier on the piggy bank at only $80. If you are looking for a light to illuminate trails, try the Niterider Pro 1800, which is our favorite light for mountain biking.
— Gentrye Houghton