NiteRider Lumina 950 Boost ReviewSeptember 14, 2017
- Rapid flash mode
- Durable mounting strap
- Beam projection
- Quick release
- Water-resistant only
- Mounting strap is difficult to attach
- Helmet mount not included
- No side lighting
The NiteRider Lumina 950 Boost projects a bright, focused, powerful beam of 950 lumens. It has six brightness modes to provide a wide range of illumination in both urban settings and mountain bike trails. However its mounting strap is awkward to attach and easily pops off.
Ease of Use
The NiteRider Lumina 950 Boost has six modes: Low, Medium, High, Boost, Flash, and Walk. To turn on, simply press the switch. The first setting is Low. One click takes the cyclist through Medium, High and Walk. However accessing the Boost and Flash modes are not as intuitive.
To activate the Boost mode, two very rapid clicks are required at the High setting. To engage the Flash mode, the button must be depressed and held for three seconds while at the High mode—not the best for changing modes mid-ride if conditions change. To turn off, press the switch for a second and then let go.
The light mode switch is tactile but cushy, making it glove-friendly for regular-weight cycling gloves. Heavier-weight cold weather gloves make it more challenging to find the switch.
The NiteRider Lumina 950 Boost puts out 950 lumens of light on the Boost setting, making it more than sufficient for urban riding, general bike commuting, and mountain biking. Beam projection is very good in terms of width and distance beyond the path directly in front of the cyclist and reflecting off road signs at quite a long distance.
Run times vary depending on the selected brightness mode and air temperature. The Walk mode, at 40 lumens, carries the longest-lasting charge at eighteen hours. The Flash mode, at 200 lumens, carries the second longest-lasting charge at approximately five hours. For testing purposes in an urban commuting environment, our tester mostly used the Flash mode and went seven days (at 30-minute intervals each way), before the light needed to be recharged.
The Boost mode, which is dangerously bright for drivers and other oncoming cyclists when improperly aimed, was only used when riding through a dark park without streetlights. In Boost mode, the lamp did an excellent job at illuminating potholes, cracks in the bike path, street signs, and rabbit activity.
With six brightness modes to choose from, the water-resistant NiteRider Lumina 950 Boost offers the cyclist significant variety for visibility: Boost (950 lumens), High (800 lumens), Medium (400 lumens), Low (200 lumens), Flash (200 lumens), and Walk (40 lumens).
Six modes is usually overkill for a bike light but in the case of this model, the difference between modes was noticeable enough to be useful. However, practice and memory are needed for the cyclist to engage the Flash mode as it can only be activated at the High setting by holding down on the mode button for three seconds. Boost is activated at the High setting with two very rapid clicks.
Charging is via a standard USB cable. Charging time from a completely dead battery to full strength required a solid six hours of being plugged directly into the wall. This is approximately one hour longer than NiteRider states. Plugged into the USB port of a laptop, it did not fully charge after eight hours.
The NiteRider Lumina 950 Boost does not provide 180 degrees of visibility, which decreases the cyclist’s visibility to motorists.
The NiteRider Lumina 950 Boost attaches to the handlebars via a silicone mounting strap. The strap is made from dense materials and is high quality, however it requires strong fingers and patience to attach securely. To attach, the cyclist needs to remove the light with the quick release lever to view the narrow slat that the strap feeds through and then re-attach the light. Once connected, our tester found that the light stayed firmly in place, even when riding over bumps and rough bike paths.
Bike light theft is a reality and it’s always a good idea for a cyclist to remove a light if they will be away from the bike for any length of time. The NiteRider Lumina 950 Boost makes this easier with a quick-release on the mount that allows the cyclist to simply lift the plastic “trigger” and remove the light. The mount itself stays firmly on the handlebar at all times.
Changing the light between bikes requires no adjustment in the mount but the density of the strap makes the NiteRider Lumina 950 Boost the most difficult of all the lights in the test to move easily between bikes.
A helmet mounting kit is available but does not come standard with the light. The light can be used beyond biking as a handheld flashlight.Continue Reading
Marie Malinowski is a Minneapolis-based mountain biker, bike commuter, backpacker, and trail runner who covers our cycling accessories categories.