Mountain bike lights have come a long way over the years. 10 years ago it would have been hard to imagine how bright and compact today’s all-in-one mountain bike lights have become. In this review, we’ll take at one of the most versatile mountain bike lights, the Niterider Lumina 1100 Boost bike headlight. This Niterider headlight has a lot to offer, and at a budget price of $100 (and it’s often found on sale at Amazon).
Is the Niterider Lumina 1100 Boost Light Good for Night Riding?
Niterider is another well-known name in the mountain bike light game, marketing everything from blinky lights and commuter headlights to pro-level mountain bike race lights.
The Lumina series is popular due to the lights’ compact form factor and brightness-to-value ratio. The Niterider Lumina 1100 Boost is the company’s brightest Lumina light, and luckily for us, the retail price is just $100.
What is “Boost” mode?
The Lumina 1100 Boost is so named because it pumps out up to 1100 lumens in “Boost” mode. This is an extra light mode that’s accessed via a double tap of a button. It’s tempting to think of this as “high” mode, but really it’s not meant to be used except in situations where the rider really needs an extra boost of light. So by default, the light cycles through low (225 lumens), medium (450 lumens), and high (900 lumens) settings.
If one were to run the light in boost mode continuously, the Lumina 1100 Boost only offers 1 hour of run time. However, in our burn test, we actually got 1 hour, 10 minutes in boost mode, and then another 28 minutes on a lower brightness setting before the light turned off completely.
The moral of the story: reserve boost mode for special circumstances. There is a secondary set of light modes, accessible by holding the power button for five seconds, that includes two flash modes and a “walk” mode that produces 45 lumens for a claimed 18 hours!
The Niterider Lumina 1100 Boost is a relatively heavy light (179g), due in large part to the overly bulky and complicated handlebar mount. The mount sits higher on the bars than similarly priced lights, making it a poor choice for helmet mounting. Not only that, the wide, stretchy strap has to be routed up and through a notch before being secured in place. This makes it slow to install and remove, despite utilizing a tool-free design. The mount does not allow the light to swivel at all, and I found it difficult to get the strap tight enough to keep the light from eventually slipping.
The Niterdider Lumina 1100 Boost offers one of the most pleasant and well-considered beam patterns of comparably-priced lights we’ve tested. Niterider has clearly done their homework over the years, dialing in just the right beam shape and intensity for mountain biking at night.
- Price: $100
- Available at Amazon
I’d also recommend the Chinese lights under $20 on AliExpress and eBay (Solar Storm in particular) that are brighter and longer-lasting than many of these lights. I have three different models and they are absolutely impressive!
Thanks for the note sissypants.
We actually tested that light a couple years ago; be sure to read the review (and the notes) if you haven’t already:
The tl;dr version is the Chinese lights are risky because they have been known to start fires and not only that, the specs (brightness in particular) are grossly overstated.
With this current crop of sub-$100 lights, the price gap between the inexpensive eBay lights and lights from reputable manufacturers is getting much narrower. For those on a budget, I highly recommend the $75 Lezyne Macro Drive 1100XL because it comes with more accessories than the Solar Storm and offers much higher quality.
the Lezyne was the only one shown with a helmet mount but i’m sure others on the list can be adapted for a left-to-right helmet strap. which of these lights have mounting options for the helmet?
Only the Lezyne and Light & Motion lights ship with a mount for a vented helmet, like the one shown in the Lezyne photo. The Magicshine, Serfas, and Blackburn lights could be used with this type of helmet mount if you happen to have one already, though they tend to sit a bit higher than the Lezyne and L&M lights. The Bontrager and Niterider lights might work, but their mounts are a little bulkier.