Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole ValleyMuddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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NightLightning iBlaast LED lights review

Posted by Colin | November 28, 2007 | 6 comments so far

NightLightning iBlaast LED headlight

I recently bagged myself a bargain with the NightLightning iBlaast LED light from New Zealand. Here’s what I found…

Despite not getting out for night rides for some time (until a baptism of fire with the Moles just recently), night lighting seems to have become a bit of an obsession for me and for some time I have toyed with various ideas and built several prototypes.

Improving on my 6 volt Electron set up would not be too difficult and my wishlist came from direct experience (and frustration) with them:

  • Long battery life (ie min 2, max 4 hours)
  • Bright beam giving a decent distance but also illuminating peripheral vision (such as that sawn off branch at head height a spot beam may not pick up – ouch!)
  • Decent connectors, thus avoiding the strobe effect at 30mph
  • Decent brackets that successfully keep the lights/battery attached at all times

The Electrons scored badly in all respects so it was worth putting in some work. Most of this work and tinkering has resulted in an excellent head torch, superior to the Joystick, for a fraction of the cost (more on that in another post, where you can have a build list and instructions on DIY build).

However, I couldn’t decide on how to achieve all of the above with my homebrew bar mounted setup and was surfing late one night.

Buried quite deep in a Google search, I came up with this beauty – the iBlaast! from NightLightning. A neat 3 LED setup, using the latest LED technology giving up to 720 lumens at your disposal. An important feature I like is that this unit is fully upgradeable, so when they are making 600 lumen LED’s, Dave had better watch out as I’ll be able to rival his mobile x-ray unit!

The website looked promising, feedback looked excellent and a phone call to Eric in New Zealand (at midnight UK time from my garage so as not to wake up other family members and so the wife didn’t know) convinced me this was the way to go.

Having already got a 14.8V li-ion battery and charger for a prototype, all I needed was the light unit, bar mount and connectors. Eric duly obliged (he has no problem whatsoever in supplying individual parts for own projects, etc) and a mere week later the parcel arrived. UK carriage was only £11.

I wasn’t disappointed. The build quality is second to none and there really is a very clever box of tricks driving the electrics, giving options for:

  • 2 or 3 stage brightness levels (low/high or low/medium/high)
  • Programmable adjustable power output within each stage of brightness
  • 3 commuter-friendly different flashing styles. One of which I’m sure should be illegal due to the flashing speed and the risk of inducing epilepsy fits amongst fellow commuters!!
  • 3 stage warning indicators for remaining battery life

All well and good but what’s it like on the trail? Well all I can say is buy one! The images on the website are genuine. The depth of vision is fantastic and also gives a very wide, consistent beam so you pick up everything on the trail. You can easily flick the brightness down if you want but to be honest, with a 4400mAh battery, you get 5 hours on full whack so why bother?

Due to the effort Eric has put in on construction and quality, I can’t see there ever being an issue with reliability. The other added bonus over HID or halogen is that LED’s are virtually bomb-proof and even if one fails, they’re £6 to replace. The switch is a touch sensitive item on the back of the unit.

The only slight niggle was with the bar mount. I couldn’t get it to grip the bars adequately so I swapped the mounting plate from it to one lying around in the garage, as per the pics.

So, if you are considering upgrading, do consider the Blaast! range. See their website at www.nightlightning.co.nz for the various options and more detailed information on burn times.

More photos of the NightLightning iBlaast LED light are available on the MuddyMoles Flickr stream.

See beam shots of the Nightlightning iBlaast in our MTB LED Night Light Test and Beam Shots article.

Filed under Lights, Reviews in November 2007

Colin

About the author

There are 6 comments on ‘NightLightning iBlaast LED lights review’

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  1. Muddymoles says:

    DIY LED Exposure Joystick Maxx killer

    Colin has been tinkering in his shed and has come up with an Exposure Joystick Maxx killer for a third of the price. Here’s his summary of what he’s been up to…

  2. Russell says:

    Hi

    A most informative review on the Iblaast. I have been running some HIDs for a while now and due to the cost of replacement parts I am now looking for something a little more reliable. These just might fit the bill.

    Thanks

  3. Andy says:

    Agree with all of the above, the Blaast is indeed a great piece of kit. I’ve just bought one on the advice of an adventure racing pal who lives in NZ.

  4. Colin says:

    A year on nearly and I’m very happy with my lights… or I was until today, when the guys at nightlightning informed me of an upgrade option to my iBlaast.

    For a meager £33 plus £5 postage (from New Zealand), they’ll upgrade my leds to the new Cree R2 diodes. For a few quid less, they’ll send me the parts and a cd-rom guide if I fancy diy-ing it.

    That’ll give me 1000 lumens, an increase of 40% over the current set up, with a much warmer colour tone than the uber white current set up.

    It makes you wonder though, how many other manufacturers give you the option of upgrading your current light unit as LED technology progresses.

    Another plus point for the iBlaast.

  5. Muddymoles says:

    MTB LED Night Light Test and Beam Shots

    A review of popular MTB LED night lights with beam shots including Ay-Up!, Exposure MaXx-D, Lumicycle LEDSys3 and LEDSys4, iBlaast and more.

  6. Pingback: DealExtreme HA-III P7 LED Bike Light | Reviews, Lights | Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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