For 2018, Exposure's Blaze DayBright rear light has had a few tweaks, resulting in this MK2 version. Thankfully, the excellent output levels, superb burn-times and robust durability still remain, so if you are willing to splash out 90 quid on a light then this should be on your list.
- Pros: Excellent brightness levels, easy to set up for the conditions
- Cons: It ain't cheap...
When I was cycle commuting 200 miles a week whatever the weather, lights were something I was happy to invest in. If you are riding in the dark both ends of the working day, at rush hour, on one of the busiest A-roads in Wiltshire, then not only do you need lights to make you stand out, you need them to be reliable. This is where I see lamps like the Exposure Blaze justifying their price tag.
For starters, its liquid ingress rating is IPX6, which means it has to pass testing where it is subjected to powerful water jets from any direction.
Gone is the top cover of the MK1, which encased the charge port and button, replaced by a black rubber cap like that used on Exposure's front lights.
On two wet rides which killed the IPX4-rated NiteRider Omega 300 (review to come), the Blaze shrugged everything off and no water got past the cover at all. Exposure has placed the charge port on the top of the light rather than on the bottom, which also shows good design sense, unlike many other light makers out there.
Output & battery life
The Blaze offers three programmes, each with a pulse and a steady state mode within them, which keeps things really simple.
Program 1 is the brightest with an output of 80 lumen, which Exposure calls DayBright mode. It's bright enough to be seen on even the sunniest of days from a fair distance, but by no way overly extreme for use in the dark in my opinion.
The pulse mode is definitely eye-catching, with the bright LED flashing once and then a double pulse while a low power output keeps the red glow on permanently.
Early morning rides can often see fog being an issue, but it'll cut through that too.
Battery life is good for a light of this size and power, with the 80 lumen solid mode giving you more than the claimed 6hrs – I achieved 6hrs 28mins – and the pulse giving you 12hrs.
You can see what is happening to the battery life by the colour of the button. It's green when the juice is above 50%, then amber until 25%, before turning red until battery life drops to 5%. If it flashes you haven't got much time left, but the light will switch to the lowest power output to eke out the last of the power.
Charging takes 4hrs from a 500 mA power supply so it's easy to top up at work provided you remember to take the cable with you. Most Exposure lights use a specific cable rather than Micro USB, for example.
Dropping to Program 2 drops the power output by 50% and doubles the burn-time, the same from Program 2 to 3. Flashing in this lowest mode is about 20 lumen, and will give you 48hrs of illumination.
The clamp is a simple push fit around the recessed part of the Blaze, which might make you a little nervous on rough roads but fear not! I've using these clamps for years and never lost a light yet. The plastic bracket has a very firm hold on the light and the rubber band is a solid piece of kit.
It will only fit round seatposts, though, so if you have an aero model you'll need to buy the specific clamp from Exposure.
Durability is another place where the Blaze justifies its price for me. I've had one of the original Blaze lights from when they first came out probably five or six years ago. It's been used extensively and is still working fine and holding those burn-times. It's been dropped and seen plenty of rain and even snow plus loads of freezing temperatures.
The overall design of this new MK2 Daybright version is pretty much identical, so I see no issues here either. You also get a two-year warranty.
I think the build quality and output make it good value, but you can buy cheaper: Blackburn has both its Dayblazer 125 and the less bright 65 lumen option. Priced at £44.99 and £27.99 respectively, they are quite a bit cheaper than the Blaze.
There is also the excellent Oxford UltraTorch, which costs just £17.99.
I stand by my initial thoughts, though: if you want a bright, reliable light for many years to come, the Blaze MK2 DayBright is worth the investment.
Impressive outputs and burn-times make this durable light a great longterm investment
If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website
road.cc test report
Make and model: Exposure Blaze MK2 DayBright
Size tested: 80 Lumens
Tell us what the light is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Exposure says, "High power rear lighting for commuting, road cycling and Time Trial.
DayBright flash pattern to cut through distractions of busy roads to alert other road users.
High capacity battery for substantial burn times.
Features USB convenience, a choice of 6 burn times and side illumination for 180 _visibility."
I think the Exposure offers a very complete package for the money.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
Exposure lists these features:
LED Configuration: 1 x Red XPE-R Cree LED
Lumen output: Max 80
Battery: 1500mAh Lithium-Ion
Burn time: 6hrs - 48hrs
Rechargeable: Mains and USB
Charge Time: 4hrs
Anodised 6063 Aluminium
Length : 70mm
Head diameter : 28mm
The instructions are clear and simple.
Even on really wet rides nothing got past the rubber cap.
I consistently got slightly longer burn-times than Exposure claims, plus charging is quick enough should you need to top it up during the working day.
Heavier than a lot on the market because of its alloy body.
You can buy cheaper, but for the quality and finishing I'd argue that it's good value.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Plenty of options to set it up for whatever conditions you are riding in.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
Great all-round quality backed up by good battery life.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
I don't really dislike anything.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
You can get the same burn-times and power outputs for much less money, but the Blaze does offer excellent durability and finishing.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes
Would you consider buying the light? Yes
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It does everything I'd expect of a high-end rear light and is worth the outlay.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.