Something a wolf in sheep’s clothing, the Nuke Light enjoys neat, albeit slightly boxy styling and a small lens suggesting very meagre output. However, clever optics and several settings ensure you can see and be seen-even on pitch-black rural roads. Convenient run times, a choice of either mains or USB charging coupled with keen pricing means its one of the best compact designs I’ve used in a very long time.
Powered by mobile phone type Li-on battery, the Nuke light employs six-lens technology, reckoned to deliver a whopping 540 lumens at a metre-on full (flood) beam. That's probably underpowered for anything resembling bridle path, but for road riding it provides a clear and accurate view of conditions chasing along unlit country lanes at close to race pace. Other settings are less impressive but suitable for urban commuting or as complement to a dynamo system thanks to run times ranging between three and forty hours (flashing mode) from a single charge.
Using a clever heat-sink ensures consistent charge and run times-even in sub zero temperatures while the positive switch prevents it accidentally turning on in the bottom of a bag but is easy operated wearing full-finger gloves. The tool free mounting bracket could be improved- it’s very secure and there’s plenty of shims to accommodate the whole spectrum of handlebar diameters but a broader tension wheel would make for easier attachment/removal.
The very modest 120g weight is a clear advantage over slightly dated bottle battery type lights and as well as being a good commuting light for unlit roads would be my choice for enjoying those late summer evenings on the best bike. Be mindful not to snag the delicate wires on the USB charger though and higher output LED or possibly HID systems are better suited for more serious use such as prolonged nocturnal rides/ winter training.
Very capable front light bright enough for commutes, yet light enough for the best bike.
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Make and model: Nukelight 3W LED front light
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product 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?
The Nuke light is a rechargeable front lamp powered by mobile phone size Li-On battery and intended primarily for commuting. However, it's deceptively powerful on full beam and generally good enough for training on unlit rural roads.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Single 3 watt LED with four modes delivers 450 lumens (at a metre)very clever 6 lens technology gives it an impressive power to weight and burn time (3 hrs full flood beam 40 hours flashing) USB or mains charging.
120g including bracket
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Nuke Light really impressed me with it's ability to illuminate unlit roads rather than just be seen with. Charge and run times are really good too, although the less powerful modes are only suitable for urban use or complimenting a dynamo system. Tipping the scales at 120g it's light enough for the best bike or simply popping in the seat pack. The USB charger could've been a little more substantial but this is a minor point.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Low weight, great output, and easy charging.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing worthy of note, although tool free bracket head could've been slightly larger.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 36 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)