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review

Giant Numen Mini Light Combo

7
£13.99

VERDICT:

7
10
Handy and simple to use with plenty of run time, but the coin-battery power won't appeal to all
Affordable
Easy to mount and operate
Good run time for one set of batteries
Reliable emergency light
Not rechargeable
Not exactly dazzling
Weight: 
53g

Giant has really gone back to basics with the Numen Mini Light Combo. You won't be overwhelmed with modes – it's steady or flashing – but they're easy to mount, use a single quick press for everything and create a usable, if not amazing brightness. Even the power source is old-school: two CR2032 coin batteries per light.

One press of the button switches on a steady beam, a second press takes it to a flashing mode, and a third switches it off. Their simplistic operation will appeal to those making short convenience trips or commutes, and make them ideal for children too.

> Find your nearest dealer here

The LED casing sits inside a rubber cover with a flexible strap, and they are easy to take apart, so cleaning and drying is simple. They have no waterproof rating, but these have endured bike washing and I've even had them in the shower. They continue to function just fine. It's worth removing the cap and batteries and giving them a wipe around if they are exposed to heavy, persistent rain though.

2021 Giant Numen Mini Light Combo - front.jpg

Once mounted the lights don't budge, though they are only compatible with circular bars and posts. The rubber casing protects the lights from the elements and the effects of being dropped as well, which is handy.

Both lights are no more than 'be-seen' aids. The LEDs are bright, but they don't match something like Bookman's Block Light Front or its matching rear. They are not brilliantly effective in daylight either, and I personally wouldn't rely solely on them to get me seen at night.

2021 Giant Numen Mini Light Combo - rear.jpg

They are a good supplement to a primary light, though, and a good option for saddle bag-stashing as emergency back-ups.

> The best 2021 front lights for cycling: Our big beam comparison engine plus how-to-choose guide

The four CR2032 3V Lithium Cells supplied (each lamp takes two at a time) will power them for over 100 hours. Mine actually ran beyond this, though by then the output was ineffective.

Take care inserting and removing the batteries; the front one started to play up a short way into the test and I noticed the connector was bent. It straightened up just fine, at least, and I've had no problems since.

Value

It's difficult to draw comparisons; all the 'be-seen' lights we have tested in recent years have been USB rechargeable.

£11.99 for a set isn't steep considering you get 100 hours of runtime per light, but unless you already own a charger and rechargeable cell batteries, you're committed to buying replacements to keep them going (add the cost of a charger to the Numen Mini Lights and you're better off buying brighter USB rechargeables from the off).

> 19 best rear bike lights for 2021 — boost your day & night visibility

While the Magicshine Seemee 30 Combo is around a tenner more at £24.99, they're also bigger, brighter and better sealed against the elements. On the other hand, you can buy an extra 2000hrs of (the cheapest) CR2032s for the £10 and forget about recharging.

Lezyne's Femto USB Drive Pair adds USB recharging to a similar design to the Numens, but are more still at £29.

If non-USB and cheap is your preference, Halfords' 3-LED Bike Light Set is a tenner, while Decathlon's Elops SL 100 Front  and SL 100 Rear are £2.99 each. These only give around half the run time of Numens, though.

Overall

The Giant Numen Mini Light Combo certainly scores highly on the simplicity and usability stakes, and if you can't – or simply don't want to – recharge even between multiple rides, they have their place.

As additional lights or emergency backups they're good, and the price is good too. If you're after eye-catching brightness and flash modes, though, it's hard to recommend these even over more expensive modern designs.

Verdict

Handy and simple to use with plenty of run time, but the coin-battery power won't appeal to all

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Giant Numen Mini Light Combo

Size tested: N/A

Tell us what the light set 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?

Giant says: "Giant Numen Mini Light Combo features a front and rear Numen Mini Light, each with two bright LED's which are tool-free, easy rubber strap mounted with a run time of up to 100 hours each."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light set?

- 2 bright LED's (Red/White)

- 2 modes: steady or flashing

- Flexible rubber strap mounting

- Replaceable CR2032 batteries

- Run time up to 100 hrs

Rate the front light for quality of construction:
 
7/10
Rate the rear light for quality of construction:
 
7/10

Basic plastic LED housing sat inside a rubber casing.

Rate the light set for design and ease of use. How simple were the lights to use?
 
9/10

Couldn't be simpler.

Rate the front light for the design and usability of the clamping system
 
8/10
Rate the rear light for the design and usability of the clamping system
 
8/10

Fits circular cross sections only.

Rate the front light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
7/10
Rate the front light for waterproofing. How did it stand up to the elements?
 
7/10

Splash and showerproof, but need TLC if they endure much more. They are easy to pull apart to clean and dry, though.

Rate the front light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
9/10
Rate the rear light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to recharge?
 
9/10

Run for over the claimed 100 hours on the supplied batteries, but output does begin to diminish after about 80 hours.

Rate the front light for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the rear light for performance:
 
7/10

Not as striking as some, but sufficient to be seen in low light and at night.

Rate the front light for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the rear light for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the front light for weight:
 
9/10
Rate the rear light for weight:
 
9/10
Rate the light set for value:
 
5/10

Find a cheap source of CR2032 batteries (unbranded they're around 25p each in bulk) and it's very reasonable, at least in the short term or for irregular use. If you already own a charger and rechargeable batteries that will obviously help, but those will cost more than these lights.

Tell us how the lights performed overall when used for their designed purpose

Just bright enough to be of some use, but I personally wouldn't feel comfortable relying on them alone.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the lights

Simple to operate, no frills approach.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the lights

Not a fan of the CR2032 battery aspect.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

They're cheaper than most, but then most we're recently tested are USB rechargeable – and many are considerably more powerful. You also need to factor in the ongoing cost of replacement batteries.

Did you enjoy using the lights? No – not striking enough for my liking

Would you consider buying the lights? No

Would you recommend the lights to a friend? No

Use this box to explain your overall score

The simplistic mounting/operation and old-school battery insertion might appeal to some and, while the output isn't especially striking, they're better than some similarly (non-USB) rivals. It's difficult to justify the continual expense of batteries though when there are USB alternatives though.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 39  Height: 173cm  Weight: 64kg

I usually ride: Road  My best bike is: Carbon road.

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Getting to grips with off roading too!

Emma’s first encounters with a road bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling. 

After a couple of half decent UK road seasons racing for Leisure Lakes, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there and spent two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, then a new Belgian team of primarily developing riders, where there was less pressure, an opportunity to share her experience and help build a whole new team; a nice way to spend her final years of professional racing. 

Since retiring Emma has returned to teaching. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. In addition to the daily commute, Emma still enjoys getting out on her road bike and having her legs ripped off on the local club rides and chain gangs. She has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been rare sightings of Emma off-road on a mountain bike…

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