Looking for all the world like a miniature fire hydrant, UK lightsmiths Exposure’s latest tail light is a potent little guy. Designed to address some of the issues raised with with their Flare, the Blaze jumps 5lm to 80 Lumens of red light, allows for onboard charging via the company’s SPT+ port, and most critically points those Lumens rearward (rather than downward). Three user-selectable modes allow for 12, 24, or 48 hours (!) of flashing operation (or 6/12/24 on constant). Still CNC machined in the UK by the same folks who make USE components, the Blaze is a slick little package. Cross the line for more photos and some initial impressions.
The included silicone-banded bracket happily fits 27-35mm seatposts- and holds the 90g light steady against our 27.2 post. The light snaps into and out of the bracket firmly but easily. Exposure’s signature switch/battery indicator shows battery life when on and allows easy (high/medium/low) mode selection.
Seeing as the light sits directly in the line of any crud thrown from the rear wheel, the switch and charging port are covered by a silicone “storm cap” that is tethered to the light itself. Granted, the switch and charging port are all but waterproof on their own, but it’s good to keep sand in particular out of the port. When asked why Exposure haven’t gone to a more common USB micro or mini charging port, Exposure responded that they hadn’t found one sealed well enough for their liking.
With its extremely long battery life, Exposure envision the Blaze not only as a night visibility light, but also as a daytime running light of sorts- an excellent idea. Even the most avid riders would be unlikely to exhaust 12hr worth of flashing in any given week- and every bit of added visibility is appreciated. The high/low pulsing pattern is also less aggressive than some lights’- something that may or may not be appreciated by drivers.
While the intent is similar to Light & Motion’s Vis 180, the Blaze puts out 60% more light and runs twice as long on a single charge. The $165 price tag (from your local shop or US distributors Ibex Sports) is high- but anyone commuting regularly or putting in big training miles should be able to justify the expense and the company’s commitment to first-world manufacture is laudable. More words after more miles…
www.exposurelights.com (UK, RoW)