Knog Blinder Road 400 front light - review

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Knog Blinder Road 400 front light – review

Compact and powerful light with a range of settings but not without its faults

The Knog Blinder Road 400 offers a 400-lumen output, a range of modes and simple, tool-free mount. The two buttons are also useful for changing between modes quickly but are a little tricky to use when wearing thick winter gloves and the light’s on the pricier side.

The Blinder Road 400 is Knog’s second brightest light, behind the Blinder Arc 640, and attempts to bridge the gap between a light with which to be seen and a light to see by. Despite it’s relatively small size, the Blinder Road’s output puts out plenty of light and it does so via via two LEDs. 400 lumens isn’t quite enough to regularly use it as a dedicated night riding light, but enough for the occasional dark or unlit road during a ride, or to use as a secondary/back-up light.

The two LEDs offer a narrow or wide beam angle respectively and can be used independently or together, with high, medium and low brightness settings. There are also two flashing settings, which makes for 11 modes in all – an impressive for a light of this size. However, there’s very little in the way of dedicated side visibility, with the LEDs sunk into the front of the unit.

The Knog Blinder Road 400 has a maximum output of 400 lumens and offers up to 11 settings

The light is controlled by two buttons at the top of the light: one to control brightness, the other to skip through modes. These are easy to use with bare hands or when wearing light gloves or mitts, but I struggled with thick, full fingered gloves.

In terms of mounting options, the light can go directly onto the handlebar or on a helmet with the provided cradle. The cradle attaches to the helmet by zip ties and sits around five centimetres high. It works fine, although for the majority of the review I used the light on my handlebar, simply because I find it more convenient. It doesn’t take up too much room on the ‘bar due to its relatively svelte 53x30x75mm size.

Attachment to both the handlebar and the cradle comes by a rubber strap with a metal clip on the end. As a mounting system it works very well, making it easy to fit or remove without any kind of fuss and it’s quick to move between bikes if required. The light itself isn’t placed at the centre of where the strap sits either, instead having a little elevation, and this ensures it sits more comfortably on the ‘bar and avoids any kind of interference with cables.

Battery life varies considerably depending on how you are using the light, from 1.5 hours on dual beam on the highest setting to 11 hours on flashing and the lowest setting. On the whole battery life is good across the board but, on high powered settings, you’re obviously limited as to what you can do with an hour-and-a-half of light. You can easily identify when the light is running low on juice too thanks to the small LED on the rear, which shows green when you have plenty of battery and red when it is low.

The rubber strap and metal clip make the light easy to fit and move between bikes

The light is charged through a built-in USB, which flips out from the rear. The only slight issue I had with this was that to plug it into a laptop the laptop would need to be raised (on a book, for example) which isn’t ideal. It does mean you don’t always need a USB cable with you, though. When the battery is fully charged the red LED turns green, which is also a handy touch to stop you overcharging the battery.

In terms of build, the light is claimed to be 100 per cent water and dustproof thanks to the polycarbonate housing and PMMA lens, as well as the anodised aluminium fascia.

At £74.99 you’re certainly paying more than you would for other lights with a similar output but for your money you’re getting a powerful but compact light, with an easy-to-use mount and good build quality.

Conclusion

On the whole I really like the Blinder Road 400 and the main issue I had when riding was using the buttons with full fingered, well insulated gloves. Otherwise, it’s a great general purpose light, with enough power for careful riding on unlit roads and plenty of settings. However, the battery life could be better on high powered settings and side visibility is lacking.

Pros

– Powerful output for size
– Good build quality
– Compact unit

Cons

– Buttons can be hard to use with thicker gloves
– Lack of side visibility
– Battery life could be improved on most powerful settings

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