having reviewed knog's boomer usb lights, i was keen to take a look at their latest offering, the blinder. a similar product in many ways, but also very different.
i don't usually mention the packaging first, but i think it's worth mentioning that from the start these lights feel like really well designed things. previous knog packaging has seemed a bit wasteful when compared to the minimalism of packaging of products like the bookman lights, but the blinder packaging is much more pared-down.
the packaging can be broken down into three components; the plastic parts and instructions can be easily recycled and the sugarcane pulp package is biodegradable. it's an important part of the whole product i think, and has been as well designed as the light itself.
like the boomer, it is rechargeable by usb, which as i mentioned in the boomer review is a massive advantage. it also features a material now synonymous with knog: silicone. but whereas the boomer (as well as most of knog's other lights) uses the material for both the body and the attachment, the blinder uses it purely for the attachment.
the body is made from plastic (although the description says it is anodized aluminium, i'm not sure why), and feels a lot more 'designed' than previous lights. instead of trying to look aerodynamic, it has more of an ipod-like styling to it, with a rounded square face with 4 super-bright led's.
there are five variations available, each with a slightly different face design and colour (you can see them all here). when you turn it around you can see the usb attachment neatly concealed, easily pulled out for charging. similarly to with the boomer, this usb can be a bit awkward to get into certain computer usb ports, but if you have a wall charger or usb extender it's absolutely fine.
within the on/off button there is a small led to tell you when it is charging and when it is full, another nice little addition that really adds to the feel of quality. the part that attaches to the bike has a cast metal component that allows for a kind of 'quick-release', allowing you to adjust the position of the light without actually removing it from the frame or bars. this extra component is another nice little thing on this light that set's it apart from it's predecessors.
the lights are 100% waterproof, and the front and back lights emit 80 and 44 lumens respectively. this is much brighter than the boomer, and with it's square array of lights it allows for different types of flash modes to help you be easily seen. despite the extra brightness, both front and rear last for up to three hours in steady mode, and up to 50 hours in eco-flash mode.
available from knog for $44.95, they are great value for money and feel like a really quality product. the usb charging is a really useful feature and well worth the extra cost when compared to the wastefulness of battery powered lights..