I love Knog, they make the mundane exciting and that is especially true in the case of the USB Boomer Rechargeable; they are waterproof, flexible, bright and environmentally friendly, Knog really have turned the knob all the way up to 11.
The Boomers are the brightest, biggest and most expensive lights in the Knog range but don’t let that put you off, for a little bit of extra bulk and a few more quid you get a seriously bright light that will actually show you what’s coming up ahead as well as warn others that you are in the vicinity.
The USB version don’t need 2 AAA batteries so they are over 10g lighter than their aesthetically identical and same sized cell filled namesake. I found that the battery version gobbled through batteries like nobodies business, I had to buy high end branded ones all the time which was becoming quite expensive.
The Boomer Rechargeable feature four modes: Strobe Flash, Strobe Pulse, Random Strobe and Steady which has something for everyone. I always keep my front on constant and the back on any of the strobe modes, all of which are suitably blinky enough to attract the attention of even the dullest greasy handed white van man. The front blasts out a very impressive 55 lumens with the back giving out a nice 30 lumens. The front has a hot point in the centre like most other lights but the beam is actually much wider than the majority of it’s contemporaries, it even lets a bit of light out of the sides so that drivers can see you from all sides rather than just the front and back.
The run time on the Boomer Rechargeable is good, bad and irrelevant. On steady you will get up to 3.5 hours which is extended to 12 hours when using the strobe modes, these times are really just numbers though because how often do you ride for 3.5 hours in the dark? Most of us will be using these for commuting which for the vast majority is under an hour, so just charge them up every few days and you’ve got a set of lights that never run out of juice. Where charging is concerned you can either plug them into your computer or a USB wall socket adapter, I use the one that came with my iPhone. An added bonus for all the hippies in the house is that you won’t be sending batteries to landfill, so you can be extra smug when riding your bike.
A couple of batches of Knog lights in the past suffered from two problems, namely switching off when hitting a bump and/or dying in the rain, both of these problems have been fixed with the USB Boomer. I’ve been jumping all over the place with mine switched on and ridden in the rain for hours and can confirm that the problems don’t exist on this model. They are completely waterproof because of the way the silicone outer body fits around the main body at the lens, I have found a bit of moisture on the inner plastic body of the rear light but not enough to cause any problems.
It’s hard to find fault with these lights, a small niggle is that the front one won’t really stretch around your headtube if you don’t want it on your bars but there is always your fork if you like your bars clear.
The Boomer Rechargeable sell for around £28 each which is just a few quid more than the AAA version, it may seem expensive compared to some of the other lights in the Knog range but you’ll save a fortune on batteries over time and they’l l make you safer on the road. The best price I’ve found is on Amazon, they are a little bit more on Wiggle, for more info check out the Knog product page and if there is anything I’ve missed that you’d like to know post a comment and I’ll remedy it asap.