NiteRider Lumina 950 and Sentinel 150 Review

Travis GneitingReviews

A head light and tail light are becoming a necessity for riding a bike on the road.  Bicycle accidents are a reoccurring problem among commuters and enthusiast. A side from wearing a helmet, one of the best things you can do to improve your safety on the road is to be visible.  A bicycle front facing white light and rear facing red light are the best ways to increase visibility to motorist.

We have been using bike lights for years, from lights that ran for an hour on 4 double “A” batteries, to 2200 Lumen spot lights. We choose to review the Lumina 950 Boost light and Sentinel by NiteRider because they provide enough for multipurpose rides and the value they offer from a price point.  The Lumina 950 is bright enough on boost mode to bomb down your local trail in pitch black, can be used for a commute from work in the evening, or run during the day time to boost visibility.  We even found ourselves reaching for the Lumina 950 when a flashlight wasn’t handy but a bike light was.

Lumina 950 Boost Light Features

  • Double Click Boost mode
  • USB Charge
  • Low (200 Lumens) 5 Hours
  • Medium (400 Lumens) 3 Hours
  • High (800 Lumens) 1:30 Hours
  • Boost (950 Lumens) 40 Min
  • Strobe (hold for 3 seconds) 5:30 Hours
  • Saver (40 Lumens) 18:00 Hours
  • Hold for 7 Seconds to lock
  • Handlebar strap mount
  • Battery Charge 500mA = 5:00 Hour >500mA 2:30 Hour
  • Low Battery Indicator blue light
  • Lifetime warranty on mechanical components
  • 2 Year warranty on electrical components
  • 1 Year warranty on rechargeable batteries

The Lumina 950 is a compact light that feels very high quality with solid construction and casing.  It uses a high quality CREE(TM) led at 600K (Not those cheap eBay LEDs).  With a single LED, the light throw is pretty good.  Below we show the light pattern from about 5 feet away from the wall so you can see the pattern.

Low (200 Lumens) 5 Hours

Low (200 Lumens) 5 Hours

Medium (400 Lumens) 3 Hours

Medium (400 Lumens) 3 Hours

High (800 Lumens) 1:30 Hours

High (800 Lumens) 1:30 Hours

Boost (950 Lumens) 40 Min

Boost (950 Lumens) 40 Min

Below we took a photo profile of the light from the side.  As you can see there is not a lot of side visibility coming from the single LED.  It would be nice to have a little more visibility from the side.  If you are looking for a full night kit to keep you visible from all angles, keep reading about the Sentinel 150.

Mounting Lights

Mounting the light was a bit difficult until  you read the instructions.  You must rotate the top to thread the rubber strap through and then rotate it back.  Like any real man I tossed out the instructions the first time I installed the light and spent 15 minutes trying to thread it though the tiny space under the mounting bracket.

One argument we have had with bicycle lights for the last 20 years is mounting brackets.  We have probably broken 10 light mounts in our commuting experience.  Sometimes it from a wreck, others just being careless.  I would like to see manufactures provide less flimsy and prone to breaking mounts, or at least make the parts more easily replaceable.


It’s been cold and dark here in Utah for the last few months, which makes it a great time to use a bike light for after work rides.  My initial though of the Lumina 950 was that it was going to be under powered for the types of riding I do and would only be used as a visibility strobe.  I was surprised just how well it lite up the road, even when not on Boost mode.  On trail rides we would typically ride up our local hill in low 200 lumens mode.  Once at the top we switched it over to Boost mode 950 lumens and bombed down the mountain.  The 950 lumens were plenty to get us down the mountain riding at a comfortable speed.

The light gets just slightly warm, but with the side fins and air moving over the light keeps it very comfortable.  It stays in place when riding even rough trails.  Although we did have better luck mounting it under the handle bars when on really rough chattery trails to keep the light from moving too much.

Final Thoughts

Putting aside the eBay lights that have been known to catch on fire when charging.  The value for the quality of this light can’t be beat.  The first thing you will notice with the Lumina is just how high the quality is when in you hand.  It provides enough light and is versatile enough to use for someone with many different types of riding.

The charging is done with a standard USB, and is intelligent and reduces charging time in half.

The light does fit on a helmet with an additional mount, but it’s a bit bulky with the weight.  If you have ever attached a GoPro to the top of a bike helmet, you know the feeling of it driving your helmet around on your head as you ride.

It’s water resistant and can win over the rain, this also keeps our the dirt and dust when riding.

Overall for $99 this light is a great value for someone looking for a high quality light that can do it all.  We are not the only ones happy with it, Amazon users have a 74% 5 star reviews of the light.


Upgrade to the OLED version?

It’s worth mentioning that this light also comes in a OLED version.  This offers some visual of the mode and battery life on the top of the light.  This addition brings the price of the light up to $150.  I’m not sure that the upgrade is worth an additional $50.  However, we are always wondering how much battery is left in our light, and end up charging it after each ride just to make sure.  With the indicator, you might be able to get 2 or 3 rides out of a single charge and not have to worry about getting stranded.


Sentinel 150

As important as a forward facing light, the rear facing red light is often the first indicator a car sees when approaching you.  There are many inexpensive options out there for as cheap as a few dollars.  I would say they are better than nothing, but if you are going to go through the effort making yourself visible it’s worth the extra money to get something that will really grab the attention of drivers.   Unless you are willing to go crazy like Seth from Seth’s Bike Hacks did, your better off just getting a single quality light.

Sentinel 150 Tail Light

  • Daylight Visible
  • Rubber seat post clamp (can use zip tie)
  • 150 Lumens (FL1 Standard)
  • 5 to 21 hour run time
  • Weather proof (FL1 Standard)
  • 7 Modes
  • Strobe 5 hour
  • Syncopated strobe 4:30 Hour
  • Solid High 4 hours
  • Solid Low 21 hours
  • Laser 11:30 to 5:30 hours
  • Weight 116g
  • USB Charger
  • 4 Hours Charge time
  • Display laser on ground
  • Lifetime warranty on mechanical components
  • 2 Year warranty on electrical components
  • 1 Year warranty on rechargeable batteries


This is where we get excited, I mean who doesn’t get excited about lasers?  The Sentinel 150 has optional (on/off) lasers that track along side of you on the ground.  There are three blinking/solid modes for the lasers.  As you can see in the photos below it just looks really cool to be riding down the road with lasers on the side of you.  I’m not sure they help the visibility for traffic, but it looks really cool.

The breaking parts in the light are from our pedals blocking the light in the dark.

There are 7 modes, which is more that you will ever need. This tail light is very visible in the day light.  With other bright tail lights they seem to produce a high output more frequently.  One thing I liked about the modes with the Sentinel is that the brightest flash appears less frequently.  It is really bright at night, so I didn’t like the idea of it blinding drivers at night when stopped at a stop light.

Full disclosure, we were riding and jumping on a mountain bike with the Sentinel attached and took a pretty good sized jump with the light attached to the seat tube.  The mounting bracket broke off and the light hit the ground.  This isn’t really using the as it was designed for, but as we mentioned before we think manufactures should make the mounting brackets a little stronger or more easily replaceable.

The Sentinel 150 is one of the brightest and most visible tail lights in the market.  The value for a $54 light is there.  It will make you seen, and will improve your safety on the rode.  There are some other tail lights out there that are cheaper, but if you want quality and visibility then spend the extra money to get something that works.

There are two versions of the Sentinel 150.  One with the lasers and one without.  For $5 more get the one with the lasers.