Proven reliability and impressive warranty but sequential mode menu is irritating and there are potential USB and mount issues, too
Multiple strobe/flash modes
Clean beam pattern
Strap mount is unstable off-road
GoPro mount inverts the beam
Full power seems lame
No ‘Blitz mode’ short cut
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Blackburn’s Dayblazer 1100 has been unchanged for a couple of years, which means it’s well-proven, but in comparison to today's best bike lights, it’s now looking low on features for the money, and the strap mount and USB glitches haven’t been sorted either.
The main body of the Dayblazer is an alloy octilinear tube with machined side ribs for cooling. These continue into the plastic head that holds the two ‘up and under’ LEDs which sit at the base of open lens tubes in the front optic block. This also has side lips for a hint of sideways visibility.
The single on/off and mode switch button sits on the back of the light body, directly over the mounting point. This comes with a single-piece rubber bar shoe-and-ladder strap as standard, with a GoPro style tab mount supplied as an extra. You also get an oval block micro USB recharging cable that connects underneath the thick, snug-fitting rubber flap on the back of the light. The whole light is covered by a limited lifetime warranty and it’s relatively light, too.
Single-click actuation is easy and, while the switch is stiff enough not to trigger accidentally, the central mount means it doesn’t shunt the light round on the bars when you press it. The rubber loop back strap will cope with most bar shapes and can even be mounted on a stem. It doesn’t physically shift unless you really provoke it off-road either but it does let the light waggle around a lot which makes terrain hard to read. You also have to twist the light sideways on the strap to hook the strap into place which isn’t a big deal but it is irritating. The GoPro mount potentially solves that but if you’re using it without an ‘out front’ mount, it means the up and under LED arrangement is the wrong way up.
With it the right way up, the beam is consistent with no dark spots or halo but it seems a way off the claimed 1100 Lumens in terms of both reach and spread which means you’ll need to throttle back on dark descents you don’t know well. There’s not much difference in vision if you toggle back to the ‘800 Lumen’ setting either, but battery life is almost doubled. That makes the £59.99/$65 Dayblazer 800 look the better bet for cost-effective nocturnal cruising. While the pulse and strobe modes are useful for extra traffic visibility there’s no shortcut back to full power which can catch you out in changing road conditions. The traffic light battery indication is basic compared to other screen equipped lights for not much more cash. The deep-set charging port won’t work with some micro USB heads either so make sure you keep the supplied cable safe.
Blackburn’s Dayblazer is light, robust with proven reliability and universal (if potentially wobbly) built-in strap and GoPro mounts. The beam is consistent too but it’s weak for the claimed numbers which makes it pricey for performance. Basic charge information and potential USB issues give it an okay rather than outstanding result overall.
Tech specs: Blackburn Dayblazer 1100 front light
- Weight: 145g (including mount)
- Claimed output: 1100 Lumens
- Modes: Blitz, High, Low, Pulse, Strobe
- Price: £85 / $95
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