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Blackburn Dayblazer 800 front light review

Blackburn’s Dayblazer 800 is a super tough all-rounder that’s brighter than the numbers suggest but does it last long enough?

A close up of the Blackburn Dayblazer 800 front light with a 'cyclingnews recommends' badge overlaid
(Image: © Guy Kesteven)

Our Verdict

Blackburn’s Dayblazer 800 uses its power really well for see and be seen visibility and it's bombproof and waterproof too. The strap mount is wobbly though and run times are short at full power.

For

  • - Bombproof and waterproof
  • - Useful beam for the listed power
  • - Great price
  • - Some sideways awareness
  • - Solid button press
  • - Universal bar mount
  • - GoPro shoe provided
  • - Bundle options with rear lights

Against

  • - Short run time
  • - Bar mount is wobbly

Blackburn does a range of Dayblazer lights that now stretches from 1,500 to 400 lumens, but we reckon the 800 will be the sweet spot, high-value choice for commuters and recreational riders who occasionally need a bit more power for the darkest rural roads or light off-roading. Short full-power run times and a wobbly strap mount limit usefulness for rougher trails or faster rides though, so with those two issues in mind, how does the Blackburn Dayblazer 800 fare against the best bike lights on the market?

Blackburn Dayblazer 800 front light

Just a single LED is used, but it's house behind a lens with side cut-outs for wide-angle visibility (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

Design and aesthetics

While the Blackburn Dayblazer 1100 and 1500 lights use two super-imposed LEDs, the Dayblazer 800 just gets a single emitter behind a clear lens. It’s slightly undercut to stop upwards glare when you’re out of the saddle, and there are side cut-outs so it can be seen at wide angles. 

A close up look at the construction of the Blackburn Dayblazer 800 front light

The body is made using ridged aluminium, and a large super-secure rubber plug keeps water from the Micro-USB charge port (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

The main body is an octagonal ribbed aluminium extrusion and the mini-USB charge port is hidden behind a thick and very securely sealed recessed rubber flap. From experience this makes Dayblazer lights not only super tough from drops and crashes, but the IP67 waterproofing rating is excellent too, no matter whether you’re hosing down or you’ve crashed into a pond. It also comes with a ‘limited lifetime warranty’ which is rare for lights.

The beam pattern output by the Blackburn Dayblazer 800 front light

Blackburn has managed to get a lot of visibility out of the 800 Lumens on offer (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

Performance

While it doesn’t sound much, the 800-Lumen output is surprisingly useful. Compared to the Dayblazer 1100, it doesn’t have quite the same punch, but the distortion-free beam gives a great balance of early warning and wide-angle vision with no sharp edges to tire your eyes prematurely. Even the second 500-Lumen power setting is good enough for steady riding outside of town lights, and there's a 300-Lumen steady setting for see-and-be-seen visibility. To round out the modes, there are then two different strobe modes for maximum attention-seeking.

One downside to the Blackburn Dayblazer 800's light weight, compact size and affordable cost is the small battery, which won’t last far past an hour at full brightness, even when fresh on a mild night. On the plus side, Blackburn batteries are obviously of good quality, since all of the older units we’re still using haven’t lost much capacity over the years. The silicone button that changes modes with a positive click also gives rudimentary ‘traffic light’ remaining life information.

Blackburn Dayblazer 800 front light

The push-button on top uses a simple traffic light colour approach to remaining battery life (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

The fat, 360-degree rotatable wraparound strap mount is tough, simple to use and fits all bar sizes and most bar shapes too. The way it's designed means there's no danger of scratching your stem as you twist the light back straight after tightening the strap too. However, this mount still lets the Dayblazer wobble and twang about on rougher surfaces, which is really distracting. That means we’d recommend using the supplied GoPro shoe instead, which also opens up a helmet mount and an out-front mount option as well.

Verdict

The rubber bar mount is wobbly and even though it does a lot with 800 Lumens, there are limits with how fast or rowdy you can get, and the limited battery life means you certainly can’t get far at full power. 

However, if you want an AK47 tough, extremely weatherproof bar or helmet lamp that’s bright enough for cruising and commuting at a bargain price, then the Blackburn Dayblazer 800 is a very strong choice. It’s also available in a bundle with the Dayblazer 65 rear light which will save you some cash when buying. 

Tech specs: Blackburn Dayblazer 800

  • Price: £59.99 / $65.00
  • Weight: 136g (including strap mount)
  • Power: 800 Lumens max ‘Blaze’ mode
  • Battery: 7.9Wh Li-Ion
  • Run time: 1hr 8mins max Blaze mode (averaged from 3 runs)
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