The Exposure Diablo Mk4 1100 takes its place as the super bright King of helmet lights. An ultimate combination of lightness and brightness, 1100 Lumens from just 108g. This best-selling light is primarily a helmet mounted light but is equally effective on the bars. The 2013 Diablo benefits from the new Optimized Mode Selector technology. OMS, Optimized Mode Selector is a new feature for 2013 and allows you to easily select from a concise number of programs to provide the optimum lighting for your ride. Mtbr Bike Lights Shootout - over 50 bike lights reviewed, photographed and measured here.
The Diablo is now in its fourth edition as it claims 1100 Lumens with a run time of one hour. It is still the light with the most polished construction and most functional helmet mount. However, it is under attack from a whole host of self-contained lights that exhibit longer run times and bigger beam patterns. The Diablo is still tops in brightness with a measured 920 Lumens but it’s also the most expensive one at $299. Continue reading →
Very Bright focused beam
Helmet mount is awesome, easy to snap in and adjust
Piggy Back available to extend battery life
Very high quality build.
Weaknesses: Short run time on Bright
Medium setting is Much lower
If you ride in the Heat (Arizona) in the summer this light will overheat and kick down to medium and back, the constant change is annoying. Temps were always above 90F sometimes over 100F. When I called they suggested to run on medium, said it was designed in colder climates.
Charger is super cheap and had to replace to (which they did quickly)
With the short runt time, You need to either run on medium, or with a piggy back that you can get a an attachment that just snaps on so is self contained on your helmet.
Works best as a headlight with a wider pattern handlebar mount.
This was my best 2010 bike related purchase by far (apart from my Niner EMD)..
Really love the build quality (CNC'ed body), and the reliable and adaptable ball joint helmet mount. Spreads a lot of light where you need it, easy to operate.
The initial is very complete: comes in a well designed box with charger, safety cord, very practical ball joint helmet mount with different lenghth screws (for different helmets).
You can extend battery life with one of the 'piggy bag' external batteries (not included).
Recommended for commuting and serious mountainbiking alike.
Can be used as a handheld torch as well.
a Cross Country Rider
from Corvallis, OR, US
Date Reviewed: December 14, 2011
Strengths: It's light enough to not be noticeable, longest ride was 1.5hrs with it mounted.
Simple mount and all-in-one design
Medium setting is bright enough to use on single track, it was actually preferable compared to high on dense single track when leaves were still on the plants.
Water resistant enough to ride in continuous Oregon rain.
Weaknesses: The switch... it's contact is not good at all, especially if you're riding in the cold or wet. I need to press really hard on it which is annoying with a glove and when it's on your head.
Flashing mode is ridiculously bright then dim so you will distract yourself and probably get a lot of negative attention - I've never used the flashing mode in public.
The mount is wearing to the point where the light will shift to a different angle when under enough acceleration from hitting a bump.
No indication as to what capacity the battery is at when using computer to charge.
Product service is awful at Exposure, they didn't get back to me when I asked them a simple question - granted it was e-mail but they should have responded.
Life at full charge is not long enough.
Only comes with UK plug for charging.
Lanyard isn't really a lanyard, more of a loop - as you can see in the review vid from 2011 the lanyard still doesn't fit over your head...
Save up for it, especially if you commute and ride single track because it's really convenient to throw in your pocket. I was most worried about riding with it in the rain but it's held up fine, the switch just doesn't cooperate all the time. I bought a simple outlet adapter because the AC/DC converter works from 115VAC to 240VAC so you don't need to step up the voltage or anything, just re-route the plugs with a $3 adapter. Comes with a case but it's non-flexible, huge and generally pointless; it's unfortunate they include it because it's not even sized right to fit the mount properly!
Similar Products Used: None, rode with people who had magic shines and didn't really notice a difference however they were saying they wish whey had something on their helmet. I definitely would have liked a light on my handlebars at times though.
Bike Setup: XC and road bike, both pretty much stock - I use it to commute and it's great but even when I commute the mount could be more resistive to movement because hitting unexpected holes will shift the beam's position.
a Cross Country Rider
from Los Altos CA
Date Reviewed: December 2, 2011
Strengths: Small, light, build quality, great output, simplicity, no wires
Weaknesses: Battery is not user replaceable!! No clear consistent statement from Exposure how much it will cost to replace the battery.
Great light. But problem is the light should last 5+ years, but the battery will loose 50% of its capacity after 3 yrs of normal use (especially if deep cycled). After a few years, 30 minutes of runtime at high beam won't get you very far . .
Exposure needs to come out and clearly tell buyers what the battery replacement cost/policy is.
a Weekend Warrior
from Raleigh, NC, USA
Date Reviewed: October 24, 2011
Strengths: Superb engineering, design and light output
Weaknesses: Relatively short burn time on high setting
I have a bar mount for the Enduro MAXX, but needed a helmet light to better see where I want to go versus where the handlebars are pointing at the moment.
Given its small size, I was shocked that the Diablo Mark 3 (2012 model) light output on high is 975 vs. 720 lumens for my Enduro MAXX which is 3 years old. Both use 3 LED emitters. These guys keep innovating.
Get a piggyback battery if you want to use high power setting for extended periods, but using medium will give you 3+ hours and still be plenty bright for technical singletrack.
Why put up with wires, battery packs and inferior performance when you can get a light that could have been designed by Steve Jobs. Exposure Lights are that good.
Similar Products Used: Exposure Lights Enduro MAXX
Bike Setup: Specialized Epic
a Weekend Warrior
from Bronx, ny
Date Reviewed: April 12, 2011
Strengths: Incredible light output
This light is unbelievable it is incredibly durable, well made and its more than powerful enough to use on your bar.. I do!!! If 1 hr on high is a problem get a piggy back.. This thing lights up like a stadium!!!!!
a Cross Country Rider
from Budapest, Hungary
Date Reviewed: December 27, 2010
Strengths: Lightweight, beam pattern is excellent, helmet mount is the best I've ever used
Weaknesses: Handlebar mount is awful. Also, only 1 hour runtime on high.
This is THE best light of 2010, no doubt. All things combined it is a great deal: excellent helmet light for the singletrack, great bar light for the road, also pop in the Redeye Micro to get a wonderful all-in-one commuting light.
The beam pattern is just right: not too tight, but not floody either.
Also, because it is such a little gem you can put it in your pocket/backpack without even noticing it's there: take it with you to walk the dog, caving, canoeing... also comes handy in case of a power outage ;-)
Be sure to get the "2011" version which has three XPGs, not the older "2010" with the P7 emitter and the boom reflector. The 2011 version is called "Exposure Diablo Mk2".
Similar Products Used: Lupine lights, Dinotte lights, and older halogen systems
Bike Setup: On-One Inbred 29er SS
a Cross Country Rider
from Austin, TX
Date Reviewed: December 18, 2010
Strengths: Light. Bright. No wires. Excellent build quality.
This is an excellent light and worth every penny. It has dramatically increased my sense of security while commuting at night, even on the lowest setting. On the trails the Diablo throws a very useful pattern and is far brighter than I am fast.
Two Thumbs up! Very versatile light with many uses. Helmet light, commuter bar light. I also bought the rear red spot that snaps on easily to the light. It is super bright great for car traffic, but a little blinding for the person behind you on a niteride.
Charges super fast and the build quality is impressive.
Strengths: Very lightweight, self contained, really bright, versatile for mountain (helmet light) or road (handlebar mount), Piggyback batteries easily extend battery life for 24 hour racing
This light is amazing- far brighter than my older Loystick MaXx but the same weight. During a recent 24 hour race where I was part of a 2-man team, I did a lot of night racing and used the Diablo on my helmet and the Exposure MaXx D on the bar. My lap times during the night actually INCREASED and everyone I passed had a shadow projected in front of them from my lights. The Piggyback batteries extended the battery time and made it so I could leave the lights on at the highest setting all the time- very nice when cranking a singlespeed at mile 100 in the early morning. During normal rides, no extra battery is needed and this is the lightest light going. I used it for commuting much of the winter and it was the best commuting light I've every used. On the brightest setting, I was almost the brightess of the cars around me and the Red Eye on the rear kept me safe in both directions. Great light!
Bike Setup: Ibis Mojo SL w/ Fox Talas 36, Redline Monocog Flight singlespeed w/ Fox F29 Terralogic, Lapierre Sensium 400 CP for road work
a Cross Country Rider
from Madison, WI
Date Reviewed: April 25, 2010
Strengths: bright, compact, well built, extremely versatile.
Weaknesses: amber light looks like red light, making it hard to tell when you are REALLY running out of battery power, short battery life
Let me start by saying that I won this light in a competition here on MTBR, so you might think I am a bit bias. However, I am under no obligation to Exposure Lights or Ibex Sports (who sponsored the contest) to give them a good review, but I figured it was worth giving them a shout out for being cool enough to give a couple lights away.
This is my favorite bike light by far. The small, all-in-one unit puts out a LOT of light, brighter than my old HID and with a better beam pattern than my MagicShine 900 (which has a brighter, but smaller spot and less useful spill of light around it). Its really unbelievable considering how small it is. I find this light to be great when I go out late in the afternoon and end up staying out past dark... and I'm pretty busy with work so this happens to me on almost every ride these days. Its bright enough on full power for high speed riding on the road, and its light and small so it doesn't slow you down any.
It is also, I would say the ideal commuter light. On full power you will get noticed by EVERY driver when fighting it out in heavy traffic. On the bike path you pretty much have to run it on low so as not to blind oncoming trail users. My wife used it all this last winter for commuting (I work at home), and in the dead of winter its dark here for both for her morning and afternoon 30-minute commute. Even with some detours for Christmas shopping and other errands it would last her through the week and then she'd charge it up over the weekend. Its small size makes it easy to take off when you park the bike and put in a pocket until its needed again.
We also use it as a super-powered mini-flashlight at times, and I think it could be a great light for a bike tourist to take on the road with them for all-around use.
The user interface is very easy to use, MUCH better than the PIA interface of my MagicShine light.
Sure, its short battery life (about 1.25 hours in my experience) hampers it as a primary light for long off-road night rides, you can compensate for this with the purchase of one of their battery packs. One minor quibble is that though the helmet mount is sturdy, you do need tools to install it and I am often in a hurry with daylight fading when I am installing it. I would think a minor re-design could make this a tool-free mount for fast installation.
This light is definitely worth the money, with uses ranging from a super-commuting light, to saving my butt on evening rides that go to long, or a small, high-powered back-up light along side a primary night-riding system... or even a fashlight, we are constantly using this light, and loving it.
Strengths: Lightweight, build quality, beam penetration and spread, battery level indicator. You can expand the battery to triple the life with an external pack.
Weaknesses: On max it only lasts an hour. Up to 3 hours on high though.
This is a very good road light if you want to use it like that, but the main strength is as a helmet mounted light. If used like that then you will probably not use it in isolation (although I have and it is very good, but you do have to conserve the battery) and it is superb. In some cases it is actually better than some main lights and it may force your riding buddies to either kick you up to the front of the group, swear at you for having too much light and go muttering off in to the distance, or get one themselves. This model actually has a better spread and depth than the old Maxx (not the MaxxD though) from the single P7 led which is amazing.
You need a light that you can depend on and this is one of those products. Yes it may be expensive, but what price do you put on your safety when you are on a night ride.
If the bottom line is would you recommend this to a mate then the answer is a resounding YES.
a Cross Country Rider
from Central CA Coast
Date Reviewed: December 17, 2009
Strengths: NO CABLES. 100% self contained. Super light. Incredible build quality. Bright and versatile. Long burn times if you use your head. Trick, high quality construction.
Weaknesses: None I can think of
I've been night riding since the early 90's, starting with a bar mounted Cateye and a prayer... it's amazing what is on the market now and I consider the Exposure line to be near the forefront. With some reasonable management (use lower settings when climbing) there is plenty of light with plenty of burn time. The setup is silly light weight and I have no second thoughts throwing it in my pack just in case. All of my old setups required dedication to drag up the hill.
I bought the 1 cell piggyback to be extra confident I'd ride out with my own light and I've yet to have the batt indicator show less than 'green' even after 2.5 hour rides with liberal use of full blast. With anything else I've used, 2 hours and you're on borrowed time.
Overall the value is very high. You can pay 100's more and get a lot less. You and also spend a lot less and get a lot less...
Similar Products Used: Too many to list... home made, name brand, ebay specials... 15 years of night riding.
Bike Setup: Rocky Mtn ETSX 70. Some other parts flying together in loose formation.
a Cross Country Rider
from Newport Beach, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: December 2, 2009
Strengths: Lightweight, easy mounting, no external battery or wires. Very bright and on medium or low lasts a long time. If combined with a handlebar light (I have the Exposure MaxxD) you look like an airplane coming in on its final approach. Easy to cycle through the settings. Nice beam spread and color.
Weaknesses: On high only lasts 1 hour. May blind others if you turn to talk to them while riding.
You get what you pay for - this light is well-built, bright and comes with a trick case. Expensive, yes, but well worth it. Not sure if I would go with this light by itself - but when teamed up with a bar light - you're good to go.