The DP-12 LCD is NiteRider’s most technologically advanced lighting system. This system includes a 6th generation 8-bit microprocessor, backlit LCD display, smart battery technology and new Micro-Brute race charger allowing rapid battery charging. The LCD display shows remaining burn time or percent remaining, light output level and battery level. Time remaining is constantly updated providing greater accuracy.
a Cross Country Rider
from Fayetteville, NY, USA
Date Reviewed: June 24, 2009
Strengths: Bright light, seemingly bomb-proof and waterproof casing, light duration (when battery is fully charged).
Weaknesses: NiteRider customer service, battery requires a lot of maintenance throughout the year or else it will permanently die, OEM battery replacement way too expensive in relation to light's initial cost.
I originally bought two of these lights back in 2001. At the time I was not told about how much battery maintenance is required if the light would not be used monthly. In other words, I should have been charging them once every month while they were in storage for the winter months.
Consequently twice I pulled the product off the shelf after winter to discover the battery would not charge. The first time NR asked for me to send them the batteries (I have two units) and for roughly $50 per battery plus shipping both ways they were able to resurrect them.
However, the most recent time (this week) I discovered my dead batteries I was told my only option was to purchase a new battery for $160 (US) each, or 50% of what I paid for the light new. The NR rep insisted that battery life is only three years - despite the fact that my batteries probably had about 10 total charge cycles on them. Furthermore, the rep added that the replacement battery no longer comes with the chip that provides the information to the fuel gauge, so no more "remaining time." WTF is the $160 paying for?
I was very disappointed with NiteRider's customer service and willingness to work with me on a cost-effective solution for battery replacement. The rep would not budge from his stance that NiMH batteries need to be replaced every three years and that it is normal for their customers to buy replacements this often. Oh, yeah? Where is that little truism mentioned on NR's product page for the light? Where is it mentioned that the buyer must subscribe to a new battery service for $160 every three years? Bet if I had known that when I bought two of these lights I wouldn't have.
I hung up depressed thinking I now had two very expensive book-ends for my bookshelf when I discovered a thread in MTBR's forums suggesting buying replacement batteries from BatterySpace.com. So, I jumped in with both feet and ordered two replacements, to arrive next week. Here's hoping that they work.
Bike Setup: '97 Fat City Bro Eddy, hardtail, Marzocchi Bomber front fork, Shimano XT/XTR components, just replaced existing front V-brake with Avid BB7 front disc brake.
a Weekend Warrior
from manchester, NH, USA
Date Reviewed: February 16, 2009
Strengths: Bright as my suzuki drz headlight
Weaknesses: batteries are rediculously expensive for the price of these ni-cad batteries you would expect li-ion.
i'm glad i found this review because my old relic digital pro 12 has finally failed after 10 years of light use (couple times a month during riding season)and i need a new one. bought probably the first of this model back in 98'. After reading some of these reviews i'm horrified since i've never had problems with mine till now. Definitely will not be concidering a niterider setup. WOW did not expect these reviews at all. My cat even chewed the wires off the battery and i just soldered them back together then it worked great again. i never even replaced the battery, 10 years! yeah 10 years hard to believe after reading the reviews but true. im thinking i got the only good unit that came from niteriders foctory. Don't buy anything before reading some reviews, good rule of thumb for All purchaces. thanks.
Similar Products Used: only "real" light i've owned, havent shopped for a new one because the price of this one scares me away.
Bike Setup: old school schwinn carbon s all original mint condition.
a Cross Country Rider
from Schaumburg IL
Date Reviewed: August 8, 2004
Strengths: When it is working like it should it was great. Unfortunately that lasted less than the first week before I was on the phone to tech services.
Weaknesses: It often did not work like it should. The fuel gauge was often inaccurate, the light was subject to turning off unexpectedly. 2 batteries and a frustrating return for warranty service later, I am giving up on this model.
Don't waste your money on this light. Watch and wait before you buy any high end or new product by Niterider.
It's not that Niterider is not capable of making something that works.
The Trail Rat I bought for $100 was infinitely more reliable than the Digital Pro 12 LCD. It never failed to go on and off.
It is too bad that I was subject to the period in Nightrider's corporate history when they ignored their customer complaints. They are supposedly more customer friendly now. I was willing back then to actually trade down for a lower level light that worked. But no deal, they fixed the light which continued to limp along till spring of this year when it was finally stored on the shelf marked bad choices. I keep it only to remind myself to watch the reviews on this site before I make a leap in corporate faith again. Too bad someone from Niterider never contacted this customer for a fair adjustment.
Similar Products Used: Trail Rat 2.0 (which was purchased so I had minimal light when during the 6 week turn around time necessary to send my Digital Pro 12 LCD back to Niterider at the time). During that time Niterider was not even answering their e-mails.
Bike Setup: Mountain bike set up for commuting to work at all hours/all weather.
a Weekend Warrior
from Grand Rapids Michigan USA
Date Reviewed: February 14, 2004
Strengths: Very, Very bright, Technical indeed.
Weaknesses: housing gets very hot
This light is truly the most Technological light system on the market. I love the many options on it. 6, 12, 20, 32 watts is an awesome menue to choose from. I also like the walk, flash, sos, and beacon modes. Its nice to know that you can select these so many different options. There is no other light system on the market that is this smart and can function in so many different ways. I have not had any trouble with this unit as of yet. When I called customer service they were absolutely great. Every single customer service rep who answer calls should feel good about themselves.They are truly polite, respectful, and very informal. Thank you!! The digital pro 12 lcd is simply the best, hands down. This system may cost a pretty penny but, every penny is worthy. I know that there has been some problems with older units but, I feel confident that Niterider has made some corrections. I apologize to those who have had a defective product but, I'm down with Niterider they have been good to me . If anyone in the front office of Niterider see this review, contact me I'm in Grand Rapids Mi. No one can truthfully say that the Digital pro 12 lcd isn't the best light system out there if they were to put it to a head to head test with the competition. The truth is just that! This light system is what all others try to measure up to.
Similar Products Used: Vistalite code 25 w/ nightstick
Bike Setup: Trek Navigator loaded !!!!!!!!!
from Phoenix, Arizona
Date Reviewed: January 2, 2003
Strengths: Absolutley None
Weaknesses: Horrible product, horrible company
I cannot encourage you enough to avoid Nite Rider. It is an extremely poor product that cannot be relied upon on the trail. My light worked correctly about a total of six times. One day the battery would no longer hold a charge. As I was about two days past warranty, Nite Rider refused to offer a replacement, or even a discount on a replacement battery. I have two friends with this system who have also had battery failures. SuperGo also refused to offer any help with my problems, despite the fact that they "highly recommend this system. So now I have a $350 piece of junk on the shelf in the garage. Needless to say I would never purchase another Nite Rider product, or spend a dime at SuperGo.
from Royal Oak, Michigan
Date Reviewed: December 26, 2002
Strengths: Very bright light. Very durable.
Weaknesses: Mind boggling cost for a replacement battery.
I bought my digital pro 12 LED unit in 1998 and have had an absolutely great experience with it. As soon as I bought the unit I replaced the 12 watt lamp with a second 20 watt lamp for extra light. I ride about 4-5 times a week, and the light has worked flawlessly for almost 5 years, until three weeks ago when the battery died. It didn't bother me until I went online to get a new battery and nearly had a freakin' heart attack at the cost of a replacement(half the cost of a whole new unit). Screw that. I opened it up and found it just contains c-cell rechargeables surrounded by brittle epoxy. Replaced em' with Lithium ions,re-epoxied it and got riding(same voltage,works great). I don't know if the newer units have the same configuration but it's worth checking. Better to spend $40 than $180. I can't comment on how well the new LCD units work, but I can say that NiteRider blows for charging an astronomical amount for something that they know everyone who buys one of these is going to need eventually.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: October 13, 2002
Strengths: Great light... when it works.
Weaknesses: Can't get it to work anywhere close to the promises of NiteRider.
Could never get the light to work as claimed by NiteRider. Constantly dropping into "safety" mode after just a few minutes. This light (2001 digital model) replaced my old, non-digital Nite Rider that had worked well, but needed battery replacement.
After much back and forth with NiteRider, I stumbled upon my own solution... I replaced the grey digital headlamp with my old, non-digital, single-level NiterRider 15W headlamp and it performed flawlessly, staying at full strength for nearly 90 minutes. So it's not the battery (as they told me over and over), it's the chip in the lamp that constantly makes it drop into safety mode.
The 15W isn't as bright as I'd like it to be, but it's better than buying a new system.
Like most others here, I am amazed that a company can market and sell a product at this price point while obviously never taking the time to test it... or even worse, knowing that the products are not functioning properly and selling them anyway.
I suggest that we lobby Performance and other sales outlets to quit stocking NiteRider products until the company gets a handle on these very serious quality issues.
Similar Products Used: Had an old, non-digital nickel-cad NiteRider prior to the digital NightMare.
Bike Setup: Commuting - Performance mtn 406 tricked out for commuting
a Cross Country Rider
from Chillicothe, TX, USA
Date Reviewed: September 24, 2002
Strengths: I like the LCD screen, time remaing and the adjustable brightness
I have had NO problems like I have been reading in previous reviews. It has performed flawless for me and I ride at least 4 nights per week. Even on daytime rides I use the light for safety purpose. I added the tail light later and it works great also. Everyone I ride with has been impressed with the light. I looked at the HID but decied against it after reading the reviews that is was "too" bright and caused night blindness if you looked away from the light. Also the bulbs are expensive to replace. The LCD had been great for me and I recommend it to anyone riding at night.
a Cross Country Rider
from Ibaraki Japan
Date Reviewed: June 2, 2002
Strengths: I ordered the complete system and one extra battery, as a replacement for my well used two + year old NiteRider Digital LED model (same thing but simpler system of about 2 years or so ago) I've used it for two or three weeks now, and my conclusion is that it is an excellent lighting system when working. The light level control is easy to operate while riding, and would be a wonderful light if it worked as it is supposed to, but...
Weaknesses: Either the battery or light's electronics are not reliable or the charging and connection of the light and tail light require a better understanding of the system than is conveyed by the minimal documentation. I am an engineer, and I followed the instructions as well as anyone with an eighth grade education could be expected to do. It's going to take follow up with either NiteRider or the folks at Colorado Cyclist in order to get this thing operating as satisfactorily as my previous NiteRider lighting system.
Honestly, I think this model is an unreliable piece of junk. I wish I had researched more carefully for my replacement lighting system. I though I was getting something like the old model I had successfully used in the past. On this one, the tail light won't operate as it should, and the extra back up battery I bought was dead from the start. Now I'll have to return it from Japan, which will take weeks, and I will probably end up not being able to use the tail light at all, which really compromises safety. My next light will not be a NiteRider, certainly not at the price they charge.
Similar Products Used: Previous model was a Nite Rider Digital 12-E LED Model Worked Great for 2+ years. Never a problem. Only needed a new battery once. I figured I'd get a whole new system this time, since replacement batteries seemed harder to find than a new model, and I use it year round for my daily to commute to work. I always seem to return in the dark.
Bike Setup: Canondale V700SX use for commuting over "variable terrain, weather and hour"
from Sun Valley, UT
Date Reviewed: April 6, 2002
Strengths: Multiple Light Levels, remote switch with fuel guage with backlit LCD like a bike computer. Remote switch has easy to use up down switch to change light levels. 5 hour smart charging. Handlebar mount is great.
I trail ride at night about 1 to 2 times per week besides I ride to work. If I didn't have my niterider for the ride home from work I would feel naked. Cars definetly give you respect with this light!
The DP-12 LCD is an awesome light. I love the ease of use of the remote switch and the fuel guage is fantastic. The backlit fuel guage is like a bike computer but you can even set the backlit display intensity. The fuel guage lets you know how many minutes you have remaining on the battery depending which light beam you have on at the time, 32w, 20w, 12w, 9w, 6w, 3w. If one of the two light bulbs should burn out it automatically swithces to the other beam with no loss of light. It happened to me when I was comming down a hill. I called Niterider because I thought something had gone wrong with the light because only one light worked. I sent it in and they replaced the lamp. If it happens again I'll replace it myself. I have to say that contrary to what other reviewers say, I found the customer service people to be very friendly and helpful. I was without my LCD light for only 2 weeks.
I highly recommend this light and give it 5 chillis
Bike Setup: Marin Rocky Ridge Hardtail, Manitou XVert E, Full XT, Rocket shifters, Mavic 517 wheelset.
from San Diego, CA
Date Reviewed: March 23, 2002
Strengths: Bright. Lighting options. Two headlights, if one bulb fails, the other lights-up.
Weaknesses: Control unit failed after 6 months. Replaced promptly by NiteRider under lifetime warrenty. Customer Services was good. NiteRider needs to emphasis in their instructions that you have to follow the charging procedures TO THE LETTER! I took the 1st one I bought back since the unit was stuck on "reserve". When I got the second one, I re-read the instructions and figured out that I was charging it wrong. Once I charged it correctly, I had no futher problems until hte control unit failed.
NITERIDER!! WHY ARE YOU FIELD ENGINEERING ON US??????
It was a dark, slow-ride home the night the unit failed. The manual says to carry a back-up lamp; now I do. I wish I had read the reviews for this lamp 1st. I am apparently am not alone. I'll give it a 3 since I'm hoping it will not fail again.....
a Weekend Warrior
from PHOENIX AZ
Date Reviewed: January 16, 2002
Strengths: Finding less and less as I attempt to get it to work!
Weaknesses: I have had the light for 3 months and have replaced it now 3 times. My first one just flat out didnt work, no display on the lcd. Took it back to the store they swapped it out for another one. The second one this is the 2001 of course, the battery became extremely hot and didnt charge. Called Nite rider I had to pay to send it to be fixed. The replaced the battery and the lcd. They told me that the 2001 model computer had a bad chip or something and the 2002 was better. The first time I used the replaced 2002 lcd and battery it worked for 1 hr (miracle). Just charged it and took it out again got to the trail head and the computer decided it wouldnt work, no light, no ride. The light is great when it works, which is about 1 out of every 5 times. I am going on my third light now and ready to throw in the towel. Nite riders customer service is ok but what good does a light do when it is in being fixed 90% of the time???????
Until Nite rider improves their product, it is not worth throwing out 300$ on it. Go somewhere else or go without.
Similar Products Used: My camping headlamp works better!
Bike Setup: xc
Date Reviewed: December 16, 2001
Strengths: bright, when it works
Weaknesses: it doesn't work
I posted this review once, and it got deleted? They are different lights, and I'm review BOTH. I have BOTH the 2001 and 2002 model. I own them BOTH. So, doing a review on BOTH. They BOTH are horrible! The BOTH have the same problems, even though you would expect the 2002 model to have improved after all the rotten feedback on the 2001. I rarely have such bad things to say about a product or company, but the product and company in this case deserve the criticism.
Niterider purports to be a smart light. Well, this is the stupidest light I've ever seen. My AA cell 2.5 watt light is more intelligent.
First, it won't charge. At least it "thinks" it's not charged. Spend 5 hours getting through to tech support for a "reset" procedure. That might make it work for one ride. Then, it intermittently goes out, won't come one, goes into "calibration" mode only, or won't recognize a full battery.
These systems are unproven, untested, absolute junk. While they seemed to hold great promise, reality breaks that promise immediately.
Customer support is sparse. It's hard to get through to them, and then they act like either I'm the idiot and can't work the thing, or some goofy reset procedure should cure all the ills. They will not respond to e-mail, unless you call an automated "we don't read our e-mail" response a response.
I bought a 2001 (the gray model) and then a 2002 (the black one), and they both do the same things. These are horrible, horrible products. They do not get any worse. They have left me without lights on several night rides; this is dangerous and very aggravating.
I CANNOT UNRECOMMEND THESE PRODUCTS STRONGLY ENOUGH!
BTW, the retailers are allowing me to return them. Thank goodness.