Exposure Lights Diablo Mk.7 review

Still a brightness per gram leader

Lights Lights Shootout

2016 Lights Shootout

This 119 gram wonder puts out close to 1200 lumens

This 119 gram wonder puts out close to 1200 Lumens (click to enlarge).

Editor’s Note: This article is part of Mtbr and RoadBikeReview’s 2016 Bike Lights Shootout. See the 2016 Mtbr Headlights Index and the RoadBikeReview Commuter Lights Index.

Lowdown: Exposure Lights Diablo Mk.7

The Exposure Diablo has been refined over the years as every facet of this light has been improved. Aside from an increase in brightness every year, the light now has an excellent ergonomics, switching, mounts and features. Now in its seventh edition as it claims 1300 Lumens with a run time of one hour. Running it at around 400 lumens (low mode) yields about three hours of runtime.

The Diablo Mk.7 still packs a punch in the category with a brightness measured at 1190 Lumens with a weight of 132 grams with mount.

Stat Box
Claimed Lumens: 1300 Lumens Mounted weight: 132 grams
Measured Lumens: 1190 Lumens Category: Headlight
Lumens per $: 3.97 Lumens Price: $250
Lumens per gram: 9.17 Lumens Rating: 4.5 Flamin' Chili Peppers 4.5 Chilis-out-of-5

Pluses
Minuses
  • Still one of the brightest and lightest
  • 1:00 hour run time at full power is limited
  • TAP technology is very useable for changing light modes
  • $250 for this light is being threatened by a crop of new self-contained lights
  • Very useable mounting options
  • Extremely small and bright with 132 gram weight
  • Machining and quality are first rate with hidden cooling fins
  • Excellent programmability and light levels now available

Review: Exposure Lights Diablo Mk.7

The greatest aspect of this light is usability. It is so light, small and bright that it disappears in to the ride. Mounts are light and discrete. And there’s external battery options available too.

Construction and finish are top-notch.

Construction and finish are top-notch (click to enlarge).

When the light is mounted in its ideal spot on the helmet, it allows one to use the TAP (Tap Activated Power) feature. Essentially the whole body of the light is a switch, so changing modes is incredibly quick and effective. This avoids having to fumble for a button, especially helpful if you are wearing full fingered gloves or Winter thickness gloves where you lose the tactile touch. The end result is that easy brightness changes allow the rider to better manage battery consumption.

Another revelation with this light and other self contained lights is it works well in cold, winter conditions. Normally, lithium batteries lose up to half their runtime when in very cold conditions. The solution for this is to warm the battery with an external device or with its own power. The Exposure Diablo and other self-contained lights keep themselves warm with the LED lamp. Thus the light cools itself and keeps the battery warm with its self-contained design. It’s an unintended design consequence but an effective one for cold-weather riding.

Exposure Lights Diablo Mk.7 Beam Pattern

Beam Pattern Photo

We photographed the lights in the same location setting with the same camera settings. The photo was taken in the back yard that is approximately 25 yards long. The backyard beam pattern allows you to gauge the throw and the width of the light. Compare all Beam Patterns here »

Other lights have copied the Exposure Diablo and can beat it in a price battle. But the Exposure Diablo still holds its own with a high quality light with smarter features.

For more information visit www.ibexsports.com.

119 gram weight makes this one of the lightest in its class.

119 gram weight makes this one of the lightest in its class (click to enlarge).

This article is part of Mtbr and RoadBikeReview’s 2016 Bike Lights Shootout. See the 2016 Mtbr Headlights Index and the RoadBikeReview Commuter Lights Index.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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  • MBR says:

    Once again, as with all your light reviews, how about listing some run times at less than max output. A one hour run time on high doesn’t even get me thru a commute to work and back home.

    • Ron Feigen says:

      You can get run-time on Exposures website. I get 3 hours at 900 lumens. I think at 600 lumens it is 5 or 6 hours.

      They also have a small support cell, external battery, to double run time. There is a large support cell, no clue how much time that give you but I would guess 3X. Look at the MaH rating and do the math

      • Ryan says:

        Guys, the large 8.7Ah support cell does NOT work with any recently released Diablo. I have the Mk. 7 Diablo, which is about to go back to Exposure for a warranty replacement for an Equinox because they put in some new hardware possibly back in generation 6 or even 5 that restricts the Diablo to the smaller 3.1Ah support cell. I was hoping to get a 4–5 hour burn time at full power or close to full power by adding the large 8.7Ah support cell, but I only ever got the standard 1.25-1.5 hour max burn time on high with the large support cell attached. I even did a warranty replacement on the large support cell before I had Exposure do some testing of their own to confirm that the Diablo does NOT work with the larger 8.7Ah support cell.

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