NiteFLUX Photon Max

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NiteFLUX Photon Max
NiteFLUX Photon 4

Light Price Claimed Lumens Runtime Battery Type Light head weight Battery Weight Installed Weight Lumens per gram Lumens per dollar
Photon Max $400.00 800 2hrs 40min Lithium Ion 151g 419g 517g 1.40 2.00
Photon 4 – Commuter $200.00 270 2hrs Lithium Ion 273g 0 273g 0.99 1.35
Photon 4 – Enduro $300.00 270 6hrs Lithium Ion 176g 265g 562g 0.50 0.90

Light Meter charts and comparison table available here.

Description:

Now here is a nice surprise! NiteFLUX is a company we’re not familiar with in the US. But this Australian company heard of our shootout and seemed confident that we would be impressed with what they had to offer.

The light comes in a very handy satchel bag that protects the light during transport and opens up nicely for setup. The light head features three LEDs and is fairly big but surprisingly light at 151 grams. The case is a mix of plastic and aluminum molded together in a design that includes nine cooling fins and five vent holes.

The battery is a neoprene wrapped unit slightly smaller than a coke can. The switch is on the battery and has very nice action to it.

Photon Max Light Head & Bag:

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Mounting:

The light mount adapts to both standard and oversized handlebars and can be installed firmly without tools. It can be swiveled left to right to aim the light and seems to have the perfect amount of resistance dialed in to the swivel action.

Light Meter Measurements:

In this shootout, we’ve seen outstanding lights from Dinotte, Exposure and Niterider. They’re all around $400 and our measured Lux readings for them are 33, 30 and 33 Lux respectively. So we expected this $400 Niteflux to be in that range.

We measured a 50! We measured again… 50 Lux. We checked the other lights, and it same as the last measurements. Man, is it that dark in Australia?

The light is impressive. It has a fairly tight pattern and it throws light far, very far. As you can see in the beam pattern shots, the light meter measurements are no fluke. This light is definitely bright and even upstages the pricier Lupine Wilma 6 at 44 Lux.

On the downside, the beam pattern is a bit narrow and should be complemented by another light for better peripheral or side to side vision.

Strengths:

  • incredible brightness
  • excellent airflow and cooling design
  • handlebar mount allows left to right aiming
  • excellent value given the light output
  • handy carrying case

Weaknesses:

  • beam pattern is a bit narrow for handlebar use
  • for helmet mounting, battery mounted switch is inconvenient and battery size is a bit big for the jersey pocket

Bottom Line:

The bottom line is this is a bright light. It really surprised us with its intense beam. Quality and design are top-notch and it’s refreshing to see our mountain bike friends from another land give LED lighting a different perspective.

The only thing preventing us from giving a perfect rating is the beam pattern should be a bit wider to make it the perfect handlebar light. For helmet mounting, the switch and battery get in the way. But the beam pattern on the helmet combined with a handlebar flood light will allow one to reach objectionable speeds at night.

Beam Pattern Photos:

Photon Max

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Beam Pattern rollover and side by side comparison page available here.

Value Rating:

5 out of 5 Stars

Overall Rating:

4.75 out of 5 Stars

Read or write reviews:

NiteFLUX PHoton Max Reviews

Word from the manufacturer:

NiteFlux Photon Max

At NiteFlux we have 3 main design criteria’s:

1. Best possible charge control ( it’s the heart and sole of the lighting system)

2. Maximum possible light output

3. Solid rugged reliable construction

NiteFlux first conceived the idea of making a Hi Watt LED system with Forced Air Cooling over 5 years ago. It became apparent early in 2005 that the laboratory claims of high watt white LEDs with serious light output from the big LED manufactures where finally going to become a reality and where going into commercially viable production.

We actively moved ahead with finalizing the design path for the NiteFlux Photon Max over an extensive 24 month period. There were many designs tested and refinements made until we settled on the current Photon Max.

The NiteFlux Photon Max is by far the most sophisticated triple LED head design manufactured today. Take a look at the aerodynamically contoured top and bottom covers that duct air in and out through the large horizontal and vertical fins, 18 individual fins in all, incased within the covers. You will see that it is radically different to anything else on the market.

Thermal management and control, was the key design criteria of the Photon Max. To put quite simply, cooler LED’s run brighter. Cooler operational temperatures also contribute to the long term performance and lifespan of the LED’s.

We further enhance thermal management and protection of the expensive Hi-Watt LED’s, which is the source of your light output by having a temperature sensor placed at the main heat wall that is continually monitored by a onboard micro processor . Our Forced Air heat sink is so effective that even while stationary the temperature sensor will not cut in and throttle back the power. It is installed as a preventive measure mainly to reduce the chance of accidental damage (like turning on inside a carry bag).

The Head unit with Helmet mount is 130grams. It is very light weight, almost half the weight of some of our competitors and a lot lighter than most HID systems.

At NiteFLUX we use only cutting edge lens technology. Our specially made, high performance, optical-grade Polycarbonate Precision Prism

lenses use ‘Total Internal Refraction’. These lenses are close to 100% efficient and ensure the light beam is always focused and intense.

These lenses are up to 20 times more expensive than simple reflector designs as used by some companies, but do offer premium performance when compared to old reflector technology.

ICC Intelligent Charge Control

At the heart of every NiteFlux system is our unique market leading ICC charge control.

All NiteFLUX lights come with premium quality Li-Ion batteries that incorporate a unique proprietary protection circuit module (PCM). This module greatly enhances battery life by precisely managing power input, temperature sensing and individual cell monitoring/balancing, ensuring hassle-free AAA Gold standard charge control for every recharge. ICC technology also allows for ‘Piggy Back’

fast charging, reducing charge time to 2 hours on all models. Using 2 x NF power supplies and our unique ‘Y-Cord’ you can recharge your battery twice as fast – perfect for Enduro racing!

NiteFlux Innovations

ICC-Intelligent Charge Control, CWT – Constant Watt Technology, Forced Air Cooling, Temperature Sensing, Low Battery Protection, Electronic Brain, Charge Status Indication, LED Lens,

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  • Bob Beaman says:

    I have been using this light after trying all the A brands and this light is a level above the rest in quality, dependability and performance.

  • Alan says:

    I rate this light!!!

    I use the PhotonMax on my bars and find it fantastic for 24hr racing and fanging around the woods with my mates.

    It easily outstrips my HID (with better light colour too) – so good in fact that I can run it at mid or low setting and still have excellent lighting ahead of me.

    This leaves the helmet mounted HID to help me see into the corners. The mid and low settings give long burn times so you can be sure you’ll have plenty of night riding fun.

    This light makes me ride faster with confidence. I can see so much more.

    The guys I night ride with often comment how great the light throw and brightness is, and any new guys who see it can’t believe it’s LED.

    I simply wouldn’t race without it now. If I had only one light, it would be this one… it rocks!

  • richard says:

    This is by far the most unbelievable light I have ever used, every single light I have purchased before this was a total waste of money. It has to be compared on the same level as lupine and other high end lights.

    on the trail I use this light as a handlebar mount and then I have a princeton tec for my helmet to see around corners. If I have to be honest I dont really need the princeton tec, this light actually hurts your eyes on the brightest setting. I go through single track on low beam and it’s bright as day!

    (The flash mode is also absolutely brilliant. I used to have trouble with motorist passing closeby. But the light causies every street sign within 60m to flash in reflection. motorists now give me a wide berth)

  • fuzz says:

    i used this light for about 8 months. it is by far the brightest led i have seen. the only problem i have is reliability. about 1 month in a small part in my battery went out. the company replaced it at no charge(except shipping, $25). it worked fine for about 4 months and now the connector to the battery which is a permanent connection, has developed a short. im sure it would be fixed by the manufacturer at no cost except shipping but i simply cant be stranded by a light more than twice. luckily, i know many people that also use this light and im the only one with issues. my only other gripe is that the battery is not easy to use at all when helmet mounting and the light is best on the helmet. also it sticks up a lot adding a lot of stack height. where i live there are a lot of low branches so it took a few hard hits. on the plus side the light head itself seemed to take it well. my biggest gripe is with the battery breaking twice.

  • Floyd Cash says:

    I’ve been using it since December. Works well however the button on the battery is hard to control with winter gloves. So far they haven’t responded to my warranty request for my failed battery

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