Knog Blinder Arc 220
Knog Blinder Arc 220 USB rechargeable front light packs a much mightier punch than 220 lumens would suggest but while you’ll certainly be seen in the sticks, see by prowess is pretty much confined to suburban stuff.
Knog has completely revamped the optics for 2015. Cree LEDs are pretty much de-rigour for bike lighting these days and the internals are designed to maintain consistent output, right until the li-polymer cell is completely discharged.
Cosmetically identical to its siblings, it employs the same heat-conducting, water repellent aluminium/silicone body, which will resist pretty much bar full on immersion. This includes the flip out charge plug, which traditionally made USB models more vulnerable to dirt and ingress.
Talking of which, PC refuelling is around the four and a half hour mark, quicker when feeding from the mains. Either way, the supplied connector proved more reliable. Then of course, we’ve the familiar silicone straps and metal clasp arrangement.
Previous versions came under fire for durability and ours seemed a genuinely better bet on bigger diameter bars without impairing easy, intentional removal. Besides, replacements are readily available and a two year warrantee should placate all but the fussiest customers.
Collimator technology won’t get anyone’s pulses racing these days but the scratch and chemical resistant PMMA acrylic lenses certainly make the very best of superficially modest output. Knog say visibility is to 1,000 metres, I reckon nearer 700 but even the highest settings won’t induce any beam dipping until much closer.
Generally speaking, I found the standard steady mode best for general riding, delivering enough clout for sub/urban riding at a reasonable 17/18mph without draining the battery too quickly. Tiny windows around the recessed switch give a visual indicator of reserves, although toggling through the modes is relatively fiddly on the fly and wearing stodgy winter gloves.
Run times are very faithful to those quoted, although will punish the absent minded. Unleashing the full 220 makes unlit canal paths and short semi-rural sections passable at around 15mph but 1hr 20mins is literally it-hero to zero. At the other extreme, flashing offers 11hrs-perfect for those overcast winter afternoons, or cosied up to pre-stand light dynamos.