Nite-Hawk Digital Emitter review

I like to be visible when I ride at night, so I’ve tried a number of different lights / reflectors / blinkies.

Recently, I picked up one of Nite-Hawk’s new Emitter bike lights (the digital one) and thought I’d review it here. There are some things about it I really like, and some things I really don’t like…




Wow, it’s bright! I usually run it on the brightest rapid flash mode, and all the street signs for two or three blocks in front of me turn into a strobe display. It also seems to have made a noticeable difference in cars noticing me.

Battery life
Considering how much light this thing puts out, the battery life is quite impressive. Granted, we haven’t really had much cold weather, but so far I haven’t changed the batteries since I bought it (about two months ago, I think.)

Side-to-side movement
I’ve definitely had comments from walkers / joggers coming towards me that the light’s too bright. Giving it a simple twist to the side and then back again resolves this, and is easy to do while moving.


I’m not a fan of quick release lights. It means I always have to take it with me, because it’s so easy to steal…

This is really annoying. Did anyone at Nite-Hawk try using that rubber press-switch while wearing gloves??? Even without gloves, it’s the most annoying light switch I’ve used on any bike light.

Up and down adjustment
Hmmmm… I’m thinking the up-down adjustment would be MUCH easier to do using the quick release than using a tiny wrench to change the up-down adjustment. Not quite sure what they were thinking with that one.

Wet-weather use
I’m not sure how it will hold up to wet weather since there’s no rubber gasket on the battery case. The two plastic case halves simply snap together without any seal at all.


Mounting / battery pack
When riding over anything bumpy, the rattling sound coming from this thing was pretty alarming. (Maybe a rubber gasket would have reduced this…) I was waiting for it to disintegrate and / or fall off. So far, nothing like that’s happened (even with a couple of wipeouts) but it is annoying noisy on rough terrain! [[ NOTE: See my follow up review, when the light did, in fact, “disintegrate.”]]


If you want a light that’s very bright and very noticeable, this is a good choice. If you want a light that has controls (on / off / etc) that are easy to adjust, go for something different.

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