Hands on with Knog's modular PWR lights

Innovative Kickstarter-born system offers lighting, an integrated power bank and more

When Knog initially launched the PWR light system on Kickstarter there was a bit of controversy as the brand was still working to deliver on its previous project, the Oi bell. In light of this, they pulled the campaign even though they had already AU$30,000 the first day.

Even without the crowdfunding Knog has pushed on with the lights and we’ve just received a couple pre production samples of the brands new PWR Charger and PWR Modular lights.

According to Knog, its PWR lights are an 'ecosystem' of bike and outdoor products designed to share their battery, which can also be used to charge your phone, head unit or whatever else may need some juice while you’re out on a ride.

All of the lights are made from CNC-machined aluminium to provide the best possible durability and the brushed finish offers the right amount of grip. The PWR lights also get a touch sensitive 4-LED battery indicator.

PWR Charger series

The Charger series of lights aren't customisable like the modular lights, but still, allow for devices to be charged off of them
The Charger series of lights aren't customisable like the modular lights, but still, allow for devices to be charged off of them

The PWR Charger series of lights, the Commuter and Rider, are 450-lumen lights with an integrated power bank.

On the back of each light, there is a water sealed removable cap which reveals a standard USB port that allows you to top up your devices, even while the light is on. Both lights use a single LED to produce an Elliptical beam for broader light coverage across the road, the smaller and cheaper Commuter sees an 850mAH battery while the Rider gets a 2200mAh battery.

You can run the light and charge your device at the same time with these lights
You can run the light and charge your device at the same time with these lights

This equates to two-hours 200 lumens and 40-minutes at 450 lumens for the Commuter, and five-hours at 200-lumens and two-hours at 450-lumens for the Rider. Knog also say after one-hour of riding with the Commuter light at 250 lumens it will top up an iPhone 7’s battery by 10-percent and the Rider after one-hour at 450-lumens will bring your phone back to 35-percent battery.

Both of these lights utilize a simple silicone mount that rotates 360 degrees.

PWR Modular lights

The heads and battery packs get bigger as they get more powerful
The heads and battery packs get bigger as they get more powerful

The other half of the PWR series of lights is the modular series which consist of light heads and battery packs. Along the same lines as power tools where one battery powers everything from drills and saws to flashlights, all the modular light heads and battery packs are compatible with one another.

We’ve currently got the PWR Road, a 600-lumen head and 3350mAh battery pack, and PWR Trail a 1000 lumen head and 5000mAh battery. There is also a PWR Mountain, a 1800-lumen head with a 10,000mAh battery that’s to be released later down the line.

Here we've got the Road head on the Trail battery, as you can see there is a bit of a size difference but they still work
Here we've got the Road head on the Trail battery, as you can see there is a bit of a size difference but they still work

The modular lights are devoid of buttons bar the release for the heads, and to turn them on or cycle through brightness and flashing modes the head is twisted counter clockwise — turn and release to change modes, turn and hold for on/off.

Each head pops on to the Modular power banks, and like the Charger series are water resistant. However, with the changeability of this system, the light heads use the USB port on these batteries meaning you cannot use the light and charge your device at the same time.

Also given the customizability of the batteries and light heads there is a there is a bit of variability to claimed runtime for a specific light output, but the PWR Road with the included 3350mAh battery is claimed to run for 2.3-hours at 600-lumens and the PWR Trail with the included 5000mAh battery is quoted at 1.9hrs at 1000-lumens.

There is a bit a variability in the battery life based on the which head is combined with which battery
There is a bit a variability in the battery life based on the which head is combined with which battery

Knog also say the PWR Road will charge an iPhone 7 50-percent after one hour of riding at 600-lumens, and the PWR Trail will give the phone 75-percent charge after one-hour of riding at 1000-lumens.

Both the Road and Trail light heads see three LED’s which form an elliptical beam shape that Knog says is better for riding than the typical spot light beam. The Trail head also sees a ring of nine small LEDs around the edge of the light.

All the modular heads and power banks are compatible with one another
All the modular heads and power banks are compatible with one another

For the modular lights Knog has opted for a more substantial side quick release mount which is included with the light, that places the light in a central position on top or underneath the stem. Unfortunately, if you’ve got a Di2 drivetrain with a stem mounted junction box, it gets in the way of mounting the light below the bars.

There is also a helmet mount on the way and extension so you can keep the battery pack in your backpack, as well as frame and brake boss mounts that use the same battery extension.

Knog also have plans to release a Bluetooth speaker, headlamp, and lantern that all run off of this system

The Mode Maker App

The side mount puts the light in line with your stem
The side mount puts the light in line with your stem

When the PWR lights hit the market, Knog will also launch the Mode Maker app.

With the app, you will be able to program the brightness and run times of both the Charger and modular light heads. The app will allow you remove existing light modes or add up to eight to each light.

You can also set the brightness of the constant modes and select from a library of Knog designed flashing patterns.

According to the brand the PWR lights should begin to arrive with retailers in September, for more info or to sign up for an email alert to let you know when the PWR lights drop head over to Knog.

Pricing

  • PWR Commuter $54.95 / AU$74.95 / UK TBD
  • PWR RIder $64.95 / AU$89.95 / UK TBD
  • PWR Road 600l $89.95 / AU$119.95 / UK TBD
  • PWR Trail 1000l $119.95 / AU$159.95 / UK TBD
Colin Levitch

Staff Writer, Australia
Originally from Denver, Colorado, Colin now resides in Sydney, Australia. Holding a media degree, Colin is focused on the adventure sport media world. Coming from a ski background, his former European pro father convinced him to try collegiate crit racing. Although his bright socks say full roadie, he enjoys the occasional mountain bike ride, too.
  • Discipline: Road, mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Tarmac mountain climbs into snow-covered hills
  • Current Bikes: BMC TeamMachine SLR01, Trek Top Fuel 9
  • Dream Bike: Mosaic Cycles RT-1
  • Beer of Choice: New Belgium La Folie
  • Location: Sydney, Australia

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