Exposure Lights Diablo MK8 2017 Mountain Bike Review

Exposure Lights Diablo MK8 2017

Reviews / Lights

Exposure Lights 8,139

At A Glance

There is no denying that Exposure occupies the upper echelons of bike lights, with lofty price tags and highly desirable technology. The Diablo has been part of the range for many years, gradually growing in power from 3 figure lumen numbers to what we have here, a full 1400 lumens of compact power. We are now on the Diablo MK8!

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A major selling point of these lights is the compact, cable-less system, which gives a simplicity and freedom to riding at night. The Diablo's lumens are packaged into eight programs offering a massive range of options and burn time for high, medium and low settings. For the MK8 the button has changed to a stainless version, this sounds like a small change, but it feels great to press! Tap technology allows a quick button-less change between modes and an easy to read fuel gauge on the back keeps tabs on burn time. It'll pump out full power for 1hr or low for 24hr so should be more than enough for a few laps of the local loop if used tactically.

Mounts included are an hour glass vent mounted clamp and a handlebar mount. Both offer secure retention of the light, but there is also a lanyard to be used for total security.

On The Trail

This light is always going to be predominately a helmet light, and the vent-mounted clamp is fantastic, being simple, secure and low profile. It is supplied with a bar mount, and again the lack of external battery makes it easy to swap, but on the head is where is come into its own. Attaching to a helmet is easy, but require a bit of thought with some helmets where there isn't a central vent, or where vent shape is a bit funky. By and large, though, it's one of the best helmet mounting brackets around, and with the lanyard looped onto the helmet, it's not going to go anywhere even in a crash.
Angling the light is easy with the ball and socket style mounting, but I did find, helmets with long peaks did get in the way a little bit of the light spread.

With helmet compatibility sorted, the Diablo kicks out a focused beam of light, which picks out the detail in the trail. Using it on its own works well, and for years I managed at night on a single 1000 lumen light, so it's definitely possible to ride with just this light. What it lacks in breadth, it makes up for in distance and clarity, working exceptionally well alongside a bar mount light. The one thing a bar mount can't do is look around sharp corners, and this is what helmet mounts do so well, especially on technical terrain where specific obstacles need attention.

The tap technology is easy to set up and comes in three sensitivity levels depending on how hard you want to hit your head. I came unstuck with this feature in the past with the sensitivity on high and the light adjusted when I went off drops! This was user error of course, but I had no problems this time as I set it to the hardest tap setting and found the feature to be excellent.

Programming is also easy, and just requires a combination of button holding and counting the flashing lights, which is a great system considering there is only one button! The 1hr on full is plenty for a ride out, providing it's used only for descents or fast sections, the lower levels being fine for steady riding.


An excellent helmet light, free from the hassle of battery packs and cables. The focused beam is great when used in conjunction with the backdrop of a broad-beamed bar light, but even on it's own the Diablo MK8 manages to pack a serious punch for such a small unit.

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This review was in Issue 44 of IMB.

For more information visit Exposure Lights


By Ewen Turner
Ewen Turner is a self-confessed bike geek from Kendal in the Lake District of England. He runs a coaching and guiding business up there and has a plethora of knowledge about bikes with an analytical approach to testing. His passion for bicycles is infectious, and he’s a ripper on the trails who prefers to fit his working life around his time on the bike.

Tried this? What did you think?