The Exposure Link DayBright MK2 is a very well made helmet lamp that lives up to the company's reputation for quality. Performance is great and battery life is decent, although the mounting system is a little fiddly to set up.
We haven't reviewed many helmet lights, but check out our guidebest bike lightsYou can attach them to the front and rear of your bike for more options.
Exposure is a brand synonymous with build quality and this light is no different. You can see the machining lines where the case was cut from a single piece of metal and it will likely last a long time, helped by the thick rubber gasket that needs to be moved out of the way to gain access to the charging port.
The idea behind the Link DayBright MK2 is to make a driver as visible as possible in a busy city environment. It's a combination front and rear light, with a bright output to get you noticed and mounted as high as possible so you can be seen by all road users.
When I wore this on my helmet and it lit up everywhere I turned my head I was really confident that my visibility was improved.
output and modes
Max output is 200 lumens front and 40 rear, with many different options for modes, front and rear, including both constant and pulsing, one pulsing with the other constant, or one pulsing or constant while the other is off.
You also get three different settings, effectively high, medium and low. To set this, with the light off, press and hold the power button and it will start flashing; If you release the button after the first flash it's in brightest mode, two flashes for medium and if you release it after the third flash it's in low mode.
My favorite output is the Impulse front and rear, in either Medium or Low, giving run times of 7 and 15 hours, respectively.
If you've ever used an exposure light before, or seen someone using one, you'll probably understand how good this mode is. It's almost a shrill flash with specially designed gaps between flashes to ensure the light catches the attention of all road users. It's certainly not one of those fade in and fade out pulses that some brands offer.
When I first used this light I was a little confused on how to assemble it. The mount unscrews to fit through a vent hole and then clamps onto the helmet. But when I tried to tighten the 5mm hex bolt from the inside of the helmet, I couldn't get the non-spherical end of a hex wrench in because of the curvature of the helmet, and the plastic bent and buckled, so I used the ball end... to the point where I couldn't tighten it. I ended up resorting to a multi-tool and it worked, but I can't help but think Exposure could come up with a better method.
Once the light was complete I had absolutely no issues with the mount. It hasn't come loose once and has held the light nice and tight no matter what type of ride I've been on, even some super bumpy mountain bikes.
I was also pleasantly surprised at how little I could feel it when it was on my head. I expected it to cause some discomfort, but for the most part I couldn't even tell it was there. At 47g it really makes little difference to how your head feels, which is great.
Battery life and charging
Runtimes range from an hour in the brightest constant to 23 hours for a low pulse front or back only. That's not very impressive, but given that the battery is effectively powering two lights, it's not that surprising. You might need to charge after every ride, but that depends on what modes you're using.
It's pretty easy to tell how much power is left - when you turn off the light it will flash between red and green to show you how long you have before it needs to be charged. I wish there was a way to know the level while the lights are on, but since it's sitting on your head it would be quite a challenge.
Exposure gives a claimed charge time of three hours, which seemed about right, but I was very upset to find out the light has a micro-USB charging port. I wish all bike manufacturers would embrace USB-C and only develop products with it. Ifthose super little lights from Knogcan use USB-C, I don't understand why the Link Daybright can't do that...
At £70 this isn't a budget option, but you do get exposure quality.
You can spend more - for another £20 you could get the 450 lumensLink+ Mk3 front and rear combo with DayBright, whichNick reviewed earlier this year. It's a bit heavier at 90g, but it's one to see and be seen with.
But you can spend a lot less just to be seen: Siobhan was very impressed with theBrightside Topside HelmleuchteShe reviewed it in 2017 - it still costs £29.99, is slightly heavier than the Exposure at 66g, but it's rechargeable and puts out up to 100 lumens in the front, 30 lumens in the rear.
Or there is something a little cheaperLezyne Femto Drive Duoat 28lbs, which weighs 51g and takes two CR2032 batteries on both ends.Stu described itas "pretty punchy" in 2021, but it's a very different beast than the Exposure.
Overall, the Link DayBright MK2 is a real asset when driving in busy urban areas in the dark or in dim daylight. Performance is up there with the best I've seen in a small light, it has a solid feel mount and the quality is excellent. Yes, you have to pay for it, but it justifies it. I would recommend it to anyone who just wants a little more visibility.
A bit pricey but a quality helmet light with bright output and decent battery life
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Make and model:Exposure Link DayBright MK2
Tested size:200 lumens front, 40 rear
Tell us what the light is for and who it is aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about this? How does that compare to your own feelings?
Exposure says, “Lightweight and powerful, the Link is the perfect way to get noticed on busy city streets. By mounting the light high on the helmet and in combination with the DayBright Pulse Pattern it is not obscured by traffic or other distractions and cuts through any environment. With 360-degree visibility from a single device, you have the advantage of being noticed first.”
Tell us more about the technical aspects of light?
From the exposure:
LEDs 1 x White XPG/1 x XPE-RED
IP protection class IP6
Maximum Lumens 200/40
850 mAh Li-Ion battery
Running time 1 - 16 hours (FL)
Charging time 3 hours
Material Anodized 6063 aluminum
Head diameter 28mm
Scope of delivery Link DB MK2, helmet mount, micro USB charging cable, QS instructions
Rate the fixture by build quality:
As with other Exposure products, this one is very well made.
Rate the light by design and ease of use. How easy was the light to use?
It clips in and out of the mount easily and stays firmly in place during use. I found the single button controls a bit confusing, but once it works it's easy to use.
Evaluate the light by design and usability of the clamping system(s).
Cocking was cumbersome and required a multi-tool as it couldn't be done with a full size allen wrench.
Rate the light for waterproofing. How has it withstood the elements?
I've taken it through a few wet rides with no problems.
Rate the light for battery life. How long did it last? How long did it take to charge?
Nothing fancy in most modes, but it effectively powers two lights, so no surprise; but a longer life would be good.
Rate the light by performance:
I felt that this light definitely helped my safety when riding on darker days with poor visibility.
Rate the light by durability:
The making of Exposure products is great and I see no reason why this shouldn't take a long time.
Rate the light by weight:
At just 47g, you won't really feel it on your head most of the time.
Rate the light by value:
At £70 it's more expensive than most helmet light combos we've tested - apart from its big brother, the £90 Link+ Mk3 front and rear combo with DayBright - but it's also brighter than these and very high quality.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its intended purpose
It worked very well and made me more visible and hopefully safer.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the lamp
I like the pulse mode - it's a very noticeable pattern that's hard to miss and makes a great daytime flash.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the lamp
Using Micro-USB instead of USB-C for charging.
How does the price compare to similar products on the market including those recently tested on road.cc?
It's more expensive than other helmet light combos we've tested, but you get exposure quality and more lumens.
Did you enjoy using the light?And
Would you buy the lamp?Perhaps
Would you recommend the lamp to a friend?And
Use this field to explain your total score
It's a good light to be seen with a great pulse mode and plenty of others to choose from. The battery life is decent rather than amazing, and it's quite a steep price tag, but the quality is high too.
About the tester
I mostly drive:Canyon AeroadMy best bike is:
I ride since:10-20 yearsI ride:DailyI would classify myself as:semi-pro
I do the following types of riding regularly:Road Racing, Commuting, Touring, Club Riding, Fixed/Single Speed, MTB,