Friday, August 9, 2013

Light & Motion Vis 180 Rear Light

Introducing a new rear light for my Dahon Boardwalk! Yes I already have too many rear lights, but this one is different. Not just the good but common blinker rear light. Read on to learn about its features!

This light by Light & Motion was only bought recently. I bought it from City Bike Depot in Sydney, Australia when I went there for a holiday.

City Bike Depot in Sydney!

Dazzling array of accessories to be found inside!

Lots of bike tools to choose from. I had not felt so poisoned in a long time...

In fact you cannot find any Light & Motion products in Singapore bike shops. I guess there is no local distributor for this brand. Generally, I think that this brand has a solid reputation for being bright and reliable, but also rather expensive. Let us take a look at this new rear light.

The Light & Motion Vis 180. As what it says, "Simply Better". Let's see how true that is!

Lots of information at the rear. 4 modes of operation with the corresponding runtime.

Comes with a USB charging cable, a seat post mount and a sticker.

The clamp with rubber strap is easy to use. Just wrap around the seat post, loop it through the slot...

 ...bend it back and clip the strap onto the little round knob.

What I like about this mounting is that it can be removed from the seat post easily without tools when I need to lower the seat post. Which is not so often these days anyway.

Red LED on top, with 2 orange side lights. The orange light is also visible from the rear.

 The USB charging port, protected by a rubber flap. I have rode in rain with this light and it is still working fine.

The innovative mechanism for adjusting the angle of the light!
 
To adjust the lighting angle, press the red button and adjust the angle of the holder.

The notches on the body that clicks in to secure the chosen lighting angle.

The bronze coloured body is made of aluminium, which is a nice quality touch to this product.

Before we see the light in action, let us take a look at the mounting. It comes with a seat post strap mount, but can also be clipped in onto a rear saddle bag. However, online reviews have said that clipping onto the saddle bag is not secure and the light can jump out rather easily.

Goes under my saddle bag onto the long exposed seat post 

The only downside to the mounting is that the remaining strap is too long


One of the difference for this rear light is that instead of flashing, it pulses with a varying brightness. This means that the light is always visible as it doesn't go dark between flashes.

Another interesting feature is that it has 2 orange side lights for side visibility. Not too bright compared to the main red light, but hopefully it is useful.

There are 4 modes of operation for this light:
1) 50 lumens red LED pulsing + flashing orange side lights (6 hrs runtime)
2) 25 lumens red LED pulsing + flashing orange side lights (12 hr runtime)
3) 50 lumens red LED steady + flashing orange side lights (4 hr runtime)
4) Red LED off, only flashing orange side light (20 hr runtime)

The last mode is designed for paceline/group riding, with the main red LED off so that you don't blind your buddy behind you. Thoughtful design by the light designers.

As for the red LED, it is very bright! In fact it seems to be even brighter than the SMART 0.5 watt or 1 watt light. I might be wrong, but that is how it feels to me. The viewing angle is also very wide, as the LED appears very bright even when viewed 45 degrees off to the side.

The red LED is truly bright! It basically works as a red coloured torch light.

You can see how wide the lighting angle and how bright the red LED is. Dwarfs the other rear lights that I have.

 Paceline mode, with only the orange light visible from the rear and the sides.


Advantages:
1) Strong and powerful red light
2) Side lights for improved side visibility
3) Easy rubber strap mounting for easy installation/removal without tools
4) Good battery life especially for a USB charged light

Disadvantages:
1) Expensive
2) Cannot be mounted securely on saddle bag hook
3) Rubber strap is excessively long with no good way of tucking away the excess
4) Battery indicator is at the bottom of the light which is difficult to see

This light is so bright that I usually just use it in the 25 lumen pulsing mode, as the 50 lumens is overpowering and perhaps not necessary. Also, I also use this light together with another rear light, which I have mounted onto the rear rack.


The Bontrager Flare 3 rear light. What is unique about is light is that it has a m5 threaded hole at the rear

With this threaded hole, I can easily fix it onto the rear rack with a short M5 bolt.

 Easily done! An extra light can be fixed on the bike without taking up any space elsewhere.


 Too many lights? From top to bottom: SMART 0.5W rear light on saddle bag, Light & Motion Vis 180 on seat post, spare white/red Geeego light, and the Bontrager Flare 3.

With this new Light & Motion Vis 180, I now usually use it with one other blinker, either the SMART 0.5 watt on the saddle bag or the Bontrager Flare 3. This would be sufficient for night riding.

3 comments:

  1. If the strap is too long perhaps you can consider cutting away the access?

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    Replies
    1. Obviously that is possible, but I would try not to do that as it is irreversible.

      Delete
  2. I thot am the only one that uses more than two rear lights (pole, bag & chainstay), this is safety especially when you ride along at night.

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