Review: Light & Motion Urban & VIS
Fall means less light and a crazy mid-afternoon sun glare for drivers. Why not help them (and yourself) by running blinky lights during the day and night?
Meet my Favorite Lights Reviewed to Date
Light & Motion Urban 200 and VIS 180 Micro
Key things to know:
Easy rubber strap mount for installation and removal
180′ visibility with orange side lights
Water resistant (maybe proof?!)
Thoughts and Opinion
I’ve reviewed many lights on Bike Shop Girl and Commute By Bike. One thing or another happens after a few months of constant use. Mounts break, lenses fall out, water damage or the battery stops holding a charge (especially in the cold.)
After a year of constant use (day and night) on one bike or another, using the Urban 200 during a couple nights of camping, I can happily say I want this set of lights on all my bikes.
Interested in buying a set? Support BSG by buying through JensonUSA.
Disclaimers: These lights were provided at no charge for review, my opinion is true. If you buy through the link to JensonUSA, I may get commission. Support BSG & do it.
Preview: Knog Blinder Road Lights
As my hunt continues for amazing bike lights to keep me from being run over, I was sent a set of the new Knog Blinder Road Lights. These rechargeable beauties are part of the hi power series that Knog released earlier this year.
Knog Blinder Road 2 MSRP $79.95
- 200 Lumens
- Light Dimensions: W53mm x H30mm x D63mm
- Weight: 75g
- Materials: UV-Resistant, industrial-grade Silicone Rubber Body and Straps. Polycarbonate Housing. PMMA Lens. Anodised Aluminium Heat sink. Anodised Aluminium Fascia and solid Stainless Steel MIMLatch
- Rechargeable Lithium Polymer (USB). This saves using about 600 AAA Alkaline batteries during the lights lifetime.
- Waterproof: 100% Waterproof and Dust Proof.
- Light Modes: Total of 8 light modes: 1. Narrow Low Beam, 2. Narrow High Beam, 3. Wide Low Beam,4. Wide High Beam, 5. Dual Low Beam, 6. Dual High Beam, 7. Flashing Alternate, 8. Flashing-1 LED Steady/1 LED flashing.
- Burn time: Low-beam modes: Steady 2hr, Flash mode 6hr. High-beam modes:Steady 1hr / Flash mode: 4hr.
- Charge time: 5 hour charge time.
- Bike Attachment: Two removable silicone straps for bars 22-28mm / 29-35mm. Helmet mount included
Knog Blinder Road R MSRP $59.95
- 70 lumens in strobe mode (peak)
- Dimensions: W27mm x H76mm x D52mm
- Weight: 52g
- Materials: UV-Resistant, industrial-grade Silicone Rubber Body and Straps. Polycarbonate Housing. PMMA Lens. Anodised Aluminium Heat sink. Anodised Aluminium Fascia and solid Stainless Steel MIMLatch.
- Rechargeable Lithium Polymer (USB). This saves using about 600 AAA Alkaline batteries during the lights lifetime.
- Light Modes: 5 light modes: 1.Steady, 2.Fast, 3.Chaser, 4.Peleton, 5. Eco-Flash.
- Burn time: lasting up to 3.5 hours in Steady mode, 4 hours in Fast, 5 hours in Chaser, 13 hours in Peloton Mode and 20 hours in Eco-Flash.
- Bike Attachment: Tool-less attachment for standard rear posts measuring 22-32mm. Not suitable for aero post design
Out of the Box Thoughts
The look of Knog lights have always been a clean, catchy, subtle design. The question has always been the quality and longetivity of the light. These new Blinder Road Lights seem to have a bit more to them, first in the band which is much thicker than their other lights, and then second are the cords they are finally shipping with their USB charging lights. You struggle any longer trying to plug one of their lights into the back of your computer or keyboard thanks to this long USB extender.
Only time will tell how the lights hold up, and how long they really do keep their charge. Give me a couple weeks to push the test of these little lights! Learn more over at Knog.
Support Bike Shop Girl
If you are in the market for new lights, click through this link to JensonUSA where I receive a commission off anything you buy (as long as you do so after clicking the link!)
Back of Rear Light
USB Extender Cord
Back of Front Light
Front USB Plug
Disclaimer: These Knog lights were provided at no charge for review.
Review: Portland Design Works Aether Demon
It’s pretty apparent how I feel about bike lights and the level of safety they add to your bike rides. A blinking front and rear light are found on most of my bikes, including some of my mountain bikes if I’m going to hit the road on the way to find my dirt diet. When Emily started commuting to the hospital every morning we purchased a couple lights for her All City Nature Boy that were bright, but it became apparent that the USB front light was kicking the watch battery powered rear light’s arse. Every couple weeks the batteries needed replacing or the rear light wasn’t shining as bright as new. Make fun of me that something this small stressed me out, but at 4:30am I want her seen as much as possible.
That’s about when a little birdy told me about a new USB powered rear light coming out from PDW.
Meet the Portland Design Works Aether Demon
- Nichia™ 0.5 watt LED
- USB charging Li-ion battery
- Texas Instruments™ integrated circuit (I have no idea what that means)
- 4 modes (run time): Dance (8 hrs), Breathe (8 hrs), Group Ride (175 hrs at 10% power), Rock Steady (3.5 hrs)
- Includes seatpost, seatstay mounts
Overall Thoughts of the Aether Demon™
Sometimes, though very rarely, I review a product and all I have to say about it is “it really works.” This light is it. The short USB plug that comes with the light plugs into the bottom and then either into your computer, or I use the USB box that came with my iPhone/iPad. It blinks demon blue until it’s charged, you unplug it and go on your way. With included mounts you can install the light on your seat post or on a seat stay on the bike frame. Both mounts allow you to pivot the light to be pointed properly behind you.
Pro’s and Con’s
For $49 it’s hard to beat a USB charging rear light that last for a good long while. Especially one with a great company standing behind it. The only thing I would change has to do with the light output, I’m a big fan of the Light & Motion Vis 180 rear that has light output on the sides for cars coming towards you perpendicular. That’s really my only feedback of the light.
The mount is solid, the USB plug closes up well and the light strobing options are great. If you are in the market for a new rear light and you want something that won’t blow through batteries, take a look at this beauty from Portland Design Works.
Check them out online, or find your local bike shop that stocks them.
Disclaimer: This light was provided at no charge for review. Saying that, I would buy one full retail.
This Little Light of Mine, Using Lights at All Times
This is a drum I have beat a decent amount in the past, but I need to beat it again as the summer days get longer and people are riding their bikes more and more. There are many reasons I believe you should have a front and rear light on blinking at all times on the bike, at the end it is safety and keeping you intact on your bike.
Reasons to Use Front and Rear Blinky Lights All The Time
- I have been left hooked in a major intersection and fully believe a front light would have made the old man see me
- Make yourself easier to spot
- It makes cars more aware of you, and the space around you. In my experience with a rear blinky light it seems cars give you more space as they pass
- Habit to turn on your lights
- Why not??
My favorite light set is the Light & Motion Urban 200 Combo Kit (support BSG and buy through that link!)
Survey: Bike Commuters for Intelligent Bicycle Lighting
As a bike commuter this is a pretty forward thinking idea and I believe would help in less commuter centric areas where auto drivers are not used to seeing bikes.
I am Joost van Leeuwen, a Dutch student of Industrial Design Engineering at the Delft University of Technology. This is a project I do for a big bicycle lighting company from the Netherlands (they supply bicycle lights throughout Europe, Asia and the USA).
My goal is to create the next generation of bicycle lighting; a light that senses and signals in order to make the road safer for the cyclist and the people around him or her.
If you wish to stay updated on this project you can follow me on the following media:
Fill Out the Survey
Princeton Tec – Crash Course in Making Lights
Princeton Tec designs, engineers, manufactures and assembles our own products at our facilities in the great state of New Jersey, USA. The technology and products have evolved since we started in 1975. This is what the process looks like today.
After we made this video, it became that much more apparent that it takes a ton of energy, knowledge and skill to do what we do. What we do requires a fast pace and rapid mind. Hold on tight while this video takes you inside the brain of PTEC HQ.
Preparing for Burn 24 (Plus a Light Promo)
Over the next few days I’ll be posting rambling post, maybe gear setup thoughts and simply going a bit bonkers prior to my 24 solo race next weekend at Burn 24 in Wilkesboro, NC. (Ladies sign up, I need people to ride with in the middle of the night!)
A few more last decent rides left before race day. Tonights ride will be to test out light setups, battery burn times, and night setup. I’ll have a good amount of rambling thoughts after sitting 4 hours in the dark tonight.
If you are around tonight not doing anything, come ride with me! Will be leaving the house and riding down to North Meck Park. If you need lights I got a couple extra sets for borrowing.
Speaking of Lights.. Don’t Be Left in the Dark at Burn24
Long time sponsor of the Bike Shop Girl, Light & Motion is coming back strong in 2012 and there’s no excuse for you to be left in the dark on Dark Mountain. They’re bringing the goods for you to demo and keep the aliens at bay. We will have brand new Seca 1400s ($50), Seca 800s ($45), Stella 600 Duals ($40), and Stella 300s ($40) available to rent. A killer deal will be offered for anyone who wants to ride with a helmet and bar-mounted light – $75 for the race bundle, a Seca and Stella!!! All systems come with a battery and can be used as helmet or bar mounted lights. We also have additional batteries available to rent. Our friendly staff will help outfit you with lights, label your batteries, and give you tips to ride confidently and fast at night!
Reserve your rental by contacting Heidi at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let her know soon. The race is next weekend and it’s a long way from CA to NC.
Turn on the gas when the sun goes down for a chance to win your own Seca 800! The male and female with the fastest night lap will walk away with just that, a new light. If that’s not enough, pick up a coupon for 15% off your next light purchase from Light & Motion. Don’t be left in the DARK!
New Bike Lights for Burn 24 Hour
The Santa Claus of shipping brought many goodies last week, the timing is in order to get things sorted and tested for the upcoming Burn 24 Hour race. New parts getting installed, new rear wheel, new Camelbak, new chamois, and now new bright ass lights.
1400 lumens on a light is completely amazing craziness. I remember when my previous Seca 800 was the brightest thing out there. Cars thought I had high beams on as I commuted on the road and on the trail even my sleep deprived eyes could see well with the high beam on.
I plan on doing a few test rides this weekend to get the helmet and handlebar light figured out. In my arsenal I have the Seca 1400 or 800 and Seca 600 or 300. Write out battery charging and burn time for my pit crew, probably even put the helmet light on my other Lazer helmet so that I can secure it and it ready to rock when the sun goes down Memorial Day weekend during race time.
Do You Ride at Night?
Night riding is one of my favorite things to do in mountain biking. Commuting at night I feel like people can see me better, especially with 1400 lumens shining at them!!
Tell us about your night riding, what lights do you use? Do you have questions for Light & Motion or myself about what lights you need or batteries?
Win a Bike Light – Motivational Monday with Kimberlee Welsand
Motivational Monday, a Monday tradition at Bike Shop Girl, my goal to keep you motivated and to be striving on the bike even during a hard week or long hours at work. Are you a woman that bicycles? Fill out this easy form and be part of our motivational movement!
This month’s Motivational Monday posts are brought to you by one of my personal favorites, Light & Motion. Between now and the end of June, Light & Motion wants to know who or what in the cycling community motivates you. All you have to do us leave a comment here or on Light & Motions’ Facebook page. At the end of the month we’ll be choosing one lucky winner to score a brand new VIS 360 commuter light!
I am very excited about this weeks Motivational Monday. It took some prodding, and she may have been clueless of why she was answering the questions but I bring you the person I refer to often as my better half. Kimberlee Welsand. She personally keeps me motivated, and inspired daily. I can easily say without her this past fall after my accident – there would be no bike shop girl. I would have become someone else, but not a cyclist. One of my larger goals for 2011 is to get her back on the bike as often as possible following a horrible ankle/foot trauma.
What’s your name and location?
Kimberlee Welsand, North Carolina
What type of cycling do you enjoy?
Road, I’m learning MTB but have a love/hate relationship with it that needs to be smoothed out.
What is your first cycling memory?
Started seasonal road riding in the summer of 2005.
Who inspires you to ride or better yourself in cycling, and better yet WHY?
Arleigh because she makes me get on the bike.
What was your best moment on a bike in 2010?
I don’t remember if I was on a bike in 2010 (See below)
In the next year, what are your goals with cycling and pushing yourself forward in 2011?
My goal in the year of 2011 is to actually get onto the bike outside again. I had recently recuperated from an ankle injury that prevented the fitness aspect of my life.
Wanna Know About my Bikes?
Trek Madone SSL
Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe (Pink)
Surly 1×1 cruiser (Pink)