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  1. #1
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    Comparing new L&M Stella to Vega

    My LBS let me bring home the new Light and Motion Stella to compare it to my Light and Motion Vega that I have had for a year. Since it is daytime I have only been able to compare them at the backroom of the LBS and in my pitch dark garage.

    I have noticed two things already. The Stella beam is much whiter and broader than the Vega. I consider the Vega a spot and I think most people would agree so the broader beam did not surprise me.

    I am wondering if my Vega beam was that white when I first got it and has changed color or if the new LED bulbs are just that much superior? I know the Vega beam is not yellow, but it looks dingy in comparison. Anybody have any thoughts?

    I wish the Stella had been available last year when I purchased the Vega. I would much rather be supplementing the Stella or might not even be thinking about a second light if I had been able to purchase the Stella initially.

    I will give more commentary after I have had a chance to view and compare them after dark this evening. Several of the guys at my LBS think the Vega is a great overall light. Maybe they are younger and have better night vision than I. Because I find it lacking on unlit country roads. But it is the ideal commuter and no hassle light. Lightweight, does not take up much room, no wires, and recharges in 2 hours. I just wish it gave out more light.
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  2. #2
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    I had a chance to try them out. The Stella is much brighter than the Vega and casts a larger spot and more spillover. It completely washes out the Vega. It should though since the Stella is rated at 200 lumens and the Vega is rated at 85.

    The bugs were eating me alive so I will have to put some insecticide on and try them both tomorrow night after my ride. I will probably mount the Stella on my helmet. It seemed that if I angled the Vega down so that it lit up the ground for a long ways, it supplemented the Stella the best. If I don't have the Stella spot exactly centered I cannot see the ground well in front of me if the Vega light is aimed level.

    The Stella is a step up from the Vega but still not overwhelming. But nice bright beam and I believe it could be used as your only light on unlit country roads if you are paying close attention and using caution not to outride the light.

    The Stella is a good looking unit on screen and in person.
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  3. #3
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    Finally! I asked for experiences regarding stella a week ago.

    I am looking for a decent LED light to commute with and use on brevets. An HID would be nice for commuting but the run time and price has me concerned with using it on brevets. Not that $200 for a stella is that much off of a HID.

  4. #4
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    The L&M Vega is a great commuter light. The retail manager and service manager at my LBS swear by them. It is enough light to be seen and to see on city streets and is adequate for stretches of unlit paths. Smart charger and good run times. $179 retail and I have seen it as low as $139 on the net.
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  5. #5
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    But isn't the stella with the cheaper battery around $200? I would think that would be a better deal unless I am missing something.

  6. #6
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    What's the run-time on high power with the Stella? I loves me Vegas, but they are two years old and I got the itch, ya know?
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
    What's the run-time on high power with the Stella? I loves me Vegas, but they are two years old and I got the itch, ya know?
    5 hours. I wish the Stella had been available when I purchased my Vega. Much brighter light. You can also mount it on your helmet or the bars. The downside of the Stella is that you have to pay $300 to get a smart charger and a lighter
    Li-ion battery.

    You know the virtues of the Vega. It has got everything going for it except it could be brighter.
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
    But isn't the stella with the cheaper battery around $200? I would think that would be a better deal unless I am missing something.
    Cheaper battery and cheaper trickle charger instead of a Smart charger. I personally don't want to keep track of how many hours I have ran the battery and calculate/estimate how long to leave it on the charger. I guess I could take it's temperature. Now if you already have an L&M smart charger that is a different story. The Vega's charger only works on the Vega so that option is out for me.
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  9. #9
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    One last question, is the mount the same as the Vega? I have like 4 Vega mounts, one for each bike...be nice to be able to reuse them. I've been hemming and hawing between the MiNewt X2, the PB Alias HID and the Stella...so possible reuse of Vega stuff is a factor.

    I'm thinking the LI battery and charger are be worth the extra money, especially for winter commuting. I think the cheap charger is probably the reason why I am seeing a decrease in the runtimes of my Vegas, not to mention the inferiority of NiMh batteries in temps below 40F.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with the Stella with us.
    Last edited by chipcom; 09-20-07 at 08:26 PM.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  10. #10
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
    One last question, is the mount the same as the Vega? I have like 4 Vega mounts, one for each bike...be nice to be able to reuse them. I've been hemming and hawing between the MiNewt X2, the PB Alias HID and the Stella...so possible reuse of Vega stuff is a factor.

    I'm thinking the LI might be worth the extra money. I think the cheap charger is probably the reason why I am seeing a decrease in the runtimes of my Vegas.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with the Stella with us.
    I'll add another light to consider. I already had NiMh AA rechargeables, so I got the light without batteries for $150, free shipping. I posted this in another lights thread:

    I just got a Dinotte 200L that uses AA rechargables. It lights up the road enough to ride 20 mph. Completely dark roads are easy, your eyes adapt to the dark and the light seems very bright. Alternating patches of street lights and dark sections are harder to see in.

    The light shows the whole lane, but I can't turn onto a side street at a fast speed, because it doesn't light up enough of an angle away from the beam. I'm going to get a spotlight for my helmet, right now I'm using a $10 Lowes LED headlamp. I want one a bit lighter weight or with longer runtime.

    With the Dinotte, I got over 2 hours of runtime with 2500mAh batteries on high beam. And the light comes with an extra battery holder, so it's easy to bring a second set. The battery pouch (2 1/2 in long by 1 3/8 in square) is strapped to the stem. I picked this light because I can replace the batteries cheaply and carry a spare, the o-ring mount is really easy to attach and is stable, and the whole thing is small and lightweight.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
    One last question, is the mount the same as the Vega? I have like 4 Vega mounts, one for each bike...be nice to be able to reuse them. I've been hemming and hawing between the MiNewt X2, the PB Alias HID and the Stella...so possible reuse of Vega stuff is a factor.

    I'm thinking the LI battery and charger are be worth the extra money, especially for winter commuting. I think the cheap charger is probably the reason why I am seeing a decrease in the runtimes of my Vegas, not to mention the inferiority of NiMh batteries in temps below 40F.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with the Stella with us.
    It looked like the same mount and it says on the L&M website that it is their standard handlebar mount. I did not actually put the Stella on my Vega mount so I could not say with absolute certainty.

    I think you know this but the Vega charger can only be used with the Vega.
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  12. #12
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dekindy View Post
    It looked like the same mount and it says on the L&M website that it is their standard handlebar mount. I did not actually put the Stella on my Vega mount so I could not say with absolute certainty.

    I think you know this but the Vega charger can only be used with the Vega.
    I guess I'll find out if the mounts are the same when I get the Stella (L) I ordered yesterday. I think at worst I would have to get a new top piece for the Vega mounts, but L&M's site seems to indicate that the Vega mount will work. The mount was the factor that made up my mind...I just don't trust that MiNewt mount for winter commuting. On the downside, a second charger for the Stella isn't going to be cheap (I like to keep a charger at work and at home) compared to the MiNewt.

    The 5 hour runtime on high for the Stella is impressive too...not to mention the availability of higher capacity LI battery packs from L&M to increase that even further.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  13. #13
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    Chip,

    Has the new light arrived? I am curious as to how impressed (or vice versa) you are with it.

  14. #14
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    I just bought the Stella N for $170 w/ LBS discount, and it is a fantastic system for the price range, and is slode to my buddy's HID system at THREE times the price!

  15. #15
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    Anyone re-chipped their Vega ( luxeon III ? ) with a Seoul P4 ?
    I guess it be should then be just as bright as a Stella or Dinotte 200L.

    I've got some Seoul P4s lying about, so thought I might give it a go.
    Any advice before I start ?

  16. #16
    Senior Member Zero_Enigma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CameraMan View Post
    Anyone re-chipped their Vega ( luxeon III ? ) with a Seoul P4 ?
    I guess it be should then be just as bright as a Stella or Dinotte 200L.

    I've got some Seoul P4s lying about, so thought I might give it a go.
    Any advice before I start ?
    Why not aquire a Cree Q5 (100-114lm min @ 350mA (1W) I think is what the bin is but I know 100lm min.) from http://www.dealextreme.com for free S/H?
    Zero_Enigma

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLKKELLEY View Post
    I just bought the Stella N for $170 w/ LBS discount, and it is a fantastic system for the price range, and is slode to my buddy's HID system at THREE times the price!
    I went with the Princeton Tec Switchback 3 on closeout at Colorado Cyclist for $214.99. I have just tested it for a few minutes but I think I am going to like it. I will give a full report after my Tuesday night ride.
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

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