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Old 09-27-10, 10:00 PM   #1
adam_mac84
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Light and Motion

So I have started riding with some new guys this year I met doing cross... they do 2x weekly gravel road rides. These continue on after the snow flys and the rides are all dark.

This week, there is a representative from light and motion giving a demo on lights, and i think selling at a bit of a discount for our group.

i know NOTHING about lights, but would a middle of the road helmet light be a good purchase? The chances of getting my wife to let me get a $300 light are ZERO... even though she understands the safety aspect.

I currently have blackburn headlight (3 led style that i use mostly as a blinkey as it has about 18" circle of light... BE seen versus Seeing). and i use a rear blinkey with 5+ LED's... (love it!!!)
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Old 09-27-10, 10:48 PM   #2
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L&M make very high quality expensive lights. Any L&M headlight would be a big improvement over your Blackburn, of course.
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Old 09-28-10, 12:42 AM   #3
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Good lights, terribly expensive, with fantastically expensive replacement batteries. There are a lot of less expensive options to upgrade from your Blackburn blinky for around $100.
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Old 09-28-10, 01:22 AM   #4
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Loved my L&M Arc HID until the battery dies 2 years after I bought it and they wanted 200.00 for a new battery..
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Old 09-28-10, 07:39 AM   #5
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There is clearly a need to mention Magishine here
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Old 09-28-10, 08:28 AM   #6
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It would be nice if someone in the group at the demo had a Magicshine. Just for comparison. It's easy for someone with a Blackburn to get overwhelmed by the power of any of the newer lights, it'd be good to have some perspective before you get talked into thinking that you need a $300 light to get power.

I'm not saying L&M lights aren't good, they're very nice. But for someone on a budget it's good to know your options, and that you can get performance for less.
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Old 09-28-10, 01:40 PM   #7
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I'm not saying L&M lights aren't good...
okay, then, i'll say it.

i bought an l&m stella 200 for the smoking good price of $180 and was feeling very pleased with my shopping savvy for scoring such a highly rated light... until i got the thing on the bike.

sure, the light is fine. it's bright and has some modes and the battery life is acceptable... but the power cable that ships with it is absolutely ridiculous. the thing is at least six feet long! in order to effectively mount this light i need to either a) wrap the cable around the frame multiple times or b) buy a bike with six-foot long frame, like a tandem or something. the light also shipped with a helmet mount, which leads me to believe that the folks at l&m never use their own products. what are you going to do with a six foot power cable for a helmet-mounted light? mount the battery on a friend's helmet? construct some sort of nest of zip ties on your noggin to keep the cable wound up like beehive hairdo?

of course l&m doesn't sell or make shorter power cables and they sure don't mention how long these cables are on their website (because lord knows if i'd known they'd be shipping such a beast of a cord with my light, i'd have bought another product). and if you complain or ask about where to get another cable their response is, basically, get another light.

which is why i'm going to return my stella to the retailer and buy something made by a company that has a commitment to creating a usable product.
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Old 09-28-10, 02:33 PM   #8
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There are plenty of lighting options available. I get about an hour runtime on high with two P7 flashlights. Others like Adam mentioned get a longer runtime with the magic shine.
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Old 09-28-10, 02:49 PM   #9
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okay, then, i'll say it.

i bought an l&m stella 200 for the smoking good price of $180 and was feeling very pleased with my shopping savvy for scoring such a highly rated light... until i got the thing on the bike.

sure, the light is fine. it's bright and has some modes and the battery life is acceptable... but the power cable that ships with it is absolutely ridiculous. the thing is at least six feet long! in order to effectively mount this light i need to either a) wrap the cable around the frame multiple times or b) buy a bike with six-foot long frame, like a tandem or something. the light also shipped with a helmet mount, which leads me to believe that the folks at l&m never use their own products.
You could use a zip-tie to bundle the extra wire to itself. That's what I do on my Light and Motion Seca 1400, and it works fine. Perhaps it might be a little nicer if it was shorter with an extension cable you could get if you wanted, but it's really not the big deal you're talking about.

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what are you going to do with a six foot power cable for a helmet-mounted light? mount the battery on a friend's helmet? construct some sort of nest of zip ties on your noggin to keep the cable wound up like beehive hairdo?
*sigh* Have you ever actually used a helmet light? They put a long cord on it because the battery is heavier than the light, and it's tiring to wear a heavy battery on your head all night. The long cord lets you mount the light on the helmet, but put the battery the back-pocket of your jersey. And again, you could just use a zip tie or something to bundle the extra cord together.

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of course l&m doesn't sell or make shorter power cables and they sure don't mention how long these cables are on their website (because lord knows if i'd known they'd be shipping such a beast of a cord with my light, i'd have bought another product). and if you complain or ask about where to get another cable their response is, basically, get another light.

which is why i'm going to return my stella to the retailer and buy something made by a company that has a commitment to creating a usable product.
I don't know why they didn't just tell you to wrap up the extra cord, but while a removable extension might have been a better idea, there are actually several uses for the longer cord. And if you don't like it, it's easy enough to bundle up together with a zip-tie.
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Old 09-30-10, 02:55 PM   #10
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And if you don't like it, it's easy enough to bundle up together with a zip-tie.
actually, it's even easier just to return the damn thing. yes, a zip tie or whatever could do the job, but that's a kludge and i'd much rather have a system that works the way i want it to, especially considering the money l&m charges for their system. i mean, if i bought a pair of shoes that came with monster long boot laces in them i could just wrap the excess around my ankles and be "happy", but i probably wouldn't. i'd probably want to buy the right length laces... and if i was told that the lace technology was proprietary and, no, shorter laces don't exist, i'd just get myself a new pair of shoes.

really, it's that simple.
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Old 09-30-10, 03:31 PM   #11
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I'm just saying that while it's strange you can't buy a shorter cable, it's not the unbelievable and terrifying product flaw you were saying it was. And that yes, there is a reason why people need a longer cable.

Dinotte does a better job with the cables by letting you attach an extension cable to the standard short cable if you need a longer cable. But I've never found the Light and Motion cable to be more than an annoyance, either.
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Old 09-30-10, 03:52 PM   #12
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I'm just saying that while it's strange you can't buy a shorter cable, it's not the unbelievable and terrifying product flaw you were saying it was....[snip]... I've never found the Light and Motion cable to be more than an annoyance, either.
oh no, it's totally a terrifying product flaw. here's why:

a) given the mounting options a shorter cable is almost always more useful than a longer one
b) never anywhere does l&m indicate that they shipa jump-rope length cable with their light. not on their website, not on the box. it's a surprise you get when you open the box for the first time.
c) they don't offer a shorter cable. at all. and they're pretty unapologetic about it.
d) they charge a very handsome amount of money for their lights. enough money that i don't think i should have to futz about with zip ties and tape and whatever else needs to be done in order to make the damn thing fit.

that's a total fail in my book.

i bought the damn l&m to replace my former belove fenix ld20 and twofish combo. that thing lasted me for years, doubled as an awesome flashlight, ran on easily-replaceable aa batteries and only cost sixty bucks. for three times as much money, i expected l&m to come up with something at least as good as that.
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Old 09-30-10, 04:09 PM   #13
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If this is a "total fail" in your book, I can only assume you are new to purchasing products. If you don't like it, great, return it. This problem, however, is a inconvenience. A "total fail" is a car that stops running right after you purchase it, a cell phone that won't make any calls, a light that won't take a charge after 5 uses, tires that claim to be 4 season tires but can't go above 5mph in the rain - etc. The fact that a cord is not aesthetically pleasing to you (it probably comes with ties in the box) is a "total fail" is greatly amusing.

I've returned several products for being annoying, and that's your prerogative to do if you don't like it.
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Old 09-30-10, 05:17 PM   #14
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You can build a very bright and servicable lighting system for around $50, or go with the Magicshine pre-built for around $100... either one works, depending on your budget and ability to build things.
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Old 09-30-10, 05:30 PM   #15
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You can build a very bright and servicable lighting system for around $50, or go with the Magicshine pre-built for around $100... either one works, depending on your budget and ability to build things.
But I'm sure that price assumes you already own a soldering iron and are somewhat familiar with how to solder yourself, yes? And the resulting light likely will *not* be waterproof?
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Old 09-30-10, 05:56 PM   #16
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The Arc Hid also had a super long cable, I went high tech and used a rubber band to wrap it to the correct length.. Of course the downside was that I had to replace the rubber bands at least once a year, glad I got a deal on those rubber bands at the 99 cent store..
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Old 09-30-10, 06:44 PM   #17
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But I'm sure that price assumes you already own a soldering iron and are somewhat familiar with how to solder yourself, yes? And the resulting light likely will *not* be waterproof?
Yes, actually, it's waterproof, and no soldering. I used off-the-shelf crimp connectors, housings, and pre-made sealed LED bulbs. Not that bad. The only thing I really had to fab was a way to mount the light housings on the handlebars. Check out the "Ultimate Geekiness" thread in the Lights and Electronics section.
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