Light & Motion Stella
I just purchased a L&M Stella 300 after getting tired of waiting for Magicshine battery replacements to arrive. Thought I would share some impressions if others are considering this particular light. What attracted me about the Stella is the clean design, small size, light weight and decent run times. I haven't found a need for a super powerful light beam on my commute route, so 300 lumens max should work just fine.
The light arrived on Monday, but unfortunately I haven't been able to ride with it yet due to rain and some doctor appointments. However, here are some observations so far:
-- It is very small and light-weight, more so than it appears in internet photos. The light unit itself is smaller than an egg.
-- It is very easy to operate, just a simple matter of pressing the button on top and cycling through the functions.
-- Not sure how the bar mount is going to function until I ride with it a few times. It's easy to attach but seems like it might move.
-- The cable connecting the light to the battery is ridiculously long, 4 feet. I don't know what the L&M designers were thinking, but this is absurd. Why would anyone need a cable that long? I honestly don't know where to put all of the cable. I emailed L&M to see if they could provide a shorter cable, and they told me they could install a shorter one for $30 if I mail it to them, which doesn't thrill me for a light that cost $200 in the first place.
-- The cable connection to the battery looks first-rate and is supposed to be 100% waterproof. It's easy to connect and disconnect.
Aside from the cable issue, the Stella looks like a very nice light based on first impressions. However, I probably would not have bought it if I had realized the cable was long enough to lasso a horse with. Unfortunately, the dealer I bought it from charges a 20% restocking fee for returns, so I will probably keep it.
I'll post more updates after actually using the light.
I think the cable is long so you can use it on your helmet.
Helmet mountin cold weather particularly battry is in a pocket and /or inside your jacket.
I understand about the helmet use, but it seems like they could design the light to accommodate cyclists who mount it on their bars as well. It would be very simple to include two different size cables.
Well, I've used the Stella for commuting the past two days, and it works fine. It has a nice even beam with a tight pattern focused on the road ahead. The switch is easy to operate and glows when the light is running. The strap for handlebar mount is not as snug as I would prefer, so it can get out of adjustment when you ride over rough pavement. The beam on mine kept rotating upwards during my rides, which I hopefully can resolve by tightening the strap.
L&M rates the Stella 300 at 300 lumens (surprise!) and that seems accurate from a totally subjective viewpoint. I will state, however, that it is not nearly as bright as my cheapo Magicshine on high and appears dimmer compared to the MS on medium setting. However, the light beam is tighter than the MS and more focused on the road ahead, which I prefer.
Riding home yesterday, a man working outside in his yard called out to me as I rode by: "That is a really bright bike light!" So, the Stella apparently looks very bright to others.
I had the same problem with my Light and Motion Seca 900. Tightening the strap by one hole solved the problem, but it looked like it was putting a lot of stress on the strap (it was stretching the hole quite a bit). I was worried the strap would eventually tear.
Originally Posted by tarwheel
Solution: I put a wrap of rubber splicing tape (designed for sealing electrical connections) around the bar and mounted the light over top of it, set to the original hole. The rubber tape is fairly tacky, and provides enough friction to keep the light from rotating. I originally tried this with a piece of old inner tube; it wasn't tacky enough, but might work for you. You can probably find some scrap of rubber somewhere that will do the job.
I had a Stella light of the same design. I wore out the strap and was adjusting the beam much more than I ever have had to with other lights.
The Stella has tremendous throw making it seem pretty powerful. But after seeing a Magic Shine I realized the 'throw" wasn't much more than a spot light. (part of the reason for repeated beam readjustment)
Other than that -great stuff. and when i inquired about extra straps they wanted something like $9.00 shipping plus $3 for a strap. (cheapest dealer -no factory help)
I bought a Stella 300D set after the battery of my MS900 failed. The 300D model has 2 150 lumen light heads. One is a spotlight and the other a floodlight. You can adjust the heads so that the floodlight is aimed close and the spotlight is further out.
I've used it a few times, and I've been very pleased with the set. The light is not as bright as the MS900, but the Stella puts out enough of light for me to ride with confidence on dark, rainy nights. I've not had a problem with the heads rotating out of position, but I've not been concerned about breaking the straps.
In my limited experience, the L&M products are well made and well designed, but they are expensive.
Stela 300 and Pinarello
Just ordered a Pinarello - I will be installing the Stella 300 on it - not sure where I will mount the battery and run the cables - looking for some input / photos
Rob -- I am mounting the Stella battery in my front bottle cage. You can secure it with the velcro strap that came with the light/battery. I put my battery inside a small Canon camera case that I had already, so I could coil the excess cable around it, and then put the case in my bottle cage. It fits my cage perfectly, actually a little snugly, so I don't need to use the velcro strap.