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Old 06-06-12, 08:11 PM   #1
Highcyclist
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Light and Motion Taz "Crossover" lights?

http://www.bikerumor.com/2012/06/02/...-factory-tour/

These new lights sounds pretty intriguing. Apparently they're not shipping until July, so I doubt anyone has any experience, but does anyone have any thoughts or comments on these?
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Old 06-06-12, 08:36 PM   #2
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does anyone have any thoughts or comments on these?
Just remember the there is no shortcut for efficiency - lights make heat, they use electricity - if they have a "convenient" USB charger - they most likely do not have long run-times - at least not on "high."

You have to have ugly battery packs for multi-hour run time at blinding high outputs.....
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Old 06-07-12, 06:59 AM   #3
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"Thermal Management" is a politically correct way of saying "we really didn't build in sufficient heat sinking in this light to let it run at full power continuously so we added a little something to give it a break ocassionally a and let it cool down. But we're going to present that as an added feature rather than an engineering shortcoming"
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Old 06-07-12, 07:55 AM   #4
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"Thermal Management" is a politically correct way of saying "we really didn't build in sufficient heat sinking in this light to let it run at full power continuously so we added a little something to give it a break ocassionally a and let it cool down. But we're going to present that as an added feature rather than an engineering shortcoming"
BikeRumor states that "Thermal management and firmware have been updated." Updating the thermal management could also be read as improving their heat sinks over previous models.
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Old 06-07-12, 07:58 AM   #5
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$469 retail? No thanks.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 06-07-12, 09:44 AM   #6
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"Thermal Management" is a politically correct way of saying "we really didn't build in sufficient heat sinking in this light to let it run at full power continuously so we added a little something to give it a break ocassionally a and let it cool down. But we're going to present that as an added feature rather than an engineering shortcoming"
I spend a fair bit of time over at Candlepower Forums where a lot of DIY flashlight enthusiasts spend their time driving LEDs to their thermal limits in small housings without the benefit of the airflow a moving bicycle offers. I'm under the impression that the mods that allow the LED to run at the highest current with minimum lumen drop usually employ a rather gigantic copper heat sink that is attached directly to the LED. I've used the same method for my bike light designs. The major trade off is that machined copper heat sinks are heavy and expensive (due to both material and labor costs). Building a small, lightweight bike light presumably involves a compromise in thermal management.

That said, $469 seems pretty bonkers. They do a surprising amount of manufacturing in-house and domestically, so perhaps that's where the extra $$ comes from.
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Old 06-07-12, 10:19 AM   #7
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I spend a fair bit of time over at Candlepower Forums where a lot of DIY flashlight enthusiasts spend their time driving LEDs to their thermal limits in small housings without the benefit of the airflow a moving bicycle offers. I'm under the impression that the mods that allow the LED to run at the highest current with minimum lumen drop usually employ a rather gigantic copper heat sink that is attached directly to the LED. I've used the same method for my bike light designs. The major trade off is that machined copper heat sinks are heavy and expensive (due to both material and labor costs). Building a small, lightweight bike light presumably involves a compromise in thermal management.

That said, $469 seems pretty bonkers. They do a surprising amount of manufacturing in-house and domestically, so perhaps that's where the extra $$ comes from.
The real issue is likely caused by consumers that buy on the Internet based solely on posted specifications and listed 'features'. They'll buy whatever is lightest, smallest, has the highest claimed lumen output, and still want the lowest price. At some point you have to ask 'is that reasonable to expect?'
Any light that has a run time of only 1.5 hours and still needs 'thermal management' is a toy - not a light.
What I'm running has no 'thermal management', is rated for 900 lunens, is supplied with battery packs that will provide 9 hours continuous run time, and are designed well enough that they come with a lifetime warranty. But they ARE a little bigger and heavier - heatsinking requirements kinda dictate minimum surface are requirements and minimum mass.

A good example of that is a comment right from the L&M site: "Their Sola 4000 dive light is about $1,600 with 4,000 lumens. Why not make a bike light with that much brightness? Because the Sola 4000 would overheat in about three minutes in the air."

Specifically because it was designed to operate underwater and use the thermal mass of the water as an aid to cooling. I'm actually running a six unit array that's rated for 5,600 lumens and can be run all day without the need for 'thermal management'. It cost a lot less too.

So what about real world performance? Drove home the other night with one of the other guys from the bike shop. He was running a Light & Motion Stella 300 which their site describes as:

"This is the critical piece of gear your life has been missing. From dusk till dawn all you gotta do is flip on this headlamp and continue whatever you were doing throughout the day. 300 lumens is more than enough to illuminate whatever epic path you've been dreaming up."

Actually what happened was, after 15 minutes of riding together, he turned his L&M unit off because next to what I was using - he couldn't tell it was even on anyway. Most lighting companies over-rate their products.

Last edited by Burton; 06-11-12 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 06-12-12, 02:39 PM   #8
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The Taz....

I'm the Brand Manager at Light & Motion so my interests are obviously to better represent the company.
I would mostly encourage everybody to check out our website - where we do a pretty good job publishing information about our lights and the competitors.
There is a tab on each product page for- LUMEN TEST where we test all the lights according to the FL-1 (Flashlight) Standard adopted by all the big names in the Outdoor Industry.
There is also a BEAM TEST where we set up a camera and photographed all the lights in a controlled tunnel to show what the beam patterns look like.

Thermal management is a bit more complicated and is represented with a combination of physical as well as electronic design - for example the firmware coding in one of Urban lights has about a thousand lines of code - making sure the light uses the battery efficiently and controls the temperature. You either get heat or photons (light) - and if you have too much heat you will lose light output from your LEDs and the body of the light plays an important role in how the heat is dissipated away from the LED board. When we test competitor lights that have poor thermal management we see that their brightness fluctuates drastically throughout the life of the battery, which dramatically reduces efficiency (see the run time chart for the NR 1500). There are a few competitors lights that actually source the same LED and li-ion battery, but our light is brighter and has longer run time - and that is attributed to very sophisticated thermal management design.

The Taz 1200 costs $299, the Taz 800 costs $249 which has the highest actual lumens per dollar than just about any light out there. At 216 grams - you won't find a light that weighs less and comes close that output.
Our Seca 1700 does cost $469 and is arguably the brightest light available this year and weighs a mere 343 grams for the whole system. Check out the beam test on the product page to see what it's beam pattern looks like.
It all depends on what your priorities are - you are basically buying riding time and some lights we offer are a better fit than others for individual riders. I've seen some riders absolutely rip with a little Urban 500 on their helmet ($159).

Burton - I'd encourage you to visit our website - we feel really strongly about representing our products accurately and do not over-rate our run times or brightness of our lights. We even purchased a 25,000 dollar integrating sphere to accurately test the brightness of our lights. On top of that, we send them out every year to get independently verified according to the FL1 standard and publish these results. We are small company located on the coast of California and refuse to ship our manufacturing over to China like the rest of the lighting companies out there. We are really doing our best to be a positive company in the industry and we take good care of our customers.
I've used the Stella 300 as a lightweight helmet light for a couple years now and have had some great rides with it.

Highcyclist - We'll be at the High Cascades 24hr race later this year and I can make sure you get your hands on a Taz to try out.


NiteRider750 vs Taz 800

NiteRider1500 vs Taz 1200

Taz vs NiteRider
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Niterider_MiNewtPro750.jpg (51.7 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg LightMotion_Taz800.jpg (82.2 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg LightMotion_Taz1200.jpg (92.7 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg NiteRider_Pro1500.jpg (87.8 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg t8vsnr75.jpg (54.5 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg t12vsnr15.jpg (56.1 KB, 16 views)
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Old 06-14-12, 08:28 PM   #9
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I'm the Brand Manager at Light & Motion so my interests are obviously to better represent the company.

Burton - I'd encourage you to visit our website - we feel really strongly about representing our products accurately and do not over-rate our run times or brightness of our lights. We even purchased a 25,000 dollar integrating sphere to accurately test the brightness of our lights. On top of that, we send them out every year to get independently verified according to the FL1 standard and publish these results. We are small company located on the coast of California and refuse to ship our manufacturing over to China like the rest of the lighting companies out there. We are really doing our best to be a positive company in the industry and we take good care of our customers.
I've used the Stella 300 as a lightweight helmet light for a couple years now and have had some great rides with it.
Appreciate your post - hope you're also open to feedback and other opinions. I visited your website as well as the sites of every other light manufacturer multiple times over the past few years. I believe Light & Motion products are represented by Lambert Cycles in Quebec and I looked them up at the ExpoCycle this year when I went down with the buyers from some of the largest bicycle stores on Montreal. The general decision was that there was nothing exceptional. I mean, if the 300 is such a great light - why make an 800 or 1200? And if last years lights were so terrific - how come so many have double the output this year?

But speaking personally, and as a consumer, I'm more interested in the performance of whatever product I'll be buying than the amount of money your company spent on lab equipment. If I'm any example - people that spend big dollars on lighting systems want LOTS of controlled lumens for a LONG time! And I personally have spent about $2,000 in piecing together a system that works to my satisfaction. Believe me - if there was anything on the market that would have done the same thing - it would have been much simpler to just buy it!

But the lights Light & Motion are marketing (as well as most other bicycle lighting companies) have neither the run times nor light outputs to make them suitable for extended use under demanding conditions. And I can't see them being useful for SkiDooing, or motocross racing or extended periods or back country skiing either. The battery life expectancy just won't cut it - particularly in cold weather. There are lots of claims of 'as bright as a car headlight' by different bicycle light manufacturers, but in reality they're talking about a much smaller, more tightly focused cone of light - which has a lot of safety issues and would never get a DOT approval or SAE certification.

So if you trace a couple of my recent responses to some posts in this forum, you'll find some beamshots taken of what I'm driving with, and it'll give you a better idea of what I want from a light and why I didn't find it in anything you're currently marketing.

Last edited by Burton; 06-14-12 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 06-14-12, 08:49 PM   #10
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I have not tried L&M lights yet but just want to comment about cheap flashlights from China. I do have 2 of these with CREE XPG LEDs. They are bright when the batteries are freshly charged (I use rechargeable batteries). However after an hour or so of use even at medium settings the light start dimming. Not so with the more expensive Cygolite Expilions that I also have. These have regulators and the light stays at constant output until you start seeing the low battery indicators go off. I suspect any big name lighting company (like L&M) has the same circuitry on their lights.
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Old 06-15-12, 07:04 AM   #11
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$469 retail? No thanks.
That's about what I paid for my lights AND my bike. And I'm very happy with my lights, can't really ask for more.
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Old 11-16-12, 06:15 PM   #12
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OK .....zombie thread .......back to life........who has a Taz 1200? Does it work? Any other thoughts? My new one does not take a charge. I spent most of my working life fixing electrical things that don't work. This does not even take a partial charge. Day and night of charging.......the status lights indicate it is getting charged correctly. It runs about 3-4 seconds. Tried it three times.
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Old 11-16-12, 06:30 PM   #13
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OK .....zombie thread .......back to life........who has a Taz 1200? Does it work? Any other thoughts? My new one does not take a charge. I spent most of my working life fixing electrical things that don't work. This does not even take a partial charge. Day and night of charging.......the status lights indicate it is getting charged correctly. It runs about 3-4 seconds. Tried it three times.
If it is new - sounds like a warranty situation. Stadard L&M warranty should be one full year.

I don't have one of those myself but they have similarities with other lipo powered lights - if the unit has sit on the shelf so long that the cell voltage has dropped below 2.6V - the battery needs to be replaced. A regular charger won't recover it.

Last edited by Burton; 11-16-12 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 11-16-12, 07:23 PM   #14
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If it is new - sounds like a warranty situation. Stadard L&M warranty should be one full year.

I don't have one of those myself but they have similarities with other lipo powered lights - if the unit has sit on the shelf so long that the cell voltage has dropped below 2.6V - the battery needs to be replaced. A regular charger won't recover it.
Talk about fast customer service !! I already have an answer to my email to them. It asks for my shipping address so they can send me another light. The service is impressive.

I know the battery is dead, I would love to hear from another owner.
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Old 11-19-12, 11:37 AM   #15
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Talk about fast customer service !! I already have an answer to my email to them. It asks for my shipping address so they can send me another light. The service is impressive.

I know the battery is dead, I would love to hear from another owner.
Yes. L&M loves to look out for it's riders. Would like to follow up on what kind of charger adapter you were using? We've seen some problems with the cheaper USB plugin adapters that do not deliver their intended amperage and can cause some issues. Because the lights are built in Monterey, CA - it is much easier to make changes to the products.
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Old 11-19-12, 12:05 PM   #16
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Yes. L&M loves to look out for it's riders. Would like to follow up on what kind of charger adapter you were using? We've seen some problems with the cheaper USB plugin adapters that do not deliver their intended amperage and can cause some issues. Because the lights are built in Monterey, CA - it is much easier to make changes to the products.

service ticket I.D. 894466
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