New Vis180 Micro Taillight from Light & Motion

2

by Mark V on Jul 25, 2012 at 7:03 AM

Vis180 Micro on toffee tin

New from Montery CA’s Light & Motion is the Vis180 Micro taillight, the little brother to the standard Vis180 that debuted last year. Like the original, the new Micro is a USB-rechargeable light (includes micro-USB plug) that has multiple flash modes plus constant and side amber beacons to enhance rider safety for 180 degrees. Both lights use tool-less mounts or can be hung on clothing or loop straps instead. However, the Micro is much smaller and lighter than the previous (partially due to a plastic construction rather than the original’s burly alloy casing), as well as half the price ($49 vs $99 retail). The Vis180 Micro is plenty bright though.

My favourite feature of the Micro is the adaptability of the mount, since it easily accommodates various tubing diameters and adjusts for different angles, such as when I use it on my TCR’s ISP. The button is fairly distinct even to glove-enshrouded fingers, so I can easily turn on the light while blindly reaching behind me. The cover to the charging port seems a little sturdier than the original’s too. The overall plastic construction doesn’t seem as robust as the bigger taillight, but it stacks up well against competitors in it’s size and cost class. Of course, it’s L&M product, and the company enjoys a reputation for standing behind their goods.

The Vis180 Micro is also available in a combo with either the Urban550 ($199) or Urban200 ($149) rechargeable headlights. Those headlights boost the lumen outputs from last year’s versions (550 lumens from 500 and 200 lumens from 180, respectively); they’re also available without the taillight for $159 and $99. I’ve been using the older Urban180 for about 8 months, and I love the small size (it’s smaller than a Planet Bike 1W but much brighter). I’ve also recently been using this year’s middle-level Urban400 headlight (up from last year’s 300 lumens but just $129) with the Micro taillight, though the 400 is not available as a combo with that taillight. There’s not much to say that hasn’t already been said about the Urban headlights….they’re reliable, cost-effective, convenient. For most commuters with shorter distances on decent city streets, these lights will be ideal.

Light & Motion are also introducing TAZ800 and Taz1200 headlights, commuters headlights that take the features of the Urban series but give them the power of the Seca-series performance lights. I’ll be reviewing that light in the coming weeks.

Light & Motion Vis180 Micro taillight

More pix after the jump…..

Vis180 Micro on TCR

Light & Motion Vis180 Micro taillight

Light & Motion Vis180 Micro taillight

Side amber lights from the Urban headlight and Vis180 Micro taillight

Light & Motion Urban/Vis180

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Comments: 2

I like the L&M lights a lot.  Almost lost the Vis180 on the Chilly Hilly when it was hooked on the light strap on my rack trunk.  I know—why did I think I needed a tail light on the Chilly Hilly?  It’s just a belt+suspenders+duct tape approach to visibility that comes from commuting here in Puget Sound in the winter.  Anyway, the Vis180 survived a fall onto the asphalt with only a couple of cosmetic dings.  Fortunately, I noticed and rode back to retrieve it before an SUV flattened it.  In the same location, I saw a lot of tail blinkies that weren’t so fortunate.  After that, I decided that the Vis180 had too much inertia to be mounted anywhere but the seat post.  So… I was hoping the Vis180 Micro might be a solution for visibility that might work with the rack trunk.  Lighter, less elongated form factor.  From the web site, it looks like the best bet is the Vis180 Micro with the (optional?) rack mount.
I commute with an Urban300 on the helmet.  Nice wide beam, and I can point it toward cars at intersections to make sure they see me.  And having the amber sidelights up in the air at driver eye level is reassuring.

that’s funny, because i did the same thing with my Vis180 standard….bounced out of the loop on my mini saddle bag while i was jumping a curb. it’s kept working for 9 months since, but it does have the scuffs.  i might not have had it on correctly, but just in case i sewed a special loop onto my saddle bag to prevent that from happening again. but the Micro is much lighter. i prefer to use the Micro on most of my bikes, but i’ll keep using the standard Vis180 on my ti bike since you can get an extra long strap for the regular Vis180 that can fit tubes bigger than 35mm (my ti bike has an ISP).

i assume that the Micro’s rack mount is optional, since i didn’t get one with my retail-packaged Micro. 

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