There’s no questioning Light and Motion’s Vis180 wow factor with its thirty-five lumens producing a “Ready Break” cocoon of light around rider and companion-perfect for winter training, utility riding or commuting with trailers/tag-alongs. However, you’d expect something pretty special from an Led costing the best part of £100.
Prised from the packet, it’s quite an imposing piece of kit tipping the scales at 135g, although much of this is attributable to the substantial li-on battery. Most lights boast 180 degrees visibility but the Vis incorporates a dedicated lens and clever mounting bracket ensuring optimal output regardless of positioning. Despite suggestion to the contrary, it assumed the contours of my helmet perfectly, although the additional weight was noticeable for the first few miles. The large on/off switch is just the right side of positive, won’t engage accidentally yet gloved hands easily navigate between cruise and race modes. Simply describing these as high and low doesn’t do them justice. Cruise denotes the full sequential cycle of high, medium and low whereas race should be thought of as the economy setting, forgoing medium in the interests of battery life
Toggling between the two on the fly is quite tricky so I stuck with cruise for most purposes, remembering to fuel up at the computer’s USB more frequently. It’s one thing being extremely bright; it’s another being visible. General consensus when followed along unlit rural roads by friends and family is that it emanates a piercing arc of light, readily visible from 750 metres. Larger vehicles certainly approached and overtook with greater care-regardless of mounting point.
It’s no less prodigious round town, the glow slicing effortlessly like a beacon through the barrage of flickering neon and bustling traffic. This umbrella of light has made roundabouts and intersections notably safer from all directions.
Waterproofing seems well and truly sorted on production models-we’ve been charging along the lanes in freezing November deluge without a hint of concern-even with the USB cover left provocatively ajar. That said, the 180 remains firmly of the water-resistant genre so a slither of Vaseline is advisable between cover and contacts on bikes sans guards.
Impressive output but at a price
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Make and model: Light and Motion Vis180 LED rear light
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
"The Vis 180 delivers an SUV sized output from a compact lightweight package. At 10 times the light of the most powerful AA tail lights, combined with brilliant amber side lights, the Vis 180 lets the cars know you belong on the road too. With a tool-less mount, locking mount clip for frame or bag, and convenient cell phone micro USB charging, you will never go back to a blinkie again".
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
180 degree visibility ( from up to a claimed 1,000 metres), li-on USB rechargeable battery, tool free mounting.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
In terms of outright power,there's little that comes close-especially in cruise mode. The bracket is superbly designed for optimum efficiency regardless where, or how its mounted. However, run times aren't as convenient for longer commutes and our pre-production test unit quickly succumbed to the elements. In fairness this has been addressed on our more recent production model.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Impressive output, well designed mounting bracket, good switch.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, in most contexts
Age: 37 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)