I promised lights reviews and so I shall deliver! However I want more time with my front light to really test it, mainly because I want to get off road in the dark to see how it performs. So to satisfy the hungry mob I’ll just focus on the rear light I’m currently using. Reviewing a rear light is tough, mainly because it’s behind you and therefore you’re not looking at it but I’ll do my best.
To cut to the chase the Light & Motion VIS 180 is bright, very bright! The manufacturer claims 50 lumens, and I don’t think it’s far off a car brake light. There is a single red LED and two flashing yellow LED’s which point to the sides, the central section of the light is a red reflector. From the single on/off switch you have 4 modes ‘high’ flash, ‘low’ flash, on full, just yellow flashing lights. I have tended to use the high flash setting when it is a dull day but not fully dark and the ‘on full’ setting at night. I am reliably informed from my colleague who I ride home with that it’s bright and when you look behind you, there is a clear large red area lit up. Taking photos of lights is nigh on useless (especially when you don’t own a decent camera) but there is a quite a nifty ‘comparison’ tool on the Light & Motion website if that floats your boat.
Charging for the light is via usb which divides opinion in my experience, but if you sit at a desk in front of a computer for at least part of your working day it really shouldn’t pose a problem. There is no ‘plug’ adaptor with the light and the usb lead it uses is the ‘smartphone’ type which is the only real quibble, a more standard usb connection and the addition of a ‘plug’ would be better especially at this price. The light though is very well made with a very strong plastic shell that should last a long time and in a month and a half of use has not been affected by adverse weather conditions. The mount is well thought out although a little counter intuitive at first and the ‘pivot’ lock function enables you to angle the light horizontally along the road irrespective of seat post angle as well as enabling the light to be ‘locked’ on to bags and straps.
In summary it’s a good, well made very very bright light with few drawbacks apart from the cost, a pretty steep rrp of £89.99. Yes it’s a serious investment, but if it enables a car to see you in the dark then it’s probably worth it especially considering that all cheaper lights I’ve used have stopped working in the wet.