Just In: Light & Motion’s compact & versatile Taz 1200 headlight

With a morning commute suddenly shrouded in darkness and recent after-work mountain bike rides not much better, we were excited see Light & Motion’s latest arrive on our doorstop a few weeks back.  Packing a blistering 1,200 Lumens into a compact 216g (claimed) package, the US-made Taz is what Light & Motion are calling a “crossover” light- equally well suited to road and dirt use.  Skip past the seam for more details, photos, and some early impressions.

With no brackets or cables to deal with, the Taz is certainly well suited to outdoor-locking commuters and to switching between bikes.  Thanks in part to the unit’s good balance, the simple strap has kept the little light steady on road and off, without needing to resort to the included adhesive-backed rubber strips.

The main button cycles the light between high, medium, low, pulse, and flash modes (1,200lm/90min, 600lm/3hr, 300lm/6hr, 300lm/9hr, and 300lm/18hr respectively).  The second button cycles the amber side lights from off through solid, pulse, and off settings.  The forward section and sides of the light are built out of aluminum, giving the light a nice substantial feel.

On the road and trail, the Taz 1200 lays out a relatively broad and exceptionally smooth beam.  The lack of dark spots and rings makes clear the time and energy Light & Motion spend on their reflector designs and makes for a very nice riding experience.  At speeds over 20mph, the Taz lacks some of the long-distance ‘punch’ of some lights- but makes up for it in breadth and even-ness of beam and should serve to keep light out of the eyes of oncoming traffic.  The coverage is even enough that the 800lm medium setting more than adequate for commuting and even mountain biking when paired with a similarly-powered helmet-mounted light.  That said,who’s going to say no to more light on shorter rides?

Connecting the included Micro USB cable to an iPad charger or wall outlet (2 Amps), the Taz 1200 should charge fully in roughly 4 hours.  A lower-powered (1A) phone charger will take about 8hours and your computer’s (.5A) USB port could take 14.  The Taz 1200 sells for $300 and it’s 800lm brother for $250.  More as the nights get longer!

marc

www.lightandmotion.com

Comments

Alex - 10/16/12 - 9:07am

“300lm/9hr, 300lm/18hr”

Dalton - 10/16/12 - 9:33am

@Alex – Those are for pulse and flash

high (1,200lm/90min), medium (600lm/3hr), low (300lm/6hr), pulse (300lm/9hr), and flash modes (300lm/18hr)

Meta - 10/16/12 - 11:53am

One big problem with this light: It can’t continue to run on a external battery while charging!

Bike shop employee - 10/16/12 - 12:02pm

used this for some night riding the other night. Was a great light for about 40 mins on 600 lum from a full charge.. then it died. not reliable for mountain biking. unless you have good night vision.

Editz - 10/16/12 - 12:26pm

@Meta: I wonder if it would allow charging from a dynamo powered USB charger while running.

Joe Remolt - 10/16/12 - 12:41pm

To the ‘anonymous’ “bike shop employee” that does not give his name – sounds like you didn’t have the light fully charged. With the battery and LED combination – the run times they estimate are quite accurate. Curious how you charged it and what made you believe the light was fully charged??

I don’t believe the Taz is dynamo ready – because I was unable to turn on the light while charging it. I have seen some dynamo systems that store power in a li-ion battery that you can connect to any USB powered device, which could charge the light, just not while it is powered on.

I just got the 1200 about a week ago and am blown away by how wide and bright the beam pattern is. I’d like more than an hour and a half of run time at 1200 lumens, but am happy with the overall package. If I switch it to Race Mode then I can extend the run time significantly by eliminating all but High & Low modes – use low on climbs and non-demanding sections and switch back to high when I need some real light.

Meta - 10/16/12 - 2:10pm

@Editz it doesn’t Looking at Cygolite Trion 1200, it runs on an external battery while charging, MK4. http://www.universalcycles.com/shopping/product_details.php?id=54818

I hope BikeRumor can review the Cygolite Trion 1200

Brian - 10/16/12 - 2:36pm

I’ve been riding this light for a month and it’s great. I have been able to get 1 1/2 hours out of it on 1200 lumens dozens of times. I pair it up with an Urban 500 in the woods and it’s the best night riding set up I’ve ever had. Both lights (I used to commute with the 500) have definitely saved me from being hit by several cars on my commute home.

Bike shop employee - 10/17/12 - 3:14pm

Just some feed back from a recent demo. Dont know why my name is that important. The light was charged all day, take it or leave it.

Chris D - 10/18/12 - 8:57am

We have a couple of employees with this light – including myself. Both of us get just over an hour with the light fully charged and at full setting. I got mine about 2 weeks ago and just need to call Light and Motion. I am sure they will take care of it…. but just haven’t done it yet….

shabbis - 10/18/12 - 3:20pm

@Brian – I currently commute with an Urban 500, based on your experience with both, is it worth upgrading to the Taz?

grandpa - 10/20/12 - 7:29am

If I mount on my L&M 500 within 2 or 3 inches of my Garmin Edge then the Garmin will turn off, so I have to carry the Garmin in my back pocket when i have the L&M switched on. No big deal because I can’t read the Garmin without holding it close to my eyes anyway (can’t wait for a review of some bi-focal riding glasses.)

Anyway, question is – Does the L&M 1200 interfere with GPS computers and stuff?

I suppose I could keep the Garmin on my belt next to the onion.

Marc - 10/20/12 - 8:50am

Grandpa,

That’s a great point. Most (if not all) high-powered lights that I’ve tried have interfered with analog wireless computers like the Cateye pictured here. The Taz is no different, unfortunately- but the clock does work fine (it doesn’t shut down). Does anyone have first hand Taz/Garmin experience?

marc

Brian - 10/20/12 - 5:32pm

@Shabbis, if you are concerned with being seen still, then maybe yes. I ride high traffic roads with minimal shoulders and the taz really makes me feel more comfortable on my commute home, especially when the roads are wet. I still use my 500 for grocery runs where I am only dealing with a short ride, and like I said, they are the perfect pair for a night mtb ride. I do prefer the width of the beam on the taz compared to the 500.

M Forbes - 06/08/13 - 11:07pm

I run a TAZ1200 inches from my Garmin Edge 800. Absolutely no issue with any interference. My only issue with the TAZ is that after about 20 rides, I am having issues with charging (5V2A charger). I just sent a message to L&M about it, and based on chatting with them at Sea Otter, I am sure they will take good care of me.

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