Fool Drivers Into Thinking You’re a Motorcyclist With The New Ultra Bright Light & Motion Taz 1500

Taz 1500On the road, brighter is always better, and this year the new top of the line Taz by Light & Motion has bettered itself by 300 lumens. The light uses a carefully “Regulated Light Output” to ensure full brightness over the duration of the battery life, and delivers a claimed 1.5 hours of illumination at it’s highest setting.

On the medium setting, the Taz is good for aprx 3 hours, while still delivering more light than the premiere HID ARC lights of seven years ago.

Designed as a multipurpose light, commuters will appreciate the tool-less mounting system, while off-road cyclists will be pleased they can independently control the intensity of the main light, and amber side lights.

The retail price is set at $299 for the 216 g light, and they should be at dealers starting in July. The current Taz 1200 will continue to be available, and at $239, it will cost $60 less than it’s big brother.

Jump past the break for the full press release…

May 6, 2014 – Marina, CA – Light & Motion, the innovative manufacturer of personal lighting systems and LED bicycle lights, is expanding its TAZ line of compact, rechargeable lights with the new TAZ 1500

The new TAZ 1500 adds lumens and color to create a light with power and style. A highly versatile bar-mounted bike light with uncompromised runtime, the TAZ 1500 boasts 300 more lumens than the last year’s top of the line TAZ 1200.

The TAZ 1500 lets you roll for 1.5 hours on high, 3 hours on medium, and 6 hours on low. “On the medium setting the Taz delivers more light to the trail than our HID ARC lights of 7 years ago. Taz is a remarkable light in a small package.” Says Daniel Emerson, CEO.

The carefully engineered TAZ features “Regulated Light Output” to ensure the TAZ delivers its full brightness for every battery cycle.

The TAZ’s smooth beam and beautifully engineered reflectors give the light a perfect beam to do double duty as a commuter or off-road light.  Off-road riders will appreciate the dashboard features that allow independent control of the front and amber side lights. The time-based race mode allows riders to extend their runtime by toggling back and forth between high and low.  Commuters can use this mode to dim the TAZ for oncoming pedestrian and wheeled traffic. The “pulse” mode is ideal for foggy, rainy, daytime cycling and the easy, tool-less mounting system makes changing lights from bike to bag a cinch.

“As a commuter sharing the streets with motorized vehicles, I want to know that my light is equal to cars when I need it to be,” said Kevin Mitchell, Light & Motion Sales Manager and transportation cyclist. “The strength of the beam of the TAZ 1500, combined with its side lights, reassures me that I will be seen.”

Visibility at intersections is critical to bicycle commuter safety, where over 72% of accidents occur. Light & Motion was the first company to incorporate amber side markers to ensure that cyclists would be seen by overtaking cars and at intersections.

TAZ 1500 features:

  • 1500 lumen output certified to the FL-1 Standard.
  • The World’s Brightest While LEDS (CREE)
  • Custom engineered reflector/optics with tailored beam pattern (spot with flood combination)
  • Easy to attach bar mount
  • Accurate battery status indicator
  • USB Rechargeable
  • Factory sealed, waterproof design – tested to 1 meter
  • Colors: Smoked Porter (TAZ 1200 available in Obsidian Stout – $239)

Weight: 216 grams
MSRP: $299
Available: July 2014

Comments

boo - 05/15/14 - 8:59am

As a taz 1200 owner who’s happy with the light, but not thrilled with the rubber strap mounting setup, I’ll pass. It is finicky to setup such that the front of the light doesn’t sag towards the ground, which gets old when you have to remove/reattach the light as a part of locking it up outside. It’d be nice if they’d offer a mounting option like the original Vega, where the bar clamp portion stayed on the bike.

Gunnstein - 05/15/14 - 9:17am

I’ll bite: Don’t TAZ me, bro!

BMW - 05/15/14 - 9:32am

Yeah..fool them into a gardrail because they can’t see..
Anything over about 300 lumens is far too much for road use. On the positve side though, Light&Motion make solid lights, and the amber “pace line” lights really are a great feature.

Pancakes - 05/15/14 - 9:34am

The march of LED tech is astonishing. I still remember how big a deal my old NiteRider Pro 600 was when it was new, and now it looks so big and clunky.

Randall - 05/15/14 - 9:49am

@BMW, a regular automobile headlight is around 1700 lumens, and they have two. It you point the bike light in the appropriate direction, then it won’t affect a motorist.

Will - 05/15/14 - 10:02am

@BMW – Anything over 300, really? Around here, the only thing that will do is barley be seen and most likely end up in a pot hole. Bottom line, more lumen on the road is better and as Randall pointed out, a car headlight is more that 1500 lumen per light. So, as long as you aim your light properly, you shouldn’t be blinding anyone into anything.

Gunnstein - 05/15/14 - 10:04am

@Randall …but is this light shaped as well as car lights? If intended as MTB light too it probably has no cutoff, so impossible to light the road without blinding others. If it has the cutoff, no good for MTB through forrests…

Collin S - 05/15/14 - 10:07am

BMW, you may be right on a super dark country road, but in the city, 300 lumens gets drowned out real fast by city lights and other cars. Yes, anything over 300 lumens will make you visible to motorists, but its not going to do much for being able to see.

Greg in Ohio - 05/15/14 - 11:34am

I wish more of these self-contained lights could be mounted on the helmet so it would work better for off road use…

mark - 05/15/14 - 11:53am

The Taz series has a phenomenal beam pattern. I use it for road and mountain biking. The beam is very effective with little wasted light. Great fill in front of the bike with good throw. Never do I wish for more light. You can ride very technical trails with even the 1000 lumen version. Drop offs are filled in as you come into them unlike nearly any other light I’ve used previously.

Psi Squared - 05/15/14 - 12:49pm

The problem with lumens is that it only tells you how much light (luminous power) is begin put out, not how intense the light is. It’s the intensity (illuminance) that is important, and that’s why light makers should be reporting their lights’ performance in lux (lumens/m^2). That’s also why you can’t make definitive statements about how well a 300 or 1000 lumen light works. That’s also why comments about how a 300 lumen light is worthless or how a 1700 lumen light will make drivers crash are pointless and without merit. Illuminance and the modulation of that illuminance in the beam is what is important.

+1 to what Greg in Ohio said. With a helmet mounted light, you can put the light where you need it, be it on the road or trail or away from drivers eyes.

Matt - 05/15/14 - 2:33pm

Serious question. Are there any models of high-lumen lights for cycling that are designed for road riding and therefore have a cutoff to prevent from blinding other drivers?

A full-beam 1700 lumen light, unadjusted, is essentially throwing a high-beam in their face and will likely make you less safe as it partially blinds other drivers…and riders too.

TJ - 05/15/14 - 3:11pm

@boo, I also have a Taz 1200, and was unhappy with the mounting system until I asked L&M about it. They showed me how to route the strap properly so that I could get it nice and tight. Check out this picture ( http://www.lightandmotion.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/thumbnail/400x/0dc2d03fe217f8c83829496872af24a0/t/a/taz__1200_2_18.jpg ). Now that I’ve started mounting it like this, the light handles commuting over cobbled, railroad ridden streets as well as mountain biking and cross rides with no problem at all.

TJ - 05/15/14 - 3:17pm

@boo, are you routing your strap correctly? Check out this picture ( http://www.lightandmotion.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/thumbnail/400x/0dc2d03fe217f8c83829496872af24a0/t/a/taz__1200_2_18.jpg ). I have a Taz 1200 and was disappointed with the mount until I started mounting like this. Now I can get the strap nice and tight, and the light doesn’t move. I commute over cobbled, railroad strewn roads, as well as MTB and CX night rides, and the light doesn’t budge.

As far as blinding drivers, I’ve never had anyone seemingly upset with me on my daily commute home. The light is pointed down at the ground, not in drivers’ eyes (just like properly aimed car headlights). The beam pattern on the Taz is excellent for all around riding. This light is excellent, and so is the company.

Psi Squared - 05/15/14 - 3:34pm

So one fix to the bright unadjusted light putting too much light into drivers’ eyes is to, uhm, adjust the light. A poorly adjusted light with a cut-off will also put light into drivers’ eyes.

Gunnstein - 05/15/14 - 3:43pm

@Matt Yes, pretty much all high end European dynamo lights have this cutoff. B&M have a 90 lux light that also exists in a battery (e-bike) edition. (Lumen unknown, it’s irrelevant in much of Europe.)

Matthew - 05/15/14 - 3:47pm

@Randall: “It you point the bike light in the appropriate direction, then it won’t affect a motorist” — this proves to be too difficult for most riders. Also, they have two headlights with higher outputs because they’re going much faster. Since you don’t ride your bike at 100+ km/h, you don’t need to be able to see as far ahead.

@Matt and @Collin S: No, there aren’t any StVZO-compliant cutoff beams at high-lumen output levels (the highest I’ve seen is 370 lumen from the Supernova Airstream). Because the Germans’ bicycle code basically dictates the German, Dutch and Danish markets, StVZO is the defacto worldwide standard by which high quality bike lights and generators are made. Why don’t you see high-lumen cutoff lights? Because when you have a cutoff beam with good reflectors and lenses, the light is efficiently cast down onto the road where you need it and not into the eyes of oncoming riders.

I have a 205 lumen StVZO generator powered headlight (Supernova’s E3 Pro 2), I live in a city (Seattle), and I can assure you that I get seen and likewise haven’t been swallowed by a pot hole or other road obstruction. The best part is that since my lights are permanently mounted, I never have to worry about theft of the lights or recharging the batteries. They’re always ready whenever I want. And the new dynamo hubs are extremely low drag and require little additional maintenance compared to any other high quality hub. I often forget I even have it. It’s just always there when you need the power.

Last, to Light and Motion (and all other bike light makers): there’s absolutely no need to have 1500 lumens with a modulated (read: strobe) mode… Unless of course you’re *trying* to blind oncoming traffic. Heck, there’s no need to have strobe modes at all. Cars don’t have strobe lights, yet the motorists somehow manage to recognize each other anyways… In fact, it’s an indisputable scientific truth that strobing makes it MORE difficult to determine depth and distance of the source – that makes fog even more dangerous. Encouraging riders to use the modulated modes on rainy or foggy days is borderline negligence.

That said, I like Light and Motion lights. I think their Urban 300 and Vis 180 or Vis 180 Micro is quite possibly the best battery powered light combination I’ve ever owned.

Gunnstein - 05/15/14 - 3:48pm

@Psi Squared: Only problem is, with lights without a cutoff, once they are adjusted out of the eyes of other road users, they’re so far down that you don’t see much of the road ahead. Hence the need for a sharp horisontal cutoff, which you need a quality lens to achieve.

Psi Squared - 05/15/14 - 4:26pm

@Gunnstein: if a light without a cutoff is adjusted properly and subsequently doesn’t provide enough light to see the road ahead, it’s a poorly designed light. All reflectors and lenses are not the same.

Gunnstein - 05/15/14 - 4:48pm

@Psi Squared: The cutoff design is ubiquitous in cars for a reason. What kind of cutoff-less light shape would you say is NOT poorly designed? (for road use)

Psi Squared - 05/15/14 - 5:34pm

My Ay Up lights work quite well. As for others I can’t say because I don’t have the reflector design specs in hand or a licensed copy of something like ASAP on my computer. I can say you don’t need a cut of, and the cut-off design in cars isn’t quite ubiquitous. But hey, I’m only basing my statements on optical design experience.

Certainly proper aiming takes care of a large part of the problem, as tilting the axis of symmetry of any symmetric reflector based illumination system would. Designing asymmetric reflectors and lenses would add to the improvement. Cut-off systems are only one option, not the only option for controlling light distribution.

http://www.breault.com/software/asap-features

Acupunk - 05/15/14 - 5:34pm

@ Matthew. Strobes are useful during daylight road riding. At night, agreed, not a useful feature. Most car hits on road riders are from left turning drivers who don’t see the on coming cyclist. The strobe catches the eye in the daytime pretty effectively. Having been hit by a left turning driver I don’t ride without my strobe light now.

Gunnstein - 05/15/14 - 6:18pm

@Psi Squared: Semantics. The point as far as cycle lighting goes is that the standard symmetric-cone-with-fuzzy-egdes is crap on the road. You need some form of upper limitation (what I call cutoff) to have reasonable light in the distance without blinding others. Whether you have a straight horisontal cutoff like e.g. the best B&M lights, or the entire light cone is vertically squished or some variation thereof, it amounts to the same for this discussion. But hey, I’m only basing my statements on riding bikes ;)

greg - 05/15/14 - 7:35pm

L+M seca lights used to have a sharp cutoff. it proved to be a hindrance for mtbing so they softened the line. it still throws light wide and far down the trail (or road), with just a little extra light up and around to see what else is out there (signs, etc).
i like the Taz lights also because the reflector is big. i feel that one thing that makes some lights blinding is that the source is just one tiny point, so the light seems more intense. a large light source also makes it easier for vehicles to realize that you are a vehicle.
i think someone should develop a “halo” for the underside edge of a helmet that points some light down and a little out, illuminating you and the bike for people around you. it would make it much easier for drivers to figure out what’s going on around them.

JasonK - 05/15/14 - 10:50pm

Gunnstein: maybe you don’t like Psi Squared’s tone, but the guy clearly knows his stuff. Optical engineering is a thing, even if you believe that your experience as a cyclist trumps all. And yeah, if you’re discussing reflector design for a headlight, an optical engineer might have some valuable input. You seem to be confusing the term “semantics” with “relevant knowledge.”

DeeEight - 05/16/14 - 4:12am

There’s a cheaper way to fool drivers if 1500 lumens is the goal… an 12V-50W auxillary driving halogen light and a 14.4V Li-Ion/Li-Po battery pack. With 12V the light kicks out around 1000 lumens. A 20% overvolt and we’re up to about 1800 and change. The whole contraption can be put together for under $100 with 8 Panasonic NCR18650B cells in a 4S2P pack would last about 1.25hrs.

Gunnstein - 05/16/14 - 6:09am

@JasonK: Strawmanning, don’t put words in my mouth. I’m not arguing his knowledge or optical engineering in general. I don’t even think any of us disagree on any stated facts here, only on the words used. We don’t mean the same by “cutoff” but we agree that road lights should be designed not to blind others, that was my point. I know my technical terminology is not precise on this subject :)

lonefrontranger - 05/16/14 - 12:28pm

this entire argument on cutoffs and intensity and soforth could be rendered moot with a freaking helmet mount. Seriously, bikes are not cars, and I want my bike light to be dynamically AIMABLE, meaning: helmet mounted! Because in some cases, the only way to prevent that idiot driver from pulling out in front of you is to go all Eye of Sauron on them.

Also helmet mounts make it dead easy to not overwhelm and blind oncoming joggers, cyclists, etc. on pitch dark trails by turning the light down/away from their face. Anyone who’s done any kind of winter commuting or night MTB knows this is required trail etiquette. I loathe high powered commuter bar mount lights for this very reason – they’re impossible to aim correctly so that oncoming traffic on an 8′ wide bike path isn’t rendered blind.

Make it so, L&M!

boo - 05/16/14 - 1:13pm

@TJ: yeah, I run the strap up through the hole and back down/over the nub like that. Maybe my handlebars are a few mm too small in diameter or something, or I really need to crank on that thing and use the next notch on the strap, I dunno.

BiciMundo - 05/31/14 - 1:41am

My Urban 300 & 500 both came with helmet mounts. And they are available online for just $10 bucks. I only use it for trail riding though.

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