Sea Otter 2011: New lights from Light&Motion, Exposure, Topeak

Latest LEDs, new tools and accessories

The usefully bright 150-lumen output, light 135g claimed weight, and three-hour run time (on high) on Light&Motion's new Solite 150 would be impressive enough by themselves but what we find most appealing is the clever convertible bike/multisport configuration.

In bike mode, the LED head snaps on the front of the battery, which then straps on to a stem for a clean, one-piece unit with no dangling cords to manage. There are amber side markers for extra visibility, too, and the head pivots up and down to fine-tune the aim. 

Split the battery and light head apart and secure them to the included headband, though, and you instead have a versatile high-powered light for making your way around the camp site or for other activities like cross-country skiing. 

Either way, an on-board mini-USB charge port refreshes the battery in a claimed five hours. Suggested retail price is a reasonable US$179.99.

Commuters can also look to the new US$99.99 Urban 150 and US$149.99 Urban 250 with respective claimed outputs of 150 and 250 lumens each. The all-in-one designs feature water resistant anodized aluminum bodies, amber side markers, and built-in mini-USB charge ports. Run time on the high power setting for the Urban 250 is two hours while the Urban 150 will carry on for an additional half-hour.

Save for the US$699.99 Seca 1400 flagship, all of Light&Motion's Seca and Stella lights also get output boosts for 2012. The US$499.99 Seca 800 and US$229.99 Stella 300 both get 100-lumen upgrades while the US$299.99 Seca 600 gets a more substantial 200-lumen infusion.

Exposure's Six Pack lights up the night with a claimed 1,800 lumen output

It seems there's no output limit in sight for high-powered LED bicycle lights as Exposure's latest Six Pack churns out an astounding 1,800 lumens – 400 more than Light&Motion's top-end Seca 1400 and Niterider's Pro 1400. 

Exposure achieves that impressive figure with six LED emitters arranged in a five-plus-one layout, all tucked into a machined aluminum housing that also contains the Li-ion rechargeable battery. Claimed run time on high is a full three hours and Exposure's Smart Port makes for a user configurable system with optional rear flashers and remote switches. 

The beer can-sized Six Pack is intended for handlebar use only, though, and total claimed weight is 480g including the aluminum quick-release bar mount. Suggested retail price is US$649/£450.

On the much smaller end of the scale are the Flash and Flare commuter lights, both using single CR123 battery cells, simple twist on-off switches, and versatile silicone rubber mounting straps. The front-specific Flash puts out a claimed 100 lumens for up to 17 hours (flashing) while the rear-specific Flare puts out a slightly more modest 75 lumens for up to 25 hours.

Suggested retail price for either light is US$69/£40 but Exposure also offers a more useful combo pack with rechargeable cells and a charger for US$150.

Exposure also showed off its intriguing Beacon, a translucent silicone rubber add-on diffuser available in four sizes to fit most of the company's headlamps. While decidedly funny looking, Exposure says the Beacon is useful for improving overall visibility to others (especially when the lights are used in flashing mode) or more general lighting duties like camping. Prices will vary from US$10-20 depending on size.

Topeak switches to more conventional battery mount for WhiteLite HP Mega 10W

Topeak trades in its old stem cap battery mount and battery-mounted switch in favor of a more conventional Velcro strap arrangement and head-mounted, color-coded switch on its latest WhiteLite HP Mega 10W light. The new setup lets users mount the battery to either the stem or bar as preferred and the light head can tilt 30 degrees left or right for a more precise aim.

Claimed maximum output is 900 lumens with a corresponding run time of three hours while the included charger will refresh the Li-ion battery in 5-6 hours.  Total claimed weight for the battery and head is around 400g and the kit will also include mounts and extension cords for helmet use, too.

Topeak also showed off a diverse range of tools, pumps, and accessories, many of which perhaps weren't entirely new but were now reportedly finally shipping to dealers.  Among the highlights are the RaceRocket MT mini-pump with an extendable hose and screw-on Presta/Schrader head; the lightweight Mini 9 Pro Carbon mini-tool with carbon fiber side plates; and the clever SideKick saddle pack with twin side-access compartments and a dedicated tool organizer section to facilitate access to your stuff.

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