All-in-one lights with lamps, batteries and electronics included are growing brighter, lighter and cheaper, eclipsing even high-end modular systems from just a few years ago. Light & Motion's new Taz 1200 pushes the envelope even further for 2013, with a monster claimed power output of 1,200 lumens.
Light & Motion pack all that power into an impressively compact and lightweight package. The Taz weighs just over 200g but measures barely 10cm in length.
Two built-in, USB-rechargeable, Li-ion batteries provide up to an hour and a half of claimed run time on the highest setting, with two additional levels offering up to six hours of burn.
A new 'pulse' mode will run for nine hours while a traditional 'strobe' will go for 18. Recharging times range from four to 14 hours depending on charger output.
Amber side markers on the new Taz 1200
Two separate buttons independently control the Taz 1200's front-facing LED emitters and amber side markers. A 'race' mode simplifies operation to just high and low settings.
Light & Motion have even incorporated a memory function into the electronics board so that the Taz fires up in the same mode as was used before shutting down.
The Taz 1200 isn't cheap, at US$299. Nor can it be easily mounted to a helmet. But its remarkable output still makes it a super-bright light for commuting or medium-duty trail use.
Light & Motion will also offer a Taz 800 model, with 800 lumens of claimed output, for US$249.
Also new for 2013 is the Vis 180 Micro rear flasher, which at just US$49 and 61g is less than half the price of the standard Vis 180 (US$99.99) and nearly half the weight – albeit with half the output at 25 lumens.
The central LED and twin amber side markings on the Vis 180 Micro
Like its big brother, though, the Vis 180 Micro includes a single rear-facing, high-output, red LED paired with two amber side markers and the same clever pivoting, tool-free mounting system.
Commuters also have the option of the newly turbocharged, helmet-mounted Vis 360+ front and rear lighting system. It doubles the base Vis 360's output to 250 claimed lumens and adds an independent on/off switch for the rear blinker. Run time increases by 50 percent, to three hours on the maximum setting, thanks to higher-capacity USB-rechargeable, Li-ion cells. Total claimed weight remains constant at 130g.
The standard Vis 360 (right) versus the new, more powerful Vis 360+
As expected, other models are seeing boosts in output and/or decreases in price as LED technology continues to improve. For example, the range-topping Seca 1700 now pumps out 1,700 claimed lumens while the price has dropped to US$469. The classic 300-lumen Stella 300 carries a new retail price of just US$149.
The popular Urban all-in-one range carries into 2013, too, with new colors and claimed outputs ranging from 200-550 lumens and prices spanning US$99-159.
The Urban range has colors and price points to suit a range of commuters