Light and Motion’s Taz 1500 has to be the most dramatic case of appearances being deceptive that we’ve seen in a long time. While it looks like the sort of free plastic headlamp that French hypermarkets have to include by law, you’ll have a serious shock once you unlock the cunning ‘in transit’ safety catch on the switch and fire it up.
While most torch-style lights of this type have a very focused and punchy beam best suited to road riding than twisty singletrack, the Taz uses a mixed clear and dispersing lens. This offers enough peripheral coverage to give you a good guess at what’s going to happen next on a curving or rise-and-fall trail and a powerful central beam that can pick out trouble early enough to do something about it even at high speed.
There’s a dark ring between the outer edge and inner spot when stationary, but it’s not an obvious issue when riding. It’s even usable for cruising in the 750 lumen mid-power setting.
Reliability of multiple Light and Motion sets over the years has been flawless and as long as you loop it over according to the instructions the simple wrapover rubber strap is secure on 25.4-35mm bars. Battery life is irritatingly limited though and its top-quality build and performance make it very expensive.