Light and Motion Vega
This is after four days with the unit.
WARNING: This light interferes with my Supergo wireless
HRM/cyclocomputer, adding some 50mph to the current speed. This is
consistent and 100% repeatable. It does not seem to interfere with the
HRM function, nor with the function of my other HRM (an Ekho) or any
wired comp. I e-mailed Light & Motion on Tuesday and have received no
This is a 3W Luxeon LED with an internal NiMH rechargeable battery. It
sells for $150-180. It comes with a handlebar mount and thick spacers
to adjust for bar diameter. I tried mounting it underneath the bar but
my knee hit it when I stood up to pedal.
For comparison, my old lights are a 15W NiteRider single-spot halogen,
and a 12W-spot/12W-flood ViewPoint halogen. I also have a 1W Luxeon,
the Performance version of the Nitehawk Emitter.
First, the quality of the light from the Vega is different from
halogens, white/blue instead of yellow. As a result, it is not as
distinctly visible at dusk as a halogen, I'm guessing because there's
less contrast between its light and the ambient light from the sky.
In full darkness, the Vega projects a tight, bright beam that can easly
light the pavement out to 30 feet or more in front of the bike. Aimed
that way, there is not much spill to the sides.
It's not as bright as the Niterider, but the main difference is that
the Niterider throws more light to the sides.
It's actually very competitive with the 12W spot on the ViewPoint,
which has less flare than the NiteRider. Of course, the ViewPoint also
has a flood (and a very heavy SLA battery that can barely run both
lamps for an hour).
The 1W setting on the Vega is about equivalent to the Emitter on high,
as expected, but the Vega's light is whiter, the Emitter's bluer.
The tiny Vega charger brought the battery to full initial charge in
less than 2 hours. I have not tested run times, but after 1 hour on
high ("4W" - they overdrive the LED, apparently) there was no visible
dimming, and a recharge took less than an hour.
As a road commuter light for urban/suburban riders I think this is a
winner. It throws plenty of light for seeing obstacles and road-surface
irregularities while riding 15mph. It had the *immense* advantages of
being self-contained, light in weight (220 grams), and quick charging
(with a charger small enough to bring along).
However, if I spent a significant part of my commute on unlit country
roads where very long throw and wider coverage were important, I might
want two of these, aimed high and low. At which point other systems
would be much more cost-effective.
The wireless interference issue, along with L&M's lack of response to
my e-mail, are also worth taking into account.