Thursday, December 15, 2011

Light And Motion Urban 180 Bikelight Review

As I have said before, I don't like riding at night, mostly because I don't have enough light available to me. I have been using a Serfas USB Ultrabright rechargeable, and while it seems fairly bright, the light output is a mere 12 lumens. Being interested in a brighter light than I had, I contacted the folks at Light and Motion, and they agreed to send me over one of their Urban 180 models to test. The Urban 180 is 180 lumens (clever) and in addition to lighting up the road in front of you, it has side lights. I know some of my readers scoff at the idea of a need for side lighting, but I operate on the "light myself up like a Dekotora" principle and it has worked out for me so far.

Dekotora Truck
The urban 180 is super simple, and super bright, and uses a rubber strap and hook method to attach to the handlebars of your bike.

Plenty of other accessories use the same method, and it works very well. The strap is very heavy, and the hook gives it a very solid feeling. The inside of the clamp is ribbed, so once you have it secured, it is very solidly mounted. However, once mounted it is easily removable should you have to lock your bike up and spend the night in a haunted mansion.


At four inches long, the light is compact, and I assume the size is dictated by the batteries. The Urban 180 is a USB chargeable light, so it's great for me as a commuter; when I get into the office, I just plug it in, and it's charged for the ride home. The Urban 180 has a light on the rear so you know when it is fully charged.

Indicator light on the back. 
In the photo above, you can see the sidelights - they are bright as well (though not as bright as the forward facing light) and should contribute some extra visibility when riding at night. Once again, this is just my gut feeling, I don't have any hard data to back up my assertion. However, if you want to look at it logically, we can do this:

1. I use lights for side visibility on my bicycle. 
2. I rode my bicycle with side lights on and did not die.
3. I am Human
4. You are Human*
5. Therefore, side lights on a bicycle mean you will not die. 

I'm sure someone will call out my logic skills on that, but I want you all to keep in mind that I never graduated college, and I like Jackass movies. Why are you even wasting your time reading what I write? I'm starting to question your logic, to be very frank. 

Lights from the side. 

The Urban 180 really is super bright. 180 lumens is far brighter than any light I have had on my handlebars, and for commuting, it should be more than adequate.

This is kind of artsy - I like it. 
In addition to the  bright setting, there is also a medium and low brightness setting, along with a "blinking" mode. The USB cable needed to charge it is included in the package, but the light uses a standard micro USB cable to charge, so you don't have to worry about finding a proprietary cable if you somehow lose yours.

I didn't weigh the Urban 180, but it's fairly light - once again, any weight is worth the light tradeoff, in my opinion. Since it is all self enclosed, it is much lighter than some other high output systems that require a separate battery pack.  It feels very well made, with lots of great small details; the USB charging port is on the bottom of the light, covered by a nice tight fitting silicone flap to protect it from the elements. The Urban 180 is a really powerful light in a small package. There are even brighter models available on the website - The Urban series goes up to 500 lumens at not too much more of a premium, all without a separate battery pack.

The Urban 180 is $99.99, and well worth it for the light that it brings.

In addition, Light and Motion has a blog here, where they often run contests to give away their products. They have asked me to contribute to their blog, so look for some sort of guest post there in the future.

There will also be one more post here tomorrow, and then we will maintain radio silence until the 27th.


1 comment:

  1. If the frame isn't locked to the tire a thief could remove the front tire and get away with your bike.
    bicycle grips