Last night was the Light & Motion demo at the shop and we couldn't have scripted a nicer night for it. Quick run down on new features on their lights and what makes their lights a great choice.
After a quick run down, it was time to strap the lights on and go for a ride. I ended up with the TAZ 1200, the 1200 representing the number of lumen the light produced or how bright it is, they also have a 1500 lumen light in the TAZ family. I know what you're thinking... what the heck is a lumen? Not to get too scientific but a lumen is used to measure how much light is emitted from the bulb, to put it into perspective a typical car headlight is between 800-1200 lumen, which put the TAZ 1200 on par with a car headlight for brightness. That's a super bright light and for most cyclists you'll never need a light that bright but don't discount that light just yet and here's why. The TAZ has five settings, High/Medium/Low and then strobe and race settings, lets push aside the strobe and race and just look at the three most common settings. The TAZ will run at 1200 lumen for roughly 1.5 hours but if you knock that down to medium it will put out 600 lumen for 3 hours and on low it still produces 300 lumen for up to 6 hours. So while you might not ever need the 1200 lumen if you plan on riding longer in the dark the ability to run at 600 lumen for 3 hours or 300 lumen for 6 might make up for the slight price increase in an Urban 800 light. If you ran an Urban 800 you'd get the same three run times 1.5/3/6 hours on high, medium and low but at a lower lumen... 800/400/200 so upping the maximum lumen also effectively ups the run times at a higher lumen, so while you might not need all that brightness it might be worth it for the run time vs. lumen ratio.
Whoa, that's enough of the technical mumbo jumbo. Once we had the lights strapped on it was time to rid, some of the pictures are a bit blurry but night time photography while moving is always a bit touch and go.
While the lights are great on the city trails, we really got to see just how bright they are once we crossed over 84th Street heading out on the MoPac where very little to no other light was available. I remember riding years ago at night with lights and they were so dim you didn't dare go too fast for fear of running into because you couldn't see all that far in front of you. With the modern lights that isn't much of a concern anymore as they will light the trail well in front of you, I'd be willing to bet you would be able to see and identify objects on the path out to 100 feet and maybe even a little beyond that depending on the lumen output of the light. This rang true last night as we were hurtling through the darkness at daytime speeds out to the Hut.
Our group for the ride.
Not only was there less light out at the hut, there was also less warmth. You could feel it getting cooler the farther from Lincoln we got, luckily we brought some items with us to help heat us from the inside out.
While out at the hut we decided to kill all the lights and enjoy the lack of light pollution to gaze at the clear night sky. I was also rather impressed with the camera's low light abilities, while a little grainy and blurry when someone moved, overall they turned out quite good considering the only light was what the moon was producing. Had I had a tripod on me they probably would have turned out even better considering these were shot holding the camera. Any way...
Lights of Lincoln off in the distance.
After a refreshment and some star gazing it was time to switch lights, to give every one a chance to experience the different lights, and head back to Lincoln. As always, we had a fantastic group of riders show up and the weather was equally great, anytime you make it to November and you're still wearing summer jerseys and shorts at night you can't really complain. Thanks to all who made it out.