Light and Motion Seca Race Review

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Light and Motion Seca Race $549.00

Light Price Claimed Lumens Runtime Battery Type Light head weight Battery Weight Installed Weight Lumens per gram Lumens per dollar
Seca 700 Race $549.00 700 3:45 Lithium Ion 146g 382g 502g 1.49 1.89

Light Meter charts and comparison table available here.

Description:

The Light and Motion Seca 700 Race features a big and wide light head with 6 LEDs. Three lights are on top and three on the bottom of the front face of the light. the switch is a big metal triangle-shaped button that sits on top of the light. Behind the switch is a huge red heat sink that keeps the light quite cool even at high power.

To turn the light on, one simply has to tap the big switch. To turn it off, the illuminated switch needs to be pressed for two seconds. We are happy to report that this is one of the easiest LED lights to turn on and off. Simple as it sounds, it seems most manufacturers are afraid of accidental ‘turn ons’ fearing  that the light may cause a fire if the light is in a bag for example. Thus, other lights require a double-click or a two-second depress of  a small switch to turn it on. Light and Motion had no such fears, perhaps because of the cool operation of their light and they chose to optimize for ease of use.

Light head close ups


Mounting:

The handlebar mount is a rubber strap with a twist. The twist is it’s one of the simplest and most elegant straps in the business. The rubber strap is tightened against the handlebar and locked in by locking the pin in one of the strap holes. It requires no tools and is very secure. With the strap in place, the light itself can be adjusted left to right a full 360 degrees.

Note that the strap can be easy to misuse by just pulling up and locking it in place. This makes the strap stick straight up and may not offer enough tension for 26.8 mm handlebars.  The strap needs to be fed in the plastic guide first then pulled down to lock in place.

Charging:

This is where the light is one of the best. The charger and the battery are the same as the Lithium Ions used in their previous HID lamps. The charging indicator lights are easy to read and the battery is fully charged in  two hours.

Beam Pattern:

It does seem like Light and Motion took a lot of time and effort to tailor the beam pattern of this light. It has a hot spot to see far into the trail. And it cuts off the top of the beam pattern circle so light is not wasted illuminating the sky or the tops of trees. And the three LEDs on the bottom seem to do  a great job illuminating what’s at  close range and directly in front of the bike.

Light Meter Measurements:

On our ambient light meter measurements, the Light and Motion Seca came in at 52 Lux. . Among other brands, the Seca is a little lower than the Dinotte 800L at 55 Lux and the Lupine Wilma 5 at 56 Lux.

Strengths:

  • It’s plenty bright and the beam pattern is designed to produce more useable light
  • Mounting is simple and effective
  • Charging is fast at two hours
  • The light switch is one of the easiest to use
  • Light stays cool under full power
  • It comes with a handsome and convenient carrying case
  • Run time is impressive at 3:45 hours

Weaknesses:

  • It is pricey at $549
  • The battery cable is excessively long and there’s no option to have a shorter one
  • A little heavy compared to the Lupine Tesla, Dinotte 800L and Exposure MaXx D

Bottom Line:

It’s not the lightest at 502 grams. It’s not the brightest at 52 Lux. Still there’s no denying that a lot of thought went into the design of this system. And the quality and useability of this light is very obvious to the avid rider.

Beam Pattern Photos:

Beam Pattern rollover and side by side comparison page available here.

Value Rating:

4.5 out of 5 Stars

Overall Rating:

4.75 out of 5 Stars

Read or write reviews:

http://www.mtbr.com/cat/accessories/lights/light-and-motion/seca-700-race/PRD_426004_130crx.aspx

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Wordpress Comments:

  • bikeman says:

    There should be no danger of accidentally turning on because on most high end bike lights the battery pack is NOT integrated. The L&M manual (for my older ARC) clearly warns:

    “When not in use, ALWAYS unplug the light head from the battery.”

  • bikeman says:

    Light & Motion ARC HID users like me are no doubt interested to see a beam comparison between the ARC HID and Seca 700. It would be great if you could publish that. Thanks!

  • ridindog says:

    Something’s not right on the backyard roll over comparison page. You say the seca is 700 lumens and 52 lux and the trinewt is less than 500 lumens and 33 lux but look at the pics. The pic of the trinewt clearly throws off more, better light than your pic of the seca. So, did you have the seca on the correct ( high ) setting? are you sure its the Race you are testing and not the seca 400 (400 lumens not 700)? is it directed in the same direction as the trinewt?( ie maybe pointing a little lower so it does not show as much of the periferal) or are the light measurements off? Please check this out and respond when you have time I am about to purchase one of these lights and am hoping I can rely on your accurate comparisons to help me make the right choice. Thanks for all your help.

  • ridindog says:

    Somethings not right with the backyard comparison photos. Why does the trinewt (Measured at 480 lumens and 33 lux) appear to throw off more and better light than the seca (measured at 700 lumens and 52 lux) did you guys have the Seca on the high setting? Did you test the Seca 400 (400 lumens)on accident and not the race? Were the two lights pointed in the same direction?(the Seca looks like it may be pointed a little lower than the trinewt) or are the light measurements off? Please double check your comparisons as I (as well as many others) are using them to help decide which light to purchase. Thanks for all you hard work.

  • marc says:

    Somethings not right with the backyard comparison photos. Why does the trinewt (Measured at 480 lumens and 33 lux) appear to throw off more and better light than the seca (measured at 700 lumens and 52 lux) did you guys have the Seca on the high setting? Did you test the Seca 400 (400 lumens)on accident and not the race? Were the two lights pointed in the same direction?(the Seca looks like it may be pointed a little lower than the trinewt) or are the light measurements off? Please double check your comparisons as I (as well as many others) are using them to help decide which light to purchase.

  • Vince says:

    I’ve been using the Seca 700 for almost two months now. I used it when I raced at the 12 Hours of Temecula (SoCal) race in mid November. My prior lighting system was a Nightrider Blow Torch HID handlebar mounted light with a Princeton Tec Switchback 2 on the helmet. My friends use the TriNewt and Princeton Tec Switchback 3 lights on the bars.
    First off, it should come as no surprise that the Seca 700 was a huge jump in performance over the Blow Torch in terms of brightness, spread pattern, burn time, recharging time, and weight. There are three light settings (High, medium, low), as well as the usual flasher modes. Burn time between high and medium is increases from 3.5 hours to 7 hours! 700 lumens on the high setting is phenomenol, but don’t disregard the impressive 350 lumens on the medium setting. To be honest, I could hardly notice a difference between high and medium, which is great news! To top things off, the lowest setting is still a respectable 175 lumens- perfect for climbing and moderate speed fireroads, and will give you 14 hours of burn time! Need more time? The optional Ultra battery will increase your burn times by 50%.
    I’ve owned/used several different lighting systems for riding and racing, including the TriNewt, MiNewt.X2 Dual, and various halogen systems. This is the first light that I couldn’t “outrun” during high speed descents. I get frequent complaints from my friends when I’m following them on the trail that they are distracted by their own shadow cast in front of them from my lights. I recommended sunscreen. :)
    The coolest feature not mentioned in the review is the “race” setting. One of the things I don’t like about multi-setting lights (high, medium, low, flasher, etc) is you have to toggle through each of the settings when switching from high beam to low beam and back. This isn’t very practical, or safe, when trying to conserve battery power during races or hard training rides with the guys. To use “race” mode, just depress the power switch for about 3 seconds until the light powers up. Now the light will only toggle between high beam and low beam with each press of the power switch. It will automatically reset to default mode when you turn it off. I used “race” mode extensively during my last 12 hour race and never worried about running out of juice.
    I still use the Princeton Tec Switchback 2 for my helmet. The Seca 700 is plenty of light for scanning the trail ahead, but I like the dimmer light on my helmet for looking around corners. I’ve found that a brighter light on the helmet tends to wash out the contours of the trail in front of you.
    Unless funds are an issue, I can’t think of a reason why NOT to upgrade to this light.

  • Vince says:

    I’ve been using the Seca 700 for almost two months now. I used it when I raced at the 12 Hours of Temecula (SoCal) race in mid November. My prior lighting system was a Nightrider Blow Torch HID handlebar mounted light with a Princeton Tec Switchback 2 on the helmet. My friends use the TriNewt and Princeton Tec Switchback 3 lights on the bars.
    First off, it should come as no surprise that the Seca 700 was a huge jump in performance over the Blow Torch in terms of brightness, spread pattern, burn time, recharging time, and weight. There are three light settings (High, medium, low), as well as the usual flasher modes. Burn time between high and medium is increases from 3.5 hours to 7 hours! 700 lumens on the high setting is phenomenal, but don’t disregard the impressive 350 lumens on the medium setting. To be honest, I could hardly notice a difference between high and medium, which is great news! To top things off, the lowest setting is still a respectable 175 lumens- perfect for climbing and moderate speed fireroads, and will give you 14 hours of burn time! Need more time? The optional Ultra battery will increase your burn times by 50%.
    I’ve owned/used several different lighting systems for riding and racing, including the TriNewt, MiNewt.X2 Dual, and various halogen systems. This is the first light that I couldn’t “outrun” during high speed descents. I get frequent complaints from my friends when I’m following them on the trail that they are distracted by their own shadow cast in front of them from my lights. I recommended sunscreen. :)
    The coolest feature not mentioned in the review is the “race” setting. One of the things I don’t like about multi-setting lights (high, medium, low, flasher, etc) is you have to toggle through each of the settings when switching from high beam to low beam and back. This isn’t very practical, or safe, when trying to conserve battery power during races or hard training rides with the guys. To use “race” mode, just depress the power switch for about 3 seconds until the light powers up. Now the light will only toggle between high beam and low beam with each press of the power switch. It will automatically reset to default mode when you turn it off. I used “race” mode extensively during my last 12 hour race and never worried about running out of juice.
    I still use the Princeton Tec Switchback 2 for my helmet. The Seca 700 is plenty of light for scanning the trail ahead, but I like the dimmer light on my helmet for looking around corners. I’ve found that a brighter light on the helmet tends to wash out the contours of the trail in front of you.
    Unless funds are an issue, I can’t think of a reason why NOT to upgrade to this light.

  • likeybikey says:

    I think maybe the lumens per dollar number is wrong here. More like 1.275?

  • Kris says:

    I’ve notice, MTBR member are all flashaholics! at the same time a weightweenies!

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