Light & Motion Vis 360 and Vis 180 Light Review

Lights Shootout

The Lights – Vis 360 and Vis 180

vis_kits

The Vis 360 kit consists of the rear light and front light (connected via a cord), a USB cable, and front, and rear helmet mounts. The simple Vis 180 kit, includes the light, a USB cable and a seatpost mount. Both lights come in nice packaging, with some rudimentary usage instructions on the sides of the inner sleeve.

NOTE: Francois of MTBR.com has done a mini write up on the units, and it includes a review video, beam patterns and lux readings of the system, refer to http://reviews.mtbr.com/blog/light-and-motion-vis360-and-vis180-bike-tail-lights-review/ for further details.

Vis 180 Vis 360
MSRP $99 $169
Lumens 35 110 front/4 rear
Run Time (hours) High 4/Low 8 High 2.5/Low 5/Flash 15
Charge Time (hours) 4.5 4.5
Weight 110 grams 131 grams
Measured Weight (w/ mounts) 102.8 grams 129.6 grams

Vis360

vis_360_lights_fr_rear

The Vis 360 was designed for the helmet, and is all-in-one commuter light system, and combines a front light, which is connected by a power cord to the rear, which also houses the Lithium-ion polymer (LiPo) battery. The front, uses a white and two side amber LED’s, while the rear has three reds and two side amber LED’s, and they all combine to give 360 degrees of visibility to a passing vehicle.

The Vis 360 mounting system works pretty easy, with a snap on mounting for the rear and a slider for the front. Just attach the front mount, by threading the rubber strap through the front center vents, and loop it around to lock it tight. For the rear, you can wrap the Velcro mount either vertically or horizontally, and centering it will be dependent on the vent hole orientation, and loop the strap back around to cinch down. The rear light snaps straight into the mount, and a simple prying off removes the unit. The front slides up into the mount’s slot until the clip snap shut, and to release just push down hard, and press out. If desired, the lights are easy to take off when not in use or for charging, and can be cycled back on for a commute.

vis_360_clipin

The Vis 360 switch is located on the top of the front light, and it’s a nice soft rubberized unit, that has a sharp distinctive click. The switch has three modes (plus Off), High, Low, and Flashing, and they are easy to engage following a simple pattern. From the Off mode, click once for High, and again for Low, and once more for Flashing, and you cycle between them if needed, and then hold the switch for two seconds to turn Off. The rear light is always blinking, but the light output is subdued for both the Low and Flashing modes.

vis_360_rear_lights

The small front white light is moderate bright for a commute light (not to be confused with a night light), which has an easy adjustable pitch with nice clicking indention’s, and lights up plenty of the street and/or side walk. I like to supplement it with a normal handlebar mounted night light for additional safety and enhancement, but it does work by itself for commuting. The rear light is bright, and uses three reds LED’s, and the prism really makes the color very obvious. On the bottom left corner is an additional small LED which gives the battery level, which changes color depending on the current reserves, and is green when full, amber for medium, red in low, and blinking red when close to reaching danger levels, “Danger, Will Robinson”. To recharge the unit, remove it from the helmet (or just carry the entire helmet), and open up the rubber covered port on the bottom, and connect the kits micro USB cable to a computer.

Impressions
The system seems pretty evenly weighted on the head, even though the rear unit comprises 70 percent of the weight, and I think it mostly has to do with the general lightness of the entire kit. It is extremely easy to reach up and use the switch, and make minor adjustments in the pitch or tilt of the front beam as needed, which I did quite frequently depending on conditions and environment on the commute. I never used the switch in any other mode than High, as I didn’t require the Low setting, and I dislike the Flashing one. I really liked the tactile feel of the switch, and I liked the very positive clicks. I tended to leave the light on the helmet, since I have a spare one I just use for commuting, but the units come off easy enough, though the front does take a hard to push to remove. Although the front beam pattern wasn’t the widest, nor the brightest, it stayed centered right where you need for commuting, so it was more than adequate, and could easily be adjusted by reaching up on the helmet. The rear light is very noticeable, with well designed reflectors (prismatic reflective material), so you stick out like a sore thumb (which is good), and the side amber lights really help you to be seen in the usual blind spot for drivers, when they move past you, and they are greatly benefited by the high helmet perch.

Next » Vis 180 and Safety

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About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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