Light & Motion Vis 360 – 2012 Mtbr Lights Shootout

Lights Shootout
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Specifications:

  • Price: $170.00
  • Claimed Lumens: 110 Lumens
  • Light Head Weight: 119 grams
  • Installed Weight: 119 grams
  • Run Time: 2.5 Hours
  • Measured MTBR Lux: 11 Lux
  • Measured Lumens: 117 Lumens

Review by Brian Mullin – Vis 360
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.

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

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.

Safety

vis_night

Light & Motion performed extensive studies into accidents, and what helps you to be seen, and they found that 72% of bike accidents occur at intersections with the driver turning into the bike’s path. It turns out one of the most important things is having lights who are placed high, so they can be seen by a driver (consider tall SUV doors), especially as the vehicle goes by or turns in towards the biker, when they become invisible (into a blind spot) along the sides, and the addition of the side LED’s greatly aids visibility. The lights provide a 360 degree cushion of visibility, and draw attention to the motorist that a biker is next to them. The side LED’s are unique to this company’s Vis 180 and Vis 360 commuter lights, and the bright, blinking and very noticeable rear red, and amber side lights make you more obvious to the cager. With a flick of the head, the Vis 360 signals your intention for lane changes or turns, and the amber side emitters remind them you are there. You can refer to some additional information of safety at http://www.bikelights.com/safetyinfo.pdf

Related Links
Mtbr Lights Shootout Main Page »
2012 Bike Lights Shootout »
Backyard Beam Pattern Comparisons »
Trail Beam Pattern Comparisons »
Light Meter Measurements »
Mtbr Lights Reviews »
Mtbr Lights Forum »

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About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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