Review: Light & Motion Urban 700

Lights Lights Shootout

The Urban was one of our favorite lights last year as it delivered an honest 550 Lumens in a very compact unit. This year, claimed output is bumped up to 700 Lumens and we measured their output at 708 Lumens.

The mountain biker still cannot turn the side lights off, but that’s not a big concern when using this as a helmet light (since it won’t bother the rider). Check the photo below to see if the ‘always on’ side lighting will bother you in a dark trail. But it remains as one of the lightest units at 113 grams that can pack a 700 Lumen punch. We keep asking Light & Motion to allow the rider to turn off the side lights, but they won’t heed our requests. We’ve come to realize that they really can’t, since the side lights are made possible by little holes in the reflector of the main light. The light is allowed to leak out and is covered with a yellow lens for the side color.

This is a good commuter light, but there really are better options for mountain biking these days, both from Light & Motion with the Taz 1000 and from other companies with an array of 700 Lumen lights for less money. But if you have mixed uses for this light and can put it on your helmet for trail riding, it’s a good option since it’s so light and has a nice beam pattern.

Specifications
  • Price: $160
  • Claimed Lumens: 700 Lumens
  • Measured Lumens: 708 Lumens
  • Measured MTBR Lux: 71 Lux
  • Lumens per $: 4.43 Lumens
  • Lumens per gram: 6.32 Lumens
  • Time on High: 1:30 Hours
  • Charge Time: 4:00 Hours
  • Mounted Weight: 112 grams
  • Category: Commuter
Strengths
  • Excellent light output and beam pattern
  • Good switch action and logic
  • Excellent flashlight
  • Good value at $160
  • Bar and helmet mount are included
  • Different price points are available
  • Side lights are great for commuting safety.
Weaknesses
  • It can get hot since there’s not a lot of heat sink area
  • The yellow side lights can get annoying for mountain biking applications and they can’t be turned off.
  • Mount can not be taken off easily to use this as a handy flashlight
  • There’s very stiff pricing competition in this category
Mounting

Handlebar mounting is done with very slick strap that can be tightened based on the rider’s preference. The same strap is used for standard and oversized handlebars. At first we found the strap too long and found the excess bothersome but we realized we can loop the strap back in the pin and tuck it neatly. It can be aimed left to right. There is an included helmet mount and it works very well. The light can be aimed up/down and left/right. The light is 110 grams so it’s hardly noticeable on the helmet.

Mtbr Light Meter Measurements

This light measured 71 Lux on our ambient light measurement facility. The light output measurement is performed by placing a Lux light meter beside the light. Both are pointed at the ceiling (five feet above) of a dark room. This measurement uses the ambient light produced by the bike light.

Integrating Sphere Measured Lumens

This light measured 708 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 700 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.

Compare all Lumen Tests here »

Tunnel Beam Pattern Photo

The location is useful since it has walls and a ceiling that can display a bike light beam pattern. The walls have a lot of graffiti on them and actually show detail when they are lit up by a light with a wide angle. Cones and targets are set up with the far target set up at 120 feet.

Compare all Tunnel Beam Patterns here »

For more information visit www.lightandmotion.com.

Review: Light & Motion Urban 700 Gallery
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Light & Motion Urban 700

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Light & Motion Urban 700

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Light & Motion Urban 700

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Light & Motion Line-up

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Light & Motion Urban 700 - 2014 Mtbr Tunnel Test

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Light & Motion Urban 700 Lumen-Hour Graph

Return to 2014 Bike Lights Shootout Main Page »

Related Links
2014 Tunnel Beam Pattern Comparisons »
2014 Mtbr Lumen Tests »
2013 Bike Lights Shootout »
2012 Bike Lights Shootout »
Mtbr Lights Reviews »
Mtbr Lights Forum »

Do you own the Light & Motion Urban 700? Help us become a better resource and write a review!

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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  • Russ Mawn says:

    L&M Urban 700 is exactly that….URBAN. Great light, bordering on fantastic.

  • Matt Loss says:

    I’ve had 3 of these and each one probably didn’t last more than an hour before they broke. The 2nd and 3rd units never made it onto a bike they failed so quickly. I need to find myself a reliable light system that I can have confidence in.

  • Cam says:

    I’ve had the 700 for a year, have a 40 min commute in the morning. Never an issue with this light. Has worked flawlessly.

  • JohnH says:

    been using the little brother the 550 Urban for a year as a commute ride light (40 miles) it has been fantastic – only issue is the 1.5hr up time on full power is pretty accurate = -t can be stretched to 2 hrs on lower power setting.

  • Chris says:

    Have been using this for about a year now for commute riding (12 miles x 2). The light pattern and brightness are exceptional. Easy to change settings. Easy to install and remove (let’s face it, you will lose almost any light if you leave it on your bike!) Usually the medium setting is more than enough light. Durable. No problems in rain. Easy to charge with USB. The low battery indicator is useful. Highly recommended.

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