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Urban 500 Headlight by Light & Motion

Urban 500 System Light and Motion
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Urban 500 System Light and MotionWe caught Light & Motion last year for an initial review of their 150 and 250 lumen head lights.  Although those provide great lighting, this one is the whopper.  The Urban 500, as the name explains, packs a 500 lumen punch.  It weighs in at 112g and mounts on your handlebars.  The safety light on the side is a nice feature.  It blinks yellow at cars in your peripheral. The Urban 500 has 4 power settings:

  • High – 1.5 hours
  • Medium – 3 hours
  • Low – 6 hours
  • Flash – 18 hours

Lodged in it is a 1 cell Lithium Ion battery.  A battery charge indicator is featured so you can know beforehand whether or not it is going to be a rough ride home. The pricing is $159.  Check it out at Light & Motion’s Website.  Click more to see how bright the Urban 500 is…

Urban 500 Light And Motion Lumen Test

Featured is a 60ft beam test in a terrifying cave.  In addition to the massive lumen output, I speculate that they are also demonstrating the Urban 500’s vampire-repelling capabilities.

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mkrs
mkrs
10 years ago

Nice idea but with this symmetrical beam shape this is completely useless in urban environment. A lamp this bright can be more of a danger than of a benefit – it’s simply blinding for the oncoming trafic!

Kyle
Kyle
10 years ago

Mkrs-
That’s why the light has 4 different settings, the one they show is the high, for situations as shown. The medium and/or low can be used when your in a different urban environment.

Robin
Robin
10 years ago

Both the intensity of the light and the beam pattern are perfectly fine for urban night riding.

ss^2
ss^2
10 years ago

Please explain how a car’s headlights are not a danger compared to a ‘bright’ bicycle light. In my opinion, brighter is better because then people actually pay attention.

blasdelf
blasdelf
10 years ago

Road-legal car headlights are extremely asymmetrical with super-strict regulations on where light must not be cast. It’s generally illegal to drive with your high beams on if you’re within sight of another vehicle.

Quit being a dick dazzling and blinding other road users with inconsiderate lights, if you did it in a car you’d get honked at or run off the road.

In western europe lights are mandatory on bikes, but it’s illegal to ride a bike on the road with a floodlight on it (just like a car), so there are a lot of great lights available there. Unfortunately that’s never gonna happen in the US, and the distribution of the euro stuff is all screwed up.

greg
greg
10 years ago

ideally, for urban areas you want a bit of a soft cutoff around the horizon, so as to not blind cars, pedestrians, other cyclists, etc.
just because the light is not pointed straight at someone doesnt mean they cant see the light, so their ability to see you is not hindered. if the oncoming vehicle is blinded by you, however, it could even cause them to something stupid.
busch and muller make a light intended for urban riding that provides a cutoff, and the lens can be changed for riding out in the open road.

christian
christian
10 years ago

I’ve used the light for 5 months. Very bright, simple mount, and great side visibility. Very small and light. Big thumbs up.

mdubs
mdubs
10 years ago

Can’t really speak to the urban issues y’all are having with, “road legal” this, and “asymmetrical” that, but as a trail light the Urban 500 rocks. I was skeptical this Fall when the Allspeed boys were making their pitch, but it has been awesome. Easy on and easy off, really light weight, the side safety lights provide some ambient ground light when you find yourself hiking with your bike, can be used as an insanely bright flash light when the power is out, and perhaps most importantly is bright enough to let you go really fast in the woods at night on ice and snow. Oh yeah, it’s also pretty affordable at $150. You could get two for the cost of other lights, use the included helmet mount with one, and run a dual light system. Murder…..

mkrs
mkrs
10 years ago

@Kyle

The whole point of having a good light is the ability to see the road perfectly (like on “high” setting) but not blind the drivers (so that the front light is visible and bright, but not dazzling – just like a properly set up headlight in a car). Another benefit from that is better power efficiency (you can use less energy because the actual area covered by the ultra-bright light is much smaller than in the case of lights like the model presented here). The problem is that making a light like this takes a lot of skill and is much more expensive.

Actually, almost any idiot can make a 500 lm LED light – you can buy components from DealExtreme or Ebay and all you need is to solder them all together and CNC a chassis for that (which is not that hard). Making a light with a complexly shaped mirror to properly shape the light beam is much more difficult which is why there are so few light like Busch&Muller , Philips or Roxim lamps.

Steve
10 years ago

I’m always amazed to hear people crying about the lights being too bright and blinding cars. A motorcycle headlamp has to have a minimum rating of 1000 or 1100 lumens. Simply put, you don’t need to aim the light in drivers eyes….because it is so bright you can focus the beam down just like a motorcycle – you want to see the path in front of you, not 100 yds ahead if you were to aim towards drivers eyes. It’s not the light’s fault for being bright.

Light and Motion is one of the few bike lighting companies that design their own reflection systems to maximize beam performance – notice in the beam image how consistent the light is and that there are no halos, or dark spots!! The others use off the shelf chinese import solutions. Bush&Miller, Phillips, Roxim…really?? Those are cheap alkaline powered batteries that couldn’t blind drivers if they tried. And because they don’t have regulated power, within 10 minutes you’ll lose about 20% of the light output, and within 30 minutes you’ll have lost about 35-40%.

Size, weight, and features (battery indicator, custom reflectors, side lighting, Micro-USB rechargeable) for your money, you can’t get a better deal.

David
David
10 years ago

@mkrs, I disagree completely. The purpose of a good light is to be seen by otherwise negligent drivers.

It is illegal, but even a large contingent of motorcycle safety groups either don’t discourage or outright recommend riding with the high beams on, so a bright bike light (which others have mentioned have much lower output than any headlamp) seems like a really silly pet peeve.

If the choices are a slightly annoyed driver vs. a driver that “never saw him coming”…

Robin
Robin
10 years ago

I’ve actually had two strangers in two different cars thank me for having a bright light on my bike. They appreciated being able to see me at a much greater distance than they normally saw with other cyclists. I appreciate it even more than them as it allows me to see hazards at a much greater distance. If you’ve ever experienced a javelina suddenly walking into your path, you know where I’m coming from. Damned javelinas.

advocate
advocate
10 years ago

If a driver doesn’t lower his/her high beam, I direct my 1300 lumen lights right in their eyes just to piss them off. Why do drivers think that just because we’re not inside cars, we’re immune to high beam blindness? Walkers, joggers, cyclists, and even motorcyclists encounter this issue all the time. Turn your damn high beams off when you’re approaching!

mkrs
mkrs
10 years ago

@Steve

I believe you’ll be equally amazed to learn that motorcycle light are also designed so that they direct most of their light output towards the road, not directly in front of the bike. Blinding a driver coming at you is almost just as dangerous as having no lights because they can’t see you anyway so you’re in great danger.

And I believe you have never used a Philips LBL – it has a great LED driver which does not lose light output even at 10% of battery left. So sorry mate, but you have no idea of what you are talking about.

td
td
9 years ago

the light kicks buyt. great for backountry night travel or tent camping as well.

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