Sea Otter Classic ’18: Light & Motion introduces the motion-activated Vya

The Vya range of commuter lights from Light & Motion uses a motion-activated sensor and plant-based materials to create a super compact, bright and eco-friendly headlight and series of taillights.

The Vya doesn’t have an on/off switch; instead, riders simply plug the USB end into the light mount and start riding. Once the Smart Sensor in the light senses motion, the light will turn on. Once you’re stopped for 20 seconds, the light will turn off. The USB in the light can also be used for charging – just plug it into a computer or any USB charger – no cord needed. The Vya is super compact, but bright. The Pro tail light offers 100 lumens while the regular version offers 50, and the Pro headlight offers 200 lumens (regular is 100).

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The Vya Pro headlight senses ambient light and auto adjusts the mode with a daytime pulsing light for better visibility and a solid beam for nighttime.

The Vya line also features Light & Motion’s SafePulse, which is a slowly pulsing light beam rather than a flashing one. Daniel from Light & Motion informed us that studies have been done that show that flashing lights destroy driver’s depth perception, making it hard for them to properly locate and safely pass a rider. A pulsing light with an occasional staccato flash lets drivers know that the cyclist is there without being too distracting or affecting depth perception.

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Light & Motion also has a mount for the Vya taillight that attaches the light to the seat rails, putting the light up high where it will be most visible but also allowing the rider to run a saddle bag.

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The Vya will be available in June. Here are the four different models:

  • Vya Pro Headlight
    • 200 lumens,
    • 2-6 hour runtime
    • MSRP: $49.99
  • Vya Headlight
    • 100 lumens
    • 10 hour runtime
    • MSRP: $39.99
  • Vya Pro Taillight
    • 100 lumens
    • 6 hour runtime
    • MSRP: $59.99
  • Vya Taillight
    • 50 lumens
    • 8 hour runtime
    • MSRP: $39.99

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Field Tested: Light & Motion Urban 800

Light & Motion knows a thing or three about building sturdy bike lights—after all the company got its start building dive lights and still manufactures all its products in Monterey, California.

The Urban 800 is a wonderfully versatile little light—and I do mean little. One inch in diameter and four inches long, it’s about the size of a fat lipstick tube. It also weighs just 122 grams, so it disappears when mounted on your helmet with the included helmet mount. Charging is handled through an included micro USB cable.

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The 800 lumens are more than enough to show you the way, and when dimmed to low (175 lumens) it will run for six hours. The single CREE LED shines through a round reflector for a fairly standard beam pattern, but it is more than bright enough to spot potholes in the dark. You don’t have to worry about riding it in the rain either, as it is rated to be submerged in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes (though from the demonstrations I’ve seen, it will last even longer.)

On the sides are two amber lights that help increase visibility from the side, but they can also be turned off if you don’t want to use them. The stretchy rubber mount stayed put on a variety of handlebars, and the unit can swivel freely 360 degrees. New for this year is a removable mount that uses the GoPro interface for a clean mount on various other accessories. It can also be used as a flashlight with the included finger mount and lanyard.

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Add up all these features and the Urban 800 is my new favorite bike light. It is just one in a whole lineup of Urban models from Light & Motion starting with the $60 Urban 350. Pick which one is right for you and you won’t be sorry.

Vital stats

  • Price: $129
  • Weight: 122 grams
  • Output: 800 lumens
  • Claimed runtimes: High – 1.5 hours, Medium – 3 hours, Low – 6 hours, Flash – 120 hours.
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Light & Motion Urban 2.0 line features waterproof commuting visibility

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Earlier this year Light & Motion relaunched its all-new Urban 2.0 line, which features simple, one-piece LED lights that cover a broad spectrum from commuting to performance. They are available in four lumen levels and a rainbow of colors starting at $70.

Made entirely in Light & Motion’s California factory, the Urban 2.0 line won’t leave you hanging when the days get soggy either, as the company draws on its diving light expertise to make them 100 percent waterproof. As technology continues to improve LEDs and batteries, the run times are getting longer, the lights are getting brighter and the cost keeps coming down. The 800-lumen model is also available in a fast-charge version that can be full refreshed in just two and a half hours. Run times are 1.5 hours, 3 hours or 6 hours on high, medium and low, respectively.

The “urban” portion of the name comes from their details like a quick-release, tool-free handlebar and helmet mounts and amber side lights to keep you visible at intersections, where most bike/car collisions occur. Light & Motion has also done away with the rapid blinking mode that can actually distract drivers (as well as drive everyone crazy) and replaced it with a slower pulsing mode similar to what’s used on many motorcycles.

The five models in the Urban 2.0 line include:

  • Urban 350 – $69.99 Colors: Obsidian Stout/Blue Moon
    Urban 500 – $99.99 Colors: Blue Ribbon/Hopsickle
    Urban 650 – $129.99 Colors: Silver Moon/Shock Top
    Urban 800: $149.99 Colors: Anchor Steam/Steamroller
    Urban 800FC – $179.99 Color: Steelhead
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