The Light and Motion Taz is an 800-lumen light with five modes and a USB charging facility.
We’ve used it through Christmas, New Year, and early January: the period since our ‘first look‘ and one in which we’ve been lucky to see eight hours of daylight on any given day. The Taz has performed faultlessly.
The majority of our usage followed a pattern of using the 200-lumen flash mode during daylight, and the full 800-lumen solid beam on unlit roads. In urban areas, even in full darkness, we opted for the 200-lumen flash mode, such is its effectiveness.
The flash mode proved impossible to ignore, and as such became a faithful companion when pulling out of junctions and entering roundabouts, even in daylight. At blind bends or hill brows, we could hear in the throttle lift of oncoming vehicles its capacity to give drivers pause for thought. When used in darkness, its insistent output could be detected bouncing from the reflective surface of road signs from a distance of hundreds of metres.
In full darkness, and on sections of the ride far from town, we switched to the constant, 800-lumen output. In such conditions, where we relied on the Taz to light the way as well as alert traffic to our presence, this maximum output became our default. On this setting, the purity of the beam was most apparent: it is a brilliant white and able to illuminate hazards far down the road.
The Taz’ most impressive performance came on a 20 per cent, 35mph descent on an unlit road overhung on one side with trees, which was taken in full confidence, courtesy of the large and brilliant beam ahead.
The remaining modes were used infrequently, and only for the purpose of testing. Both medium and low modes were adequate for urban riding on lit streets where the sole purpose of the light is to be seen: motorists had little difficulty spotting us at roundabouts and junctions and waited until we had passed before making right turns.
The view of this correspondent is that the strongest presence is the safest, and that there is little point in merely making yourself visible to motorists when you have the ability to create a presence that cannot be ignored. The 800-lumen full beam did this.
When battery life is a concern (and the Taz can sustain its maximum output only for two hours), we would opt for the 200-lumen flash before the two reduced solid modes: the 400-lumen ‘medium’ or 200-lumen ‘low’ or ‘pulse’ mode (the latter throbbed faintly to no obvious benefit).
The mode button, mounted on the upper surface of the robust housing, required a determined push to cycle through the modes, and often needed a second attempt before the goal was achieved.
The second button was used to operate two amber sidelights, which were far more effective than we’d imagined they would be, regarding them as little more than novelty before use. We opted for the solid beam rather than flashing to avoid giving the impression of indicating a left or right turn.
Our sole concern before beginning the test was the length of time required for charging. This was overcome, however, with a routine of attaching the light to the laptop with its supplied USB cable after every ride. By deploying this strategy, we were able to avoid the 13-hour charge with which we began our acquaintance with the Taz. The ‘fuel gauge’, indicated by the colour with which it illuminated the mode button, never fell ‘below’ amber (red and flashing red indicate the lowest levels of charge).
Light and Motion say faster times can be achieved with a mains-powered USB charger, one RCUK understands is not supplied with the light to keep costs down.
Removing it from the bike for charge, and reattaching it, was a reassuringly simple task, courtesy of the plasticized rubber strap and buckle mounted on its lower surface. We parked it on the right hand side of the handlebar, feeding the strap beneath a short section of cable close to the handlebar tape. We approve of a design that obviates the need for a separate bracket: one less thing to lose.
Finally, the price. At £199.99 for 800 lumens, the Light and Motion Taz isn’t cheap. The Exposure Diablo MK4 we have on test claims 1,100 lumens for the same money, while the Gemini Xera (full review soon) offers 850 lumens for £105.
If our test is a guide, however, the Light and Motion Taz is robust, reliable, easy to use and to charge, and offers a brilliant beam that on maximum setting will turn the road ahead into a wash of brilliant white for hundreds of metres. Its flash mode will make your presence on the road impossible to ignore. Such qualities will have value to the cyclist keen to stay safe this winter. Whether that value is £200 is largely a matter for the rider concerned.
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