Light & Motion Seca 700 Ultra 2010: The light system of choice when you demand maximum output and burn time with minimum fuss. Maximum output of 700 lumens is achieved by combing 6 high-power LEDs with a custom reflector combined with superb run times... Mtbr Bike Lights Shootout - over 50 bike lights reviewed, photographed and measured here.
A K Rider
a Weekend Warrior
from Anchorage, AK
Date Reviewed: October 15, 2009
Strengths: Beam pattern
Weaknesses: None so far
I just replaced a Niterider MiNewt X2 which was pretty darn good, but I wanted more light. I can sometimes outrun the X2 beam on my road bike. Rain pretty much washes it out completely.
I use helmet mounts by the way. I also commute to work. I work nights so I ride in the dark quite often. Our winters provide darkness for over 20 hours at the longest part, so I end up riding in the dark a lot for several months out of the year. Once the snow falls, I store the race bike and use the Mtn bike. I have studs. Yes, I feel like I go from a Ferrari to a John Deere. Oh well, studs are fun too.
Right after I bought the Seca, the MiNewt developed a short. This makes me glad I didn't buy another Niterider product. A friend of mine had problems with his MiNewt also. I am now leary of Niterider products. Yikes, I almost bought a Niterider Pro 600!
So, on to the review of the Light and Motion Seca.
The unit seems as well built as the Niteriders. The head has some plastic on it, but the guts are aluminium and seem quite solid. Althought the head is larger than the MiNewt, it only weighs about an ounce more. The mount is fine.
The beam pattern is excellent. L&M did their homework on this one. I can see very well without feeling like I am blinding anyone coming towards me. The claimed 700 lumen output seems true. This light is very bright. If I switch the Seca to its lowest setting, 150 lumens, I feel like I can barely see. Gee, 150 lumens SEEMED good enough before I got 700!
The light came with a helmet mount and an extra long cord. Niterider charged extra for these. Thanks L&M.
The power cord / battery connection is more robust and better engineered than the Niterider products.
Speaking of batteries, if you don't need the extra run time, get the 'Race' version Seca. The "Ultra" battery is about twice the size of a NiteRider MiNewt battery for instance. I carry a pack so size doesn't matter too much to me, but it might to you....
Finally, the L&M charger is better than Niteriders. It is truly a 'smart' charger and charges the large 9 cell battery of the Seca in about half the time of the smaller battery Niterider.
If this unit holds up, I will be a convert for good.
This is the first light I have used that actually lights up the road on a dark night in the RAIN.
Bike lights have come a long way in the past ten years.
This light may seem expensive, but I think $400 is cheap compared to an ambulance ride. Safety is worth it. I can actually see the idiots walking /riding towards me wearing their dark clothing with no reflectors or lights. (Don't be one of them!)
I'm giving it 5 chili's for value just because the same lumen output would have cost $800 two years ago, would have been HID, (gag), and had all the drawbacks of those systems. LEDs are the future and the future is now.
Similar Products Used: Many other rechargeable systems
Bike Setup: Road: Trek Pilot Carbon Fiber
Mtn: Fisher Hi-Fi Plus
a Weekend Warrior
from East Meadow
Date Reviewed: August 29, 2009
Strengths: Excellent beam pattern with much more than very sufficient light on the road. The beam aims on the road, not up to the trees, so it doesn't blind oncoming cyclists or vehicle drivers. Extremely long burn time. Easy to mount without tools. Allows continuous, safe charge on sophisticated battery charger, so it's always ready. Quick charge times without heating battery at all. Convenient case allows for all light equipment to be in one place. Long life bulbs measure in thousand of hours. Ease of use to both turn on and off or adjust light output. Neat light gauge, not that you'll need it since the burn times are extremely long.
Weaknesses: Handlebar needs friction tape under light mounting to prevent light adjusting downward after hitting bumps in the road. Light cord too long and needs to be wrapped many times around bicycle, increasing mounting time. Battery needs to be mounted VERY tightly or else it may slide from its nylon shell and fall to the ground. Very expensive.
I absolutely love this light. Once I figured placing friction tape onto my handlebar it works 100% as I expected it would. I don't care if they invent a better light, I wouldn't buy anything else because this light is all I'll ever need. I can see everything ahead of me and don't worry, even if I'm going 30 mph. The beam is far ahead and wide enough for any kinds of turns. I've ridden hours in the dark with no concern about burn time. I'll pass other riders and they're shocked at the output of this amazing, incredible miracle of a light.
Note, if you buy it on eBay, you don't have a warranty. I took a chance knowing L&M reputation for durable reliability.
Similar Products Used: Light and Motion Solo Logic
Bike Setup: I use it either on my Trek Madone 5.2 or my Dahon Folding Bike.
a Cross Country Rider
from Vallejo, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: August 24, 2009
Strengths: Instant-on, no fuss. Very bright. Extraordinary run-time. Useful brightness settings extend run-time even more. L&M smart-chargers are the best.
Weaknesses: Strobe is unnecessarily in the way. Lithium batteries are more delicate than NiMH. Poorly thought-out cord. Mucho Dinero!
More than enough light, and you can ride 'till dawn. Ten years ago, who'd have ever thought you'd see a bike light with that combination without carrying around a car battery! Arc was almost there, but you paid the price with problematic starting, limited bulb life and a tendency to get flaky over bumps. Now with the Seca, I don't worry that this could be the day when it won't start at all. It just turns on. LEDs will last much longer than an ARC bulb, and if one ever blows there are still 5 others to keep you from plunging into darkness. Bumps don't bother it in the least. Everything I've always wanted from a bike light. Some have complained about the mount. I haven't had problems but if I do, a bit of beeswax would probably snug it up sufficiently. If not, a wrap of self-fusing silicone tape (see Radio Shack) would certainly do the trick.
Now for the nit-picking. You'll likely never want the strobe, but it's always in the way. Unless you chose Race Mode, in which case you lose Medium setting. Please, L&M, get strobing out of the way. Also, I'm not sure why L&M persists in including such a long straight cord with their light heads. Yes, the length could be useful for some, but for others it's a mess. Why not have the best of both worlds and use a pigtail cord, like telephones have since, like, the 1930's? . Obviously both of these problems are minor. Also, Lithium packs are generally not quite as robust as NiMH, but then again you wouldn't be getting 5 hours off a similarly-sized NiMH. Just plan on somewhat more frequent replacement.
In short, this light is amazing and I can always find something to complain about! :) Yes it's expensive, but cheaper than your average Ambulance ride.
a Weekend Warrior
from Northeast, NE
Date Reviewed: April 6, 2009
Strengths: This light is plenty bright; ease of use definitely a plus. Light balances well on helmet, for long uses. Light itself is light.
Weaknesses: Batt is slightly heavy, but that is the trade off of longer lasting batts
I have recently purchased the light and used it a handful of times prior to this past weekend during an all night race. Other lights I've used are excellent, but I'm very glad to have purchased this one. Brightness was all I could ask for and then some. As an adventure racer, the low setting was more than enough see while trekking, occasionally the high setting used. On the bike legs with both gravel and technical single track, the light performed like a champ. Most of the time, I could get away with using the medium setting. Sometimes, I switched to high and the batt never went dead.
Strengths: Bright, easy to install, battery life, brightness options
Weaknesses: heavy battery, parts can run hot.
Great light, easy to install and the bright options is great. It is expensive for sure but LED lights are geat, instant light, no time to get bright like the HID. I did some testing and the red metal part of the light casing can get hot, I put a thermometer on it and it ran at 133 degrees fahrenheit, that's pretty hot. But that was indoors and it was running for about 50 mins on high. I guess if you're running it outdoors it won't get that hot, thought I'd mention because it was a shocker when I grabbed it and didn't realized it was going to be that hot. Overall this light is very good but it is expensive.
a Cross Country Rider
from Asheville, NC
Date Reviewed: November 12, 2008
Strengths: Instant on (no waiting/hoping to ignite like HID), 10K+ hr bulb life, no tools need to change from helmet to bar mount, even solid beam pattern
Weaknesses: battery weight, expensive
Light & Motion produces the best all around trail & commuting lights. The made a major commitment to LED for 2008/2009 and the lights are great! LED is the future. I sold my ARC HID to get this light and haven't regretted it for one second. HID was bright, but LED provide fewer headaches all around.
The beam is spread wide on the trail and is very even throughout your line of vision. I love how LED's are on instantly as opposed to waiting for an HID to ignite.
The "race" setting is very nice and allows one to go directly from High to Low settings with one push. Unlike the L&M HID's the various settings actually change the output. On my old HID Low & High seemed exactly the same.
I have had no issues with the bar or helmet mounting. To the other reviewer, make sure you are putting the rubber strap through the bracket and folding it over before hooking it on the notch.
The product is not perfect. The battery is a bit heavy, but that's what you get with such great run times. The light is expensive as well. However, L&M has made a real commitment to green production and they are made in the USA. This should be noted in your purchasing decision.
Who should buy - Endurance racers, trail riders who want to go full speed at night
Don't buuy if - you can't afford it, you do casual 1-2hr night rides
a Cross Country Rider
from Greensboro, NC, USA
Date Reviewed: November 7, 2008
Strengths: Bright well defined beam. Exceptional battery life.
Weaknesses: The bar mount is terrible on smaller bars. I constantly had to adjust the aim when riding on roads. Trails are a non-starter.
If it had a decent bar mount I could give it 5 Chilis and I expect as a helmet mounted light it is a 5 Chili product. I am going to try and adapt it to my old Arc's bar mount. If that works then this will be the best light I've owned. The bar mount that comes with the light does not hold onto the aero-bar that prevents me from mounting directly to the handle bar. The aero-bar is much narrower than the handle bar (as is the Performance Space-Bar that hangs off it) forcing me to use the tightest strap setting on the mount. It still was shifting with every bump on the road and trail.