The new Stella 180-L packs a long list of features into a very small package. Light & Motion is proud to introduce our new super-compact, high-output LED rechargeable bike light, Stella! Stella provides twice as much light as the comparable single-LED systems. By making use of the latest LED technology, Stella provides 180 lumens of ultra-white light, burn times surpassing 3.5 hrs on the highest setting.
a Cross Country Rider
from Folsom, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: February 5, 2009
Strengths: Extremely bright light, very light, easy to mount to helmet, nice long cord and very small light battery
I have the 200L but other than that it's identical. I love this light, it's so light you don't even feel it up there. The battery is light enough to wear it on the back of your helmet if you wanted to, I don't but a friend does. Battery life is really amazing, this light runs for ever. I use it a lot for nighttime mountain bike rides, we still motor along pretty good even in the dark and it works really well for that. The beam is a little narrow but very bright and has good distance. I usually have it on high but even the low setting is really good. Great light, you won't be dissapointed.
Strengths: Very bright light, fully lights up the 8' wide paved path I normally ride. Good distance too. I compared it to a 150 lumen light (forget the brand) and the Stella 180L seemed to be twice as bright with much whiter light. Not sure what the professional review means by it is difficult to mount on a helmet, seemed pretty easy to me.
Weaknesses: Definite hot spot, but that does make aiming it properly (to not blind other riders approaching from the opposite direction) so I guess that makes it not too much of a weekness. Beam pattern could be a little wider to cover the shoulders of the path a bit better.
Very happy overall with this light. I'd been using 3 battery powered 1 watt LED lights (two Cateyes on the handlebars and another brand I can't remember offhand on my helmet). The Stella 180L easily put out more light than all three did and at considerable weight savings. The light is mounted on my helmet and the battery clips onto my riding shorts. The paved path I ride at River Legacy Park in Arlington is completely unlit and there are plenty of small animals to watch out for so having a powerful light for winter riding is very important to me. The Stella 180L gives me great visibility both to see and be seen. I do think it is best suited for road bikers like myself more than mountain bike trail riders as the beam while wide enough for where I ride, might not be wide enough for trail riding.
Shop around, the list price is $300 but I got mine for $249 after haggling a bit with my local LBS.
Similar Products Used: Cateye LED lights (regular battery powered)
a Cross Country Rider
from Farmington Hills, MI USA
Date Reviewed: December 18, 2008
Strengths: Small size, light weight, good battery life, comes with a long cord, and a helmet mount
Weaknesses: Light will interfere with wireless cycle computers
Everything is great about this light, except one thing. The light interferes with wireless computers. I have 2 different kinds of wireless computers. A Trek model, and a Cateye micro. There has to be significant distance between the light unit, and the computer (at least 12 inches) to eliminate the intereference. I called L&M about this, and they said they had not heard of this issue. But my LBS told me that this is not uncommon.
Similar Products Used: only other lights used were wimpy AAA lights
Bike Setup: several different bikes
a Cross Country Rider
from Folsom, CA
Date Reviewed: November 16, 2008
Strengths: Super light and long run time.
Weaknesses: None for the price.
This light rocks, especially for the price. I would like to get another one to run on my bars (or the Seca if I win the lottery). With the Lithium Ion battery the light is so lite (Pun?) that I just strap the battery to the back of my helmet and wrap the cord in and out of the vents before finally tie wraping it near the back of the helmet right close to where the battery clips on to the back of the helmet head strap. Works great even if I forget to charge it a couple of days in a row given the fantastic battery life.
This is overall an excellent light and definately lives up to the reviews. I read review after review and thought I would try my luck with the Stella 180-L. It is so light you can't even feel it on your helmet. This light is very bright and battery life excellent and charges very fast. Since the time change I have used this light several times on completely unlit roads and it is almost like riding in daylight. Overall I am very happy with this product and if you are considering purchasing one you won't be disappointed!
a Weekend Warrior
from Minneapolis, MN
Date Reviewed: October 24, 2008
Strengths: Light weight - Good run times - Fast recharge - Beam pattern
Weaknesses: Beam pattern - Cord permanently attached to light head
I know I listed beam pattern as a strength and a weakness. Its that ying and yang thing. The beam patter is too hot right in the middle. It does have some halo but it would be better if it were a bit more even. The weakness of this pattern is that it gives a tunnel vision effect. The strength is that you get a lot of reach from the light power available.
This pattern works well as a helmet mounted light because you can direct it by moving you head about. It is best suited to moderate speed commuting (12-15mph). I own several other Light and Motion lights but this is the one that I use for everyday commuting. I find the beam pattern to be less suited to off road use where one must watch for branches that hang over the trail. But I find this light to work very well in conjunction with my bar mounted L&M Arc which provides a very wide smooth pattern. The light colors match pretty well and the bright spot provides a good reach.
In addition to the beam pattern the only other improvement I could think of is to allow the cord to disconnect from the light head. It is a pain to have to wrap around the light head when its not in use.
Bottom line is, I really like this a s helmet mounted light for commuting and I'm sure you will too, but for off road use you should plan on using it with a bar mounted flood of some kind. (You really should dual source when riding off road anyway.)
PS - I actually have the Stella R a commerative model that I got on closeout but it is the same as the Stella L.
Strengths: Super light, bright, and long [I mean long] burntime.
Weaknesses: The helmet strap.
This light is like having the sun on your head, except it's lighter and no dangerous radiation emmissions. Plenty of light, nice wide bright beam, and a battery that lasts. Good for full speed 30+ km/h. It has smart progamming in it. If you are out for a really long time, or forget to charge after a couple of rides, and are running low on battery power, it will automatically switch to a lower power setting. This buys you time to get back. It has 2 modes of operation each with a variety of power settings including the ultimate downhill experience, the strobe. Get this light if you want a super light, bright, long operating, and quick charging light.
Similar Products Used: Noghtrider, other light and motion
Bike Setup: Ellsworth Epiphany
from Burnsville, MN, USA
Date Reviewed: December 13, 2007
Strengths: Great light pattern, bright enough for most all riding except maybe above 20mph where you want more lumens/further illumination. Fast recharge, advertised battery times, so lightweight I've carried the battery with me on daylight rides a couple times by accident not realizing it was in my back pocket! Surely you don't notice headlight weight on your helmet. The low-setting is good for like 20 hours and is plenty for snow riding/adventure races/etc.
Weaknesses: The switch from bar-mount to helmet-mount to strap-mount is plain stupid requiring a screwdriver, patience and close vision glasses. Helmet strap is a bit long for my helmets. Having the plug-in at the battery instead of the light makes it a challenge to snake cord thru my jersey/jacket. What were they thinking there?
Great versatile light for all but the brightest needs. Its not an HID but not bad! To me, the extra cost for lithium was worth it. Should last a long time. Look around for decent bargains.
Similar Products Used: NiteRider Headtrip, Cygo-lite, NiteSun
Bike Setup: Pretty much all types.
Date Reviewed: December 10, 2007
Strengths: Extremely light weight, Bright and race ready,
Weaknesses: Couldn't tell I had the battery in my jersey pocket....:-)
Raced 24 hours of moab on a 4 man team, I was the first racer to go out with the Stella on my helmet. 3 other team members used this light system with one charge and it was still going strong...un-believable burn time while shinning the trail like daytime.
Saw this light from REI over the weekend and wondering what anyone thinks... It's 40% off and looks like a good deal. Thoughts??
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