The Stella 180-N buys you the same lightweight LED head as the 180-L, but pairs it with an economical NiMH (nickel metal hydride) battery and a standard trickle charger. Light & Motion, a recognized leader in bicycle lighting solutions, has created its newest high-output LED system, Stella. Using the latest LED technology, Light & Motion has been able to achieve twice the light output of comparable single-LED light systems. Slotting in above its highly regarded Vega model, Stella adds a super-compact, ultra-lightweight, bar, helmet or strap mountable LED offering to the Light & Motion product lineup.
Strengths: Light and bright. I don't notice it's there. I just have the actual light and not the battery that comes with it. I have 2 batteries from my solo and they power this thing 4x as long as they powered my halogen L&M Solo light. Light & Motion customer service is the best.
I'm a beginner. This light probably isn't as bright as the higher end super bight LED that cost twice as much, but it works for me. I used it as my primary light during a 9hr night race in Germany that started at 8pm and ended at 5am. I'm really happy with it. I'd like to pick up the lighter battery. The quick charger is great.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: November 2, 2008
Strengths: Full 180Lumens on high,it has five settings to suite your lighting needs.Runs 5hrs on high setting better than NR and comes with helmet mount.Very light and easy to mount,price against performance worth every cents.
Weaknesses: Does not come with smart charger(i don't need it with riding style).
If your looking for light weight and not so pricey then this is the perfect light for you. You can even used it in other purpose (mountaineering,fishing,reading light etc..). Tested during 24hrs race, the burning time is awesome can't believe it lasted without recharging and still have more lights to give.Perfect for commuting and racing!
After a couple night laps around 24 hours in the Old Pueblo I was completely impressed with this light. I thought it might fill in when my bar mounted ARC (HID) light pointed the wrong way around corners, etc... The Stella seemed every bit as valubale as the Arc, despit costing a fraction as much. The ight weight and long battery life are also real pluses. The flash mode will come in handy when commuting on road. And the loest power setting will make for a handy reading/work light around camp (with the aux headband mount).
Similar Products Used: Night Rider Digital Head Trip. L & M ARC NiMH
Bike Setup: This is a light review.
a Cross Country Rider
from Kalamazoo, MI
Date Reviewed: February 7, 2008
Strengths: - Very nice run times especially if you don't need the full light level
- Lightweight and easy to mount
- Good beam throw and no major hot spots. A nice and smooth beam pattern.
- Comes with both a helmet and bar mount
- L & M's respected durability
Weaknesses: - Charger is not a smartcharger.
- Power switch has little to much ambient light and detracts a little from side vision at night
- Helmet mount takes a little work to get mounted
First a qualifier... 1. I don't ride rough mtn bike trails or single track much. Usually I'm on the road or a crushed cinder stone rails-to-trails path.
My previous background using lights consists of a light, the NightHawk Emitter (original), that uses the first generation Luxeon 1 watt emitters, probably rated about 35ish lumens on high. I've had this light for two years now and, for the most part, I've gotten by. I wished for more light but only now are LEDs finally getting bright enough with long enough run times (run time is a major point of importance for me as I ride hours at a time) at the price level I can manage.
My ride tonight consisted mainly of city riding, aka commuter situation, followed by the rails-to-trails path and then the ride home from the trail. This is just a first general impression of the light.
I used to be seen pretty well with my NightHawk on high. Usually though it wasn't until I was fairly close to cars pulling out, turning, etc. Still, I was seen and I've had a number of jerky and quick stops of cars happen. I used the Stella on flashing mode and there were plenty of street lights so I didn't need a steady mode to see.
- I still had some of the jerky and quick stops happen but I also had, for the first time, cars wait, with me being, oh, maybe 10 or 20 seconds away.
- I had one driver yell at me to get off the road (four lane road with me in the right most lane and him in the farthest lane coming towards me). GOOD!
- Without I doubt I was being seen by cars and I had more than a few "wow, that's a light" comments from pedestrians. I even had one car who had started cutting me off, I was in the bike lane on the right most side of the road, as the driver was turning right brake sharply after I'm guessing he noticed the blinking light in a mirror. He kept going though and I was prepared for this to happen even though the driver didn't have a turn signal on. After commuting for awhile you really do see accidents happen before they happen!!!
- My perception, and this is only a perception, is that drivers weren't sure if I was some type of emergency vehicle or not and thus were waiting before pulling out and such just in case I was even though they probably doubted it. They also very well have realized I was a biker and were being courteous. Again, either way I was seen and this is GOOD!
- I switched to steady a few times just to see what would happen and, although I wasn't getting quite as much courtesy from cars pulling out I was still getting seen. The flashing mode does seem to cause a little confusion in drivers thus my previous comment about being an emergency vehicle.
- When I had the beam on high (not flashing) I found that my light was not getting washed out by cars passing me from behind. The light blended in with cars for the most part but I could still make out my beam, although it was pretty faint but I didn't have to strain to make it out either. NOTE: This occurred without street or other ambient lighting and with all cars that passed me.
- With cars coming towards me I had enough light to still see my path ahead of me. I had a few cars switch off their high beams while still being, oh I'd saaaay, 100ish yards, maybe 200ish yards, away. One thing I did note is that nobody flashed their brights at me so hopefully I had the light tilted just down enough, although I setup the light for my needs without worrying about how it affected drivers. If I were on a quiet country road with very little traffic I would probably have the light one power level down from high most of the time.
- Overall: this is an excellent commuter light coming from a "what a light should do for a commuter" point of view. I can only imagine how a more powerful HID or light such as the TriNewt would affect drivers.
- By the time I had ridden to the trail head there was a light misty rain.
- Never once did I need to run the light at full power. In fact, I was just fine with, not medium, not low, but the "read" power level which is 40 lumens. Now, I must point out that on a good moonlit night I usually turn my light off so keep this in mind.
- The beam pattern was excellent. I got plenty of light throw straight ahead and plenty of flood spill a few feet in front of the bike. I was not wanting for more flood at all.
- The only thing I didn't, kind of sorta, like was the light from the power switch. It really wasn't bad but covering it with my hand brought back a little better sense of the surrounding area off to the side in darkness around me. This wasn't a problem at all while commuting. I will be bringing a little piece of electrical tape to cover the switch from now on.
A few things I didn't like overall but aren't really a problem
- The light head is fully positionable up and down and left to right. This is great especially as my old Emitter was 360 deg but with indented stops so it wasn't a true 360 deg postion ability, the Stella is. The downside to this is that if you do need to switch power levels you will move the light head out of position. The upside to this, is that it is very easy and quick to reposition it. So not really a problem and this will probably stop being a problem all together as I won't be switching power levels anywhere near like I did tonight being that I was testing it out.
- My handlebar is only the 25.4 (.7?) diameter near the stem clamping area. A couple of times the handlebar mount slid down the taper and thus started swinging around. I added some additional rubber inside the light's bar clamp to allow it to tighten down on the smaller diameter portion of the bar and this worked well. With the high adjust ability of the light head, where it is on the bar, won't be much of an issue.
So overall this is a great little light. And when I say little I mean the light is about the size of a AA mini maglight head. Nice.
I only put a three in the value rating for one reason, no smart charger. Given the MSRP of this light there is no reason for it not to come with the charger from the Stella L (only difference between the Stella N and the L is a Li-Ion battery and the charger). For comparison the MiNewt X.2 comes with a smart charger, a Li-Ion battery, and almost the same lumen levels as the Stella and for pretty close to the same price as the Stella. The only thing the MiNewt X.2 doesn't come with is a helmet mount.
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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