Thursday, October 28, 2010

In Today's News

Stocking caps are making headlines.

I had to be in to work really early today, and temperatures dropped into the mid-30s overnight. That means it's time to start breaking out the real winter commuting gear. I was still dressed pretty lightly, but this is the first time this season I've needed a stocking cap.

The early commute also gave me the perfect opportunity to do a totally dark ride with the Light & Motion Vis 360 (shown left) that I'm testing out for At an advertized 115 Lumens, I was figuring that this light would end up being most useful as a "to be seen" light, but it actually casts a really good beam that's totally suitable for night-time riding at speeds of 15 MPH or so. The fact that it's helmet-mounted makes it good for Pothole Patrol. The side markers are brilliant and eye-catching, and the rear light is suitably luminous as well. I expect a full review to be done in the next week or so.

To test it, I took it out with a few other headlights I own, and took pictures of beam patterns. Its competition:

  • A Bell Orion I found on the roadside back in early 2009, loaded with a pair of fresh CR2032 batteries. This embodies the ubiquitous cheapo front headlight from discount stores. It's usually helmet mounted. I made a handlebar mount for it when I found it (missing the helmet mount)
  • Blackburn Flea
  • NiteRider Evolution Halogen (15W Bulb)
I'll save the beam comparisons for the full review, but here are some teaser images.

L&M Vis 360

L&M Vis 360

L&M Vis 360

And the beam shot from the Vis 360. This was the darkest spot I could find at my apartment complex this morning, far from the best place to do this sort of thing, but gives you a good idea of the beam pattern. I can say it's not nearly as bright as my halogen, but it knocks the socks off of my Blackburn Flea. It had better, for the price!
Light & Motion Vis 360 Headlight

And off topic, we're finally getting settled in at our new apartment. We had a lot of help moving, but the tedious process of organizing and unpacking has seemingly only just begun. Oh, and the Brown Recluse spider infestation that we were dealing with at our old place won't likely be a problem for much longer, even if some of them did move with us. I found this friendly guy on our first day at the new apartment. It's a Wolf Spider (Hogna carolinensis, specifically) sitting atop a 50-cent piece (Diameter: roughly 1.2")
The Citadel

I really like large spiders such as Silk Spiders, Orb Weavers, Wolf Spiders, Tarantulas and Nursery Web Spiders. They are typically very gentle, but eat most smaller spiders and any other bugs nearby. I'm pretty sure the days are numbered for any Recluses that happened to stow away in our belongings.


Apertome said...

Interesting teaser. I saw that light setup on sale somewhere recently, and I was intrigued, but I quickly dismissed it as an option. It seems awfully expensive, for what it is. Then again, it looks brighter than I would've thought.

Noah said...

When you compare it to some of the other popular LED helmet-mount options, its price stops looking so steep. Plus, L&M prides itself on never over-selling on lumens. At a glance, this looks as bright as the DiNotte 200L I used to have, which is supposed to put 200 Lumens to the pavement. Perhaps it's due to the optics, but it seems just as bright.

Then figure that it has a battery-pack built in to the helmet-mounted tail light, that it gets 3 and a half hours of run-time on it's highest output setting, and that it charges from any USB port in about 5 hours. It might just be a serious winner for the commuting crowd. I've been testing it for about a week so far, and can't find anything wrong with it other than the steep asking price.

Jon said...

Yay for the Wolf Spiders! My ceiling-hanging upside-down Common House Spiders are back for the winter. It's always good to see them return after the summer months. (I wonder where they go during the warm weather...)

Noah said...

They probably migrate outdoors or to the attic where the hunting is better. Wolf spiders do the same thing, but tend to try to find a way indoors this time of year.

I also found close to a dozen different Wolf spider molts on the windows and outside of my new apartment, and it probably means that there are several different wolfie territories at my new place.

Doug said...

When it comes to headwear, I tend to dress lighter than anyone I know. We've had temps down to the high teens this week. I'm still wearing the same thing I've worn all summer under my helmet. A Pace cycling cap. If it gets down into the middle teens, I may have to break out the headband for some ear protection.

Privacy Policy

This site is driven by software that uses third-party cookies from Google (Blogger, AdSense, Feedburner and their associates.) Cookies are small pieces of non-executable data stored by your web browser, often for the purpose of storing preferences or data from previous visits to a site. No individual user is directly tracked by this or any other means, but I do use the aggregate data for statistics purposes.

By leaving a link or e-mail address in my comments (including your blogger profile or website URL), you acknowledge that the published comment and associated links will be available to the public and that they will likely be clicked on.