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Light and Motion Taz 1500 Review

This light has an extremely bright and wide beam but it does take a while to fully charge and can get hot if used for an extended period of time.
Light and Motion Taz 1500
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Price:  $300 List | $249.99 at Amazon
Pros:  VERY bright, wide and even beam
Cons:  Can get super hot, heavy, short battery life, 18-hour full charge time, requires two hands to take on and off
Manufacturer:   Light and Motion
By Gentrye Houghton ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 14, 2018
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76
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 16
  • Brightness - 40% 9
  • Beam Quality - 25% 10
  • Battery Life - 20% 6
  • Portablity - 15% 2

Our Verdict

The Light and Motion Taz 1500 is a high-powered portable "cross-over" bike light designed for mountain biking AND commuting. The light is approximately as bright as a single car headlight, yet it fits into the palm of your hand, weighs less than half a pound, and can be attached to your handlebar in less than 10 seconds.

Using the Taz on its high light level in a city is an empowering experience because you are quite visible! Our testers felt very safe riding on busy, crowded streets with this light. Unfortunately, the light maintains its high output for a mere 1.6 hours. According to our testers and reviewers elsewhere, this is not long enough for an evening mountain bike ride.

Thus, though we love this light for city riding, we don't believe its battery life is long enough to make it a true 'crossover' light. Furthermore, other similarly safe commuter bike lights, like the Editors' Choice NiteRider Lumina 750 cost almost $200 less. Better performing mountain bike lights, like the NiteRider Pro 1800 cost about the same as the Taz 1500 and last about 4 hours in high mode. Thus, we feel your money can go farther with other lights.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award   
Price $249.99 at Amazon$241.76 at Amazon$109.95 at Amazon$140 List$49.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros VERY bright, wide and even beamGreat beam distance and quality, lasts four hours in high modeWide even beam pattern, bright, illuminated on/off button, swivel mountWide, even beam pattern, multiple blinking modesBright, wide and even beam pattern, illuminated on/off switch, easy on and off handle bars, good value
Cons Can get super hot, heavy, short battery life, 18-hour full charge time, requires two hands to take on and offVery heavy, expensive and time-consuming to install and removeBeam could be more even/less narrow, battery life on the short sideMinimal swivel, short battery lifeShort (1.5 hour) battery life
Bottom Line This light has an extremely bright and wide beam but it does take a while to fully charge and can get hot if used for an extended period of time.This is your go to light for quality and distance of beam.This light is bright, swivels nicely and even has an illuminated on/off switch.Although it has a shorter battery life, it has a wide even beam with multiple blinking modes.This light not only is a great value but it has a super bright and even beam pattern.
Rating Categories Light and Motion Taz 1500 NiteRider Pro 1800 NiteRider Lumina 750 Cygolite Expilion 850 NiteRider Lumina 550
Brightness (40%)
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
Beam Quality (25%)
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Battery Life (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
10
10
0
6
10
0
4
10
0
5
Portablity (15%)
10
0
2
10
0
3
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
8
Specs Light and Motion... NiteRider Pro 1800 NiteRider Lumina 750 Cygolite Expilion... NiteRider Lumina 550
Max Beam Distance (m) 144 m 175 m 180 m 147 m 146 m
Battery Life (hours) 1.6 hrs 3.8 hrs 1.7 hrs 1.4 hrs 1.5 hrs
Battery Type USB Recharge USB Recharge USB Recharge USB Recharge USB Recharge
Mount Options Handlebar Handlebar Handlebar/Helmet Handlebar/Helmet Handlebar/Helmet
Installation Attached Tool-free Tool-free Tool-free Tool-free
Swivel Mount Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Weight 220 g, 7.8 oz 500 g, 17.6 oz 182 g, 6.4 oz 174 g, 6.1 oz 180 g, 6.3 oz

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Light and Motion Taz 1500 has an excellent wide, evenly lit beam that lights up any nighttime riding experience. However, with its low battery life and low portability score, it just narrowly missed being a contender for one of our awards.

Performance Comparison


This light is extremely bright  but be careful because the light itself does get hot to the touch.
This light is extremely bright, but be careful because the light itself does get hot to the touch.

Brightness


The only light we tested that scored higher in brightness than the Taz 1500 is the NiteRider Pro 1800, which is kind of hard to believe since the Taz is about as bright as a single car light. We loved using this light out on the road, especially on some scary, low-lit highways with disappearing shoulders that we won't admit to our mothers we've actually ridden in the dark (or light!).

Our Editors' Choice winner, the Niterider Lumina 750, outshines the Taz by a mere 36-meters at their maximum distance. The photo below shows you their differences in distance, as well as the broader beam of the Taz 1500, on the left, compared with the Lumina 750, on the right.

Beam Distance Photos
Beam photo of Light and Motion Taz 1500
Beam photo of NiteRider Lumina 750

Light and Motion Taz 1500
NiteRider Lumina 750

Since Light and Motion is considering the Taz a "crossover" light, we also compared the beam distance with the Pro 1800, below on the right. The Taz's maximum beam distance measures in at 144-meters, and falls about 30-meters short to the beam of the Pro 1800.

Beam Distance Photos
Beam photo of Light and Motion Taz 1500
Beam photo of NiteRider Pro 1800

Light and Motion Taz 1500
NiteRider Pro 1800

Beam Quality


The Taz 1500 has an excellent beam pattern because it's very wide and even, and in this category it once again scores just shy of the Pro 1800, earning a score of 9.

The photo below compares the beam pattern of the Taz 1500, on the left, with the Pro 1800, on the right. You can see that the Pro 1800 floods light out slightly wider and more evenly.

Beam Diameter and Pattern
Beam photo of Light and Motion Taz 1500
Beam photo of NiteRider Pro 1800

Light and Motion Taz 1500
NiteRider Pro 1800


Battery Life


As displayed in following chart, the Taz's high light level lasts for only 1.6 hours. This is rather short for mountain biking, which often requires the highest beam output setting. Running the light on medium (3-hour run time) can save battery life while commuting.

Caution: This Baby Gets Hot!

This is the hottest bike light we tested. It is relatively poor at cooling itself down without the help of cold air rushing over your handlebars. As you can see in this battery life vs. beam distance chart, the Lumina 750 remains quite even throughout it's battery life while the Taz 1500 drops from its high light level to medium when it gets very hot. This is to prevent the light from burning you. But even so, we found that it was too hot to touch immediately after any ride lasting longer than 20-minutes.

Portability


As much as we love the light output for this light, it scores below average in portability. While it is compact for a mountain biking setup, it's also heavier than the other commuter lights we tested. Sticking it in your bag is less than ideal based on both the size and weight. Like all Light and Motion lights, it does attach to handlebars quickly and is easy to transfer between bikes. However, it does not have the same easy one handed operation as the Lumina series and therefore scores relatively low in this category.

Best Applications


We love the beam pattern and output on this light, especially for commuting and crossing over for very short, evening mountain bike trails.

This light performed excellent on mountain bike trails; however  due to a short battery life  we never strayed too far from the trailhead.
This light performed excellent on mountain bike trails; however, due to a short battery life, we never strayed too far from the trailhead.

Value


The Taz 1500 is one of the most expensive lights we tested. It might be a good value if its battery life were longer, but it is more than twice as expensive as lights that perform almost as well or about the same as those lasting at least twice as long.

Conclusion


This light scores high enough overall to be a contender for our Editors' Choice award; however, after closer examination of practicality, it fell rather short. It could take the award by proving to be a fantastic crossover light IF the battery would last longer on high—long enough for most people to go on an evening mountain bike ride. If you're looking for a dedicated mountain bike light we highly recommend the NiteRider Pro 1800, because it costs about the same and its battery lasts more than twice as long.

Other Versions and Accessories


We tested that Taz 1500 in Mad Wolf, but it also comes in Black Pearl; it also comes in a 1200 lumen version at $60 less and with about the same battery life as the 1500.


Gentrye Houghton