The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Light and Motion Vis 360+ Review

Long battery life, easy to attach and mount allows you to be specific with where light points.
LIght & Motion Vis 360+
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $180 List
Pros:  Helmet mount allows you to point light where you want it, front light and built-in tail light, long battery life, fast attachment, very convenient
Cons:  Beam is not as bright/wide/even as some handlebar lights, some people do not like the helmet mount, can't turn off side lights
Manufacturer:   Light and Motion
By Gentrye Houghton ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 14, 2018
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60
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 16
  • Brightness - 40% 3
  • Beam Quality - 25% 7
  • Battery Life - 20% 9
  • Portablity - 15% 8

Our Verdict

The Light and Motion Vis 360+ is a helmet specific bike light that makes commuting easier and safer than any of the other lights we tested. As a bonus, this light also works very well for mountain biking. Its design features a front spotlight, coupled with two amber sidelights, and a rear, red tail light that makes you visible from 360-degrees. Additionally, this is the lightest weight and most compact high powered commuter light we've tested, and its battery lasts nearly twice as long as similar handlebar mounted commuter lights. If you're looking for one bike light to do everything, we highly recommend the Vis 360+.

The Cygolite Metro 400, with 60 more lumens, is one of the best value lights we tested. See our complete Bike Light Review to compare all of the models tested.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award   
Price $180 List$225.00 at Amazon$109.95 at Amazon$119.99 at Amazon$95 List
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Pros Helmet mount allows you to point light where you want it, front light and built-in tail light, long battery life, fast attachment, very convenientGreat 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 Beam is not as bright/wide/even as some handlebar lights, some people do not like the helmet mount, can't turn off side lightsVery 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 Long battery life, easy to attach and mount allows you to be specific with where light points.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 Vis 360+ NiteRider Pro 1800 NiteRider Lumina 750 Cygolite Expilion 850 NiteRider Lumina 550
Brightness (40%)
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3
10
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10
10
0
9
10
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9
10
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8
Beam Quality (25%)
10
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7
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9
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8
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8
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8
Battery Life (20%)
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9
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10
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6
10
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4
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5
Portablity (15%)
10
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8
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3
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9
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7
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8
Specs Light and Motion... NiteRider Pro 1800 NiteRider Lumina 750 Cygolite Expilion... NiteRider Lumina 550
Max Beam Distance (m) 72 m 175 m 180 m 147 m 146 m
Battery Life (hours) 3.7 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 Helmet Handlebar Handlebar/Helmet Handlebar/Helmet Handlebar/Helmet
Installation Attached Tool-free Tool-free Tool-free Tool-free
Swivel Mount No, but your head can! Yes Yes Yes Yes
Weight 130 g, 4.6 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

Helmet Lights: the 'Safest' and Most Versatile


As a helmet light, the Vis 360+ shines wherever you point your head. This can be argued that it is much better than a handlebar mount because you can: (1) illuminate your specific range of sight, making turning safer and more visible for both you and oncoming traffic, (2) find street signs and house numbers without turning your handlebar, and (3) shine this light directly at oncoming vehicles or pedestrians that may potentially cross your path.

When riding in cities, our testers felt the safest with a helmet light. Mountain bikers often use a combination of a handlebar and helmet mounted lights due to the ability to control where it shines. For these reasons the consensus among our testers is that a helmet light is the one of the most versatile types of bike lights, and by far the safest type of light for commuting.

The graphics below show that lights with bright and/or wide beams can reduce the probability of accidents. Thus, helmet mounted lights are the safest because you can point them at turning vehicles. Our testers also felt a greater enhanced visibility with the red, rear light also mounted on the helmet as this placement is closer to eye level with approaching traffic.

72% of bike accidents occur at intersections. Front  side  and rear lights make it easier for cars to see you from the side and rear (left graphic). A helmet mounted spotlight allows you to signal your presence to oncoming and turning vehicles (right graphic).
72% of bike accidents occur at intersections. Front, side, and rear lights make it easier for cars to see you from the side and rear (left graphic). A helmet mounted spotlight allows you to signal your presence to oncoming and turning vehicles (right graphic).

But They're Not for Everyone


Despite their performance advantages over handlebar lights, several of our testers disliked having a light on their helmet. These testers felt they were too visible to others, complaining that people actually looked at them more and felt they blinded pedestrians. Thus, you may or may not prefer a helmet light.

Performance Comparison


We loved that this light illuminates everything in front of you in whichever direction you point your head.
From the side  oncoming traffic can see both the amber side lights as well as the rear tail light. These two features can greatly decrease your chances for being in an accident.
The Vis+ also includes a rear mounted red light  also on your helmet  adding visibility at a full 360 degrees.

Please click on any of these photo to enlarge them.

Brightness


This light has a maximum beam distance of 72-meters, which is the only place this light fell below the average of all lights tested and significantly less than the many of the powerful mountain bike lights, which easily double in beam distance. Though the Vis 360+ may seem relatively dim in our specs, the ability to point the light where you want makes it very bright in the specific point in which you wish for it to be bright.

We offer up two comparisons for beam distance. In the first set of photos, you can compare the beam distance of the Vis 360+ to the budget safety light, the CatEye HL-EL 135, pictured on the right.

Beam Distance Photos
Beam photo of Light and Motion Vis 360+
Beam photo of Cateye HL-EL135

Light and Motion Vis 360+
Cateye HL-EL135

And in this second set of photos, we compare the Vis 360+ to the best handlebar mounted commuter light we've tested, pictured below on the right is the NiteRider Lumina 750.

Beam Distance Photos
Beam photo of Light and Motion Vis 360+
Beam photo of NiteRider Lumina 750

Light and Motion Vis 360+
NiteRider Lumina 750

The Vis 360+ has two additional light elements that increase its brightness that are not accounted for in our measured beam distance testing. First, it has amber sidelights that make you more visible from the sides.

Amber sidelights add 360 degree visibility.
Amber sidelights add 360 degree visibility.

Second, the Vis 360+ has a built-in red tail light on the battery pack! This can be turned on and off with the flip of a switch to save battery, because there's no need for cars to see you from behind while you're mountain biking.

That attached tail light also fits on your help to increase your visibility from behind.
That attached tail light also fits on your help to increase your visibility from behind.

The combination of the ability to point the light where you want to, its amber sidelights, its red tail light, and the fact that the light is mounted higher up from the road on top of your head, make this by far the "safest" bike light we've tested, meaning that our testers felt safer with this light than any other commuter light we tested.

Beam Quality


The Vis 360+'s beam has a concentrated spotlight in the center and a less bright, mostly even outer area. Though the beam is not quite as even as other lights tested, like the Light and Motion Taz 1500, we feel the Vis 360+'s beam works very well because you can shine the light where you want. In the comparison below, you'll find the Vis 360+ pictured on the left, with the Taz 1500's illuminating the peripheral zones on the right.

Beam Diameter and Pattern
Beam photo of Light and Motion Vis 360+
Beam photo of Light and Motion Taz 1500

Light and Motion Vis 360+
Light and Motion Taz 1500

Battery Life


This is the second highest scoring light in this category, next to the NiteRider Pro 1800. The USB rechargeable battery lasts for 3.7 hours on high, which is twice as long as other top commuter lights like the Editors' Choice NiteRider Lumina 750 and Light and Motion Urban 800. Longer battery life means less frequent charging and it also allows you to take the light on relatively long mountain bike rides.

As you can see in this chart depicting battery life versus beam distance over time, the Vis 360+ lasts roughly twice as long as the average high-powered commuter style handlebar light, like the Lumina 750.

Portability


Our portability score assesses the weight and volume of each light. The Vis 360+ weighs just over 4.5 oz. with the front and rear mounts combined. This is the lightest weight and most compact light of our highest seven scoring lights! The small size and low weight is a tremendous advantage for commuters that carry the light around in their bag when it's not in use.

Due to its mount type, this light is seemingly effortless to use; both parts of the light can be attached or removed in less than 10 seconds, and it allows you to keep the light attached if you carry your helmet with you. Plus, you can easily charge the light when it's still attached to your helmet.

Additionally, the Vis 360+'s main button is located on top of the front lamp, which also serves as a battery life indicator (green = high, yellow = medium, red = low), and is easy to feel and press on the go, even with gloves on. Not to mention the beam placement is adjustable, similar to a regular ol' headlamp.

Best Applications


Due to the amazing versatility with this light, we suggest you use it for either heavy commutes or mountain biking. The best part is, you don't have to leave this light if you're not with your bike; Light and Motion sells a separate head strap that allows you to use this light and leave your helmet at home.

Value


This is the most expensive compact commuter light we've tested; that being said, it's also by far the best commuter light we've tested. Also, due to the mount type and long battery life, this light has added value in versatility, because it's a great light for on-the-go around town as well as taking you out to play in the dirt and mud on your mountain bike. The mount is also transferrable to other activities in which you could attach a light to your helmet, such a spelunking, and can be converted into a running light with the purchase of a $20 accessory.

We feel the light is worth every penny if you do a lot of commuting or just want the safest or most versatile light. See our Price Versus Value Chart to compare price and our total scores.

Conclusion


This is the best commuter light we've tested and also the most versatile light tested, which is why it wins our Top Pick Award for a helmet mounted light. We highly recommend it!

Other Versions and Accessories


Light and Motion also offers the 360 (no "+"), which is less than half as bright, has approximately 33 percent shorter battery life, and loses the ability to turn off the rear red light. Given the dramatic decrease in brightness and battery life, we strongly believe that it's worth spending the extra $80 to get the Vis 360+.

You can also purchase the above mentioned VIS 360 headstrap for $20 and loose the helmet to convert this light into a headlamp with the ability to accompany you along whatever activity you desire.


Gentrye Houghton