Light & Motion started as a diving lights company, so it’s no surprise its best mountain bike lights have built a reputation for bombproof, whatever-the-weather reliability over the years. It’s not changed its Seca series much either, which is fine if you just want a great all-around MTB illuminator in a light, low-profile setup that works on a bar or helmet.
However, if you’re after self-contained convenience, remote switches and clear feedback of remaining run time, look elsewhere.
Design and aesthetics
The Seca head unit hasn’t changed since we can remember and it’s distinctly different from most other designs, too. There are three LEDs in the top row behind spot lenses, and then a fourth underneath behind a widespread, blurred front diffuser optic. The plastic back of the light wraps around deep cooling fins to dissipate heat without risking burnt fingers. It’s deeply scooped at the back, too, so that it properly wraps around the bar (or the D-shaped helmet mount bracket that it’s also supplied with). The rubber strap and hook mount are super simple to attach around any bar shape (even weird angular one-piece carbon setups like the Syncros Hixon), although remember to wrap it back over the hook to stop it flapping in front of the lens. It sits on a pivoting mount, too, so if your bars have a big sweep, you can still line it up perfectly, or that can be swapped for a GoPro-stlyle mount if you prefer.
Rather than a connector at the head end or halfway down the cable, Light & Motion uses a chunky 125cm cable that plugs into the battery with a very satisfying airtight 'thop' noise thanks to the diving spec rubber-sealed connector. The 125cm of cable is a lot though, even for a tall rider’s helmet mount and, however low you mount it on your frame, there’s a ton of cable to wrap around tubes or stop flapping somehow. The broad battery strap has no silicone grippers on it either, so you’re relying on the rubber ends of the battery and lashing it tight against the frame to stop the hard cell from shifting about. The long cable and small three-cell battery does give you a lot of potential mounting points, however, even on a small or crowded frame.
Once you’ve got the battery and light strapped on, the light is as trouble-free as you could hope for, with probably the best reputation for reliability of any brand we’ve tested in two and a half decades of doing this. The beam gives a really easy light to ride with too, with plenty of blemish-free breadth to decipher what’s coming out of the dark even on twisty, technical trails. The diffuser on the chin means plenty of low glare coverage right up to and either side of the front wheel, and a lack of sharp edges. The custom overlapping optics and medium color temperature mean it’s easy on the eyes with great surface detail and depth perception even if it’s damp and shiny as it often is at night in the UK. The metal front of the lamp slopes forward at the top giving a hooded effect that stops it from blinding you if you get too far forward over the bars when climbing.
While it’s properly certified (rather than theoretically claimed) the 2,000-lumen output is adequate rather than amazing in terms of distance punch, so if you’re after a searchlight for spotting trouble in plenty of time at speed we’d pair it with a more focused helmet light.
Control and communication are limited, too. The top button either toggles through three constant power modes and one pulse mode, or a ‘race’ setting that just gives you high and medium (1,000-lumen) settings. That’s the one we defaulted to for most of our riding and being able to dodge the dim 500-lumen low setting and the strobe option makes the Seca much more usable off-road. There’s no bar remote option to let you keep your hand on the bars though, and no way to set up a custom output menu to suit your night riding habits. There’s no run time progress indicator either, apart from the tiny indicator in the switch blinking with a few minutes of life left and then the light flashing for about 10 seconds before cutting out completely. That’s far too little warning to be safe on the trail and means you’re going to have to keep a very keen mental note of likely range if you’re flicking between different settings on a long night out.
On the plus side, the Seca runs for slightly longer than Light & Motions claims it does. It relies on a dedicated charger, which comes with adaptors for anywhere on the planet, and gets you back to full power in under three hours. The simplicity of the system is probably a big part of why it’s so reliable and it’s one of the few lights we’ve tested with an IP67 (rather-than-IP66) waterproof rating. You get a two-year warranty as well, but all our L&M samples over the years have been totally trouble-free for much longer than that.
If you want more power and/or range then the Seca Enduro has a 2,500-lumen max output and 2hr 30min run time from a six- rather than three-cell battery for $399.99 / £419.99, or you can buy the enduro battery for $149.99 / £169.99. Alternatively, if you want a self-contained system with a very similar beam, 2,000-lumen output and 1hr 30min run time, then the Seca Comp is a bar mount only bargain at $224.99 / £254.99.
If you want a lightweight fit-and-forget mountain bike light and separate battery setup with a broad, eye- and detail-friendly beam, and excellent all-weather reliability, then the Seca is a great after-dark ally. Lack of battery feedback, remote switch and custom tuning options makes it less user-friendly though, and the long cable means neat setup fans should definitely look at the self-contained and significantly cheaper Seca Comp instead.
Tech Specs: Light & Motion Seca 2000 Race
- Price: $324.99 / £319.99
- Weight: 345g (complete) 146, 199
- Max power: 2000-lumen
- Battery: 2800mAh
- Run time at max: 2hr 15mins (Average over three runs)