Helmet Mounted Light

RedBike

New Member
Location
Beside the road
I've stupidly entered a 24hr race, which will mean riding through the night.

My main light will just about last long enough but I could really do with a helmet mounted light. The race is in May so I 'think' I need about 10hrs burn time. (I don't mind taking a pile of batteries).

The obvious choice would be the Exposure Joystick, however, i'm a tight fisted git and I don't want to pay that sort of money.

Will any of the chinease torches do?

Any other alternatives going for next to nothing?
 

Norm

Guest
Sorry but I couldn't vote for anything other than the Joystick. Depending on the exact date, sunset to sunrise in May is close to 9 hours apart at the start of the month or 7 hours apart at the end. A Joystick on medium (I frequently flick between the three settings) should manage that and more.
 
OP
RedBike

RedBike

New Member
Location
Beside the road
There is no doubt that the Joystick is king. But I was kind of after something closer to the £50 mark.

I haven't compared prices but the Joystick is about £160, well over £100 secondhand.

You'd think one of these knock-off torches with a pile of lithium CR123 batteries would be alright.
 

Debian

New Member
Location
West Midlands
I use an LED Lenser L4 zip-tied to the helmet, along with 2 x LED Lenser P7s on the bars for night time XC rides.

The L4 is lightweight and fairly compact and puts out just under 100 lumens. About £30 from Blacks or Milletts. About six hours burn time on a set of four AAs.

EDIT: Can't find the L4 now, I'm sure that's the right designator. Anyway, this one is probably as good:

http://www.torchdirect.co.uk/led-lenser-lightweight-range/led-lenser-l7.html

£30 +p&p
 
OP
RedBike

RedBike

New Member
Location
Beside the road
The P7 is looking like my best bet. Only 100 lumens though, Is that enough?

I wonder what the Joystick is on 'Ride' (Half power). I know it's 240lumens on Maxx?
The Ride setting will probably be just about the same brightness as the P7. Even if the Joystick is brighter I seriously doubt there's enough of a difference to talk me into spending £160 over £30.
 
Assuming a direct relationship between power and burn time, I would guess that as a rough guide:

240 Lumens = 3 hours

10 hours = 3.3 times the burn time and therefore about 72 lumens

24 hours = 8 times the burn time and therefore about 30 lumens
 

hotmetal

Senior Member
Location
Near Windsor
Hmm... if you're doing a proper XC ride with trees and stuff you're gonna need a proper bright light, not a "don't run me over Mr Car Driver" torch. You really need to see where you're going, and what the ground is like. Off-road it's definitely more about seeing than being seen. I've literally just come back from a night ride round Swinley forest. Helmet mounted lights are a must if you're riding twisty singletrack because bar mounted lights only point where you are currently going, not where you want to go. Those are 2 very different things when it gets twisty!

I use Lumicycle's halogen helmet lights - 12W spot is good enough, an extra 20W flood helps with peripheral vision, but that chews up the Li-Ion battery. Using primarily the 12W spot, and flicking the flood on when it gets twisty, I go through a full charge in under 3 hours though - and that's with the big battery.

I know I'm old tech here though, apparently the very latest Super-bright LED lights can be bright enough and deliver decent run times. Not sure how those 100 lumens stack up against an over-volted 12W spot halogen... I wouldn't want to see any less than I do now, but if Debian or anyone can confirm that these Lenser things really do give enough light to ride singletrack at night I want some! The quoted burn times seems amazing. Actually for £30 I might just get one to find out...

Edit: just done some research on the Lumicycle site. Apparently my 12W flood pumps out about 370 lumens. Don't think I'd fancy my chances with a 100 lumen torch after all, though I might get one for emergencies...

Halogen
http://www.lumicycle.com/product/104/halogen_1220_pro/halogen-1220-off-road-pro.html
HID
http://www.lumicycle.com/product/100/hid-bike-light-------700-lumen.htm
LED
http://www.lumicycle.com/product/204/850-lumen-flood.htm

Judging by this I'd probably say that to get 10 hrs run time with enough light to ride by you'd be looking at £250! (It's the battery that costs all the money).

BUT check this out: Lumicycle will hire you the kit, so you don't need to invest loads of money on something that you might not use. Mind you, it could still cost £50-60 to hire it for a weekend.
http://www.lumicycle.com/product/173/hire.htm
 

hotmetal

Senior Member
Location
Near Windsor
RedBike said:
The P7 is looking like my best bet. Only 100 lumens though, Is that enough?
The torch direct site says 200 lumens for the P7. You might get away with that. They don't give much indication of run times when using full power though.
 
OP
RedBike

RedBike

New Member
Location
Beside the road
Hotmetal: It's very hard to compare halogen lights with LED lights directly. A halogen light gives a warm yellow glow whereas an LED light gives off a very white sharp light. I think I still prefer the colouration of a halogen light over an LED.

I can highly recommend the better quality LED lights. I myself run a Exposure Maxx Enduro, which will give you something daft like 10hrs of light at 400lumens.

100lumens would be fine for a helmet mounted light IF its focused into a tight spot. I only need the additional light for looking directly infront of the bike and around sharper twists and turns.

I've seen the Joystick in action and it is possible to ride off-road at speed using just this light. 240lumens tightly focused into a spot is quite bright.
 

Debian

New Member
Location
West Midlands
I can only say that I love the LED Lensers! Stunning value for money.

I have two P7s (200 lumens each) on the bars and an L4 (100 lumens) on the helment.

One bar mounted P7 is set to flood and one to spot.

The helmet L4 is set to spot (maybe not quite fully tight).

The bar mounted, flood-set P7 gives quite a good side scatter illumination for "seeing round corners" and the helmet torch tops it off nicely. You could probably put a P7 on the helmet instead of the L4 but it is a bit heavier, the L series really are very light in weight.

For me (and it's only my opinion) the set up gives plenty of light put out in a flexible and adjustable fashion. For just over £100 total it's a bargain.

My P7, on full output gives me about 4 hours on a set of batteries.

It works for me.
 

Debian

New Member
Location
West Midlands
hotmetal said:
I use Lumicycle's halogen helmet lights - 12W spot is good enough, an extra 20W flood helps with peripheral vision, but that chews up the Li-Ion battery. Using primarily the 12W spot, and flicking the flood on when it gets twisty, I go through a full charge in under 3 hours though - and that's with the big battery.
http://www.lumicycle.com/product/104/halogen_1220_pro/halogen-1220-off-road-pro.html

Actually, that does look rather good. 1000 lumens!? (where's the drool emoticon when you need it?)

Only 1 - 2 hours burn time though?
 
OP
RedBike

RedBike

New Member
Location
Beside the road
Chugsy, Brilliant link.

The HA-III SSC P7-C thingy-me-bob light only has a runtime of 4.5hrs maximum. So I would need two batteries (at least) and an extension cable for the helmet. Which starts to make it rather expensive.

There is however this torch
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.32589

Run on medium power I will have @3 hr of burn time by the looks of it. I could easily take a pile of charged 18650 lithium batteries (Batteries + charger will cost me about £15).

I just need to figure out where to get a helmet mount for it from?
 
Top Bottom