Helmet torches?

Matthew_T

"Young and Ex-whippet"
I have been looking into getting some cheap light torches to put on my helmet to just be able to see what I am looking at as my front light (Cateye EL340 http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=64490) only lights up a small portion in front of me (I am trying to adjust it so that my camera will pick it up).

I was wondering if it was worth getting some cheap torch from a pound shop (something bullet size) and sticking one or two onto either my helmet or handlebars?
 

gaz

Cycle Camera TV
Location
South Croydon
Something that your camera will pick up will not be cheap.
You need something with quite a bit of power for it's size, and I would recommend something which has an actual helmet mount. Helmet mounts are designed for the things to snap off in the invent of a crash and as such don't cause further injury to your head.

My choice is the Exposure Joystick.
 
OP
Matthew_T

Matthew_T

"Young and Ex-whippet"
My choice is the Exposure Joystick.
Waaaaaaaay out of my price range. (i.e. poundshop)

I am not looking for brightness, just something with a very pointy beam.
I do have an energiser torch but it is about 4 times the weight and twice the length of my helmet. So not ideal.

I have just discovered a rechargable wind-up front and rear light set which I have never used. The handlebar mounts for them are missing but they work fine. I might try to make some kind of DIY quick release system with an old mount that I have.
 

sunnyjim

Senior Member
Location
Edinburgh
Remember that anyone you look at with your pointy beam will not be able to see much at all for some time afterwards. Just hope they aren't driving a motorised vehicle towards you or anyone else.
 

glasgowcyclist

Charming but somewhat feckless
Location
Scotland
Very bright helmet lights are a menace. Anything just bright enough to be seen by is fine, but high lumens lights dazzle other road users, particularly those emerging from side roads when they try to see what's coming down the road.


GC
 

Norm

Guest
...but high lumens lights dazzle other road users, particularly those emerging from side roads when they try to see what's coming down the road.
You say that like it's a bad thing. :giggle:

Glancing at drivers emerging from side roads and drivers who haven't dipped their headlights, just to help them see you, is one of the benefits of a head torch, IMO.

Note that torches like the Joystick which gaz mentions have low-power options and, being relatively focused, they are better for not blinding other road users than high powered front lights.
 
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gaz

Cycle Camera TV
Location
South Croydon
Waaaaaaaay out of my price range. (i.e. poundshop)

I am not looking for brightness, just something with a very pointy beam.
I do have an energiser torch but it is about 4 times the weight and twice the length of my helmet. So not ideal.

I have just discovered a rechargable wind-up front and rear light set which I have never used. The handlebar mounts for them are missing but they work fine. I might try to make some kind of DIY quick release system with an old mount that I have.
Due to the way the CMOS sensor works and the way that it picks up light, you need high power LED's for it to pick up the light. Just try it out by walking outside with the camera in one hand and a torch in another. And hold them next to each other then shine them at stuff. When you review the footage it will look very different than when it did in real life.

I would also seriously think about what you are planning with bodging a mount. The Exposure and Contour mounts are designed to brake when your helmet hits the ground, so that the item on your helmet does not cause added damage to your head. A bodged mount may not do that, and as such you may cause your self an injury.
 

HovR

Über Member
Location
Plymouth
I recommend the Keygos KE-1 torch. It isn't helmet mounted, but is bright enough to light up the whole road and has a decent beam pattern. I purchased mine for £20 with batteries/chargers/mount etc off eBay.

Here's a link to my review. Your camera should pick this up easily.
 

glasgowcyclist

Charming but somewhat feckless
Location
Scotland
You say that like it's a bad thing. :giggle:
It is:

HC 114 - You MUST NOT
use any lights in a way which would dazzle or cause discomfort to other road users, including pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders..

Glancing at drivers emerging from side roads and drivers who haven't dipped their headlights, just to help them see you, is one of the benefits of a head torch, IMO.
.
My objection is to high-powered lights, not something that merely allows you to be seen.

GC
 

Norm

Guest
See the :giggle: . That's a giggle, that is. Unlike quoting the Highway Code. ;)

Your objection might be to high powered lights but you brought it up in a thread about helmet lights and it appears that you were confusing the two. High powered lights might dazzle, but that IMO, is more likely to happen with overpowered front lights which cannot be directed, rather than a head-light which only goes where you point it.

As an aside, I disagree with you analysis of head lights too. I also use a Joystick and change the power levels frequently in any ride, having that means that I can keep the bar-mounted lights on low power most of the time. The head light allows me to throw as much light as I need exactly where I need it - 5m in front at low speed, 50m in front when making progress.
 
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OP
Matthew_T

Matthew_T

"Young and Ex-whippet"
Due to the way the CMOS sensor works and the way that it picks up light, you need high power LED's for it to pick up the light. Just try it out by walking outside with the camera in one hand and a torch in another. And hold them next to each other then shine them at stuff. When you review the footage it will look very different than when it did in real life.
Indeed. This evening, I went into a pitch black car park about half a mile away from my house just to test my light setup on the bike. The camera picked up the rear lights, side reflectors, and front light but when I tried to view the beam from my front light (even on high beam) the camera didnt pick up anything. I had even adjusted the exposure level on my Contour to max 4 (-1 for daylight).

The Alpkit Gamma looks good.
 
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