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What are you using for a helmet light?

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What are you using for a helmet light?

Old 10-13-19, 11:29 AM
  #1  
PastorJim
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What are you using for a helmet light?

I want to add to my arsenal of lights a "helmet light". Please share what you are all using and/or recommendations.

Thanks,
Jim
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Old 10-13-19, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
Front or rear?

For front I use a Zebralight H600w MkIV Neutral White. Nice blend of throw and flood, good color rendition, and has very long battery life with commonly available batteries while still being reasonably lightweight.
+1
Also it's easily adjustable up and down to point exactly where you need it.
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Old 10-14-19, 04:36 AM
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Cygolie Metro Pro 1100 w/Helmet Mount Kit

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Old 10-15-19, 08:38 AM
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My helmet has a built-in red LED in the rear, two modes of flashing or solid on. Not super bright but noticeable. I don't rely on it, mainly on the taillights on my bike, but use the helmet light to augment my other lighting.

As far as a white light on front goes, I have a light made to clip on the visor of a ball cap which easily clips onto my helmet visor. Again, it's not super bright, wide field lighting, but just augments my bike's headlight and gives me a little more visibility as well as allows me to look down & see my bike if I need to.
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Old 10-15-19, 08:49 AM
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To see with, or to be seen? For example, I'm considering a better to-see headlamp because I ride so often at night in rural areas with lots of critters.

To see with, many folks seem satisfied with the helmet-specific Light & Motion Vis models. It's one of the few L&M lights the local REI still stocks, presumably because of demand by gravel and mountain bikers.

Most others I see are regular bike headlights cobbled onto helmets and they look about as awkward as it sounds. If the light is mounted into a helmet vent, it's lower profile but can't be adjusted so it needs a broad floodlight beam. If it's adjustable it'll probably be on a mount that sticks way up.

To be seen, for years I've used a Blackburn 2'Fer, mostly as a rear light. The 2'Fer is cleverly designed, with four modes: white and red steady and flashing. A single button cycles through the modes, with blinking red the default. A long press turns it on and off. Decent strap mount although I prefer homemade straps from thin, lightweight velcro or rubber. The plastic spring clip is sturdy and secure, with more than one nib/hook doodad to grab mount straps.

On the front of my helmets, I vary between another Blackburn that's not quite as satisfactory -- the Click front -- and what was called a Vivo-Bike Illuminati, which is now only available through Chinese bulk order suppliers although some will fulfill single or small batch orders.

The Blackburn Click is white only, steady or flashing, and has a fussy on/off switch. I'd skip it. The 2'Fer is much better.

The Illuminati is a clever little thing, about the size of a Bic lighter but weighs less, with two steady and one flashing mode. It's directional but not quite bright enough for a to-see headlamp. And it has big, bright side ports, enhancing visibility. It's been so useful I may order a few more from the bulk supplier. Recently I haven't used it as often because it partially blocks my Drift Ghost X video camera mounted on my helmet.
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Old 10-15-19, 09:15 AM
  #6  
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I have two eBay "tactical" flashlights on top, pointing forward. Having two gives a nice wide field of lighting. They're attached with hair ponytail bands, looped over one end of the flashlight, down into the helmet through a vent, back out through another vent and looped over the other end of the flashlight. This keeps them in place while allowing me to think they'll be break-away (stretch-away) in a helmet-skidding crash.

I've had these for a year. I got good runtime with disposable AAA cells (three each flashlight) but finally started using rechargeable 18650s (one per light). The runtime seems somewhat less and once they need charging the light output falls off fast, but they're very bright.

Flashlights were $12 for the pair; batteries $22 (that's two to use and two as hot spares), charger $15, hair bands $2. The downside is I look insectile or crablike with those two lights up there. I'd rather have the lights integrated like engine nacelles on a B-2, but I won't get that for $12.

I have both set to widest beam width, which overlaps about 20% in the middle. This is fine, it's like a brighter spot where I'm looking. I do wish I could diffuse the beam edges toward the sides, but when I tried a diffuser it cut the light output too much.

Anyway, this is working well for me.



Last edited by rseeker; 10-15-19 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 10-15-19, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by PastorJim View Post
I want to add to my arsenal of lights a "helmet light". Please share what you are all using and/or recommendations.

A Gemini Olympia. The wireless remote is nice since it also syncs with my bar light and I can change the brightness without taking my hands off the bars.

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Old 10-31-19, 02:34 AM
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I am currently using a Cateye Volt 800 as a helmet light am quite happy with it. I have also used a Cygolite similar to a previous poster and those are nice choice as well.
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Old 11-01-19, 06:43 AM
  #9  
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I'm using an older Light & Motion 360. It is several years old, but it still works well.
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Old 11-03-19, 09:25 PM
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A 1" diameter, 4" barrel 18650 flashlight. My Shiningbeam S-1 is showing signs of aging and I just purchased a Convoy S2+. It claims to be 1100 lumens (the S-1 was 400, tops) and I'll be using it on medium or low. https://www.fasttech.com/p/7875500 is a good velcro mount for helmet. Back when I used a flashlight on the bars (pre Cygolite days) this was the best handlebar mount (if your bars are sized right): https://www.fasttech.com/p/1193005.
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Old 12-02-19, 04:51 AM
  #11  
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Moon Vortex Pro (or just the Vortex if you’re happy with less light).
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Old 12-04-19, 04:58 AM
  #12  
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I use this on the handlebars:

https://es.aliexpress.com/item/32679...chweb201603_55

And this on the helmet:

https://es.aliexpress.com/item/32614...chweb201603_55

Note: I have no affiliation with this seller. It's just a link with the same product I bought.

The first one has a nice spread and more than enough power to descend at hight speed. I power it with a 6 cell 18050 battery attached to the handlebar. Battery life is around 3hr at low setting, and 1.5hr at max.

The second one has a more concentrated lightning area. Not ideal for great forward vision as it lacks enough spread, but excellent to light the area that I'm looking at. I power this with a 4 cell 18050 battery I carry on my backpack. Battery life is around 4hr at low, and 2hr at max.

The helmet light comes handy to look the sides of the road/path for wildlife and other potential hazards. Also, it lets me see around me and not just in front, which is always nice when pitch dark, and finally, provides a backup light in case the other one suddenly fails, which is something I always worried about when descending at night.

If it's a lighted area, I only use the handlebar light at low. On dark areas, when climbing, I use both at low. And when descending both at high setting.
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Old 12-11-19, 11:24 PM
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I do like all of the MacGyver-ing that all of you have done.

RockBros has an excellent helmet with built in light.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/RockBros-Ro...arms=aid%3D111

There are so many bicycle headlights that can be utilized, on the handlebars, or the stem, or front brake caliper bolt on ancient bicycles.
You also have many ready made, flashlight mounts that can be found by searching twenty or so ebay pages SEARCH: china bicycle ON EBAY(search all categories).
Then further search "view other items" within these mammoth chinese ebay powersellers...........hit the see all categories on the left side......see Sporting Goods....select Cycling, bicycle parts, bicycle accessories, bicycle lights, etc.......whatever relevant heading, and look through the offerings..............pay attention also to the other sellers' offering the same item at equal or lesser costs.........repeat the process.......... ......you will be surprised at the huge breadth of different mounts, lights and everything you can imagine.............yes, it might take you searching several days, of one hour of searching, but you will find plenty of handy items that you cannot find
at the LBS, Target, or Wal-mart. Buying these New chinese goods via ebay offers you significant protection from being totally ripped off because you will be protected if for instance that the seller doesn't ship you the item----Paypal and ebay will protect you the purchaser. Now you're outta luck if the item is just ineffective but accurately pictured and in otherwise good condition. Obviously, there are many items out there and in retail stores and also local bike shops that "promise" more than they deliver as far as practical functionality. It is your duty as a shopper to determine that and do your due diligence and decide accordingly and determine whether it is likely just hype or something that might actually have practical functionality that will benefit you and make your bicycle riding more enjoyable.

......Heck, even something as MacGyvered like two stainless steel radiator hose clamps from any auto parts store or wal-mart auto parts section, will snugly secure any of those four inch long, round metal 9 LED, three AAA battery flashlights that Harbor Freight sells in packs of two for about $1.99...........they once had a regular FREE COUPON with any purchase for just one of the all Black version flashlight.
You should really look at the many ready made BICYCLE lights from the many mammoth China based EBAY sellers. You'll find so many lights under $10 and none of the lights will be more than $20. I don't have to tell you that the exact same light might be in Wallyworld or your LBS for much much more, and you'll find a larger selection from the ShenZhen, and Hong Kong based mammoth Ebay sellers rather than locally.
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Old 12-12-19, 11:52 AM
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For what it's worth, REI has some head lights (for hikers) on sale right now. Some are up to 350 lumens, and can do white or red light. (Hikers user red in camp to preserve their night vision.)
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Old 12-12-19, 06:19 PM
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I made my own magnetic breakaway lights.
https://www.bikeforums.net/electroni...l#post21207410






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Old 12-14-19, 11:00 AM
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Hey, I got no dog in the fight - or the manger - just thought I'd pass this opinion from the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute along for anyone who's open to an opinion other than their own:

'The first and most important rule for mounting a light on your helmet is that it must break away readily when you crash or catch an overhanging obstacle. If it does not, you risk having your neck jerked when it snags on the pavement or tree. Besides jerking your neck, that can add to the g's of the shock to your brain when you hit pavement.'There is no standard for how easily the light should detach. The CPSC standard says it should "readily" detach during normal lab impacts. But "readily" is not defined. Few helmet or light manufacturers have given enough thought to their mounts. Only one helmet manufacturer we have spoken to provided their lab test levels, Uvex, proving that they actually have an internal standard. And the light manufacturer Jet Lites has a standard requiring their mount to break away when loaded with a 5 pound weight.

'Some manufacturers use hook-and-loop straps to hold their lights on. We have seen some that wrap through the vents and under that seemed unlikely to detach when they should have. But again, there is no standard for that.'

Straps that wrap from the exterior to interior of the helmets would of course need to not capture any anti-rotation feature of the helmet and keep it from functioning.

Last edited by tcs; 12-14-19 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 12-14-19, 02:15 PM
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Yes I know this. Which is why I made my lights attach magnetically. It will slide off with a 300g perpendicular weight. All that would remain is a 1.5mm think washer with a piece of tape covering it, that could possibly also come of since it's only got a piece of double sided tape under it.
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Old 12-14-19, 03:01 PM
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The Cygolite helmet mount kit wraps around and through the vents and then attaches via a very strong velcro. Sounds like that might not be so safe, at least according to the above. Does anyone know of any alternatives that might fit a Cygolite light?
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Old 12-14-19, 03:27 PM
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I bought an inexpensive helmet from a Chinese supplier, and then I read that some of them make some very defective helmets, and you can't tell by just wearing them. I imagine some are OK, but I want to be assured by buying from a local, known company.
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Old 12-16-19, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by bpcyclist View Post
The Cygolite helmet mount kit wraps around and through the vents and then attaches via a very strong velcro. Sounds like that might not be so safe, at least according to the above. Does anyone know of any alternatives that might fit a Cygolite light?
Glue a magnet to the bottom of the mount and glue or tape a thin steel washer to the helmet.
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Old 12-16-19, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
For what it's worth, REI has some head lights (for hikers) on sale right now. Some are up to 350 lumens, and can do white or red light. (Hikers user red in camp to preserve their night vision.)
I had a nice bright headlamp that fir nicely with my helmet. gave it to my daughter & I ride with a helmet that had a face shield so that technique has limited use for me. but you reminded me to get myself another good headlamp, cuz it's useful for other stuff like stopping & going in your bag, or fixing a flat etc

gonna give this one a try LUX · PRO Bright 400 Lumen Camping LED Headlamp - LP347
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Old 12-16-19, 09:53 PM
  #22  
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tcs , I have no dog in this fight, either. I've never used a helmet-mounted light. However, I do wonder about this: when I've seen such lights, they are mounted directly on the top of the helmet (for obvious reasons). I have crashed and wrecked a few helmets over the years, but never put damage in that spot; rather, I usually land on the side or very rear of the helmet. So, I wonder if a helmet light is theoretically dangerous, but practically not quite as dangerous...?

Also, if a helmet-mounted light does reduce a helmet's effectiveness, that must be weighed against the reduced likelihood of a crash from using the light.
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Old 12-16-19, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
tcs , I have no dog in this fight, either. I've never used a helmet-mounted light. However, I do wonder about this: when I've seen such lights, they are mounted directly on the top of the helmet (for obvious reasons). I have crashed and wrecked a few helmets over the years, but never put damage in that spot; rather, I usually land on the side or very rear of the helmet. So, I wonder if a helmet light is theoretically dangerous, but practically not quite as dangerous...?

Also, if a helmet-mounted light does reduce a helmet's effectiveness, that must be weighed against the reduced likelihood of a crash from using the light.
Interesting point. The only times I have hit my head (always with helmet) on the pavement, it has always been one side or the other. I think if I hit the top of my head ever, I may have bigger problems than a head injury--namely, my cervical spine. The brain can often heal. The c-spine, sometimes not.
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Old 12-17-19, 06:20 AM
  #24  
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My magnetic mounts completely side off with 300 grams of load.

An injury with a hit to the top of the helmet with a firm protruding helmet light could happen for example if you ran into tree branches.

Last edited by tomtomtom123; 12-17-19 at 06:24 AM.
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Old 12-19-19, 11:31 AM
  #25  
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Older Light and Motion model with largish battery pack.

~800 light mounted on a dedicated helmet, battery pack goes in jersey, or more often jacket pocket, as used mostly in winter.

A bit clunky but battery lasts very long, & weight on helmet is low. Mostly on lower setting as also using handle bar light.
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