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Thread: Helmet mount red headlight

  1. #1
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    Default Helmet mount red headlight

    I realize these are very specific requirement, which is why I came here to ask about it.

    I do professional fireworks throughout the year. When firing electronic shows, I often have to read off of a cue sheet while hitting button on the firing panel. Obviously with fireworks, preserving my night vision is rather important. Also, I'll be wearing a hardhat with a face shield. I've spoken at length with my crew, and nobody seems to be able to find a light t fit our needs.

    I've tried using theatrical gel on my D10 with the nitecore head mount, but even on high power it filters out 95% of the light to the point of being unusable.

    So, my requirements are as follows:
    1) Absolutely must be a strong red. Has to be strong enough to be able read a sheet of paper and make out black lettering on a remote/firing panel. Don't care if it has white, we have separate hand held lights for cleanup work where night vision isn't critical.
    2) Absolutely must be able to mount on a hardhat. I've tried headlamp harnesses, but they quickly ride up the slippery slopped sides of the helmet. I am willing to screw/glue the light for permanent mounting.

    I'd prefer it take AA batteries for convenience, but am willing to sacrifice if I can fit the above 2 requirements. Led/Incan, don't care. Target cost is under $100 per unit.

    Can CPF point me in the right direction?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Helmet mount red headlight

    Quote Originally Posted by cexshun View Post
    I realize these are very specific requirement, which is why I came here to ask about it.

    I do professional fireworks throughout the year. When firing electronic shows, I often have to read off of a cue sheet while hitting button on the firing panel. Obviously with fireworks, preserving my night vision is rather important. Also, I'll be wearing a hardhat with a face shield. I've spoken at length with my crew, and nobody seems to be able to find a light t fit our needs.

    I've tried using theatrical gel on my D10 with the nitecore head mount, but even on high power it filters out 95% of the light to the point of being unusable.

    So, my requirements are as follows:
    1) Absolutely must be a strong red. Has to be strong enough to be able read a sheet of paper and make out black lettering on a remote/firing panel. Don't care if it has white, we have separate hand held lights for cleanup work where night vision isn't critical.
    2) Absolutely must be able to mount on a hardhat. I've tried headlamp harnesses, but they quickly ride up the slippery slopped sides of the helmet. I am willing to screw/glue the light for permanent mounting.

    I'd prefer it take AA batteries for convenience, but am willing to sacrifice if I can fit the above 2 requirements. Led/Incan, don't care. Target cost is under $100 per unit.

    Can CPF point me in the right direction?
    Petzl Duo might work. About $90 brand new on ebay for a headband version. Very robust helmet lamp. Can be helmet fitted as is, or easily converted to the Petzl helmet fixing specification (5 screws) . There is guidance (with links to Petzl specication) on how to do it here;

    http://customduo.co.uk/fullface2.aspx

    add one of these Red LED units for $18 (right at the bottom of the page).
    fits with the existing reflector

    http://customduo.co.uk/sidemodules.aspx

    Duo might be a bit overkill, they're normally used by for caving, just a thought. I think bat counters might use the red ones !!????!!!

    Runs on AAs
    Last edited by simples; 10-15-2011 at 06:48 AM.

  3. #3

  4. #4

    Default Re: Helmet mount red headlight

    The problem with red light in the outdoors is that it gets absorbed by the open space and darkness easily. So it can be hard to perform the task at hand.

    Have you considered using a dim floody white light. You can still preserve night vision with white light, even when your eyes are in scotopic mode. It just cannot not be as bright as red light. However, it is sometimes easier to see with dimmer white than a brighter red light. The other problem with Red light is that you often turn it to bright enough to be comfortable to see with, but at the same time it becomes to bright to preserve night vision and you should have used a dimmer white anyway.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Helmet mount red headlight

    my smaller headlamps can sort of fit under my hard hat. so, maybe you could get a little Zebra H51r and just wear it under the hat. or wear it around your neck like this. if it absolutely has to mount on the hard hat, maybe marry the H51r to the Pelican rubber strap.

    *Edit* (10/17) - totally missed the part about the face shield. wearing the lamp under the hat and thus behind the shield would definitely cause glare problems as has been mentioned by others.

    *Edit 2* (10/17) - Pelican also makes this helmet mount kit that might be compatible with one of the red light Zebras.
    Last edited by robostudent5000; 10-17-2011 at 04:35 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Helmet mount red headlight

    My petzl tactikka xp adapt has a red diffused filter, and came with a helmet mount pad too! I really like it, it runs on 3AAA's. And is well in budget!

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Bolster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Helmet mount red headlight

    Welcome! I WANT YOUR JOB!!!

    Question: Are you talking about preserving night vision DURING the show? How would that be possible? One look at one fireworks display and your night vision's gone for 20 minutes...what am I missing here?

    To your question: Someone makes a headlamp that fits in a slot of certain hardhats. Someone help me out here, is it the Petzl Pixa? Compatible with Petzl helmets? Can't remember. For deep red light you might have to use photographic gel filters either behind the lens or on the front.

    Here's my solution to a red light on a hard mount--sometimes I mount a red Zebralight below and a white one above.
    Last edited by Bolster; 10-15-2011 at 09:41 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Helmet mount red headlight

    Hi cexshun

    Our Command 20 Tasker-Safety headlamp seems to fit your specs. A silicone strap along with helmet holders (that utilize the side slots on hardhats) can be ordered to secure the light to a hardhat. I'm leaving out links in order to comply with forum rules.

    The mode sequencing on that light was designed specifically for the military. It may or may not be acceptable for your intended use.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Helmet mount red headlight

    Quote Originally Posted by Bolster View Post

    Question: Are you talking about preserving night vision DURING the show? How would that be possible? One look at one fireworks display and your night vision's gone for 20 minutes...what am I missing here?
    There are endless different levels of Night Vision, It may be difficult to maintain scotopic, but lower phototopic or maybe higher mesotopic could be possible. Recovery would be quicker since he is already adapted in a dark environment as well.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Helmet mount red headlight

    Quote Originally Posted by robostudent5000 View Post
    my smaller headlamps can sort of fit under my hard hat. so, maybe you could get a little Zebra H51r and just wear it under the hat. or wear it around your neck like this. if it absolutely has to mount on the hard hat, maybe marry the H51r to the Pelican rubber strap.
    Also, if the ZebraLight H51r would work as the red light, I think the ZebraLight headlamp mod I did for a baseball cap visor in the ZebraLight Mods thread would also work for a hard hat visor.




    Last edited by varuscelli; 10-17-2011 at 01:41 AM.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic DIΩDΣ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Helmet mount red headlight

    Quote Originally Posted by cexshun View Post
    I realize these are very specific requirement, which is why I came here to ask about it.

    I do professional fireworks throughout the year. When firing electronic shows, I often have to read off of a cue sheet while hitting button on the firing panel. Obviously with fireworks, preserving my night vision is rather important. Also, I'll be wearing a hardhat with a face shield. I've spoken at length with my crew, and nobody seems to be able to find a light t fit our needs.

    I've tried using theatrical gel on my D10 with the nitecore head mount, but even on high power it filters out 95% of the light to the point of being unusable.

    So, my requirements are as follows:
    1) Absolutely must be a strong red. Has to be strong enough to be able read a sheet of paper and make out black lettering on a remote/firing panel. Don't care if it has white, we have separate hand held lights for cleanup work where night vision isn't critical.
    2) Absolutely must be able to mount on a hardhat. I've tried headlamp harnesses, but they quickly ride up the slippery slopped sides of the helmet. I am willing to screw/glue the light for permanent mounting.

    I'd prefer it take AA batteries for convenience, but am willing to sacrifice if I can fit the above 2 requirements. Led/Incan, don't care. Target cost is under $100 per unit.

    Can CPF point me in the right direction?
    Do you already have the hard hats? And if so can you tell us what model or post a pic? Depending on how they are configured could lead to different mounting solutions. For example if the face shield has a large enough rim then I think V's baseball hat clip mod would be best with a red zebralight AA like the Zebralight H51r or H51Fr (the difference just being the F model has a frosted lens for more of a floodlight beam and the one without the F has a nice wide beam but a hotspot in the middle). They should be plenty bright enough at 100 lumens and run on common AA's (although folks here greatly recommend Nimh rechargeables or lithium like energizer L91). They have multiple brightness levels too, and realize on a AA you get slightly less than an hour runtime on max, and even less with alkaline so if you need more than that either medium might be better or be ready with another AA in your pocket.

    I have a hard hat w/ shield and ear protection. Its a Rockman Premium Lumberjack. I dont usually use it at night but tried to adapt my zebralight H51w to it just to see it it would work. The H51r would be identical. It works fine. Here is a pic of some of my logging tools:


    The strap wont ride up on this helmet because of the integrated face shield and ear protection mounts. I have the headband under these mounts:


    However due to the protruding rim I did have to raise the headlamp pretty high so the beam would clear it. I havent used it like this but the silicone holder seems sticky enough that it stays put. Extended use and wet conditions may differ though. Here is a beam shot, you can see the rim still blocks some of the light but I got the hotspot above it ok:


    The zebralight is also very low profile and a much bigger light might interfere with the shield being able to flip up or down:

    It does just barely touch it as it flips up and down, but works just fine.

    With the shield fully up the light is unobstructed too.


    I plan on trying V's rim-clip mod when I get the clip and an extra silicone holder (I'm down to one right now). That way the light can be angled down a lot more for close up stuff without having to tip your head. But as is works just fine minus the rim blocking the lower half the beam.

    And lastly I bet you didnt think a fellow with an anime avatar would be into logging. Yeah I admit I have a strange combination of hobbies.
    Last edited by DIΩDΣ; 10-17-2011 at 09:50 AM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Helmet mount red headlight

    Good visuals, DIΩDΣ.

    And I think it's worth mentioning (as robo did) that with some hats/helmets/etc., it's possible to wear the ZebraLight headlamp on it's headband underneath the hat (just normal style) as long as the style of hat in question allows it.

    Wearing the headband as normally intended (simple beneath the hat) would of course the simplest solution all around -- but sometimes things get a bit pinched space-wise if the hat in question sits too far down for comfortable placement of the headband around the head and across the forehead.

    Not being a frequent hard hat user (and never using one with a headlamp), I'm not sure how wearing a headband would work under a hard hat (even as unobtrusive as the ZL headbands are).

    I know with a baseball cap, I can wear the headband beneath it, although that doesn't leave much wiggle room for adjustment in terms of either hat or headband positioning (which is why I came up with that visor holder).

    It was also mentioned about wearing the ZebraLight lamp around the neck/across the chest, and realistically ZebraLight sends you everything you need for that short of a bit of sting or paracord. Instead of having to make an elastic holder as shown in some examples, it's probably easier just to use the extra included lamp holder that ZebraLight sends as part of the package and run the preferred string or cord through it to wear around your neck. Then you just angle the light as needed for reading or whatever. And it's an easy solution that doesn't require any special manipulation to configure it with a hat. The downside to wearing it this way is that the light doesn't move with your head for any other needed directional use.


  13. #13

    Default Re: Helmet mount red headlight

    That silicon holder sure looks pretty.


    I have tried the silicon holder before but found it too bulky for pocket carry. Also it takes a bit of time and effort to put the light inside the holder and remove it. If I remember correctly, I had to remove the tail cap first before I can push the light through the silicon holder. And if you intend to use the clip, you have to remove the clip every time you use the silicon holder. The swiveling clip on the H51s allows the light to be used as desk lamp and overhead light without attaching a magnet to tail cap.

    With an elastic holder, transforming from one light to another doesn't require removing and reinstalling the clip.




    Last edited by davidt1; 10-17-2011 at 12:22 PM.
    EDC: Zebralight H52w; Backup/loaner: Olight i3S
    Zebralight Mods: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=293092
    The only useful tool is the one you have with you when you need it.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic DIΩDΣ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Helmet mount red headlight

    Quote Originally Posted by varuscelli View Post
    Good visuals, DIΩDΣ.

    And I think it's worth mentioning (as robo did) that with some hats/helmets/etc., it's possible to wear the ZebraLight headlamp on it's headband underneath the hat (just normal style) as long as the style of hat in question allows it.
    Thanks... yeah I didnt even try mine to see if I could wear it under... for one thing when I am wearing that hardhat its almost certain my head is going to be quite sweaty and would always prefer it to be on the helmet instead of my head in that situation. But with a face shield having the light under it would probably cause too much of a glare problem, mine has a screen but I imagine the clear ones would have similar glare issues. Still waiting on the OP to give us some more details...

    David - if he is getting a red light for a specific usage I dont think he is too worried about how bulky the stock holder is for pocket carry or how many other multiple uses like for an edc. I for one like the silicone holder (but use the nite ize for some uses too) I dont remove the tailcap but yeah I do have to take the clip on and off. For a purpose light these issues really dont matter.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Helmet mount red headlight

    Might not matter to you. Might matter to other people. Now he knows there is more than one option to carry and use.
    Last edited by davidt1; 10-17-2011 at 01:06 PM.
    EDC: Zebralight H52w; Backup/loaner: Olight i3S
    Zebralight Mods: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=293092
    The only useful tool is the one you have with you when you need it.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Helmet mount red headlight

    Quote Originally Posted by davidt1 View Post
    Might not matter to you. Might matter to other people. Now he knows there is more than one option to carry and use.
    since this isn't a Zebra mod thread, and since the pics you posted above have little relevance to the OP's request, could you at least post smaller pics or just provide a link to the thread that they or pics similar have already been posted?
    Last edited by robostudent5000; 10-17-2011 at 01:33 PM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Helmet mount red headlight

    Quote Originally Posted by robostudent5000 View Post
    since this isn't a Zebra mod thread, and since the pics you posted above have little relevance to the OP's request, could you at least post smaller pics or just provide a link to the thread that they or pics similar have already been posted?
    No. The pictures show how various ways a ZL light can be used. They are not instructions how to do the mods. The first one might give the OP an idea that he can use a lanyard over his helmet instead of a regular headband. And if he uses a lanyard, then he can carry it in his pocket when not in use. I guess I could snap a red filter on it as to be more on topic.
    EDC: Zebralight H52w; Backup/loaner: Olight i3S
    Zebralight Mods: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=293092
    The only useful tool is the one you have with you when you need it.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Helmet mount red headlight

    Quote Originally Posted by davidt1 View Post
    I guess I could snap a red filter on it as to be more on topic.
    would you? that would be nice.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Helmet mount red headlight

    Quote Originally Posted by DIΩDΣ View Post
    But with a face shield having the light under it would probably cause too much of a glare problem, mine has a screen but I imagine the clear ones would have similar glare issues. Still waiting on the OP to give us some more details...
    Good point about the face shields. I think that would surely cause glare issues if the ZL headband was worn standard headband style, and the OP did include hard hat with face shield -- so there goes that idea.

    The face shield would very likely rule out the visor holder, too (depending on the nature of the shield/helmet interface).

    The face shield might make a strong case for a wearable neck lanyard style holder like one of the various ones shown.

    Wearing the headband on the hard hat itself like you showed might be just the right answer, depending on how much the visor protrudes and blocks light (which also might make a good case for some version of one of the T-shaped Spark headlamps...(?)).

  20. #20

    Default Re: Helmet mount red headlight

    Quote Originally Posted by davidt1 View Post
    That silicon holder sure looks pretty.

    I have tried the silicon holder before but found it too bulky for pocket carry. Also it takes a bit of time and effort to put the light inside the holder and remove it. If I remember correctly, I had to remove the tail cap first before I can push the light through the silicon holder. And if you intend to use the clip, you have to remove the clip every time you use the silicon holder.
    Yeah, those stretch elastic holders you make would definitely be more pocketable and in many cases would offer distinct convenience advantages. Very cool and creative mod, David.

    On the effort to insert and remove the lamp from the silicon holder, I don't keep the pocket clip on mine so I don't find it troublesome. It takes only a few seconds at most to insert or remove the lamp. If I take the time to remove the tailcap before inserting the lamp into the holder, it takes a few more seconds than just pushing the lamp into the holder. The holders are pliable enough that you don't really even have to remove the tailcap (but maybe that varies a bit lamp to lamp). I could see where it would be an issue if the pocket clip were left in place. But still, if someone is going out with the intent to use the light as a tool for a specific task for the evening like the fireworks duty, the few seconds that it takes to place the lamp into the silicon holder seems a very small thing to deal with (at least, the way I picture the working scenario).

  21. #21

    Default Re: Helmet mount red headlight

    I can speak for the Petzl duo, literally take this badboy underwater just fine. Screamin deal @ backcountry.com

  22. #22
    Flashaholic DIΩDΣ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Helmet mount red headlight

    Quote Originally Posted by GHOSTMONKEY View Post
    I can speak for the Petzl duo, literally take this badboy underwater just fine. Screamin deal @ backcountry.com
    Seems kinda pricey to me for old school technology, but if I'm not mistaken the Duo isnt a red light anyhow, which is what the OP is after.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Helmet mount red headlight

    Quote Originally Posted by DIΩDΣ View Post
    Seems kinda pricey to me for old school technology, but if I'm not mistaken the Duo isnt a red light anyhow, which is what the OP is after.
    Interesting thought !

    The Petzl Duo is only dated as far as the internals. It still comes with a halogen bulb as it has been around for some time. The battery box and lamp is however far more durable and of far higher quality than what comes on most headtorches these days. Upgraded with the best LEDs you get something with better performance than any of the off shelf headlamps suggested, both in terms of durability and LED specification.

    Before this turned into a zebralight thread, the original poster asked for something that has a red LED, runs from AA batteries and can be bolted permanently to a helmet. The Duo has helmet fixings when you remove the headband and runs on AA batteries. The Duo can be fitted easily with a full flood red Cree LED (probably a margin better than you ould get in a typical red LED flashlight).

    Controversial I realize, as the Zebralight is obviously the answer to all the problems of the world, but I was going to suggest this !!

    http://www.ammazzzon.commm/Mr-Coffee...le-Coffeemaker

    Like the zebralight, doesn't fit the critera at all, but does make a wicked cup of coffee, and that could be a little red LED indicator that I spy down near the bottom.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* Bolster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Helmet mount red headlight

    Quote Originally Posted by simples View Post
    Before this turned into a zebralight thread, the original poster asked for something that has a red LED, runs from AA batteries and can be bolted permanently to a helmet....Controversial I realize, as the Zebralight is obviously the answer to all the problems of the world, but I was going to suggest this !!...Like the zebralight, doesn't fit the critera at all...
    He's right. If you look past the sarcasm, these requirements just can't be met by a Zebralight. Zebralight

    - doesn't use AA,
    - doesn't come in red, and
    - can't be bolted to a helmet.

    So would all of you Zebra fanboys just back off? This can't be done with a Zebralight!!


    Last edited by Bolster; 10-19-2011 at 02:39 PM.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Helmet mount red headlight

    Quote Originally Posted by Bolster View Post
    Bolster, I've seen this great looking mount posted by you in the Zebralight Mods thread, but have you discussed it in any detail -- that is, exactly what the mount is and how you put it together? I bet people would be curious to know -- and I know I certainly am!

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* Bolster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Helmet mount red headlight

    I'd love to, Varuscelli, but Simple has defined it out of existence in post #23, so even I myself doubt that it's real. I'm having something of an existential crisis over it.

    LOL, seriously, it is just a simple clamp mechanism for two Zebralights. Honestly there's not much to it, but I'll field any questions you have. It's aluminum, and it works like a "sandwich". I plan to make a single mount as soon as the new H502 is out...just waiting EVER SO PATIENTLY for that one.

    Between you, me, and the fencepost, just looping the headband around the helmet works very well. Most helmet mounted lights you see use a band. Simple, effective, cheap. A hard mount is "nice to have" but not necessary.
    Last edited by Bolster; 10-19-2011 at 03:09 PM.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Helmet mount red headlight

    Quote Originally Posted by Bolster View Post
    LOL, seriously, it is just a simple clamp mechanism for two Zebralights. Honestly there's not much to it, but I'll field any questions you have. It's aluminum, and it works like a "sandwich". I plan to make a single mount as soon as the new H502 is out...just waiting EVER SO PATIENTLY for that one.
    Actually what I meant was what is the nature/description of the clamp? What was its original intended use or range of uses? And did you modify it at all or intuitively recognize that the existing clamp was right for fitting for a couple of ZebraLights and then fixed it to the hard hat? What I couldn't tell was whether you somehow manufactured or machined it or figured out a creative alternate use for an existing clamp.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Helmet mount red headlight

    here is a link to Bolster's original hemet mount thread.

    - Robo the Librarian

  29. #29

    Default Re: Helmet mount red headlight

    Quote Originally Posted by robostudent5000 View Post
    here is a link to Bolster's original hemet mount thread.

    - Robo the Librarian
    Ahh, that's what I wanted to know! I had seen only the photo in the ZebraLight Mods thread and not the original post. I guess the mods thread didn't contain a link back to Bolster's original thread (or at least I didn't see it if it was there).

    Fantastic work by Bolster!

    I envy the talent you have to conceive and execute something like that so well. Outstanding.
    Last edited by varuscelli; 10-19-2011 at 04:31 PM.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Helmet mount red headlight

    Quote Originally Posted by Bolster View Post
    but Simple has defined it out of existence in post #23, so even I myself doubt that it's real. I'm having something of an existential crisis over it.

    Excellent point, really well made.

    So where exactly does Cexhun (post 1) go to purchase this fantastic helmet fixing system for the red zebralight. Looks a bit of a bargain for $100 including the zebralights. I think I'll get one of these set ups too.

    Seriously though, the red AA zebralight looks a good bet for the job (about 65 bucks ??). Could it just be put on front of helmet with 4 holes and a couple of zip ties?
    Last edited by simples; 10-19-2011 at 04:56 PM.

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