light for horseback riding (and Petzl Nao rant)

pavel

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Dec 19, 2012
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Okay... so I like to ride my horse at night. I modded few headlights in past, and found that I sometimes like to use _very_ low power levels. Like 10uW (That's 0.001 lumen IIRC), because they preserve night vision, don't annoy people around me too badly. I even put a headlamp on a horse... it worked, but then I realized that it may not be so good idea. Now... my girlfried gave me Petzl Nao (big thanks to her). It is beatiful, feedback-control is actually very nice. But... it does not really have low power modes, and does not fit under helmet. My horse says I need to wear a helmet (6yr old fjord). I tried setting it up on the computer (and control software is slow with bad user agreements), but even lowest setting is way too high -- and that would not help with helmet issue, anyway. (And its low-battery behaviour leaves something to be desired. You have light on lowest setting to preserve power, and then got hit by three unexpected, very bright flashes. I did not like that, and nor did the horse. Ouch and when battery goes _really_ low, it still shines (good), but can't be turned off (odd)).Is there something you'd recommend? ZebraLight H502 looks quite sweet with few hundred lumens down to 0.01 lumen, at pretty reasonable weight. But beam with more light in the center might be preferable.I'm searching for something reasonably small; it definitely should not have batteries at the back of head, because helmet is there. < $100 would be nice, and when batteries run low, it is important to keep giving at least some light (say 1 lumen) for rest of night. ZebraLight H600F also looks sweet, with 700lumen max and 0.1 min... but perhaps someone has better idea?Thanks, --p
 

eh4

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Oct 18, 2011
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Sorry, no clue except... What if you Put A Light On The Horse's Head!?! (Or maybe it's chest would be better)
Maybe that's just a bad idea, but then again it might be a really good one, who knows?
I think of how obnoxious and distracting it is when I'm in front of someone with a brighter light, my own shadow is a distraction but at least it doesn't spook me.
A horse would have to be gently introduced to such a thing I imagine, just guessing.
Also guessing that horses have better night vision than we do but not nearly so good as nocturnal creatures, betting that horses like pure flood lighting.
 
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asval

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Why can't you put the light over the helmet?

2012939577.jpg
 

pavel

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Dec 19, 2012
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Sorry, no clue except... What if you Put A Light On The Horse's Head!?! (Or maybe it's chest would be better)
Actually, it is not that bad idea. I did it before, it works.http://atrey.karlin.mff.cuni.cz/~pavel/picture/horses/zernovka44/p1010019.jpgBut with light on the horse, I'd need second light for me. To see branches near my head, and for the situation when horse goes home alone.Helmet mount might be good idea, but I'd be afraid that I'd kill the headlamp soon (branches around) and it still provides too much power for night vision preservation.
 

Gregozedobe

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Is there something you'd recommend? ZebraLight H502 looks quite sweet with few hundred lumens down to 0.01 lumen, at pretty reasonable weight. But beam with more light in the center might be preferable. --p
If you are prepared to wait ( I have no idea how long) ZL will probably bring out a H51 and H51F with the same circuitry as the H502. I'm not aware of many headlamps that have really low levels of illumination. If 0.1 lumens is acceptable (and I think that you would want at least that to see to the ground when riding a moving horse), the H600 or H600f will give you great run times on low.
 

pavel

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Dec 19, 2012
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I think of how obnoxious and distracting it is when I'm in front of someone with a brighter light, my own shadow is a distraction but at least it doesn't spook me.A horse would have to be gently introduced to such a thing I imagine, just guessing.Also guessing that horses have better night vision than we do but not nearly so good as nocturnal creatures, betting that horses like pure flood lighting.
I guess I should comment on this one. Yes, I guess horses have better night vision than people; and yes, turning on headlamp on horseback in black night is bad idea. (Even horse that was nice and very used to headlamps reacted to that one). Fortunately horses can't complain much, and yes they prefer you to have some light if it is really dark. (I had to shine light somewhere to make horse go there). Gentle introduction is very good idea -- it should be enough to turn the light on before dusk. My horse is already used to various strange lights (but you should have seen the herd when I rode near them with headlamp set to green)... And yes, Nao's battery low warning (three bright flashes when it was otherwise turned to minimum) managed to spook him a bit.Anyway, I need the light to protect my eyes from small branches. (And that's reply to other post, too: if there's enough moonlight, I don't need my headlamp to shine to ground; it is enough to iluminate branches 1m before me. Of course I'd not going too fast.)
 

RobME

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Jun 19, 2009
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Okay... so I like to ride my horse at night... <snip> ...but perhaps someone has better idea?Thanks, --p

I used to ride a lot when I was younger (not really at night though)... Animals are far more in tune with nature and what's natural than us humans. Sometimes funny and sometimes not-so-funny when we impose our wills on them, as they're often but not always accommodating. You might consider using high CRI lighting at night on your horse. You, and they may have an altogether different and better experience from it. Just a thought.
 

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