Bicycle Light for Mountain Biking Helmet Mount

KWillets

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
71
Location
San Francisco, CA
bwaites said:
HOLY SMOKES BATMAN!

Many of these lights have specs that aren't as good as our lights that cost half or even less! Their only advantage appears to be mounsting systems, and those are relatively easy to come by elsewhere!

Bill

My sentiments exactly. The only other, occasional difference is optics; some lights have nice fresnel-type lenses and reflectors to flood the ground better. If anyone has some ideas or sources for vehicle-type optics let me know.

For bikes, an entry-level LED light is $50, and that gets you a plastic, AA-powered 1W luxeon with a resistor for regulation. It's insane.

Take a look at some of these lights:

http://www.nashbar.com/results.cfm?...e=&estoreid=&init=y&pagename=Category: Lights

They have one 1W light "discounted" to $30. It runs on 4 AA's, and claims a 30-hour runtime!
 

yellow

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 31, 2002
Messages
4,529
Location
Baden.at
Well, I do agree about that awful price - output relation on bike-lights (especially led-powered), and that was the primary reason I got into modding lights, but
any (real) bikelight offers WAY more runtime than these "our lights" mentioned.

The usual 1 hour, that our handheld mods run, is totally useless when nightriding.
 

lenny

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jul 11, 2003
Messages
103
yellow said:
Well, I do agree about that awful price - output relation on bike-lights (especially led-powered), and that was the primary reason I got into modding lights, but
any (real) bikelight offers WAY more runtime than these "our lights" mentioned.

The usual 1 hour, that our handheld mods run, is totally useless when nightriding.

Correct.
Plus, we don't just amble along in the woods on manicured gravel roads at night.
Think of the most technical terrain you can, where you wouldn't even want to hike.
Then imagine flying down hill on it at 20 mph or more on 2 wheels on a moonless night. You'll see why we plop down the big bucks for the high end HID's.
Massive output, tight spot that really projects surrounded by a 2 lane blacktop wide wall of light, 4 hr run times, breakaway mounts to keep the light head from getting damaged in a crash, intelligent chargers, smart switching to prevent complete drain of battery, etc
I can ride just as fast at night as during the day.
And it's a real rush.
Lenny
 

KWillets

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
71
Location
San Francisco, CA
You can't dispute the high-end, just like the $8000 surefires, but the low-end commuting lights are a racket. I see people riding with them all over, and they must have sales in the millions per year, but none of this volume seems to translate into better quality or a more up-to-date product.
 

bwaites

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 27, 2003
Messages
5,035
Location
Central Washington State
Lenny,

I have LOTS of flashlights that can outperform the ARC light!

How about a 24 watt HID with similar runtime?

How about a MilkyMod LED light with MORE output and similar runtime.

Heck, even some hotwire mods will kill it, and with remote battery packs runtime is much less of an issue.

I'm not saying that these lights aren't well built, or good lights. Just that the market is overpriced for what it provides!!

Bill
 

wasBlinded

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 14, 2004
Messages
1,222
Location
Oklahoma
An LED system with triple Cree or SSC LEDs will come very close to the output of a 12 or 13 watt HID, and will use less power. I wonder if the Dinotte 500L is using these new LEDs?

These are exciting times for LED lights, and it won't be too long before even HID will be considered last year's technology.
 

BentHeadTX

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 29, 2002
Messages
3,892
Location
A very strange dark place
I ride with a L1D CE on my helmet (with correct bicycle helmet mount) and a L2D CE mounted under the boom of my recumbent. Together they work very well! I can cruise along at 16 MPH (25+ KPH) with no problems whatsoever and the helmet light is great for lighting up corners while I wait for the frame mount light to "catch up".

I ride on the street mostly, my recumbent is fully suspended so I can get stupid with the mountain bikers and they freak when I pass them in the dirt. :wtf: Really, really, REALLY love the L1D CE on my helmet... I don't do street riding in the dark without it. Yes, I do keep two spare lithium AA's in my rack bag if I want to just keep riding.

A few days ago I was riding in an area without light (quality dark) and noted my helmet light was getting dim because of the tint shift initially...it was turning greenish compared to my frame light. A few minutes later the helmet light was basically off so I turned it off and went with the L2D CE. No problems cruising although I really missed the helmet light in corners.

One thing to add, put an aluminum "shade" over the top and sides of a L2D CE to prevent dazzling car drivers. I took a piece of sheet aluminum to do this and left the bottom 35% of the shade open for spill to illuminate directly in front of my recumbent. Works very well and I am pleased with its performance.

My Quad Cree 8AA Mag project is on hold since the LxD series lights work well for spring/summer use. The 700mA driven, 4 Q3 bin XRE mag will rise in November to blister the street. For now, the L1D CE on the helmet and shaded L2D CE on the frame work well for my street use.

Not bad for a $125 system including mounts with no plastic crap to deal with. Another bonus is those lightweight bike lights can be used as.... flashlights! (no kidding!) My HID killer 9 watt XRE Quad beast is waiting for parts.... no pressure. All hail spring!
 

spinkid

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jul 1, 2002
Messages
180
Location
CT
lenny, Do you ave the ARC? I was thinking about replacing my anitquated Incan NiteRiders with that. Also, as far as riding fast at night, I believe I actually ride faster at night....less to see, less to fear!!
 

socalrunner

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Sep 6, 2002
Messages
157
Location
Southern California
I have an L&M arc as well.. I have used it for over 3 years now and it is a great light.. I use the L1d-ce as a helmet light and primarily keep it in strobe mode.. The helmet light is more for being seen that seeing.. The HID provides plenty of light for that purpose.. Until I added a helmet light in strobe mode, prior to the Fenix I used a PT EOS for the same purpose.. The newer version of the arc with lithium batteries are pricey but you get good runtimes..

If companies decide to use the new cree xr-e or seoul p4's this may end up bringing some of the hid prices down.. Bike lights have always been sold at a premium. I was very surprised at how much dinotte is pricing there new triple cree light.. They do give you 2 batteries but a triple cree for 495.00 is a little steep..
 

Scott Packard

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 9, 2001
Messages
179
Location
Alhambra, CA
When I was a kid riding a bike we had a 2D cell PR-3 headlight. It had a high and a low, the low bulb was offset from the reflector. All light provided was insufficient, but man I was cool. Hey, a car could actually see us coming. It was better than those generator rubbing the sidewall setups.
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c252/auctionsbylexi/0301/1ry2.jpg

Yeah, the light got beat up if I fell.
 

TheWalkman

Newly Enlightened
Joined
May 10, 2006
Messages
35
Princeton Tec EOS with a strip of Velcro. Runtime on high should be two hours; much longer on low. Great little light.
 

Elmie

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 30, 2001
Messages
417
Location
Toronto, Ontario
I just bought the Planet Bike Alias HID and it SUCKS donkey BALLS!!!

Its a 10 watter and supposedly puts out over 400 lumens....ya right!
My HDS EDC U60 modded with a SSC P4 U is brighter than it, not to mention a much much nicer beam as well.
The bulbs in these HID lights are one peice. So from what I can tell so far is that it doesn't matter what company you go with they are all using the same bulb. So they will all have identical beams. What a rip off. I'm just glad that I can return this turd of a light back. For $400cdn it under performs miseralby.
 

yellow

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 31, 2002
Messages
4,529
Location
Baden.at
You are right that most of the 10 W HIDs use Welch Allyn's bulbs, but there are 3 models:
the 2 MR reflectorised ones with spot (6 deg.) and 13 (? deg.) beam and the one without reflector, like used in the L&M Arc.
So there is quite some difference with the lights themselves.

Then there is quite a difference when it comes to electronics:
Lupine f.e. uses their own ballast
Supernova the W-A ballast but with a regulator between it and the batt-pack and
most other lights just some kind of "direct drive" from batt to ballast.

As my LightCannon 100 got nearly no use because this direct drive gave me blue light I did not like, my Bikelight project uses a Voltage regulator also. Now the output is a very nice and bright white (slightly green) light.
But to be honest: in the woods very bright but not on par with a good halogen bulb. Any brown, green, rod color is hardly to see with a HID.
There is only the lower current draw speaking for it imho
 

Elmie

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 30, 2001
Messages
417
Location
Toronto, Ontario
I noticed that colour rendition is quite poor with the HID light as well. Like you said, all it has going for it is runtime compared to incans. HID bike lights will be overtaken soon with the new LED technology. Superior runtime and in a much smaller package, not to mention more durable as well. I just thought that the HID was going to blow my socks off and was greatly disappointed. I read the reviews before buying it and it was highly regarded as far as a bike light goes. But to find out that it only edges out in performance when compared to my SSC P4 HDS I was really surprised. Especially when the manufacturer claims that for every watt the HID bulb puts out 40 lumens. So the HID light should be around 400 lumens at least. Sure doesn't look like it at all. Looks more like 200 lumens or less
 

EatSleepRunBike

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Sep 26, 2006
Messages
39
Location
Agoura Hills, CA
greenLED said:
I'm thinking the spot of a single Luxeon emitter, and maybe even a Cree LED, might get completely overpowered by the power of your handlebar HID. You'd need something much brighter or with tighter beam to add any significant amount of light

I went biking with my dad's HID nitrider on the handle bars last week and an Apex modded with a cree on my helmet. The HID overpowered and outthrew my Apex. The only advantage was having it for tight turns, which are usually taken at pretty slow. So the farthest that I ever needed my headlamp to throw was only 20ft Max. A spotty light will not work too well in this aplication. Also, whatever light you use, it will seem much dimmer than what it usually looks like without the HID; therefore, it must be bright.

The best setup would probably be using a throwy handlebar light, and a bright floddy headlight.

Though this is just my opinion, and our ride experiences may be different. My objective is usually to go as fast as I can on the down hills(that's why I like a throwy bar-mounted light.)
 

turbodog

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Messages
5,964
Location
Southern USA
I tried to read the replies here, but it was obvious that not many people had experience in these matters, no offense.

You need a "head" light to match the bar light. The HUGE difference in light outputs between a hid and a small flashlight will render the head light useless. Your eyes will adapt to the brighter light and you won't even be able to see the other one.

I've seen this happen to others, and have had it happen to me. You must balance the lights to benefit from each.

I'd find me a GOOD halogen for my head. Anything overvolted should suffice.
 
Top