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Thread: Helmet Lights // Lightest - Brightest - Smallest - Longest Run Time

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    Default Helmet Lights // Lightest - Brightest - Smallest - Longest Run Time

    Fall is setting in up here in the Northeast. I typically adjust ride times but would like to have a light option too.

    Looking for a new helmet mounted light and I'm interested to know who has experience with the...

    · Lightest
    · Brightest
    · Smallest



    Also of note is run time. Also of note can be cost but not necessarily a point that I'd get hung up on. I'm willing to spend money if the sucker performs. I'm definitely interested in size first with preference to compact design. Battery preferred to run on the helmet but can be dropped into a jersey pocket, pack or hippie if needed. Longevity in the product also important. Previous lights after a few seasons started to lack in run time, but I'm curious how the power source has been improved since my last purchase.

    Also interested in mounting set ups too. I've seen some that are REALLY compact and live on the helmet while others have all these straps and are unwieldy.

    What do you have?
    What do you like?
    What do you hate?


    Start the conversation here.
    Kristofer Henry : 44 BIKES : Made to Shred™
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    Default Re: Helmet Lights // Lightest - Brightest - Smallest - Longest Run Time

    Lupine is rather spendy yet is a homerun for all parameters you mentioned.
    They are at 1800 lumens with battery nicely counterbalancing the lamp. :-)
     

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    Default Re: Helmet Lights // Lightest - Brightest - Smallest - Longest Run Time

    I'm getting this in October when it's available.

    http://www.lupinenorthamerica.com/page.asp?id=65
     

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    Default Re: Helmet Lights // Lightest - Brightest - Smallest - Longest Run Time

    I had horrible luck with NiteRider lights that I tried last year. In the cold I was getting maybe 20% of claimed run times.

    I have been using Lezyne lights for the past few seasons, but do not know the current state of lights, following this to see what the best stuff is.


    -Joe

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    Default Re: Helmet Lights // Lightest - Brightest - Smallest - Longest Run Time

    I'm really happy with my Fenix HP30 headlamp. They are bright, have a long runtime and a good beam.



    I'd favor something similar (ie external 18650 batteries) for these 3 reasons:

    - less weight on the helmet
    - long runtime thanks to larger batteries
    - lamp will virtually last forever as it is using standard 18650 battery cells that you'll be able to replace.
    Last edited by sk_tle; 09-17-2017 at 03:51 AM.
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    T h o m a s

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    Default Re: Helmet Lights // Lightest - Brightest - Smallest - Longest Run Time

    I like to use both a helmet-mount light and one on the bars for trail riding. The redundancy alone is worth it, but functionally it works great.

    On the bars it's Niterider Lumina. I have not had the issues Joe has, but I think my temperature tolerance is lower than his too. The only problem with the Lumina is that it's such a nice design, and works so good as a regular flashlight, so my kids take them camping and lose them. So I'm on unit #3 (650, 750, 950).

    Niterider helmet too. Battery pack is in the jersey pocket so no cold issues. I really like how these mount, not on the front of the helmet and not on the top. Band-type helmet lights can light your nose up, and/or the weight can pull the helmet down when the going gets rough. Top-mount lights, which include most with built-in battery packs, can be trouble when ducking through low-hanging branches.

    A wish: that manufacturers would list CRI (color rendering index) and color temperature. Using LEDs for building lighting, I know that a high CRI (>80) and low color temp (warm, <4000K) works best. Manufacturers love to push the high color temp (cool, or bluish) because LEDs make more lumens in that range. As in many cases, more ain't necessarily better.
    Trod Harland, Physical Educator

    Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring. -- Desmond Tutu

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    Default Re: Helmet Lights // Lightest - Brightest - Smallest - Longest Run Time

    I run a NiteRider Lumina 650 or 750 (depending which one I grab) on my helmet and nothing else. I love the simplicity and reliability, and I can't really tell a great difference between the two. In both cases, I often reach the end of a ride and realize I've been running it on the lowest setting all along, with no complaints about the job it's been doing. Cheap, simple, reliable - hard to beat in my book.
     

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    Default Re: Helmet Lights // Lightest - Brightest - Smallest - Longest Run Time

    Good intel to all. Thank you.

    I had been looking at Lupine last season but this new Blika option seems intriguing and checks a lot of the boxes. (Thank you Darren!) I was wondering when a company was going to do this. Petzl makes really great head lamps but having one option on a bike packing trip would be pretty cool with the addition of an aftermarket solar panel or usb system for charging via a generator hub.

    Any additional ideas / thoughts are welcome.
    Kristofer Henry : 44 BIKES : Made to Shred™
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    Default Re: Helmet Lights // Lightest - Brightest - Smallest - Longest Run Time

    Quote Originally Posted by sk_tle View Post
    I'm really happy with my Fenix HP30 headlamp. They are bright, have a long runtime and a good beam.
    ....
    - lamp will virtually last forever as it is using standard 18650 battery cells that you'll be able to replace.
    I have been using my Lezyne lights for such a long time because I was able to increase run times with larger 18650 batteries when they came out, and the cost was about $10.

    Cheers,
    -Joe

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    Default Re: Helmet Lights // Lightest - Brightest - Smallest - Longest Run Time

    Quote Originally Posted by fortyfour View Post
    Good intel to all. Thank you.

    I had been looking at Lupine last season but this new Blika option seems intriguing and checks a lot of the boxes. (Thank you Darren!) I was wondering when a company was going to do this. Petzl makes really great head lamps but having one option on a bike packing trip would be pretty cool with the addition of an aftermarket solar panel or usb system for charging via a generator hub.

    Any additional ideas / thoughts are welcome.
    Hey Kris,

    I took my Pico R4 on its first ride last night. Just ~20 mile road ride doing laps around a park near here but the light was great. I'd say I ran it on high for about 70% of the time and got the low battery warning after about an hour. The light spread and color is fantastic and I didn't really feel like I was outriding the light until I got to about 30mph which I assume would rarely be an issue on a mountain bike ride in NH. I will say that there's no way I'd use this as my sole light on the trails where I normally ride because sustained speeds are 15-25 over rough trail.

    Anyhow, if you're not already considering it, think about the 6.6AH battery on whatever you choose to get.
    Sean Chaney
    www.vertigocycles.com
    a peek behind the curtain

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    Default Re: Helmet Lights // Lightest - Brightest - Smallest - Longest Run Time

    Quote Originally Posted by fortyfour View Post
    Good intel to all. Thank you.

    I had been looking at Lupine last season but this new Blika option seems intriguing and checks a lot of the boxes. (Thank you Darren!) I was wondering when a company was going to do this. Petzl makes really great head lamps but having one option on a bike packing trip would be pretty cool with the addition of an aftermarket solar panel or usb system for charging via a generator hub.

    Any additional ideas / thoughts are welcome.
    I've had an Exposure Equinox for a few years and it has always performed well when mountain biking at night. Crazy lumen count and high cost, but I got it on one of those end-of-the-year blowouts on Backcountry.com.

    Todd makes a fantastic point: redundancy is key. The first time I rode at night here in Marin and showed up with one light, the locals looked at me like a had two heads. It can get so dark in the woods that not having a secondary light can quickly make for a sketchy and potentially dangerous ride out.
     

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    Default Re: Helmet Lights // Lightest - Brightest - Smallest - Longest Run Time

    I've got the Piko 7 with the larger battery, definitely way more than I need to ride on the road. We're just getting into the time of year here where I can try it out on the MTB but I will soon. I will probably run something else on the bars for redundancy but not having much in the way of downhills here I think it would be fine by itself.
     

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    Default Re: Helmet Lights // Lightest - Brightest - Smallest - Longest Run Time

    I also have the Lupine Piko 7 with larger battery and remote. Haven't done night rides over three hours but it has been great. Typically run it on medium.
    Not a helmet light but have run an Exposure Maxx D for about five years and it has been great as well although battery life seems to be fading now. Exposure does make several helmet capable models and I recommend the brand. They have an external battery which makes for a simpler setup.
     

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