Helmet Light for Night Riding


123 replies to this topic
  • jcorni

Posted 18 June 2009 - 08:28 AM

#1

I was wondering if any one can chime in on some good recommendations for helmet lights. I had the chance to borrow a friends night rider and to say the least, the bulb color was too purple and made it hard to really see. I see all kinds of options but at the end of the day, I want to here from the Baja guys that actually use the stuff. (BTW I do have a dual HID setup already on the bike)

I did see that Baja Designs is coming out with a new LED helmet light that looks pretty sweet. (Tim BBM I see you have seen this light in action, any other comments about it?)


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  • nljustin

Posted 18 June 2009 - 08:52 AM

#2

I'm a fan of the Trail-Tech lights. They work great, the mounting is better (IMHO) than the Night Riders and they are cheaper:
http://trailtech.net...met_lights.html

Cyclops have become quite popular thanks to Pastrana. I've never used them so have no idea about their durability and lighting:
http://www.cyclopsmo...om/propage.html

  • OUTERLIMITS

Posted 18 June 2009 - 09:18 AM

#3

Just ordered the led cyclops, should be similar to the Baja Designs unit. Led technology is getting better and better. From what I understand these use about 10 watts vs 13 for the mr11 hid. The color is less blue and they throw out a lot more light. Once I get mine up and running I'll do a review on that forum.

  • nljustin

Posted 18 June 2009 - 09:19 AM

#4

Please do because I'm in the market for helmet lights as well and would appreciate more opinions.

  • BajaBoundMoto

Posted 18 June 2009 - 09:32 AM

#5

Like I said in that other post (May 15th)
Tex from Baja Designs recently showed me this light in the canyon by my house (at night, duh). The little light is amazing. I've used dual NiteRiders many times and the single BD looked way better. Great pattern and color.
It was just the unfinished light so I have no idea how heavy the unit or batteries will be or mounting of it.

Post up BTMini and tell us how the thing is comin'.

  • motomanx

Posted 18 June 2009 - 09:42 AM

#6

here is a cost effective solution that is available now.

http://cgi.ebay.com/...:0|293:1|294:50

this is the same battery and light as the $400 setups. You will need to purchase the $25 MC helmet mount kit.

i have turned a bunch of people on to this and they have all been satisfied.

i wish i would have seen it before i spent $400+ on mine.

  • jcorni

Posted 18 June 2009 - 11:10 AM

#7

Thanks for the info :worthy: So if one had to decide, would it be HID or LED? Seems like LED (when compared to a similar output HID) will last longer when running of a battery pack (no?)

  • OUTERLIMITS

Posted 18 June 2009 - 11:26 AM

#8

Thanks for the info :worthy: So if one had to decide, would it be HID or LED? Seems like LED (when compared to a similar output HID) will last longer when running of a battery pack (no?)


If you look at the stats of lumens output and input power used, it looks that way. It's hard to believe based on what I've seen from leds a couple of years ago and what I know about hids, but I think these leds have just gotten more and more efficient. I'll know in a few days if I wasted my money, but from what I've heard both the BD guys and my contact at Cyclops are very high on them. Cyclops went as far as to tell me that he does not even recommend the small hids anymore (mr11 bulbs) and his company sells those as well. All of those companies are using basically the same guts and the light given off is too blue apparently. Gotta compare apples to apples though, one small mr11 hid to one led as they both use close to the same wattage. No doubt the twin hid's will throw out more light.

  • mexihonkey

Posted 18 June 2009 - 11:40 AM

#9

http://www.ayup.com....-shop-kits.html

http://www.ayup.com.au/techinfo.php - photos of different mounting

These are the bee's knees for MTB's .... I haven't used these on a motorcycle helmet though but it looks like helmet mounts would work. They are just as bright as my NiteRider Cannibals but the size and weight for the light & battery are about the same as the Cannibal light alone. The battery & lights fit on a helmet so you don't have wires everywhere and you'll never notice the weight. If you can find someone local who sells them it would be worth checking out. I am going to try and figure out how to fix them to my moto helmet.

  • OUTERLIMITS

Posted 18 June 2009 - 12:37 PM

#10

http://www.ayup.com....-shop-kits.html

http://www.ayup.com.au/techinfo.php - photos of different mounting

These are the bee's knees for MTB's .... I haven't used these on a motorcycle helmet though but it looks like helmet mounts would work. They are just as bright as my NiteRider Cannibals but the size and weight for the light & battery are about the same as the Cannibal light alone. The battery & lights fit on a helmet so you don't have wires everywhere and you'll never notice the weight. If you can find someone local who sells them it would be worth checking out. I am going to try and figure out how to fix them to my moto helmet.


Boy those are small, I'd probably try just attaching them to the top of the visor. Lots of mounting options with those. :worthy:

  • OUTERLIMITS

Posted 18 June 2009 - 01:27 PM

#11

I had the chance to borrow a friends night rider and to say the least, the bulb color was too purple and made it hard to really see.


Haha, I just put 2+2 together and realized who you were. Your son was nice enough to lend me probably that same light a couple of weeks ago when my bike battery crapped out at night thanks to my over zealous reg/rec wiring. Needless to say, I felt the same as you about the color and that it made it a little tough to see. With that said, I still think by itself it was better than most standard 35watt headlights that come on bikes these days. :worthy:

  • JohnnyAirtime

Posted 18 June 2009 - 01:54 PM

#12

http://www.ayup.com....-shop-kits.html

http://www.ayup.com.au/techinfo.php - photos of different mounting

These are the bee's knees for MTB's .... I haven't used these on a motorcycle helmet though but it looks like helmet mounts would work. They are just as bright as my NiteRider Cannibals but the size and weight for the light & battery are about the same as the Cannibal light alone. The battery & lights fit on a helmet so you don't have wires everywhere and you'll never notice the weight. If you can find someone local who sells them it would be worth checking out. I am going to try and figure out how to fix them to my moto helmet.



I have a couple flashlights with CREE style LEDs... and oh boy, they are amazingly bright. And the LED is a small square thing about 2mm wide.

... I'd like to see how well they do with more than one in a housing, or with a proper reflector.

  • 123BigcoopDawg576

Posted 19 June 2009 - 07:20 AM

#13

I felt the same as you about the color and that it made it a little tough to see.


It will be interesting to see how your new LED helmet light works out.

I was at Baja Designs on Wednesday talking with Diego and he showed me the LED helmet light that jcorni posted above...a hair bigger than the night rider but weighed the same. Very nice looking too :worthy:

Tim have you been helping test this light or just seen it?

  • BajaBoundMoto

Posted 19 June 2009 - 08:36 AM

#14

Only seen it.

  • PowerCell

Posted 19 June 2009 - 08:44 AM

#15

I spoke last summer with Brian Engelen of LightsonLights last summer about mounting two of these bad boys on my bar clamps to compliment the Oscars. Even though he's a mountain bike guy, he was very enthusiastic about getting into dirt bikes. These things are tiny but really impressive with 900 lumens each!

http://lightonlights...00batterylight/

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  • OUTERLIMITS

Posted 19 June 2009 - 10:06 AM

#16

Nice, I could easily see adding the extra battery sets for longer rides. The extra batteries look relatively cheap for the amp hours they give you.

Welcome back, hopefully the jail wenches were not mean to you :worthy:

  • PowerCell

Posted 19 June 2009 - 10:09 AM

#17

Brian quoted me $672 for the pair - setup for direct wire to the batt. Really not a ton of $$$ for what they are.

No wenches. I was serving time with Coop, and for a box of Newports, he'd do whatever it took... :worthy:

  • OUTERLIMITS

Posted 22 June 2009 - 10:52 PM

#18

Here is the Cyclops 10 watt led helmet light. In this picture is everything except the cable that goes between the light and battery. That arrived a day later because they forgot to package it with the rest. What's included is the light, a 6.5 ah poly Li battery, connecting cable with the soft switch and led power on light, 2 lenses to change from spot to driving to flood, smart charger, handlebar mount, pivoting post mount, helmet mount, a joint that looks like it was made to tie two lights together, and a small harness w/female receiver to tie into the bike's power for bike mounting if you choose. If you want to run as a helmet light from the bike's power there is another cable they sell for that instead of the battery pack. The set up as shown with a battery is $250. The cool thing about the batteries they sell is that you can link as many as you like together and they are small enough to fit in your shirt pocket. Much smaller and lighter than the Niterider NiMh batteries used with the Cannibal and these run for 6 hours or 12 if you were to hook two of them together. The light itself seems very well made and the exterior is solid metal, no plastic to be found anywhere. That comes with a cost however, as it is a bit heavier than a single Niterider or Trailtech mr11 type hid light. Output is said to be about 800 lumens compared to about 450 or so with any of the small mr11 type hid helmet lights on the market. I think part of that is due to the strength of the light, but also to the color. The bluer the light, the less lumens. This light is much whiter looking than the equivalent hid helmet lights.
http://s172.photobuc...nt=PICT0201.jpg

A couple of shots to give you an idea of the output. This is just with the standard spot lens and pointed at the ground only 10 ft away.
http://s172.photobuc...nt=PICT0211.jpg

I think I'm going to stick with this lens as here it is 60 ft away and the spread looks good to me for that distance. Not sure I want it to flood anymore than this. Sorry for the fuzziness, my camera sucks trying to focus on things at night.
http://s172.photobuc...nt=PICT0212.jpg

Exact same distance, but just panning in with the camera a little.
http://s172.photobuc...nt=PICT0213.jpg

Just a slightly different angle and distance.
http://s172.photobuc...nt=PICT0214.jpg

The nice thing is that as soon as you hit the button, the light is on 100% full strength. There is no ramp up time waiting like with hid. Along with that, there really is no heat coming off the light to speak of. The back of the housing gets the warmest, but nothing like halogen or hid. You can set it against your neck and it just feels warm. As far as mounting, Cyclops really needs to come up with a system for it to be chin mounted. The helmet mount is 3m stick on and made for the curvature of the helmet either by your ear or on top. I'm going to Mcgyver something so I can chin mount it later, but for now it's going on top. It's a little heavy and I know that 3m tape is strong, but it seems it will also be easier for me to adjust it if I use some heavy duty velcro and mount it on top. Using the stick on mount means there would be no adjustment so you'd have to nail your aiming on the first attempt.

Anyway, just a little run down on it. I looked on the web and could not find anyone to report on this light so I guess I'm gonna be the guinnea pig. Will be a couple of weeks before I can get out in the desert, but looking forward to giving it a go. :worthy:

  • JohnnyAirtime

Posted 23 June 2009 - 06:04 AM

#19

Very cool little review Brett.... Thanks!

... do you have an HID (Cannibal... or?) for a comparison? Maybe, take a picture from the same spot, shining on the same background for a 'quick' comparison?

  • 123BigcoopDawg576

Posted 23 June 2009 - 07:26 AM

#20

Just a slightly different angle and distance.
http://s172.photobuc...nt=PICT0214.jpg


Wow :worthy:

Just from this picture alone, I can already tell that the color of the light is 10x better than the night rider (at least for me)

Vdo you have an HID Cannibal for a comparison?


Johnny I borrowed Dan's NR Cannibal and on the next night ride, Ill do a comparison with Brett's LED light

Like Brett said, Cyclops (an Trail Tech) need to develop a chin mounted style like NR. It will be interesting to see what Baja Designs comes up with as Diego did say their LED light (posted above) would be able to be mounted on the chin :lol:




 
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