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Jayzonk

Question about Helmet Lights

9 posts in this topic

Hi Guys,

I had someone ask me a question about helmet lights that I need to answer. I just need to know what you have to do to convert a self-functioning light system (ie, lamp, NiMH battery, charger, cables) into one that operates on his motorcycle helmet.

1) He's looking at Headstrong lights ( www.headstronglights.com ). (Note: the HID model isn't out yet, but we make a great, solid CNC-machined aluminum lamphead with a 20 W halogen bulb inside.)

2) Headstrong only has a helmet system for mounting onto bicycle helmets so far.

3) He doesn't want the battery pack or the charger, so I presume that he is wiring the light right into the stator?

4) What other needs does he have from the lighting system?

5) We're working on getting a complete kit for enduro motorcycles. Maybe in time for Baja, but maybe not....

I'm looking for some good feedback so that we can determine all of the personal lighting needs for enduro and dual sport riders.

Thanks,

Jason

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Ease of use...ie. an on/off switch that can be conveniently located, DURABILITY, ease of positioning, something with good optics (lense/reflector) and enough OOMPH to be able to be used on there own if the need arrises at typical M/C speeds. Most bicycles systems don't have the range needed, as the speeds are much slower.

The NiteRider light mounts are popular, as it gets the light off the top of the helmet. For that to work well, the lights need to be light weight. If mounting on the top of the helmet, a GOOD hook and loop system is fine, as it needs to be able to break away if hit hard. They need QUALITY connectors that are easy to connect/disconnect, yet will take abuse.

We'll be doing the Baja 1000 this year. I'de be happy to test out some light combos for you. PM me for more info.

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I agree with everything that motocrhis posted, but for me I would like a dual light setup. One on each side of the helmet that can be positioned several degrees out, so they aren't both pointing straight ahead.

Also would want one that would hold up good in snow and ice so I could use it for night rides on my snowmobiles, again it would have to have some serious light because my sleds don't have headlights anymore.

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I think that a lot depends on where and how it will be used. If you are in the desert then there is very little constraint on where to mount it. I mostly ride in the woods at night, and then there are problems with mounting. Where I ride, I have to go under branches. If it stuck up any, it would get whacked. While watching last years "Last Man Standing" race, I noticed that a lot of the riders had lighting that went right in front of their mouths. Seemed like a protected location for the light.

Don't go less than 20 watts of halogen, any less and the light will not be worth it. 35 or 50 watts would be much better. You can never have too much light. When I was looking at making something for my own use, I was planning on using MR11 halogen reflector lamps. Only about 1.35 inches in diameter, and cheap.

I'm not too sure about the use of HID lights on a helmet. One good smash and you might tazer your self with the 20kV starting voltage from the HID ballast. Ouch!

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Ease of use...ie. an on/off switch that can be conveniently located, DURABILITY, ease of positioning, something with good optics (lense/reflector) and enough OOMPH to be able to be used on there own if the need arrises at typical M/C speeds. Most bicycles systems don't have the range needed, as the speeds are much slower.

The NiteRider light mounts are popular, as it gets the light off the top of the helmet. For that to work well, the lights need to be light weight. If mounting on the top of the helmet, a GOOD hook and loop system is fine, as it needs to be able to break away if hit hard. They need QUALITY connectors that are easy to connect/disconnect, yet will take abuse.

We'll be doing the Baja 1000 this year. I'de be happy to test out some light combos for you. PM me for more info.

Switch - we use a completely rubberized small box that is waterproof. You push the button in with your thumb, and hold it for a 1/2 second to switch light levels. The controller is completely digital. I like it. In Baja, I imagine you hardly have a second to turn it on - where do you like the switch mounted? By your clutchand?

Bulbs - we tested numerous bulbs, and the ones we use are excellent at 20 Watts.

Durability - We've put our light through all kinds of abuse, and they still work. Mind you, we haven't done Baja testing yet. We'll be at Chico Racing's Summer Solstice this weekend, testing our new HID, as well as running the Halogens.

Helmet Mount - we don't have hook and loop yet, but that won't be hard to do. We can use hook and loop, but our helmet strap is designed to let the light break away if you hit something with the top of your head. It works well. I am somewhat concerned that a hook and loop system may shake the light off too easily.

Connectors we use solid, rubber connectors that seal well with the lamp on one end and the battery on the other.

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Switch - we use a completely rubberized small box that is waterproof. You push the button in with your thumb, and hold it for a 1/2 second to switch light levels. The controller is completely digital. I like it. In Baja, I imagine you hardly have a second to turn it on - where do you like the switch mounted? By your clutchand?

Bulbs - we tested numerous bulbs, and the ones we use are excellent at 20 Watts.

Durability - We've put our light through all kinds of abuse, and they still work. Mind you, we haven't done Baja testing yet. We'll be at Chico Racing's Summer Solstice this weekend, testing our new HID, as well as running the Halogens.

Helmet Mount - we don't have hook and loop yet, but that won't be hard to do. We can use hook and loop, but our helmet strap is designed to let the light break away if you hit something with the top of your head. It works well. I am somewhat concerned that a hook and loop system may shake the light off too easily.

Connectors we use solid, rubber connectors that seal well with the lamp on one end and the battery on the other.

The switch is more for convenience sake. You pull up to talk to a buddy, and you want to shut the lights off so you don't blind him.

As for the hook/loop thats why I stated GOOD stuff. The kind that is mostly plastic on both sides,,,it tends to really lock together.

Sounds like you are on the right path....bottom line is that there are a good number of light systems out there. What tends to seperate them is light quanity/quality and durability in the M/C world.

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Hey MotoC,

That's awesome feedback. I really think we are the most durable light out there, with our clear anodized CNC lamphead. I'd better not advertise on the site though, or I'm bound to get kicked off the site. We've got a challenge, though - we don't outsource anything to Asia. Everything is done in-house by our guys. Even our bulbs, batteries, etc. are sourced in North America. Some of the electronics may come from Asia, but that's pretty standard stuff. I'm sure there's good stuff made in Asia, but at this point, we just can't risk a possible problem with quality. Better to do it here! Even the chargers - there's a ton of chargers you can get from Asia, but we make them here, and test every single one. Takes extra time, but hey, we just have to do it.

I'll see about getting some lights to test for Baja. Halogen or HID?

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Honestly, I'm open to both. The halogens tend to show better contrast, though the brightness isn't as good as the HID's. Starting in 2 weeks, myself and one of my teammates will be doing alot of nightriding and will continue to do so right up until the 1000. If you've got something in mind, let me know. Gotta go, I've gotta get up at 4:00 to get to a race tomorrow morning.

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