Helmet Light for Night Riding.... is it the done thing?

Flasheart
Flasheart Posts: 1,278
edited December 2009 in Road beginners
Okay, it's Winter and if I want to ride during the week its gonna after work and it will be dark for a long while yet.
I know MTBer's have helmet mounted lights but I've yet to see a roadie out at night with one. Actually I've yet to see another roadie out at night around my way come to think of it....anyway.

I'm currently using 2 x Fenix L2D's on a mount below my stem. Great amount of light ..as long as my bike is facing where I'm looking. With some of the sharp bends in the lanes I'm riding down I'm heading into the dark at 20+ mph and it does sort of worry me that I'm going to hit something, be it pothole or pony..hey at that speed a hedgehog would wipe me out.
So I'm thinking of a helmet mounted LED light, possibly another Fenix (but they're not cheap :( )
One of my concerns is blinding oncomming drivers with a helmet mounted light.

Suggestions or thoughts?
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Comments

  • it's a great idea to have a light on you helmet. i have front and rear for riding in traffic. the front one is a basic head torch from a pound shop but is bright enough for the job of being noticed whne flashing. the big difference is at junctions, especially round abouts when you can point it at drivers and make sure they see you.

    Give them as few excuses as possible for not seeing you.

    MG
    M_G
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Because of the differences in speed and less-severe changes direction on the road, I've never felt the need for a helmet mounted light. But as I generally don't ride in heavy traffic, visibility is less of a problem - I would use one in heavy traffic,though - both front and rear
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 42,273
    Personally wouldn't use one as anything bright enough to help see where you're going is likely to annoy oncoming motorists,
  • m8 I use a rear helmet mounted red light but found no need for a front helmet light, My bike mounted lights are bright enough to show a lot of the road ahead. The rear red is flashing; as they are better seen, however the law states a steady white and red for front and rear respectively.

    Although master_grunthos make a valid point with regards to
    the big difference is at junctions, especially round abouts when you can point it at drivers and make sure they see you.
  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    I use one on the dark unlit roads, and it's a brill addition to the existing lights. Recommended, and motorists seem to see it early too.
  • Got Ayup front lights on my bike which are easily bright enough to see by, but have had a couple of close shaves with motorists aproaching from the side, especially at roundabouts. Have added helemt lights which are generally facing down and to the left, but I can look up and to the side at danger points - makes a huge improvement to my visibility to traffic.
  • CamR
    CamR Posts: 83
    I have a helmet light (Stella 150) and use it on my road commute. I use flashing mode in town and steady beam out in the quieter areas. I pass a few commuters who have helmet lights.
  • CamR
    CamR Posts: 83
    I have a helmet light (Stella 150) and use it on my road commute. I use flashing mode in town and steady beam out in the quieter areas. I pass a few commuters who have helmet lights.
  • I've just added a helmet light to my gear as my commute home includes some unlit roads with sharp hairpins. With just frame mounted lights you can't look-ahead round the hairpins but with my new helmet light I can look around the hairpin bend and see what is coming up. I got one of the Exposure MaxX2's and so far haven't had any problems with on-coming drivers flashing me - which I think they would if I was dazzling them. Around town I keep it in low mode and only crank it up to max brightness when I hit the unlit roads. The beam of this seems fairly narrow with-out very much beam spread.

    One issue I've found is if I've cranked it up to maximum brightness on the un-lit roads then unexpected have to stop at a junction and look both ways at traffic in maximum brightness mode it definately would dazzle drivers. At the junction I'd be looking right into the drivers eyes as I check both ways at the junction. I can avoid this if I know I'm going to have to stop as I reduce the brightness of the light but if I get unexpected forced to stop and look both ways at a junction I have to avoid dazzling drivers by dipping my head down and keeping the light aimed at the ground.

    Overall I think its been worthwhile getting it for unlit roads.
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  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    I ride with a L2d on my helmet and the P7 torch on the bars - helmet light is great for eyeballing drivers and checking out junctions and sharp bends.

    I'm not sure that drivers would be blinded by these torches - hardly compare to main car beams>
  • CamR
    CamR Posts: 83
    I also use the helmet light to "eye ball" drivers, it gets their attention at junctions or I also shine it into their mirrors if I am behind them at a junction
  • stevewj
    stevewj Posts: 227
    I commute 80miles a week so have ten lights on the bike in total not only for visibility but also in case any have flat batteries on country lanes. I have three on the front and four on the back actually on at any one time. I've put a handlebar smartlight on my helmet because then, if I turn to face a motorist coing out of side road, they will see it (had too many close calls when a motorist exits a drive/side road level with me so doesn't see front or rear lights). I glued a strip of denim onto the top of the lamp with a square of velcro in the middle. I feed the two strips through the helmet holes and back and fasten with squares of velcro onto the top of the lamp. Very secure and cheap (not over pretty tho').
  • Fitted a Knog flashing minilight (£10) to my helmet after a motorist pulled out from the left despite my umpteen LED Electron flashing light on the handlebars.

    If you can cope with the "feeling a bit visible" stares from pedestrians etc it is really useful having a light that is visbile above parked cars. Looped the light through the air vent and it points slightly to the left - ideal

    Recommended as a tenner that could save you from another blind motorist
  • sicknote
    sicknote Posts: 901
    westenddee wrote:
    Fitted a Knog flashing minilight (£10) to my helmet after a motorist pulled out from the left despite my umpteen LED Electron flashing light on the handlebars.

    If you can cope with the "feeling a bit visible" stares from pedestrians etc it is really useful having a light that is visbile above parked cars. Looped the light through the air vent and it points slightly to the left - ideal

    Recommended as a tenner that could save you from another blind motorist

    I do the same thing with lights I got from Tesco's that are like the Eletron Backupz's but they are just under £4 and look just the same.
  • dinnotte 200L on the lid, great in flash mode....stops cars dead at junctions as they havent a clue what you are.
  • hodsgod
    hodsgod Posts: 226
    Sicknote wrote:
    westenddee wrote:
    Fitted a Knog flashing minilight (£10) to my helmet after a motorist pulled out from the left despite my umpteen LED Electron flashing light on the handlebars.

    If you can cope with the "feeling a bit visible" stares from pedestrians etc it is really useful having a light that is visbile above parked cars. Looped the light through the air vent and it points slightly to the left - ideal

    Recommended as a tenner that could save you from another blind motorist

    I do the same thing with lights I got from Tesco's that are like the Eletron Backupz's but they are just under £4 and look just the same.

    I bought those small back up lights too. The best £4 i ever spent
  • GyatsoLa
    GyatsoLa Posts: 667
    I have a 'mixed' on and off road commute so I often use a Dinotte 3W on my helmet. Its not much use on urban roads (although it arguably improves my visibility when weaving through stationary traffic), but is very useful on poorly lit roads. It does freak out pedestrians a bit though.

    The best thing about it is if I'm in traffic and someone cuts me up or just drives too close, when I catch up at traffic lights or junctions I put it on full power, pull up on the drivers side and just stare right at the driver. The look of shock and fear on their dazzled faces makes it well worth it!

    But only do that if you are sure you have an escape route!
  • sicknote
    sicknote Posts: 901
    hodsgod wrote:
    Sicknote wrote:
    westenddee wrote:
    Fitted a Knog flashing minilight (£10) to my helmet after a motorist pulled out from the left despite my umpteen LED Electron flashing light on the handlebars.

    If you can cope with the "feeling a bit visible" stares from pedestrians etc it is really useful having a light that is visbile above parked cars. Looped the light through the air vent and it points slightly to the left - ideal

    Recommended as a tenner that could save you from another blind motorist

    I do the same thing with lights I got from Tesco's that are like the Eletron Backupz's but they are just under £4 and look just the same.

    I bought those small back up lights too. The best £4 i ever spent

    Last ones I got were on sale for £2.60 and thinking of getting some more for my helmet, so I have a red on the back too.
  • when I get cut up I catch them and the light and sit behind them with the dinotte on uber flash...it can be nice sat in your own flashing disco car but its a nice passive aggressive response :-)
  • andy_wrx
    andy_wrx Posts: 3,396
    Rather than splashing-out for a Fenix, you can get torches with the same Cree Q5 LED emitter for considerably less from DealExtreme.

    I have a SSC P7 on the bars as a fairly wide flood, plus a Q5 on my helmet as a tighter spot.

    Not only can you look around corners, but you can also see down into potholes and the like, which just show as shadows with a handlebar-mounted light.

    If a driver is pulling-out from a side turning or driveway, you can direct it at them a bit and make sure they've seen you, or can shine back at any approaching motorist who won't dip their lights - I've done that a few times and shortly after they do dip.
  • I use an Exposure Maxx D on the front and a Red Eye on the back as my main lights, but I also use a helmet mounted Joystick also with a "short cable" Red Eye as a rear red light on the helmet. I usually use the Joystick in "Strobe" mode so it flashes in addition to the Maxx D which is on full time. There are three light level intensities plus the strobe/flashing mode. The Joystick can also be mounted on the handlebar of your bike and is a versatile light for use directly on the bike or on the helmet. The link below shows the helmet mount.

    http://exposure.dev.mwm1.co.uk/product/000020/joystick/

    Not cheap, but excellent lights and I can't recommend them enough. I've found that there are so many different opinions on lights and what people use in these forums that it served to confuse rather then inform to be honest. The choice is endless. Best to have a look at the various manufacturers websites and see what takes your fancy.

    Good Luck,

    Dex.
  • tigerben
    tigerben Posts: 233
    PLus 1 for the Exposure MaxX2's - I use for unlit country lanes with the single LED rear attachment. I use light on lowest settings at junctions/ in town.

    Use for distance/ line of sight in combination with a couple of bar mounted lights.
  • juankerr
    juankerr Posts: 1,099
    Strap on of those L2Ds onto your helmet with a zip-tie and give it a go.
  • John C.
    John C. Posts: 2,113
    Iuse head torches, they are high up so other road users can see them. I use a bog standard hardware store front light and one of these on the back http://www.evanscycles.com/products/bus ... gn=froogle. the only problem I found was the glue isn't very sticky but that was soon sorted. It's not the brightest light but it's high up and can be easly seen. It is also always with you if you wear a helmet so it can't get nicked.
    http://www.ripon-loiterers.org.uk/

    Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
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  • Dess1e
    Dess1e Posts: 239
    Hope vision one. Helmet or handlebar mounted.
  • Flasheart
    Flasheart Posts: 1,278
    I just managed to get hold of one of these
    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/LargeImage.aspx?ModelID=22859
    With a bit of rubber wound around the L2D to increase it's diameter it works a treat and it is right where I wanted it mounted.
    I'm wussing out on trying it tonight though as I'm bl00dy freezing after my ride home from work :(
    The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle. ...Stapp’s Ironical Paradox Law
    FCN3
    http://img87.yfrog.com/img87/336/mycubeb.jpg
    http://lonelymiddlesomethingguy.blogspot.com/