Best Helmet Light – Help

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  • Best Helmet Light – Help
  • Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    dealextreme flashlight zip-tied to your helmet.
    cheap and cheerful.

    Premier Icon valleydaddy
    Subscriber

    Exposure all the way for me

    I have a Mk2 joystick and a Diablo both are great that I use as helmet mounted lights.

    The Joystick is perfect power v weight unit but the beam is quite narrow so perfect for a head light and the Diablo is heavier but the output is superb really powerful to the point it can be used as the sole light, I also have a Maxx D on the bars and find that on max there is no need for a headlight in all but the really dark twisty stuff. But when I do, on goes the Diablo and “kerpow” daylight all over the place 😯

    Back up from Exposure is great too.

    So depends on your budget and what deals you can find.

    I have no experience of the Light & Motion Stella 120 myself so I cannot offer that comparison.

    Premier Icon armchairbiker
    Subscriber

    I’m looking at a helmet light and currently deciding between Exposure Joystick (Mk4 claims 240 lumens / Mk5 claims 300) or Light & Motion Stella 120 (but they claim their light is cleaner).

    Any experiences / recommendations or even comparisons?

    I know I should flick through all my back copies of STW (but I’m lazy). Thanks

    Premier Icon tomaso
    Subscriber

    I am finding Cree X-ML cheap chinese torches excellent – totally outgun my Hope 2. Downside is having to change batteries mid ride…

    Exposure joystick soooooo much better than I could have ever imagined!

    Really really light (hardly notice it on my head), easy to use, easy to charge. And pretty 😉

    Appreciate it is much dearer than DealExtreme but I wanted something with support and guarantee in the (likely) event of a problem.
    The Joystick is noticeably lighter than even the small DealExtreme flashlights and lasts much longer. I can do a 4-hour nightride on Max.

    Dont know anyone with L&M system so cant comment on that.

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    By all account, DX are pretty good about warranty claims, although there is the hassle of posting back to HK.
    My DX light lasts about 6 hours on on battery. No idea how powerful it is in terms of numbers, but its plenty bright combined with my old Hope 2s on the bars.

    I’m looking into getting a new helmet light as well. I’ve been using a halogen setup for years and thinking about getting something new and wireless. I use it with 15W (flood) + 10W (spot) both on the bars for road riding (lots of sheep) or 15W on the helmet off-road.

    I’m thinking about Exposure (boss gave me a bonus so wanting to treat myself), but not sure whether to go for a joystick or diablo. I read somewhere that 300 lumens (new joystick) is roughly equivalent to 50W halogen. I’d like something with more output than my 25W combined halogen, but would the 900 lumens of the diablo just be overkill? Anybody got first-hand comparison of 25W halogen vs 300 lumen joystick? I use a fairly wide flood in the 15W halogen to pick up sheep at the sides of the road, so that may be an issue as well if the joystick is too focussed.

    I’m not trying to jack the thread, BTW – just looking for similar information to the OP.

    Rob

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    Diablo would be too heavy for helmet mount, imo. I got a Lupine pico recently – great light but a bit pricier than the Joystick

    [sales pitch]

    http://www.singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/fs-hope-hid-niteflux-hid-hard-shell-hope-hid-battery-tomson-stem-holder

    I used the Nitflux as a helmet light – great beam and the head unit is pretty lightweight too.

    £60 posted for the Niteflux?

    [/sales pitch]

    Thanks wwaswas. I’ll have a look at the Lupines – hadn’t considered those. According to the Exposure site the Diablo is only 12g heavier than the Joystick (110g vs 98g), so I was thinking the only downside to the diablo’s extra output would be reduced runtime (but I could always run it on lower power most of the time) – oh, and the extra £50 of course 😉

    Thanks for the offer of the HID, but one of the reasons I’m thinking of getting rid of the halogens is to escape the helmet-to-camelback dangly wire – really annoys me for some reason even though I’ve been using these lights for 10 years now.

    Rob

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    yes, I didn’t get a diablo as if you throttle it back to get a reasonable run time it puts out the same amount of light as a joystick and then you wonder why you bothered.

    Pico is a separate battery but it straps to the back of the hat and, tbh, I never notice the weight after the first 5 minutes.

    This is where I’m going to have to confess to my requirements being a bit weird…
    The time I need lots of light is on my road commute across open animal-strewn moorland, which is a bit under an hour’s ride, so even the Diablo on full power should last that long. It would be bar-mounted for that use. All my off-road riding at the moment is on unicycles (sorry…) so needs a helmet mounted light, but doesn’t require as much light due to the lower speed than a bike. But having an extra-bright setting in reserve for particularly tricky bits would be a bonus.

    Thanks for the suggestions anyway. Any opinions on the halogen wattage vs lumens comparison? The only personal experience I have is a 3W LED (dynamo light with some sort of cree led and a DE torch with similar) being about the same amount of light as my 10W halogen, but the LED light doesn’t seem quite as easy to see by as the yellower halogen IMO, so I’m thinking I may want more power if I go for an all-LED setup.

    Rob

    All my off-road riding at the moment is on unicycles

    excellent. Just one though, presumably.

    Android
    Member

    I got one of these back in September, rechargeable very bright and you can adjust the focus

    jimjam
    Member

    wwaswas

    Diablo would be too heavy for helmet mount, imo. I got a Lupine pico recently – great light but a bit pricier than the Joystick

    Too heavy? 110 grams? I don’t even notice the weight.

    wwaswas

    yes, I didn’t get a diablo as if you throttle it back to get a reasonable run time it puts out the same amount of light as a joystick and then you wonder why you bothered.

    Because you can bimble about on low or medium power, with 3-10 hours burn time but, when you need to do fast/technical stuff, which generally aren’t a big factor of most night rides you have the option of 900 lumens for the 3 or 4 minutes you might need it, leaving plenty of battery.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    jimjam – I’d forgotten Diablo was one of the lighter ones – oops. I still stand by the light output thing, though – I just want a light I can switch on at the beginning of a ride and turn off 2 and half hours later when I get to the end.

    I reckon the diablo would be good for me as a do-it-all light. I agree with jimjam – if I sometimes use the full power then it’s not wasted, even if it’s on medium most of the time. I don’t mind switching it, although I’d probably want to get a remote switch so I can turn it down when a car comes the other way without taking my hand off the bars (with the halogens I have a thumb switch to turn one of them off). Fast road riding on the moor could do with more light than my current setup – I have to slow down a bit in the winter because I can’t _quite_ see well enough with 25W halogen to feel totally confident.

    There’s an Exposure dealer fairly local to me so perhaps I’ll drop in at the weekend and see if they’ve got any on demo. I’m still not sure if a Joystick would already be brighter than what I’m already using, and whether the Diablo would just be overkill.

    What I do like about the separate-battery lights (like that Lupine wwaswas mentioned) is the lower profile (lamp on the front, small battery on the back) rather than sticking up on the top like a wireless one would. But not so convenient to swap between commuting bike and helmet as an all-in-one unit…

    Rob

    Oh, @reggiegasket – well, I’ve got four, but you’re right, one at a time 🙂

    Premier Icon armchairbiker
    Subscriber

    great feedback. In the end I got a Stella 300 from LBS who gave me a good price on it. Whilst feedback on Exposure service sounds great – I was more concerned that the light sat too high on the head for ducking under trees.

    Oh and I eventually found the STW article on lights in Issue 62.

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