Results 1 to 21 of 21
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: androgen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    874

    helmety experiment !

    I just deliberately mounted the Seca on the SIDE of the helmet, and then rotated it so that it points straight forward. The ojbective of the experiment was to determine whether it would be possible to mount two of them side by side on the helmet and still have them properly aimed.

    the answer appears to be yes.

    in theory i could order a second one and return it in case what.

    or maybe i should just seek professional medical help ? perhaps some Seroquel or another antipsychotic would help ?

    i really can't tell whether this is a brilliant idea or the stupidest ever.

    the Seca 1700 is $319, and has 1800 MTBR measured Lumens, so a pair of them would give me 3600 MTBR Lumens for $640. this would put the system in the Lupine Wilma price range but the upcoming Wilma will be 2800 Lumen compared to 3600 Lumen for dual Seca.

    car halogen headlights are about 2 x 1300 = 2600 Lumens. car HID headlights are about 2 x 3000 = 6000 Lumens.

    by the way i just did some research and an average street light is 9,000 to 30,000 lumens.

    3600 helmet Lumens + 400 bar lumens = 4,000 Lumens would be right in the ballpark between halogen and HID car headlight output levels.

    of course i already had 4500 lumens last year, but the pattern was useless except for blinding people.

    now i actually feel the Seca can't keep up with SafeRide because even though SafeRide puts out 1/4.5 lumens it covers 1/10 area. i really think i could use extra lumens on the helmet given Seca 1700s pattern which projets most of the light far into the distance where you really need a lot of Lumens.

    the NiteRider pro threw a lot of the light at nearby objects so it looked super bright, but the Seca 1700 projects very little light at nearby objects and throws most of the light far down the road, which means it really needs a lot more light.

    the only time i had anybody complain with a single Seca 1700 is when i went on a narrow 1-way street against the direction of car traffic - both cars i passed flashed their headlights at me - but this was not because Seca was too bright - it was because i was going the wrong way so my beam was directly in the driver's faces. when going the right way i haven't experienced complaints because the beam is narrow enough not to be really hitting the other side of the road much.

    if i simply wanted a second battery and a second charger for my Seca it would cost me $205 ( $125 for battery + $80 for charger ). for $319 though i can get that PLUS a second light head, so the light head itself would only be $114. the Seca only has 1.5 hours of burn time and 6 hours to recharge, so a 2nd Battery + 2nd Charger really isn't a bad idea, and a 2nd light would be almost like a bonus.

    neither the light head nor the battery are particularly noticeable in weight, so i don't think having two would be a problem. if mounted all the way at the front of the helmet it does become tippy, but that's why i found a spot for it closer to the center of the helmet, and a Red Zone 8 in the back should help balance it out. in theory that is.

    what do you think ?
    Last edited by androgen; 08-22-2013 at 05:19 PM.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: androgen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    874
    well i did it, i ordered a second identical Seca 1700 and again from TreeFortBikes

    it's going to look dumb having two big lights on my head, but i really like the beam pattern, and the Lumen to Dollar ratio is quite good on this light - 1800 MTBR measured lumens for $319 ( no tax free shipping )

    that's 5.64 lumens per dollar.

    that's more Lumens per dollar than for example Gloworm X2, which is considered a "value" light ...

    i really think this light represents an excellent value at $319.

    of course if you're not in a hurry, and if you can afford Lupine then in 1 - 2 months you should be able to get next-gen Lupine lights which will produce more Lumens per gram, although less Lumens per dollar.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: androgen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    874
    arrived today. i will wait for a new battery to get partially charged before doing any testing.

    here are some installation pics:





  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    415
    Massive overkill. There's no way you need this much light. If you turn around and look at your buddy he will be blind for five minutes.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: androgen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    874
    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post
    Massive overkill. There's no way you need this much light. If you turn around and look at your buddy he will be blind for five minutes.
    i have to say, i was driving my car at night recently which has regular halogen headlights and i was really missing my Seca. in theory the car low beams put out about as many Lumens as the Seca or more, but most of the time none of those Lumens go where i need them to go. whereas with a helmet mounted reflector bike light you have a hot spot that you point anywhere you want - so even though the Lumens are the same the EFFECT is not. i tried turning on high beams temporarily just to see how it would stack up against the Seca and it still wasn't close - the floody Halogens simply couldn't compete with a focused LED beam.

    however i remember driving a BMW with HID high beams and it was brighter than the Seca by quite a margin. i also remember riding with NiteRider Pro 3600 and it was also brighter than the Seca by quite some margin as well. So that's what i'm going after. I know i won't match BMW that uses a 2,000 watt water-cooled alternator as a source of power, but i hope to match the NiteRider.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: androgen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    874
    it probably took me 2 hours to aim the lights properly. because each light can be adjusted up / down and also left / right. of course i could have used brute force and adjusted them right on my head without loosening the mount but since these are MY lights i didn't want to be rough on them so i would go out - test the angle while riding the bike on the street, then come inside, take the helmet off, do the adjustment, repeat ... as i said took about 2 hours LOL

    the mounting mechanism on the Seca is quite fragile though - it's not like a NiteRider - you really need to be careful with it i think

    anyway there is a big improvement. about as much as when i upgraded from Seca 1400 to Seca 1700. and the NATURE of improvement is the same ! the beam is not just brighter, but wider and more even than with 1 light !

    and in my case as i'm also running Philips SafeRide there is the additional benefit that finally SafeRide is no longer overpowering the helmet light.

    it is very annoying when the bar light overpowers the helmet light, because when you aim your helmet light's beam as you ride you want to see the helmet beam, not the bar light's beam. but in case of Philips SafeRide it has a very focused beam while the Seca has a much more diffuse beam so even though SafeRide has much lower Lumens a lot of the time you notice the SafeRide beam more than the Seca beam, which makes aiming the Seca less instinctive / natural and instead makes you think which beam in fact you're looking at which is annoying when you just want to enjoy the ride.

    but with 2 X Seca 1700 finally it was the SafeRide beam that was difficult to make out blown out by the helmet beam - which is what you want !

    the SafeRide still contributes about half the light on the patch directly in front of the front wheel - for the first 15 feet or so - and in doing so it helps to fill out the coverage of the Seca when mounted on the helmet.

    i will note that if you mount Seca on the bar you will get a completely different beam than on the helmet. when mounted high up the beam illuminates into the distance, but when mounted on the bar it will provide much more light closer to the front wheel.

    when Seca is mounted on helmet though the Philips really helps with adding a bit more light up-close.

    the weight is very noticeable. even with Red Zone 8 on the back of the helmet helping to even out the balance the helmet still feels nose-heavy because of the two lights on the front. this would probably be too much weight on the front of helmet heavy duty offroading.

    on the road however the weight is noticeable but so far i hope it won't be a problem.

    so anyway i aimed the left light slightly to the left and right one slightly to the right. this way i get a wider, more oval hotspot. the Seca hotspot is already slightly oval but it is almost round - with two lights i can make it significantly more oval. it is still nowhere close to the shape of Philips SafeRide hotspot which is completely flat, or for that matter the shape of car headlight beams which are also almost completely flat ( as opposed to round ). but it's an improvement and it's noticeable. the street looks more fully and more evenly lit and the two Secas and the SafeRide combine their beams seamlessly for a super even coverage.

    another factor that helps to even out the beam pattern is that the two lights are rotated slightly relative to each other. because Seca beam is not perfectly round ( a bit oval / trapezoidal by design ) the artifacts are also not round and by having two beams rotated relative to each other by a small angle it helps to even out the artifacts.

    so anyway these are obviously just my initial impressions as i only did a few minutes of testing so far. but so far i will say:

    pros: wider, brighter, more even light - the combined effect of those 3 things is quite significant

    cons: heavier, less balanced feeling helmet - this is quite significant as well

    this is definitely not for everybody i would say - for many people the aforementioned cons will outweigh the aforementioned pros - but i personally think ( so far ) that the increased visibility is more important than decreased comfort.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: androgen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    874
    the battery finished charging and before sunrise i had a time for a quick 6 mile ride to evaluate the setup ...

    i love it !

    i forgot about the extra weight and the only time i remembered about it was going over bumpy surfaces.

    the light was WIDE and beautifully even ... i could still see a bit of Philips coming through ... but i won't nit pick

    funny thing i came to a gas station to fiddle with my lights and while i was under the gas station's HID lighting i couldn't even see my own light ! ! ! which put things in perspective for me - it showed that 4,000 lumens really is nothing compared to good lighting - it's just that our standards are so low that we think it is great - but compared to the lighting at the gas station which according to my calculations was pushing ~ 100,000 lumens it was nothing ...

    anyway i love the setup. i'm actually surprised by how much i love it ! i didn't realize it would be such a big improvement. i thought it would simply be brighter, but instead it is BETTER.

    MUCH better.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    587
    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    the only time i had anybody complain with a single Seca 1700 is when i went on a narrow 1-way street against the direction of car traffic - both cars i passed flashed their headlights at me -
    And all along I thought you were a regular Safety Nazi.

    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post
    Massive overkill. There's no way you need this much light. If you turn around and look at your buddy he will be blind for five minutes.
    Just humor him.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: androgen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    874
    two more pics:

    here's a link to the full-resolution version of the first one, where you can see the LEDs better: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2861/9...2b33ece3_o.jpg




  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,228

    Watch out!!

    I expect Disney legal will be contacting you shortly

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: androgen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    874
    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    I expect Disney legal will be contacting you shortly

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    14

    Re: helmety experiment !

    I was about to say the same exact thing :P

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,597
    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post

    or maybe i should just seek professional medical help ? perhaps some Seroquel or another antipsychotic would help ?
    Legitimate question.

    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post

    i really can't tell whether this is a brilliant idea or the stupidest ever.
    The second choice is the correct answer.

    Quote Originally Posted by varider
    Massive overkill. There's no way you need this much light. If you turn around and look at your buddy he will be blind for five minutes.
    It's not the amount of light - nothing wrong with that. This is just not the way to do it. For one, it just looks, well (oh, what the heck) just plain stupid.

    J.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ironbrewer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    278
    Don't know why your beating him up. I can't see spending $640, but who cares what it looks like. The weight might be a problem, but if Androgen likes it and is comfortable with it more power to him. I just don't want to ride with him if he looks me in the face with that set up on high. I would like to see beam patterns on a ride.

    Oh and the Disney crack with visuals is hilarious.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: androgen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    874
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    This is just not the way to do it.
    J.
    there should have been a better way, but i couldn't think of any

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,597
    Betty on the helmet.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: pigmode's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    205
    I kind of know where the OP is coming from.

    Adequate Lumen power and lighting characteristics that can safely show a rider road obstacle details under street lights in a complex matrix of city lighting, is not a feature currently deemed widely marketable--unfortunately.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: androgen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    874
    Quote Originally Posted by pigmode View Post
    I kind of know where the OP is coming from.

    Adequate Lumen power and lighting characteristics that can safely show a rider road obstacle details under street lights in a complex matrix of city lighting, is not a feature currently deemed widely marketable--unfortunately.
    yeah i was riding on one Seca a few days ago and passed some shady characters, so 1/4 a block later i looked over my shoulder to see if they were following me and suddenly as i was looking over my shoulder i hit uneven pavement that was like a series of speed bumps but it was at random angles to my direction of travel rather than perpendicular - so suddenly it was like i was riding a bull that was trying to throw me off while looking backwards over my shoulder - i didn't crash but it was close - and the reason i didn't see it was ( aside from looking over my shoulder ) that there were no * holes * in the pavement or any obstacles * on * the pavement - the asphalt was totally smooth - but had folds so to speak, about 5 inches high, which you don't really notice when looking at it, but when you hit them at speed it almost throws you in the air, and does so sideways.

    that incident made me realize that you cannot see * too * well. even with HID car headlights i once hit a pothole so big my tire exploded on the spot. i know most parts of America the roads are good, but not in NYC. here you oftentimes have roads that look like this:



    and because most of the road is smooth you could be going downhill at 25 mph, then take a quick look sideways to see if there are any cars around and suddenly hit the bumpy stuff ...

    finally if you crash on the trail at least you won't have a bus right behind you when it happens ...

    anyway i don't mean to be overly dramatic ...

    but the city lights are quite strong compared to bike lights, and your eyes adjust to them, then if you want to even see your own beam you need a couple hundred Lumens.

    the common wisdom is that you don't need a lot of Lumens in the city - you need the big Lumens on the trail. but i think the reality is not as simple. on the trail any light you have will look bright because it will be the only light. in the City you need to pass a certain ( rather high, in terms of bike lights ) threshold before you can even see your light at all.

    people might say - oh well, then you don't need a light at all since you already have street lighting. and if the street lighting was even that would be true, but they're not:



    and you probably need well over 1,000 Lumens to even them out a bit.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    14

    Re: helmety experiment !

    I think this would work really well on a full face helmet, (like on the sides, lower end of it... Baja style, master chief from halo style... You know... Like where you would mount a go pro, but on both sides)...

    I think with a reg. helmet it would feel really heavy and like it kinda pulls your head to the side with all that added on weight... But honestly, like where this is going

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    587
    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    there should have been a better way, but i couldn't think of any
    Take in more Vitamin A.

    Personally, I'll be worried about too much electromagnetic energy coming from the lights and batteries staying too close to my head. It might be incubating a small brain tumor.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: androgen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    874
    Quote Originally Posted by Gundam168 View Post
    Take in more Vitamin A.

    Personally, I'll be worried about too much electromagnetic energy coming from the lights and batteries staying too close to my head. It might be incubating a small brain tumor.
    ha ! you have a point ! maybe it is better to have a helmet light with metal housing like Lupine that will shield some of EM radiation from any switching power circuitry.

    you know the Seca 1400 ( which i exchanged for 1700 ) made a high pitched whine like a power supply coil wine - so if it emits acoustical energy it almost certainly emits electromagnetic radiation too.

Similar Threads

  1. Hub experiment..
    By Flyin_W in forum Wheels and Tires
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-15-2012, 08:11 PM
  2. An experiment in SS...
    By Cormac in forum Singlespeed
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 04-12-2012, 01:05 PM
  3. 650b Experiment
    By 120 in forum Singlespeed
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 01-28-2012, 11:05 AM
  4. Oil Experiment
    By Sizzler in forum Commuting
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 10-30-2011, 09:47 AM
  5. 47 mm rim experiment
    By cozz in forum Fat Bikes
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 10-01-2011, 01:22 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •