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  1. #1
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    Integral helmet and light?

    What do you all think about a helmet/light combo?

    We are kicking around the idea of an integrated helmet and light. I am thinking an all-mountain style (like the Fox) that would have a recessed spot on the top-front for the light head and a little recessed spot for the battery. Care would be taken to make sure the weight is balanced, also the light and battery would be removable for daylight use and servicing/charging.

    First of all would that be something you guys think you'd want? Or is helmet choice too personal?

    How many lumens would you want out of this helmet light? I have my personal preferences but I'd like to hear your thoughts.

    What would be optimal burn-time? What is the optimal balance between burn-time and weight? I have my opinions but we want to hear yours.

  2. #2
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    Lupine and Uvex have a semi-integrated system. I think it has just begun to be offered in the US.

    I think the helmet choice is key - people might not want to be committed to an unknown brand, so a partnership with a known helmet maker might be the best approach.

  3. #3
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    I'd want about 500 lumens.
    Run time at least 3 hours on high.

  4. #4
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    I am thinking the same thing as far as going with a known brand, we have a few helmet manufacturers in mind. Any manufacturer you would prefer Slacks?

    I have seen the Lupine/Uvex set up, pretty cool, I think I'd like ours to be even more integrated. Super lightweight and streamlined.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabrabu
    I'd want about 500 lumens.
    Run time at least 3 hours on high.
    500 Lumens eh...spot beam pattern, wide angle beam pattern or combo? I think 3hrs on high is just about right too.

  6. #6
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    I think 500 on the helmet would be good. Personally, I prefer a spot beam pattern on my helmet and 3 hours would be about perfect.
    I'm using a torch now with a mount I found online and having it integrated would be pretty cool.

  7. #7
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    Oh hell yes...wait, integral? That means it will keep changing, right? Works for me!

    Integrated would be cool as well, especially since nobody seems to put enough effort into mount designs, especially for a helmet. 500 lm is not good enough for me. 1000 lm would be cool, with the right beam pattern. A very critical design consideration is matching with the bar light. Personally, I want a peripheral flood for the bar, with something that reaches on the helmet. No hot spots, anywhere.

    fwiw, this is my helmet (con Lupine Wilma 5, battery and all). Nice low CG. Illumination point below eye point means nice 3D shadows behind trail chunk! Beam pattern is rather odd. It has a reasonable central spot (15 deg with feathered edge) but dumps a lot of light into the spill. Nice for single light, but wasted when used with a bar light.

    gerG
    Last edited by g3rG; 12-22-2010 at 07:12 PM.
    ...uphill uphill uphill DOWNHILL! uphill uphill uphill uphill DOWNHILL! uphill ...

  8. #8
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    << Any manufacturer you would prefer Slacks? >>

    That's a tough one. I don't know if the Giro/Bell industrial complex would work with a small light manufacturer to design something. And if you retrofitted a helmet, you'd probably be losing the CPSC rating...

    I use an Limar helmet as my night helmet with my light permanently attached. But there's no place for a battery and it's anything but integrated.

    I really like the idea of an integrated light/battery/helmet combo. I think 500-700 lumens that could run 2.5 hours would be the sweet spot, although it would be nice to have a higher lumen option for the light freaks, too.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by slacks
    << Any manufacturer you would prefer Slacks? >>

    That's a tough one. I don't know if the Giro/Bell industrial complex would work with a small light manufacturer to design something. And if you retrofitted a helmet, you'd probably be losing the CPSC rating...

    I use an Limar helmet as my night helmet with my light permanently attached. But there's no place for a battery and it's anything but integrated.

    I really like the idea of an integrated light/battery/helmet combo. I think 500-700 lumens that could run 2.5 hours would be the sweet spot, although it would be nice to have a higher lumen option for the light freaks, too.
    That would be the toughest part, finding a helmet manufacturer willing to work with us would be challenging. We would need to make it so the light system/battery would be removable so that you'd be able to attach different lights and batteries for varying rides/races/conditions. If nothing else it's a fun mental exercise

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by g3rG
    Oh hell yes...wait, integral? That means it will keep changing, right? Works for me!

    Integrated would be cool as well, especially since nobody seems to put enough effort into mount designs, especially for a helmet. 500 lm is not good enough for me. 1000 lm would be cool, with the right beam pattern. A very critical design consideration is matching with the bar light. Personally, I want a peripheral flood for the bar, with something that reaches on the helmet. No hot spots, anywhere.

    fwiw, this is my helmet (con Lupine Wilma 5, battery and all). Nice low CG. Illumination point below eye point means nice 3D shadows behind trail chunk! Beam pattern is rather odd. It has a reasonable central spot (15 deg with feathered edge) but dumps a lot of light into the spill. Nice for single light, but wasted when used with a bar light.

    gerG
    We have very similar tastes in lighting, I like a nice flood (Strykr) and more of a spot on the helmet (Strykr Pro) and do not like to have a super bright hotspot anywhere.

    The helmet would need to accept different versions and later model lights and batteries so it didn't become obsolete within a year. I have run my moto lights on the chin bar for years and do the same thing on my downhill helmet. The trick will be finding a helmet manufacturer willing to invest in the concept...any suggestions??

  11. #11
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    Shannon, thx for thinking about this.

    We all have different tastes when it comes to lights so I'll chime in w/ my .02.

    My biggest concern is the helmet fits right and is very light and does not move around, not unbalanced, etc.

    Thus, a very small light and battery but w/ the option of removing the battery and installing another battery.

    I don't need thousands of lumens up there but would like around 600 real lumens but would like lots of run time, around 5 hrs. Currently I have the Dinotte 400L w/ the big battery and it's the light I would rely on if I ran out of battery on the bar light. Kind of like the back up light all in one.

    That's why I was thinking of a very small battery but replaceable w/ a spare so maybe a 2-2.5 hr battery each.

    Very small light head as well. Spot beam works best for me on the lid.

    Also, maybe a couple of helmet choices in different price ranges.

    Thx

    MB

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BajaDesignsShannon
    We have very similar tastes in lighting, I like a nice flood (Strykr) and more of a spot on the helmet (Strykr Pro) and do not like to have a super bright hotspot anywhere.

    The helmet would need to accept different versions and later model lights and batteries so it didn't become obsolete within a year. I have run my moto lights on the chin bar for years and do the same thing on my downhill helmet. The trick will be finding a helmet manufacturer willing to invest in the concept...any suggestions??
    Cool, that means that there are at least two of us loose in the desert at night! You obviously spend a lot of time thinking about illumination. I appreciate the fact that you are thinking about matching bar + helmet lights.

    The integrated helmet gig is a thorny problem. The perfect light integrated into a mediocre helmet won't catch on. Same for the converse. However, helmet fit is very personal, while a good illumination pattern will fit most sizes. That means true integration would have to be across a broad range of helmet styles. otoh, there are an awful lot of us that love the Giro Xen.

    Something that would approach integration would be a mounting standard. Wouldn't it be great if a line of helmets would come with threaded inserts already in the helmet? For example a pattern of six threaded mount points, 2 fwd, 2 mid, 2 top at 3" width and 3" axial intervals. That would allow a 3" square platform to be mounted forward-low or mid-high. Battery mounts low and aft, of course. Actually, this is an area where a helmet manufacturer could really help us out. A strategic indentation that would index a 4 cell flat pack would be too groovy!

    As for the chin-bar light, I really wish that more people could try it. It really melds the advantage of a bar light (shadows behind chunk) with the advantage of a headlamp (light where I am going). Unfortunately I can count the number of helmets with chin bars (excluding downhill helmets) on one hand. Actually I only know of one, and imho it is very expensive for such a mediocre helmet. If you want to tap a market, design and fab an aftermarket chin bar for the Xen. I would stand in line for one of those. Integrated light mount would be a plus, of course.


    gerG
    ...uphill uphill uphill DOWNHILL! uphill uphill uphill uphill DOWNHILL! uphill ...

  13. #13
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    If I were a helmet manufacturer, I would worry about the heat from the light doing damage to the integrity of the helmet, esp. if involved in a crash at some point. Of course, this would depend on the light as well as how integrated it really is. I'd hate to have someone claim that the heat from the light degraded the helmet prematurely.

    In any case, I think it's great that you are thinking outside of the box on this. I wonder who you would market it to though. This wouldn't really be the solution to any problems. Plus, as others have suggested, the choice of light and helmet are very personal.

    You may want to consider making a helmet specific light, which would go along well with your existing lights. Maybe something that is small, lightweight, and has a low center of gravity when mounted on a variety of helmets. It could also have a smaller, say 2 cell, pack with mounts specifically to attach to a helmet. I'm not sure that many commercial companies have done this yet. It seems like most make a bar light and then try to whip up a mount for it to be used for the helmet.

  14. #14
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    I've been thinking about this a lot, I think there is a market for a helmet that is designed around light use - not specifically with an integral light. If it was based around the Giro design where the centre line of the helmet has cross braces and holes, rather than a continuos rib, then make one of the ribs 25.4 or 31.8 round with a surface that was similarly grippy as a handlebar. Then make sure that there is good clearance so a light can be mounted nice and low. See CRAZY - seems like Tesla has been ripped off :) for a giro zen with a magicshine mounted.

    Then make a light specific to that idea of a very low mounted height on that helmet, a Y cable off the battery and a tail-light specific to the helmet.

    Then anyone with a light that mounts on a handlebar can use your helmet, but the helmet will be better with your light and offer an integrated tail light.

    This is the only way I can see that you can open up the market enough to get sales volumes, particuarly as it will suit what is the most common light on the market and what is now the default "entry level" light.
    Of course such an idea would need extensive testing in the particular climatic and riding conditions of southern Australia.........

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by weedkilla1
    I've been thinking about this a lot, I think there is a market for a helmet that is designed around light use - not specifically with an integral light. If it was based around the Giro design where the centre line of the helmet has cross braces and holes, rather than a continuos rib, then make one of the ribs 25.4 or 31.8 round with a surface that was similarly grippy as a handlebar. Then make sure that there is good clearance so a light can be mounted nice and low. See CRAZY - seems like Tesla has been ripped off :) for a giro zen with a magicshine mounted.

    Then make a light specific to that idea of a very low mounted height on that helmet, a Y cable off the battery and a tail-light specific to the helmet.

    Then anyone with a light that mounts on a handlebar can use your helmet, but the helmet will be better with your light and offer an integrated tail light.

    This is the only way I can see that you can open up the market enough to get sales volumes, particuarly as it will suit what is the most common light on the market and what is now the default "entry level" light.
    Of course such an idea would need extensive testing in the particular climatic and riding conditions of southern Australia.........
    Hmmm...testing in southern Australia eh? LOL! We'll see what we can do

    This is the sort of thing that keeps me up at night, currently it's just kind of a mental exercise I suppose, but something I'd like to see become a reality.

    You guys all made a bunch of great points, it definitely would need to have some heat shielding for good measure. Slightly off topic - I also really like the idea of a chin bar for crosscountry/all-mountain helmets, one that is retrofit-able would be VERY nice but definitely a design challenge with all of the variations in helmet design out there.

    I think it would take a substantial investment in time and money but I do believe someone will come out with a modular helmet/light set-up - I would, of course, like it to be Baja Designs. Any helmet manufacturers listening out there?

    In related news...we are currently working on a semi-top secret system that will completely fit on the top of any bike helmet and is crazy light weight yet good enough for trail riding...we'll debut it at the 24hrs in the Old Pueblo next month.

  16. #16
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    You may find this of interest. He posted the Idea on the mtbr DIY Lights forum ages ago but I can't find it now. Turns out that it is hard to pass the crash safety tests required for helmets by law.

    Food for thought though.




  17. #17
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    You guys know that if the helmet has EPS "foam" you are supposed to replace it EVERY CRASH. Yeah, every time the thing takes an impact, it's done. Different for helmets like the Protec ones that use the "SXP" which rebounds and doesn't stay dented or DH helmets that have regular padding. Even the ones with EPS that are for DH should be replaced each crash. I wonder how many people out there are riding without protection thinking they have protection on?


    Quote Originally Posted by ctxcrossx
    If I were a helmet manufacturer, I would worry about the heat from the light doing damage to the integrity of the helmet, esp. if involved in a crash at some point. Of course, this would depend on the light as well as how integrated it really is. I'd hate to have someone claim that the heat from the light degraded the helmet prematurely.

    In any case, I think it's great that you are thinking outside of the box on this. I wonder who you would market it to though. This wouldn't really be the solution to any problems. Plus, as others have suggested, the choice of light and helmet are very personal.

    You may want to consider making a helmet specific light, which would go along well with your existing lights. Maybe something that is small, lightweight, and has a low center of gravity when mounted on a variety of helmets. It could also have a smaller, say 2 cell, pack with mounts specifically to attach to a helmet. I'm not sure that many commercial companies have done this yet. It seems like most make a bar light and then try to whip up a mount for it to be used for the helmet.
    "It looks flexy"

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