Helmet/Bar Lighting Configuration- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Helmet/Bar Lighting Configuration

    Is it better to have a brighter light on your bar or your helmet? I recently received two new lights, a Niteride MiNewt (110 lumens) and a Dinotte 400L (400 lumens) and I am trying to decide how to best set them up. Should I use the brighter 400L on my bike or on my helmet? I will be riding primarily with a group on winding non-technical singletrack and road rides.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Most people will probably prefer the brighter light on the helmet and can generally get by with just some fill light on the bars. The general consensus: tighter beam on the helmet, more fill on the bars. Your mileage may vary, but I like most of my light to be where I am looking.

  3. #3
    BBW is offline
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    Feb 2004
    If you put the 400l on the head and washes out the terain, the Minewt is not gonna do much on the bars. I would say 400L bars and minewt for the turns. This way you get "better" depth perception

  4. #4
    A waste of time it is is
    Reputation: emu26's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    +1 for what achesalot said.

    My thoughts are that the bar light should be for illuminating the trail immediately in front of where your wheel is pointing. Flood is good for this and because it is close you don't need anything too high powered.

    I also want to be able to look ahead down the trail, or around that next corner, to get an idea of what is coming up. If you use a wide beam for this you often get "blinded" by the reflection from the trees, foliage etc you are looking through. So the helmet for me should be a relatively tight beam with a good degree of punch.

    So assuming Dinotte is a tighter beam than the Minewt, I would be putting it on the helmet. As you can see from BBW's response though, it is a personal thing, so have a play with both

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ktronik's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    If you are talking depth perception, & have a brighter light on the head, it can sometimes kill the shadows behind the rock & logs, thus 'flattening' the objects on the trail...

    lets say you have a light on the bottom of your fork, as your eyes are higher than this light you can see the shadows behind objects really well...great depth perception.

    as soon as your brighter is on the head, close to the level of your eyes, its harder to see the shadows behind things...less depth perception.

    so for me brighter on the bar dimmer on the head...a flood on the bar is good as your bars don't move much, & a spot on the head to look down the trail....but not too bright as it tends to 'flare' off trees & blind you a bit...

    so a really bright flood (bar) & med bright spot (head) do me fine...

    just my 2 cent...

    Last edited by ktronik; 12-01-2008 at 01:30 AM.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Everone is gonna be different on this one.. in a car, the lights face forward. On some exec models you do get lights that turn with the wheels but in general most of us are use to lights facing forward and in this respect this is what I have done on my bike.

    I have two lights on the bike which face forward and give a good spread but I have a lighter not so powerful helmet mounted light.. it does a good job for me when I turn my head around but I personal like to have a steady beam in front of me rather than one that is moving as fast as my head..

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MaximusHQ's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    I find I like to run my somewhat closely matched in brightness between the bar and helmet. On a lot of my rides I can get away with running my Betty on the bar at 40% power which is about 560 lumens, and running my Wilma on the helmet at 60% which is about 500 lumens. I have tried running brighter on the helmet, but it usually doesn't work out so great for me. Mainly b/c I see a lot of fog and dust and it ends up blinding me.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    I think you are going to get different opinions on this - I would suggest trying it both ways and see what you like.

    I personally like equal light on helmet and bars, but if I had to choose, I would go with the brighter light on the bars for better depth perception, but I would have to try it to make sure the helmet light allowed me to see around the bends. I like equal brightness so I have good depth perception and can see the turns when I turn my head.

    John B.

  9. #9
    Slow Patrol
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    I like my "best" light on my head. I for one do not like a tight beam on the head since I do not like aiming the light. For the record I have a Wilma on my helmet which is a 15 degree beam. Your bar light needs enough power to not be completely swamped by the helmet so it can still provide shadows.

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