LED or Halogen Helmet light- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    LED or Halogen Helmet light

    Hi everyone.
    I have just purchased a set of electron ehp330 ( 15 & 10w ) halogen lights for night riding on my trek 4500 in local woods and trails.
    However I accept that having a helmet light is essential .
    Now I feel that my helmet light should be good all round and be useful for setting up and repairs and seeing around corners. So I'd rather not have to worry about run time. Is anyone using a Cateye Opticube el500 as a helmet light with halogen hbars lights. I know it has a narrow beam but are there any similar lights that are better but at similar budget.
    Apologies for long post but I have trawled the net and all forums for a definitive opinion on this to no avail. I looked at the Petzl Tikka plus and worry that it dosen't have the strength of light to work while cycling.
    The only opinions I get on LED lights are from a commuting with street lights perspective as opposed to night on the trails.
    Any advice here would be greatly appreciated

    Paul

  2. #2

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    Princeton Tec Apex

    Brand new on the market: 3-watt LED light with reflector (throws about a 60m beam), electronic control circuitry w/heat sink, 4 small LEDs for proximity lighting - this is one amazing light. Check it out here:

    http://www.brightguy.com/detail_int.php?Sku=PRIAPX

    If you find that overkill, Princeton Tec makes a 1-watt LED light called the EOS, which is available in a bike version (about 1/2 the price of the Apex):

    http://www.brightguy.com/detail_int.php?Sku=PRIEBK

    These are also great for camping, caving and home emergencies.

  3. #3
    Tear it all out! SuperModerator
    Reputation: CraigH's Avatar
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    From all of the people that I know who have tried LEDs for night riding have found they aren't bright enough yet. Okay for commuting, but not for trail riding.

    That said I use a 3 LED light for the fire road climbs to save the halogen batteries for the ride down.

  4. #4
    Let's ride
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    1 3w LED is not nearly bright enough for trail.
    The new cateye has 2 or 3 3w LED. the 24hr guys have been running those on the bar AND helmet, and they said it was enough light. Look over at the Endurance forum.

    There are guys riding road with 2 3w LED flashlights on the bar and getting away with it.

  5. #5
    the wrench
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    from my own experience if youre allready using halogens stick with halogen, a 15w would make a nice hemet light. the problem with mixing the two is that there is a drastic difference in the colour of light and can becaome distracting as well as being harder for youre eyes to adjust to the different contrsats.
    do it, do it DO IT!!
    DOOOO IIIIIT!!

  6. #6
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    LED Lights vs Halogen

    Also, another possiblity is to buy a small, lightweight, 5 Watt Luxeon Flashlight and strap it onto your helmet. A 5W Luxeon LED gives a pretty nice illum for a night ride. These flashlights are available for around $65 and take 2 Lithium (throw away batteries) cells that cost $1 each mail order. Checkout flashlightreviews.com under LED flashlights. You'll only get about 2 hours on the batteries and they are not rechargeable. So if you ride about 1 hour/night, that's only a buck a night to ride and you don't have to fool with wires or recharging. Perhaps this has negative environmental impact however

    This will give you roughly the same light as a 10/12 watt halogen. But I prefer the white light output from LEDs.

  7. #7
    Trail rider and racer
    Reputation: Trevor!'s Avatar
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    I don't think LEDs are any where near good enough for lighting up trails particularly in single track. If your riding just fire trails and alike you could use a LED light but still I am not too sure if it would instill great confidence.
    Trev!

  8. #8
    Ebo
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    I've got the Cateye EL500, and although it is pretty damn bright, I don't think it would make a sufficient helmet light. I use it as a backup handlebar light for the long, slow climbs.

  9. #9
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    Unless we're talking about an LED system similar to the new CatEye Double Shot (2 - 3Watt Luxeons) or Triple Shot ( 3 - 3Watt Luxeon LEDs - about as bright as a 20w halogen and draws only 9 watts!), I agree, most LED lights won't hack it for single track trail riding. I've built a homemade 5 Watt Luxeon LED light that is plenty ample for fast single track. My light is much brighter, for example than, the new DiNotte Ultralight, which also uses a 5W Luxeon, because it is underdriven using only 4AA batteries... not enough juice to "really" light up a 5W Luxeon. Still, I admit, HIDs are the brightest, but the new gen of superbright LEDs will soon be replacing halogen in terms of weight and efficiency... sorry, the CatEye EL-500 is not in the same league as the LED lights I'm speaking of. Any LED light that can run for 30 hrs off of 4 AA batteries is not in the superbright category.

    Sorry for long post.

  10. #10
    Ebo
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    I agree with you. I only mentioned the EL500, since he brought it up in his thread. The systems you speak of are in a different league. Very promising too. I use LED's (Black Diamond headlamp) for night hiking quite a bit, and for only 3 AAA batteries, they pack a very useable punch. I take the EL500 for a back up. Good stuff.

  11. #11

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    Helmet light.

    Even with 25w of halogen on hbars most of you feel that LED ( apart from the double shots etc. ) are not enough for my helmet light. Its a pity as the last thing I wanted was to have limited burn time on helmet too. Though I see the point in brightness. I will prob buy something like the petzl zoom halogen. Anyone use this !!! It has 9 hours burn and a reasonably strong light. Perhaps buying a cheap little LED torch and leaving it in backpack would round off a fairly decent setup with backup light if required.
    I won't be heading miles into the wilderness at night away from my car anyway.

    Thanks for input

    PAUL

  12. #12
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    The best LEDlight for nightriding is the Nightlightning Endurenz from BNew Zealand.
    3x3W luxeon LED's give a light about as bright as a 25W halogen and mimicks a 12degree mid beam.
    it runs for 7.5 hrs off a 14.8V 4.4A.hr li-ion battery.

    ben using one for a more than a year and have been mighty impressed by it.

    www.nightlightning.co.nz/multisporter.htm

  13. #13

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    Brad that LED light looks great.
    Its a little out of budget but not much and seems to provide great value for money.
    Its a pity they use a night shot on snow to demonstrate the light.

    Good looking product.

    I guess waiting a year will bring on tons of high power LEDs at good prices.

    Paul

  14. #14
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor!
    I don't think LEDs are any where near good enough for lighting up trails particularly in single track. If your riding just fire trails and alike you could use a LED light but still I am not too sure if it would instill great confidence.
    So Trevor, you're saying that even the new Cateye TRIPLE SHOT isn't as bright as a HID system even though Jeff and others are saying they rode entire 24H events using them?
    And just in case anyone was looking at the new HOPE HID system which mounts to a HOPE stem JensonUSA has a great offer of a FREE stem with the purchase of the lighting system http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...ht+System.aspx
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
    You're doing mtbr wrong, you're supposed to get increasingly offended by the implications that you're doing ANYTHING wrong.

  15. #15
    Respect Your Trails
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    I just got a Black Diamond LED headlamp from REI. Or any outdoor orriented store has them. They're basically all around headlights for hiking, climbing, camping etc. I haven't gotten out on my bike with it yet, since I just got it yesterday, but with 4 brightness settings including stobe, I think it'll do the job along with of a bar mounted light. I plan on using a few velcro straps to rig it to my helmet.

    The price was right for me.... I couldn't justify spending a ton of mulla on a light setup. Just a thought. You don't necessarily have to go with a light specifically made for night riding.



    Quote Originally Posted by podracer
    Brad that LED light looks great.
    Its a little out of budget but not much and seems to provide great value for money.
    Its a pity they use a night shot on snow to demonstrate the light.

    Good looking product.

    I guess waiting a year will bring on tons of high power LEDs at good prices.

    Paul

  16. #16
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    anyone have any input on this light?

    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...eid=&pagename=

  17. #17
    Tear it all out! SuperModerator
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    7.2 watts isn't enough for nightriding, but would work for commuting.

    Don't forget to include the cost of 4 C size batteries into the light.

    That is a good deal if you were looking for parts for a home built system though; housing & bar mount.

  18. #18

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    [<< I've built a homemade 5 Watt Luxeon LED light that is plenty ample for fast single track. My light is much brighter, for example than, the new DiNotte Ultralight, which also uses a 5W Luxeon, because it is underdriven using only 4AA batteries... >>

    Actually the DiNotte Ultralight circuit boosts the voltage - the LED works just great -- I'm not sure how you can suggest the light isn't performing to the LED's capabilities.

    Rob

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