HID, wide or narrow beam?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    bob
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    HID, wide or narrow beam?

    I'm in the process of purchasing a lighting system. If I run an HID wide beam on the helmet do I even need HID on the bars? If I use two HIDs, should I use a wide beam on bars, narrow on helmet? FWIW I ride single track in FL which can be both tight/twisty and relatively wide open. Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    Lazy People Suck
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    If you are looking at the Lume HID

    I would recommend the wide beam even on the helmet. The narrow beam is REALLY narrow and am not convinced how usable it is. Now if you have a wide HID on the bars and want to supplement it with the narrow on the helmet, that may be the one situation where it may be good.

    I have just wide beam Lume Strata on my helmet and it provides an excellent amount of light for all my needs.
    "Son, The world needs ditchdiggers, too"-Ted Knight, Caddyshack

  3. #3
    bob
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    Yes Lume

    I just ordered the Strata wide beam and figured I would use it on the helmet. It should be here next week. I just found the MTBR deal on Lume and I'm going to order another light....either another Strata or a Vado. Would Vado on the bars/ wide Strata on the helmet work? Or should I drop the $ for a Strata narrow?
    Last edited by bob; 04-06-2005 at 09:33 AM.

  4. #4
    Surfin' da mountain
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    Good job! Wide Bob Wide!

    I live in FL too. Twisties, quick ups and downs. If yer doing one light - wide beam. The HIDs put out enough light to illuminate way on down the trail even with a wide beam. Some halogens are not bright enough for a wide beam.

    I ride with a Light & Motion HID mounted on the bar. They are a fairly wide beam too. I borrowed a LUMA Light HID for the helmet on time.The helmet HID is about two years old and has a narrow beam. Like the guy above said, a narrow beam works only with dual lights and I agree. The dual light set up is the best when on unfamilar trails. I've only ridden my home trails at night. I normally ride with the just the bar light.

    The difference in location is as follows:
    Mounted on the bar, gives you a little better depth perception because you will see shadows in undulations in the trail. But the light only illuminates where the bar is pointing.
    Mounted on the helmet, gives you illumination all the time; including in your frields' eyes when conversing. But since this is located on a similar plane as your eyes, some depth perception is lost due to lack of shadowing. I've also noticed most people don't know how to set up helmet lights.

    I read in a magazine the best time to set up a helmet light is at dusk. Do a short ride to determine how far down the trail you normally look. Close your eyes and turn on the light. Open them, if the light is not aimed where you normally look, adjust it. Don't follow the beam, aim the beam to the natural direction of your eyes. Otherwise you will be compensating by holding your head high or low without realizing it.

  5. #5
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    It depends

    It depends on your riding style and the beam characteristics. Basically you only have to illuminate what is in your immediate path and what is in your path depends upon your speed. At high speed you're not going to take a switchback so you only have to illuminate a narrow beam as wide as your turning radius and as far ahead as possible. On slow twisty trails the beam should be wider because of the tighter turns and the light can be less intense because objects of interest are closer.

    At speed you need a light on the bars, so even if you move your head - adjust something, blow snot rockets - the oncoming terrain is always illuminated, even just with perpheral vision.

    A second light is a good safety feature, one light can fail at the wrong time.

  6. #6
    fc
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    Wide.

    For HID, the wider the better. Get one and ride with it a few times. A wide, bright light on your bars usually works.

    If that's not enough, you can get a narrower spot light on your helmet.

    francois

  7. #7
    Trail rider and racer
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    Depending on how much you spend or what type of HID you buy you'll probably discover that one is enough.

    I have one; A Lupine Edison 10, and I place it on my helmet and use no other lights. This way I have a great strong wide beam on my helmet which gives me a great bit of coverage, provides good depth of field and lights up what I am looking at.

    I have never found a need for lights on bars. The best (and only) place is on the helmet.
    Trev!

  8. #8
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    I posted in the endurance section about the Lupine 10 and if one light was bright enough. A couple of questions. Is one Lupine better than two L&M's, one on the bar and one on the helmet? And where do you put the water bottle battery, in a hydro pack?

  9. #9
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    New question here. Does HID pierce through fog?

    Does anyone know if HID beam can slice through fog? Does it affect by extreme temperature difference when you bring it in from cold outdoor to indoor? Will the bulb explode ?

  10. #10
    Surfin' da mountain
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    Good Questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by Picard
    Does anyone know if HID beam can slice through fog? Does it affect by extreme temperature difference when you bring it in from cold outdoor to indoor? Will the bulb explode ?
    I seriously doubt HID slices through fog better than any other light.

    From extreme cold to indoor? Most HIDs have a warning on them stating not to keep illuminted while stopped. The light needs ventalation to keep from over heating. Temperature cycles do affect the bulb - meaning they advertize the bulb should last 700 hours - yeah if it remained on. Turning it on then turning it off constitutes a heat cycle reducing the life of the bulb. Chances are this bulb will last around 500+ uses. Turning it on from a cooler temp (like 30F) increases the magnitude of the heat cycle potentially reducing the life further. Not sure how to measure that.

    In reality, the bulb is pretty durable and fairly insulated. Its made to continue to work despite shock of bumps in the trail. I don't believe taking it from the cold outdoors to the warmth of indoors will affect it as much as one heat cycle.

    Something very similar has been used on cars for almost a decade. I'm sure at least one person in Barro, Alaska has HIDs on the car they drive in Winter. I don't see any HID bulb explosions in your future.

  11. #11
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    wide/narrow on nightrider HID

    I started with wide on my night rider (what they come with by default)

    The bulbs are fragile though, and after about a year and half of use, I dropped mine about 1-2 feet once on a hard floor, and it didn't work afterwards.

    Since I always wanted to try a narrow beam, I got the narrow replacement bulb.

    I like it better.

    Ok maybe the reflectors are better on Lume, etc, I won't go down that slope, comparing the lume and nightrider might be apples and oranges, for what I like with the niterider system, the choice is clear.

    Regarding fog, I don't think anything cuts through fog, the only that might help is having the light as low as possible vs on your helmet which is probably the worse.

    Good luck,

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