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i just want to know whats the deal with headlights if there are a right or wrong to it....though i never went on a night ride i think i would really enjoy it. was wondering what people use ot there for night rides.....i do have a hiking headlamp with 4 LEDs and the thing is amazing it has such a crazy amount of light and the light is perfect white light, is that what you want to have when you bike or do you want a more warm yellow like the normal halagens?
 

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try a HID

I was thinking about a LED headlamp for my commute and for some after hour MTBing. I spent some time at the LBS, checking out what's what. I tried a HID and freaking-A that put out some real light. Made the LED seem pretty weak.

I now use the HID for my commute (about 45 min. each way). I can do a week on one charge. I've had cars flash me, because the light is so bright. In the wood they are awesome. They like having a bottle of sunlight.

Find a LBS that carries a few lights and see what each offers. The HID cost a few bucks, but man is it bright.

Good luck.
 

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Hiking LED light won't cut it

I tried mounting my hiking LED headlamp to my helmet last year, and while it mounted fine, it did not throw off sufficient light for use blazing down a trail on a mountain bike. You really need to purchase something specific to the night riding application. As Jim C stated, you need at least 10 watts of HID or Halogen for night riding. I like to use two lights-one mounted to the handlebars and fixed to see a few feet in front of the front wheel, and another helmet light (higher wattage) to see further down the trail.

Good luck in your selection.

Clyde
 

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If you can afford it, HID is the way to go. If you are like the rest of us, a high quality halogen will do you well. Get something at least 10 watts, but preferably higher. Something adjustable is nice too, I have a Light & Motion Cabeza Logic MV which has 7, 10 and 13 watt settings. On the trail I use the 13 watts, on the road I use the 7 watts. The battery last a lot longer on the 7 watt setting. I also have a backup 10 watt light that is not adjustable, just on or off. I don't feel really comfortable riding off road just with that, but it can be done if needed. And it was a lot cheaper than the adjustable, plus they use the same battery.
 

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t0land said:
I now use the HID for my commute (about 45 min. each way). I can do a week on one charge.
t0land: what brand / model of the lamp + battery do you have? I've done a quick calculation: (.75*2)*5=7.5hrs on one charge, which is unbelievable and hence very tempting!

Clyde: I currently have one light only (helmet-mounted), but the second one is on the shopping list -- it will go on the bars and I want it to be *stronger* to achieve a 3D shadow-modelling effect. Besides back-up, believe that to be the major advantage of a dual system. With just one light, I'm often unable to see unevenness of a trail; everything gets "flattened". A dominating helmet light would overpower shadows created by a handlebar light, thus defeating the purpose.

Cheers,
-Tomasz

PS For the record, I have a 20W version of the Jet Lites' Phantom Single Beam w/ Smart Switch and Fuel Gauge and intend to post a product review for it soon.
 

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NiteRider Strom

I'll use the HID on the way home from work (about an half hour). I can nearly do two weeks on one charge. the light is a NiteRide Storm, the one without the LEDs. I mount it the handlbar on my commuter, but on the helmet for MTB riding. I would have liked to have the HID/LED model (Cyclone), but my LBS didn't have it in stock and I needed a light that day.

If I was going to do any realy MTB at night I'd want to have some lights on my handlebars and one on my head. More light = more better :)
 

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As Triscuit previously stated, HID is the only way to go if you plan on riding at night often or participating in any 24 hr. events. I usually do 2-3 night rides a week and have been out for 3.5 + hours on a single charge. The HID systems are pricey but you get what you pay for! Enjoy, night rides are a fun challenge and put everything in a whole new perspective.
 

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juice

I know I only charge the battery once every two weeks the "off hte top of my head" math says that's about 5 hours. Normally the lights are on only for a half hour once a day, five times a week for two week ( about 5 hours). I've not run the light for more than an hour.

NiteRider claim 4.5 hours run time on a charge. So maybe I have a really good battery, or maybe I'm lucky. But it would be fair to say 3 - 5 hours per charge.
 

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t0land said:
I know I only charge the battery once every two weeks the "off hte top of my head" math says that's about 5 hours. Normally the lights are on only for a half hour once a day, five times a week for two week ( about 5 hours). I've not run the light for more than an hour.

NiteRider claim 4.5 hours run time on a charge. So maybe I have a really good battery, or maybe I'm lucky. But it would be fair to say 3 - 5 hours per charge.
I know this is a dumb question this late in the discussion and please feel free to point me to an FAQ - but is an HID the same as a halogen? I have always used LEDs cos I was told halogens use up batteries too fast.

I hear Cat's Eyes put out some good ones..any yuo guys used those?
 

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LEDs, HIDs & halogens all make light diffrently.

Halogens are cheap to make, produce ok light, and use up batteries quickly.
HIDs are costly, product lots of light, and do well with longer run times.
LED are costly to make (really bright), last a real long time on a charge, and can make a fair amount of light.

For night RIDING, HIDs and Halogens are your only choices, LEDs aren't bright enough - for the same reason you don't see car LED headlights (yet). HID last a long time on a charge, and create the most light, but cost the more than halogens. If you buying a light, buy the HID, if you start out cheap and get a Halogen your going to end up buying the HID anyways, Save youself the cost of buy two lights.

A google search will produce more details on how each model produces light. We'll worth a read and outsie my scope to explain in a post.
 

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halogen lights are the only option

I agree with T0land that halogen light is the only suitable for night ride as compared to LED lights. The current LED lights on the market are made for hiking which the lights only reach 10ft ahead of the user path. For a bike ride, you need a light that reach 150ft ahead.
 

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Thanks.
Unfortunately the HID lights in Australia start at $A600 compared to $A80 for a cats eye halogen at my LBS. SO HIDs are out.

is there much diff between Halogens with the bottle batts and those that just use the niMHs? I've found this link to a shop that carries the Marwi range $A160-A$300. I think they are halogen and most have bottle batteries: http://www.bikepro.com.au/road/road_accessories.html

The burn life is pretty short, but my rides aren't that long anyway - 2 hours max. My main concern is how often these halogen bulbs will need replacing and what the actual life of the battery is (eg in temrs of years).

t0land said:
LEDs, HIDs & halogens all make light diffrently.

Halogens are cheap to make, produce ok light, and use up batteries quickly.
HIDs are costly, product lots of light, and do well with longer run times.
LED are costly to make (really bright), last a real long time on a charge, and can make a fair amount of light.

For night RIDING, HIDs and Halogens are your only choices, LEDs aren't bright enough - for the same reason you don't see car LED headlights (yet). HID last a long time on a charge, and create the most light, but cost the more than halogens. If you buying a light, buy the HID, if you start out cheap and get a Halogen your going to end up buying the HID anyways, Save youself the cost of buy two lights.

A google search will produce more details on how each model produces light. We'll worth a read and outsie my scope to explain in a post.
 

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y2k said:
I know this is a dumb question this late in the discussion and please feel free to point me to an FAQ - but is an HID the same as a halogen? I have always used LEDs cos I was told halogens use up batteries too fast.

I hear Cat's Eyes put out some good ones..any yuo guys used those?
HID lights are high intensity discharge. Same as what you see on high end cars. Halogen bulbs are just a step up from sealed beam lights.
 

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You ride some straight trails...

Picard said:
I agree with T0land that halogen light is the only suitable for night ride as compared to LED lights. The current LED lights on the market are made for hiking which the lights only reach 10ft ahead of the user path. For a bike ride, you need a light that reach 150ft ahead.
150'? You sure ride some straight trails. Any light you can practically use for night riding won't reach 150 feet. People don't look more than 30' in front of them when they're riding, assuming the trail is straight for 30'.
 

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Ken in KC said:
150'? You sure ride some straight trails. Any light you can practically use for night riding won't reach 150 feet. People don't look more than 30' in front of them when they're riding, assuming the trail is straight for 30'.
I was thinking the same thing. You'd need automotive type lights to throw light that far.
 

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Have you seen the Luxeon Stars ???

t0land said:
LEDs, HIDs & halogens all make light diffrently.

Halogens are cheap to make, produce ok light, and use up batteries quickly.
HIDs are costly, product lots of light, and do well with longer run times.
LED are costly to make (really bright), last a real long time on a charge, and can make a fair amount of light.

For night RIDING, HIDs and Halogens are your only choices, LEDs aren't bright enough - for the same reason you don't see car LED headlights (yet). HID last a long time on a charge, and create the most light, but cost the more than halogens. If you buying a light, buy the HID, if you start out cheap and get a Halogen your going to end up buying the HID anyways, Save youself the cost of buy two lights.

A google search will produce more details on how each model produces light. We'll worth a read and outsie my scope to explain in a post.
Have you worked with the new Luxeon Star bulbs??? The 1W will get you down a trail at low speed. The new 3W systems coming out (soon) will easily match a 10W halogen system.

Halogen is on it's way out for portable applications. It will be all LED and HID.
 

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Bull ...

Picard said:
I agree with T0land that halogen light is the only suitable for night ride as compared to LED lights. The current LED lights on the market are made for hiking which the lights only reach 10ft ahead of the user path. For a bike ride, you need a light that reach 150ft ahead.
I think you're talking about keychain lights. I don't think you've seen the newer Luxeon Star models.

I have a Yukon HL headlamp (1W LED). Works for hiking and biking equally well. It will illuminate easily 100ft ahead and unlike a halogen that lasts 2-3 hours, it lasts for 20 hours on 3-AA alkaline batteries (using high setting).

Check out this review from Mountain Bike Texas: https://www.mountainbiketexas.com/product.php?action=view&product=432A459D07660191B1gmWh2519B1

Princeton Tec is now making the Yukon HL in a bike configuration complete with headstrap and battery pack.

Why LED??? You can use multiple sets of cheap NiMH units to power the unit. You can keep a "spare set" of alkaline or lithium batteries that will power you out of trouble. Who wants to carry around an extra bottle battery (which are typically just NiMH D-Cells).

I think you will find that 3W (and ultimately 5W) LED systems will rapidly replace pretty much ALL portable incandescent (halogen, xenon, et al) applications within the next two years. At the same time, we will see the price of high power LED bulbs drop precipitously mirroring the rapid introduction of LED as "key-chain" lights.

The other driving force behind LED adoption is an offset to labor costs. That is, the cost of someone physically replacing a bulb. We are seeing wholesale replacement of incandescent bulbs for signalling devices like tail-lights and even LED array replacement for stop lights.

This light from Princeton Tec will soon kick EVERYBODY'S ASS!!!
https://www.modernmountainman.com/catalog.php?type=product&id=43887


Hopefully, they'll get the bike version out fairly quickly. I want one.

I expect HID (Metal Halide) to dominate the "high end" of the market for it's unrivalled light output and relative efficiency.

Look for endurance riders to rapidly switch to high output LEDs once the 3W crowd comes out. Why ???? WEIGHT!!!! The Metal Halide HID will ALWAYS be heavier because the high voltage (10,000+ V) requires a serious transformer. While more EFFICIENT than halogen, it still sucks just as much power (you just get more light). High Power LEDs will run through the night on a set of 3AAs. HIDs require a heavy (and VERY EXPENSIVE) lithium-ion setup to get 5 hours (not even a full night).

Halogen is on it's way out. LED will dominate MOST market segments that don't require a portable sun.
 
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