Cheap/LIGHT/helmet mounted road light?

I really want one that mounts on a helmet, but nothing listed above $100, preferably half that amount. I just want something that makes riding in the city at night easier. But I also dont want a heavy battery pack like most pricey ones have. At work they have a VistaLite Nightstick Code 15 NIMN light that seems OK. But only seems like one light mounts on the helmet. Any hints? I am not planning on going on the trails at night as I dont think for a small female its safe. But I am going to commute to/from work and want to have fun day and night.

Sorry for the new thread but most are about the best lights for trails that are pricey, not something thats good enough just for road with some street lights to help. And very light weight as I suck carrying weight right now.

I wish I could help but I haven’t had a chance yet to try out my new Blackburn Flea.

I only bought the front light, ($30) because I have a rear light from my mountain bike that fits nicely on my seatpost. The front light is featherlight and mounts securely on my helmet. I tried it just walking around in my backyard and it looks promising, lighting up the yard more then I thought it could. I read on a mountain bike forum that it’s good up to speeds of 12 or 13 miles per hour before you begin to outrun your field of vision, and for me that’s plenty fast, (since I typically ride between 7 and 10 mph). I’ll post results of my test ride if this thread is still lacking better responses.

{edit: forgot to mention that it has a tiny pair of wires that you connect to the ends of any 1.5 volt battery to recharge the Flea. The specs claim that it runs a minimum of three hours on a charge, and you get 30 charges from a single D cell battery.}

Frog Lights

I strap these on my seat post when I ride at night. It is not enough light to ride by, but it does make me visible.

http://madathlete.com/Knog-Frog-LED-Bike-Light/M/B001G6N36U.htm

I got them cheaper, but I do not remember where.

Well, if they can order it through work, I do get a discount so I can afford something over the $50 range then as I already have credit. But I saw this cateye: Cateye HL-EL610RC Single Shot Plus Headlight

http://www.modernbike.com/itemgroup.asp?IGPK=2126175749

Its 268 grams total, up to 3 hrs on high which would be perfect and it shows a good beam. Just not sure if its helmet mounted. I bet I could get this cateye for $50 at work… I have a miners type strap onto helmet thing but it doesnt do a whole lot. I’m hoping to mostly use it for the uni so the speed thing isnt as important. Just even with all this rain, sometimes I might not be able to ride until its dark, could be also from school, work, etc. I sometimes ride now in the parking lot without anything now lol.

I just tried out some night riding with the Flea. My ride was contaminated by two factors which make this report simply a preliminary test:

~ I rode my mountain bike rather than one of my unicycles

~ I forgot my eyeglasses, so my impressions of how well I could spot road hazards are not definitive.

I am impressed with the Flea. At 17 grams I don’t feel anything at all besides my helmet. The Flea provids a bright light patch about four to six feet wide far enough in front to give me fair warning of any road hazards, as well as a larger peripheral illuminated zone allowing me to have some awareness of what I am riding past. Judging by the glow I got from distant street signs above the beam of the light I will guess that oncoming motorists can spot me from a block away, even if I’m glancing down to see the pavement directly in front of me.

I don’t have a speedometer on the mountain bike but I think my speeds got up to around 15 or maybe 17 miles per hour. I think the review I mentioned earlier is correct, and cokeurs would be advised to avoid riding above 13 mph in dark unfamiliar routes.

I’m generally quite happy with this Flea. If I find anything new and different on an actual unicycle test I’ll point it out here.

Thanks for the feedback! I guess I should also let you know what I want to improve upon. I need to find it first but this is what I have now.

Streamlight Trident UL LED Yellow Headlamps
http://www.opticsplanet.net/streamlight-trident-ul-led-headlamps-61049.html

I’ll give it a try this week and see how it works again. I didnt use it much a year ago and I think its because it wasnt so hot.

It looks heavy. I have something similar that I wear sometimes at work if the lights go out, and the one time I tried using it on a unicycle ride it had a tendency to bounce and move around when I hit bumps.

I have a light very similar to this one in pic

A skinny 3 AAA cell cat eye. I have used one on the seat post of my 36 for a year or so. The stealabilty of the thing combined with my lack of trust in the durably of the fast detach strap lead me to bolt it to the post. It has a tilt up down feature. It could be easily bolted to a helmet.

This is a fairly high quality light, in the sense that it burns for a real long time with rechargeable batteries. It is worthwhile paying for a better bulb and a solid waterproof casing such as this. It still looks new now and has a magnetic switch that can’t corrode.

Brightwise, it is OK for riding the 36 in the totally dark places, but just barely. Since most of my routes have a lot of street lighting, a 3 AAA white facing the front, and a 2 cell red blinky facing the rear, and a 2 cell red blinky clipped to my shoe laces, is working for me. If I was going to try riding dark dirt roads, I would need a lot more light. Perhaps one or two extra strapped to a helmet would work.

I strongly recommend putting a light on your seat post, before or rather then on your helmet. Riding in public with a helmet light means you must shine a light in peoples faces to look at them, weird. So a helmet light may be excellent as a supplemental light, I think having a light on the seat post should be the first plan for town riding, and good off road as well.

Seat post headlights have to be skinny, or they will hit your leg. That really limits the choices.

Be careful what you choose. The combination of a quality cat eye with good rechargeables has worked for me with little fuss. I charge batteries about every month and only one has gone dead on me in almost 2 years.

It can be expensive buying batteries. The nickel metal hydride rechargables are the way to go, combined with a good quality LED lamp.

http://aebike.com/page.cfm?PageID=30&action=details&sku=LT4148

LT4148.jpg

Can you show me a pic how its mounted on the frame? I just want something I can put on/take off so I can also use it on my bike, etc. if I choose. I also dont want to have things bolted on the frame right now as I’m learning still and my uni hits the ground regularly.

The one I have is OK weight wise. I dont want heavier. I want a more effective light though!

Very good point. More than just weird, it’s actually rude!

Still, I favor the helmet lamp because if I’m preparing to turn I like to be able to aim the beam that way to check that my path will be rideable. I just hope that any people I encounter won’t be close enough to be too bothered by the light. If I stop to chat I’ll switch the light off.

I’ve wondered about a seatpost mounted headlamp, thinking that my knees would block much of the light since they’re so close to the forward aim of the light.

I think most if not all the CatEyes have quick-release buttons to separate the light from the mount. (which btw prevents theft since you can pocket the light while away from the uni) I am going to the LBS to see if those mounts are sold separately, that way I can have mounts on all my unis and bikes and be able to simply slip the lights on…

I helmet mount mine.

I mount this one to my helmet through the vent holes. Work great for me. The mounting strap arrangement swivels to either side 90 degrees. Pick a side hole above your ear and you can adjust where it points up and down.

Pictures

Here are a couple of pictures.

I think I like the cateye one! What about that planet bike one too? Looks like a good set up.

I never had an issue flashing a light into someones eyes. Not many people out on the sidewalk at night to worry about. Like I mentioned, right now one on the uni is a matter of time til I break it. I pretty much DONT land on my head.

I could always use mine under the helmet if I needed extra and the cateye to the side of the helmet. That would work…

I would go with the planet bike blaze 1 watt, or something similar. They aren’t amazing, but you aren’t going to get much better at that price range.

Wow all of those lights are expensive. The Blaze 1watt is about the same as the cateye one, and its like 26 Canadian.

The one in my pic mounts with a rubber-plastic strap

The strap goes around the post, and threads through a clasp. So side to side alignment is is by twisting the strap, and up and down works through a twist system built into the mount. The mount and light are one unit, it’s not so hard to take on and off, unless I don’t have my glasses. It is a tool-less system, like the one used for the side mounted helmet light shown above.

I have no problems with knees blocking the light. Because it is under the seat it is unlikely to hit anything in a road crash, I wouldn’t worry about that.

Just be sure to get a skinny AAA size light, as the brighter fat ones may stick out enough to hit your leg. Perhaps use a brighter AA or C light on the helmet and an AAA skinny for the seat post. That way when you look sideways you can still see straight ahead a bit out of the corner of the eye.

Both the Blackburn flea and anything in the Knog range are great and very, very light: the heaviest safety light in the Knog range weighs around 80 grams (from memory) and has 5 LEDs.

One thing I have found with lights is you get what you pay for - I wasted heaps of time and money messing round with cheaper ones.
Recently I spent $290 AUD on a NiteRider MiNewt Mini-USB Plus and haven’t looked back. It mounts on a helmet and the whole thing, battery pack incl weighs in at only 175grms.

NiteRider MiNewt Mini-USB Plus

Curious about what that was , I found this review. I don’t know about Oz $ but it’s only 100 ish USD $ Maybe worth a look.

I have no Idea what the best brand or unit is. I totally agree that a quality LED is the only way to go in terms of battery life vs brightness.

I sorta like using standard cell rechargeables, they work pretty good, and fit all my lights. Maybe the lithium bats are better. I think that is what the electric cars use. The old Nicads I had 20 years ago faded fast. The new stuff is a lot better.

miniusb-3_sm.JPG

Well I checked the book for what I can order that is inexpensive. Seems like the pricey ones all have battery packs to carry and are heavy anyways. And was told the more LEDs, the brighter. So the one with the most was the Planet Bike 4 LEDs Sport Spot headlight. Think this will do OK? Or should I get a cateye one too like bungee joe has set up? I am not sure the difference between the 1 LED cateyes they have and the PB one with 4. I want to order Monday. I could afford both possibly…