HID lights for unicycling

I’ve been looking for some new lights recently due to plans for upcoming events, and the shonkyness of my DIY ones. I’ve spotted some pretty cheap (comparatively) HID lights on ebay, which are bright, have decent run times, and come with a helmet mount and bar mount (sorry, I will also be using them on a bike).

My slight concern is the durability of HID bulbs in the type of impact they might experience when unicycling, given the issues of helmet mounted lights when higher up than normal and in a forest, not to mention lots of crashes.

I know of at least two people who use them on unicycles, so how have they coped?

John

We use them on MTBs a lot. In a recent 24hour event 3 out of 5 of our team riders had failures. Not bulbs, but one electrical, 2 mounting. But, they are so bright and long burning that we stick with them.

Several of us have been using HIDs for a couple of years for unicycling (and biking too). We haven’t had any problems. I used one on low (still very bright) for a 24 hour race in NZ - I got 7 hours of burn time on it which was great. Expensive but great.

—Nathan

I don’t reckon it’s a good idea. The cheaper lights you buy have the same connection and mounting problems that your current lights have. You’ll be using them for proper muni, rather than 24 hour races that most people use their lights for and you might crash, £75 quid per bulb not good. I’ve smacked a bulb on my lumicycles by falling on some rocks. Some HIDs also have problems with the bulbs fogging up. There’s a fix you can do to them once this happens, which costs about a fiver to get done, but means sending your light off to the man who knows how.

You should make them lights I made - they’re good, very bright, dimmable. So far very reliable. Probably take you about an hour to make what with you being good at soldering.

Okay you still have to work out a mount, but they’re pretty lightweight, so they should mount easily enough. Work out some way to put an M4 thread into the side of them and you can use lumicycle mounts which are fine and dandy (maybe get hold of some square nuts and mount them inside a small lump of wood to stop them turning).

Joe

You might look into the brighter LED systems these days. It’s amazing how good these have become in the last 2 years. They are super robust - perfect for night unicycling.

—Nathan

John,

I know very little about HID, but are you certain spare bulbs are easily available for this model in the UK? I couldn’t find this model on a quick search of the normal web shops.

Like you I have decided to update my plastic piping, a 7W LED torch arrived from Hong Kong today. A 4 mile ride in the cold showed it to be significantly brighter than my current 10W halogen, closer to the 20W halogen on the bike (but very different colour).

The battery life will be terrible if left as standard, however I plan to upgrade the handheld torch to support a battery pack in my bag during this week, I’ll report back when finished :slight_smile:

Keith

I did actually crack and buy some proper LED lights a while ago (blackburn x6). The lights were good but not great, but they should have had a 5 hour run time. They managed one and a half, so I sent them back. There’s a few others for a similar price, but I’m not impressed with the brightness:runtime:cost ratio.

I decided a while ago to upgrade my DIY halogen jobbies with a better battery and a higher voltage (6 to 12) so that I could use more powerful bulbs. That would be nice, but it appears to have disappeared in the post so it’ll probably be a refund on that. Might ask for them to have another go, I’m just pondering other options now.

The problem with DIY stuff isn’t really the light, but the mounting, especially going on bars and a helmet. That said, I’m tempted to give the new DIY LEDs a go - if Joe can manage it I’m in trouble if I can’t.

I think the sensible thing might be to walk away from the £150 version of a £300 product though. Quality with a capital K…

Joe,

We need more details :smiley: you’ve obviously completed the learning process I am just starting, and in warmer weather :stuck_out_tongue:

Keith

I just found this great review of several types of lights.

I’m thinking of a attaching a battery operated lightweight spotlamp to the front of my coker. I haven’t decided if i’ll do it yet.

get a headlamp