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Old 01-25-13, 12:42 PM   #1
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"Be seen" lights for helmet - anybody have a good one?

I was driving home the other day and I passed a fella on his bicycle who had the normal front and seat post lights, but he also had a little 3 LED light on the front of his helmet (white & blinking) and the same sort of thing on the back of his helmet that was red and blinking.

It struck me that the placement of the lights made them much more obvious to drivers but I can't seem to find anything on line.

I also passed a guy Tuesday that had about 14 red tail lights plastered all over his backpack and bike, and that also made him plenty obvious but I think I prefer the helmet mounted solution if possible.

Does anybody know what it was that I saw that guy wearing?
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Old 01-25-13, 01:02 PM   #2
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Could be this: http://www.rei.com/product/808602/li...e-light-system



I've been looking around for helmet lights and this is one possibility I am considering. It still isn't ideal as the two lights can't be disconnected from each other and the price is high.
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Old 01-25-13, 01:58 PM   #3
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Yikes, those are spendy!

That's the general idea of what I'm looking for though - not a headlight per se.
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Old 01-25-13, 03:02 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
I was driving home the other day and I passed a fella on his bicycle who had the normal front and seat post lights, but he also had a little 3 LED light on the front of his helmet (white & blinking) and the same sort of thing on the back of his helmet that was red and blinking.

It struck me that the placement of the lights made them much more obvious to drivers but I can't seem to find anything on line.

I also passed a guy Tuesday that had about 14 red tail lights plastered all over his backpack and bike, and that also made him plenty obvious but I think I prefer the helmet mounted solution if possible.

Does anybody know what it was that I saw that guy wearing?
Why not just go to a "to see" light? Trust me, if you can see with it, it well be seen. This one would do the job nicely and cost about as much (or less) than all of the "be seen" lights I've ever seen.
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Old 01-25-13, 03:05 PM   #5
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http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Bike-Bl...bxgy_sg_text_y

Maybe something like this, white is below on that link
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Old 01-25-13, 03:32 PM   #6
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Why not just go to a "to see" light? Trust me, if you can see with it, it well be seen. This one would do the job nicely and cost about as much (or less) than all of the "be seen" lights I've ever seen.
Well, I have a few reasons - I do have a magicshine light I use at night and some of those chinese flashlights, so I'll hook those up when I ride at night, if they're charged (which is occasionally a problem!). I don't know how long the extension cord is on that model you linked, but my magic shine isn't long enough for the battery pack to reach my jersey pockets, and now I have a wire flipping around and hitting me in the head. So there's that. It's cheap enough that I may just buy it anyway and try it out. It would make a splendid additional light for the handlebar even if it doesn't work for my noggin.

My intent is to augment my regular lights - I hate it when it's dark and my main light is blinking but since blinking is easier to see, I want my "to be seen" light blinking. I could absolutely see using one of these on my helmet in blinky mode (or solid with the one on the bars in blinky mode) and I'm a fan of having more than one light so I may just go get one of these anyway and see what's up. I've also convinced myself that the extra elevation from that dude's helmet lights contributed to making him easier to see - I certainly noticed him.

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http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Bike-Bl...bxgy_sg_text_y

Maybe something like this, white is below on that link
Those look interesting, nice find. Has anybody used planet bike lights before?

So part of my intent is to find lights that are small enough to not bother me when mounted on my helmet, and the other part is find lights that don't have a 3 hour run time so that the light is probably going to have adequate charge whenever I pick it up.

Thanks for the suggestions!
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Old 01-25-13, 10:36 PM   #7
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Has anybody used planet bike lights?
I do. I have thesuperflash on the rear - works very well. I also have 2 watts of PB lights up front that work well for me too..
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Old 01-25-13, 11:12 PM   #8
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I do. I have thesuperflash on the rear - works very well. I also have 2 watts of PB lights up front that work well for me too..
Cool. On your helmet or on your bike?

I went ahead and ordered a fake magicshine (I'll try ti on the head) and the helmet mount planet bike light. I'll report back next week when I get them.

I rationalized - I can put the regular magic shine on full blast duty and the fake on blinky duty and that will probably not drive me as craze as ONLY a blinker headlight while still providing some good visibility.
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Old 01-26-13, 08:00 AM   #9
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Well, I have a few reasons - I do have a magicshine light I use at night and some of those chinese flashlights, so I'll hook those up when I ride at night, if they're charged (which is occasionally a problem!). I don't know how long the extension cord is on that model you linked, but my magic shine isn't long enough for the battery pack to reach my jersey pockets, and now I have a wire flipping around and hitting me in the head. So there's that. It's cheap enough that I may just buy it anyway and try it out. It would make a splendid additional light for the handlebar even if it doesn't work for my noggin.

My intent is to augment my regular lights - I hate it when it's dark and my main light is blinking but since blinking is easier to see, I want my "to be seen" light blinking. I could absolutely see using one of these on my helmet in blinky mode (or solid with the one on the bars in blinky mode) and I'm a fan of having more than one light so I may just go get one of these anyway and see what's up. I've also convinced myself that the extra elevation from that dude's helmet lights contributed to making him easier to see - I certainly noticed him.
You can buy extension cords for the Magicshine. Just Google it. They cost from $8 to $15 depending on the source and will easily reach from a jersey pocket.

A bright light like the one I linked to doesn't need to flash, especially if it is mounted on your helmet. The light moves when your head moves which is more than enough to get attention. Plus you'll be able to see into corners and illuminate anything you look at.
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Old 01-26-13, 10:47 AM   #10
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Good point. Say, does that head band they include strap around a helmet or is that for heads only? It might be kind of fun to have a blindingly bright light for cub scout camping trips too. I brought one of my keygos flashlights to the last camping trip and that inspired a tremendous amount of envy amongst the DADS of the cubscouts. Good times.
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Old 01-26-13, 04:55 PM   #11
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I would highly recommend Blackburn Flea II's... they're bit more expensive than other small lights (not nearly as Magicshines), but the lights will pay for themselves with usb recharging and long run times; just keep in mind that they are to be seen and not headlights.
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Old 01-26-13, 05:23 PM   #12
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I would highly recommend Blackburn Flea II's... they're bit more expensive than other small lights (not nearly as Magicshines), but the lights will pay for themselves with usb recharging and long run times; just keep in mind that they are to be seen and not headlights.
Thanks for the recommendation, Telly. I have been eyeing those Flea II's and considering picking one up for a helmet mount. I already have two small handlebar lights, but a helmet light would probably help with my biggest worry - traffic entering my street from driveways and side streets on the right. Do they come with sufficient mounts for a typical bike helmet?
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Old 01-26-13, 05:33 PM   #13
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Thanks for the recommendation, Telly. I have been eyeing those Flea II's and considering picking one up for a helmet mount. I already have two small handlebar lights, but a helmet light would probably help with my biggest worry - traffic entering my street from driveways and side streets on the right. Do they come with sufficient mounts for a typical bike helmet?
Here's the helmet/hat mount kit (sold separately but overall still worth the cost of buying the set).
http://www.blackburndesign.com/flea-...l#.UQRmiL_jQoc


Another thing is the support by Blackburn... the velcro strap on my unit got worn down quickly because I have a tendency to over tighten everything, so after a few months I needed to replace it and wrote an email to BB asking where I can purchase a replacement in my country. The representative in Europe was kind enough to mail two replacements free of charge which arrived within a few days of my email. Also had the same experience with SKS last week.

Have to give credit where credit's due!
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Old 01-26-13, 05:49 PM   #14
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Here's the helmet/hat mount kit (sold separately but overall still worth the cost of buying the set).
http://www.blackburndesign.com/flea-...l#.UQRmiL_jQoc


Another thing is the support by Blackburn... the velcro strap on my unit got worn down quickly because I have a tendency to over tighten everything, so after a few months I needed to replace it and wrote an email to BB asking where I can purchase a replacement in my country. The representative in Europe was kind enough to mail two replacements free of charge which arrived within a few days of my email. Also had the same experience with SKS last week.

Have to give credit where credit's due!
Sounds good, I am going to pick a light and mount set up. Thanks again!
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Old 01-26-13, 08:16 PM   #15
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Good point. Say, does that head band they include strap around a helmet or is that for heads only? It might be kind of fun to have a blindingly bright light for cub scout camping trips too. I brought one of my keygos flashlights to the last camping trip and that inspired a tremendous amount of envy amongst the DADS of the cubscouts. Good times.
The strap will fit around your helmet. You might want to add a bit of velcro under the mount to stabilize it, however. Alternatively, you could modify it to be more like the Magicshine mount. You can see some interesting mount solutions here. They all use the plastic part of the helmet mount.

And get a green laser pointer if you really want to impress the other dads. You can point to individual stars. It's really cool.
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Old 01-26-13, 11:15 PM   #16
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Sigma micro. extremely light, very bright and pretty cheap. I bought 3 sets when they went on sale at Nashbar last year (the sets from Nashbar are pink vs the blue in the images I posted) I found them on sale at Dicks sporting goods too in a clearance bin for $3 each if I remember right, I own 3 sets of front and back in pink and 2 sets from Dicks and use one on my helmet if I know that I am going to be out at night and they work awesome.

I also have a set of one red one white nite ize spotlit's that are hooked to the outside of my pack at all times as well. not bright but good for the dark roads I ride on at times for a little extra blinking.

And a few images of the rear light on my lid, the front attaches the same way, I carry a set in my pack at all times.






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Old 01-26-13, 11:47 PM   #17
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Could also try the
www.helmethoodie.com

Saw them today at the Iowa Bike expo in Des Moines. Looked real good.
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Old 01-28-13, 01:16 AM   #18
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Blackburn Super Flea
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Old 01-29-13, 10:22 AM   #19
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I ran into, not literally calm down, a local on a bike that I have seen riding every night but never been able to stop until the other day. He runs a Cygolite head light on the handle bar, and rear and then has a set of smaller Cateye lights on his helmet (white front/red rear)

All I can say is the ONLY reason I wanted to try to chat with him for months was he stands out COMPLETELY above all the car traffic around him. And was a nice guy too!
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Old 01-29-13, 11:23 AM   #20
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Mike, that's exactly the effect I'm after.

My handlebar light is *#&$ bright - it's like a mini-sun. I have a cygolite on the seat post that is also crazy bright but it's very directional. It should alert cars to my presence a full mile away, but only if they're behind me, the side splash is pretty minimal.

I just received my new planet bike helmet light. It comes with a self-leveling mount that straps to the back of my helmet,hopefully I'll be able to fire that up tonight. It's got 3 pretty bright little red LEDs and I"m sure my head waving around will set that thing swinging and produce some extra blinkiness. My fake magic shine (a visual replica of the handlebar light I have) arrives today with a helmet mount and I'll try that as well. That'll be two suns shining forward.

Every time I see somebody who's more visible than me while riding at night I think - that guy's got it going on. Oh, my night jacket is made out of this illuminite material that positively lights up like a billboard when headlights hit it. No reflective strip here or there, the whole flipping thing is reflective. I can't see the downside of being too visible in traffic at night.

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Old 02-02-13, 08:04 PM   #21
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Why not just go to a "to see" light? Trust me, if you can see with it, it well be seen. This one would do the job nicely and cost about as much (or less) than all of the "be seen" lights I've ever seen.
Hey man, I just wanted to say thank you for posting the link to this light, I did not need a new light... I should say, I did not think that I needed a new light until I got this one. I figured $28 was worth a shot and though I have not had a chance to ride at night with this I did walk into my wooded back yard about 20 minutes ago and this thing is VERY bright and shoots a beam right up the middle AND has a nice wide view.

I can't wait to get out and take it for a night ride, if UFC wasn't on tonight I would anyways, thanks for posting the link, if it lasts it wil be a good purchase.
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Old 02-03-13, 01:45 AM   #22
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Well, I tried to use that as a helmet light but the head strap just doesn't work as a helmet light. SO... onward. The straps just don't stay put.

I really like having my magicshine and the fake magicshine on the handlebars at the same time.
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Old 02-03-13, 07:55 AM   #23
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Well, I tried to use that as a helmet light but the head strap just doesn't work as a helmet light. SO... onward. The straps just don't stay put.

I really like having my magicshine and the fake magicshine on the handlebars at the same time.
Thanks for the review. So the mount that comes with the light just doesn't work on your helmet? Is it the nature of the mount or your particular helmet? I am still deciding what to do and was going to ask you for a review of this light.
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Old 02-03-13, 10:52 AM   #24
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Hey man, I just wanted to say thank you for posting the link to this light, I did not need a new light... I should say, I did not think that I needed a new light until I got this one. I figured $28 was worth a shot and though I have not had a chance to ride at night with this I did walk into my wooded back yard about 20 minutes ago and this thing is VERY bright and shoots a beam right up the middle AND has a nice wide view.

I can't wait to get out and take it for a night ride, if UFC wasn't on tonight I would anyways, thanks for posting the link, if it lasts it wil be a good purchase.
It is amazing how much light you get for so little money. Have fun and be safe.
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Old 02-03-13, 10:58 AM   #25
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Well, I tried to use that as a helmet light but the head strap just doesn't work as a helmet light. SO... onward. The straps just don't stay put.

I really like having my magicshine and the fake magicshine on the handlebars at the same time.
Take a look at the Amazon link I provided. There are ideas for a ziptie mount there. Not the best in my opinion but it is an option. Alternatively you can get a much better mount here. The guy ships his stuff quickly and the it's not hard to make the changes. I'd get the mount for the handlebars too since it's a much more stable mount than the o-rings on the Magicshine. The helmet light sits lower on your head too.
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Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.
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