When the nights are longer and more raisins hours in the darkness of the mountain, it is when most value the importance of having a good front light, those with which doesn’t worry you that you it is done at night, your front of confidence. How to choose the best mountain bike front light?
It will be because for a long time my main activity has been the caving (for cavers always night inside the caves) that many people ask me for the best light or headlamp. And the truth is that it is a question that is difficult, if not impossible, just that question. With this article I will try to address the most important points that you should keep in mind.
Your activities of mountain, front, even have it as one of the materials required for your trips (never know if by any unexpected you can be at night), are often overlooked many of its main characteristics, valuing almost simply “give light”.
Tell you what is the best front mountain is practically impossible, since it would have to define for this purpose before various aspects, as it is the sport for which you want to (hiking, mountaineering, climbing, racing by mountain, caving, canyoning, mountain bike…) uptime in terms of duration, ambient temperature at the time of its use, power required…
WHY CHOOSE A GOOD FRONT FOR YOUR MOUNTAIN SPORT?
This is the first and most important, because although it may seem silly to you, there are still people coming to the mountain with a flashlight in hand. The type of light to reach the mountain should be front type, mainly for 3 reasons:
- Leave you your hands free. This will help if you need hands to hold on to overcome a particular obstacle, if you need to carry canes mountain, in case of a fall…
- You will always light where it is headed your head, you don’t have to be moving hand or arm while touring your head.
- Affect the lighting at the same angle as the view, you’re not going to have dead spots or shadows. As a negative part of this point is that you’ll not have sense of depth of the object, rather than which recognizes and relates our brain.
Choosing a good front for the activity you are going to develop is going to give a very important point in terms of safety and peace of mind so that you will enjoy more than the activity.
Security because you’ll see perfectly all the reliefs of the terrain, so you’ll to minimize any possible accidents.
Tranquility because now you won’t feel insecure by the darkness, in addition relaxation will be higher because you don’t have to go with that point of tension go attentive to everything that happens to your around for not seeing well. This is what I felt when I was in the mode saving, so now I have spare with me when I know you can do I lack 😉
The most important features to consider when choosing a front are:
-Lumens (amount of light)
-Duration and type of batteries
-Weight and location of the battery
-Push on button, shutdown mode change
Then I tell you a little more about each of these aspects if you can be of assistance when choosing your front:
LUMENS (AMOUNT OF LIGHT)
Perhaps, along with price, one of the values in which you first look. And the lumens give you an idea of the light that will give the front, although more than an idea, lately seems to more better, without taking into account the following points.
Normally with around 100 lumens going easily, provided you go at a normal speed, as it can be a race pace to trot, and of course in any activity where the fly is walking.
Nor must ignore those activities where the surface produce reflection and therefore, a nuisance by plenty of light, either because they are near the surface (rock climbing, vias ferrata, caving…) or by the color of the surface itself (sports on the snow).
You will need around about 150 lumens when you run by mountain in technical areas or when you are going at high rates, normally in downhill or main.
Values greater than 500 lumens will be useful when you leave with your mountain bike, where speeds are higher.
With these settings you will be able to practice your activity comfortably and without problems, as you can see, values quite inferior to today offer some fronts, 600, 900 and even above the 1000 lumens.
Although neither are going to cheat, when you run or do some mountain route with one that gives values of this type, I can assure you that practically becomes day, though always at the expense of something… weight, autonomy and the price. It is the utility of this amount of light that many front include a mode “plus” which give you a peak of lumens rather better than offering even at its maximum mode for a few seconds.
The same happens when you practice other sports such as caving, which comes in handy having that amount of lumens, especially when you want to illuminate large halls, wells, possible continuations… but always momentarily for not quickly running out of battery.
One aspect covered by the previous point, but when you go with coworkers and see that one of them is able to illuminate the entire width of the trail or track while as your only light up a very specific area…
The two previous points and rating depending on the needs of your activity, normally, you won’t need a large range with the exception of specific moments. Except for a few exceptions (orientation, exploration and Speleological photography,…) is a front with a good focal range that a focused and with a powerful much more comfortable.
Although the first thing you think is, then what color will be… white. Yes of course, but we are sure that you have seen that there are a few fronts that are more blue or white (what we call cold light) and others with a light yellowish or reddish tone (warm light).
It is possible that, in General, when you see two of this style you decant the first, since equality of lumens, it seems that you see better, but it is always good to have one tone closer to yellow than toward the blue, since it is a more natural and less tired light, mostly notice it when you’ll be many hours with light.
PROTECTION AGAINST DUST AND WATER (IP CERTIFICATION)
Most models for mountain sports mark water, followed by two numbers IP protection. The first one refers to the protection against dust and the second against the (not liquid water). The higher number, the bigger the protection.
Protection against dust goes from 0 to 6, which means:
-0: without protection.
-1: protected against solid objects greater than 50 mm in diameter.
-2: protected against solid objects greater than 12.5 mm in diameter.
-3: protected against solid objects greater than 2.5 mm in diameter.
-4: protected against solid objects greater than 1 mm in diameter.
-5: protected against dust; limited input without the entry sufficient to damage the front.
-6: complete protection, no entry of dust.
Water protection is the second digit of 0 to 8, the meaning of which is:
-0: without protection.
-1: Protected against dripping water.
-2: protected against dripping water poured when tilted up to 15 ° with respect to its normal position.
-3: protected against rain-60º of tilt.
-4: protected against projections.
-5: protected against jets of water.
-6: protected against strong jets of water.
-7: protected against the effects of temporary immersion (- 1 meter for 30 minutes).
-8: protected against prolonged immersion (> 1 meter during a time set by the manufacturer).
DURATION AND TYPES OF BATTERIES
The autonomy is possibly, like all electronic devices, one of the aspects that most have to evolve and will appreciate the features of these products.
Keep in mind what that front should last, at least, about 7-8 hours of activity, provided you play with different modes and temperature is not very cold, since it affects negatively on the life of the batteries.
You’ll find front with two types of batteries:
The good thing is that you’ll always find them almost anywhere in the world.
The bad thing is pollution producing worn once, you can solve that if which are using are rechargeable.
2 rechargeable batteries
They produce less waste due to its durability.
Currently, there are many rechargeable lights, so if you ever need any replacement you have to go to the specific of your model.
This section can be divided into several, since they are different features that will influence the comfort of your front of mountain, such as weight, fasteners or brackets and encendido-apagado – mode change button.
WEIGHT AND POSITION OF THE BATTERIES
This is a very important section, above all depending on the place where you take your battery and your activity.
If carried on the head, you should know better on the back, to go the more distributed weight. Still can not be very heavy because is it will make you uncomfortable, especially with the passing of the hours or if they are fast as racing or mountain biking.
Take it in another place that is not the head is a very good option, there are many who offer an extension cord that lets you put batteries in the Backpack on the back pockets of your t-shirt, Jersey, windproof… but in this case must be positioned well the position of the cable so it is not a nuisance and can not engage in branches and trees.
Another point in favor of this last option, is that if you’re in a place with very cold, put your battery more protected, or even attached to the body, the duration will be greater.
Although it seems an obvious complement in the mountain front, is an aspect that must take into account, since there is much difference between only the normal fixing rubber to bring a second crossing above your head and that joins the light with the back of the battery (in case of carry them there) because it deals more weight and improves grip.
ENCENDIDO-APAGADO – MODE CHANGE BUTTON
One aspect that you not stand to appreciate until it gives you a problem. The button should be broad, to be able to turn it comfortably while you go with gloves, but at the same time does not extend much of the own front.
Changes of mode… best if they are not many (with 3 or 4 is usually sufficient) and you can configure them to your liking. And that to change from one mode to another, you have to go through a thousand modes with different intensities and flashes… that the only thing they do is not upset by having to stop your activity to find the mode you need.
The reliability of light is what makes you go quiet, knowing that you will not fail the light and you will only have to change the batteries.
How do you know the reliability of the product?
Look at the years of warranty the manufacturer gives you as well as the CE marking or any other type of certification that offers.
For being among the first things in which we all look so I wanted to let until the end. Is not an aspect that you should ignore, because there really expensive fronts, but everything will depend on the use you give.
When I go to buy some material of mountain which is somewhat expensive, I always wonder would you pay more for him when you need it by having it at that moment? If the answer is Yes, I bought it without hesitation.
-By purchasing a front, really appreciates the use you’re going to give, today there are a wide range, you sure you find that best fits what you need.
– Do not go to the greater number of lumens if you don’t need them, as you can see, we are not thinking “big donkey walk or don’t walk…” There is currently a run rampant by the lumens regardless if we put it at the top, just lasting us the time needed.
-If you look at the price, also think about the reliability of the same, sometimes when the difference is very large, this reliability will influence your security… and the security is priceless.
Keep in mind that there are different degrees of use for all activity. An activity in which you take the front but as an ’emergency’ as it can be climbing or hiking output, to an activity in the dark, as it is the caving or output night mountain, mountain bike is not the same… To further help you in the choice of your best front we show you an infographic for the more intensive use:
What is in what you most notice when you look at front?
That the dark don’t you stop!
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