Petzel e+LITE…

13 03 2011

Petzel e-LITE glamour shot...

The night ride I posted about yesterday made me aware I was in need of a small LED light I could clip to my Bern helmet’s visor to use for viewing the cue sheet/map as well as for any on bike repairs/looking for stuff in my bar bag. Mike B on the Randon Group pointed me to this Petzel e-LITE mini light….which at the moment is the best option to meet my needs.

What I like:

  • small & light
  • red LED which won’t affect my night vision
  • bright enough white LEDs to use as a back up be seen light and shine at road signs
  • long enough battery life to be useful [probably will get used less than 5mins/hour of the ride
  • clips to visor
  • waterproof/able to operate at cold temps
  • I’ve had good luck with other Petzel products

I won't be using the headband for brevets, but it's good as a back up light in my truck or on tour...

What I don’t like:

  • expensive non-rechargeable funky batteries that will end up in a landfill
  • not enough light to be a backup light for the bike’s headlamp
  • not sure how secure the visor clip is
  • not sure how easy it is to operate with gloves on

If anyone owns one of these I’d love to know what you think of it. I won’t be buying anything for a couple weeks so I am open to other options.

E+LITE will be attached to this helmet's visor...


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14 responses

13 03 2011
AdamDZ

Hi Vik,

Do you think it’s bright enough to set up a camp at night while touring?

13 03 2011
Ventura

You can use rechargeable 2032 batteries (LIR2032) if the light uses a voltage regulator. I’ve never used them before, since everything I use 2032’s for seems to have a battery life of a year or more.

13 03 2011
Michel Poulin

I use a Photon “Freedom” Micro light with Clip. Get the Yellow, Orange, Red which use the CR2032 battery will give you 120 hours of use, and it weighs less than a quarter. If you get the other colours, they will also throw out enough light for you to see by if your main light is out, but don’t expect to travel too fast. You can also modulate the amount of light that the light puts out (which is nice). All in all, the lights will be able to toss out 20′ to 30′ of usable walking speed light.

13 03 2011
mike

yes, it is bright enough for camp…
i used mine on a few S24O missions and it works great for this. just enough for me on high. i’ve also used it for runs on our local bike path.

i’m a big fan. yes, the batteries suck – but i’d rather not have the weight of rechargeable AAs or AAAs on my head. been there and done that.

the red light was important to me – i tired of looking down @ a cue sheet and having a bright white page reflecting back at me.

13 03 2011
Val Garou

It’s a good, lightweight light. I agree that there’s not much to be done about the battery, unless you want either a conventional headlamp like the Tikka or to pay the costs for a tiny, proprietary, integrated battery.

The thing I find funny about this light is the carrying case (that red thing in the photo above.) It seems to negate a lot of the size and weight savings.

13 03 2011
thelazyrando

@Michel P – the Photon Freedom looks interesting. I’ll see if I can check one out in person. I can get my hands on a Petzel e+LITE from MEC so I can look at it before I buy.

13 03 2011
thelazyrando

@Adam – probably, but unless you have another reason for the light I’d just use a normal AAA model that takes standard rechargeable batteries. If I wasn’t wearing a helmet I’d just use my Petzel Zipka:

http://www.petzl.com/en/node/16783

13 03 2011
Zach

I have one of these I like very much, and i have recommended it to countless others. The problem of expensive batteries can be bypasses by ordering them on ebay in bulk (often amounting to the same cost as just a couple of store-bought batteries, including shipping). These batteries can (should) also be recycled at e-waste stations whenever possible…

14 03 2011
Pete Pesce

@Val-
I think this lite is marketed as an emergency product, so the idea is that it would live in the case until it was needed.
@Vik-
If you need a clip-on light, your options are probably limited to button-type batteries due to weight, if nothing else. There are many strap-on lights that run on AAA’s, but they would probably be too heavy or bulky to hang from a visor.
I’m considering one of these: http://www.rei.com/product/803108
I might strap it to my handlebar, or velcro it to the visor of my helmet. For $12 it’s not an expensive experiment. Not sure about the waterproofness, though.

14 03 2011
rkt88edmo

I haven’t been following rando light usage, but there are 1xAAA lights now that have variable settings, not sure if this becomes too hard to use as a rando light, or gets too hard to use, but you might want to take a look at
iTP Light A3 EOS R5 Upgrade Stainless Steel AAA LED Flashlight (~$30 USD)
and
H51Fw AA Floody Headlamp Neutral White (~$64 USD)

14 03 2011
thelazyrando

It’s essential that the light I get clips to my helmet’s visor. I don’t want to glue, strap or velcro anything onto it. Especially given the limited times/year it will get used.

15 03 2011
mike

Vik – I’ve used the clip on the visor of my MTB helmet, no issues. I’ve also sent some velcro strapping through the vents on my road helmet, and the clip stays on.

Since your are running that fine handlebar bag – you can also clip it to your bars somewhere pointing @ the cue…

20 03 2011
adventure!

I tried to comment on this a few days ago, but for some reason it didn’t show up. Weird…

Anyways, my recommendation would be the Princeton Tec EOS bike light. It’s waterproof, uses 3 AAAs, and can be mounted to helmet or handlebars and with the flexible strap can be used as an in-camp headlight! I don’t think it could clamp to a visor, though. Sells for $50 through REI:
http://www.rei.com/product/792656#ReviewHeader

21 03 2011
thelazyrando

I’ve got a PT EOS headlamp. It’s quite a large and heavy unit…and the clipping to the visor bit is essential.

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