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Torch T2: the bike helmet with a built-in headlight

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torch t2
Lit up like a Christmas tree

Bike lights can be a pain. You have to attach them every time you ride, and more often than not, you can forget to take them off, making easy pickings for thieves. This solves the problem: it's a bicycle helmet that doubles as a headlight.

The Torch T2 has 10 LED lights built into the front and back, so you can see and be seen. It's fully certified by the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) and features the CE mark, confirming it's safe for use.

Protecting the lights is a shatter-proof polycarbonate lens. This not only keeps the LEDs safe from harm, it also diffuses the light, making it easier to be seen from the side.

You don't need to replace the batteries either. It's powered by a rechargeable battery that you juice up over USB. The red light shows when the battery is charging. Plug it in for about 90 minutes to get a full charge. The battery will last for six hours on steady, or 36 hours on flashing mode – that's enough for all but the most hardcore of riders. If your journey to work takes half an hour on the bike, it should go a full working week on steady without needing to be plugged in.

It will also tell you when the battery dips below 50 per cent, so you don't nip out unlit.

Read more: Yerka is a bike that doubles as a lock

Like a standard bike light it has four different light functions, including two flashing ones.

It's very reasonably priced too, at $100 (£68). It's passed its funding goal and will ship in July.

Hamish Campbell

March 13, 2015, 12:34 pm

Hmmm, I wonder how the law is phrased in most countries about bike lights. Here the lights are compulsory and must be of a certain strength. My guess is that the wording is the BIKE must have a front and back lights.

chaosdefinesorder

March 13, 2015, 2:53 pm

In the UK, the lights MUST be less than 1.5m from the ground [1], which could for a lot of people put this helmet in the non-conformance territory...

The other problem comes from looking around. UK law states that the light much be *aligned towards*, and visible from the front. Likewise for the red rear light (replacing front with back, of course). Even with the diffuser mentioned in the article, when the rider looks anywhere other than straight ahead, their lights are no longer "aligned towards" the front/rear directions...

The law also says "At night your cycle MUST have white front and red rear lights lit" [2] which would imply - if not exactly explicitly stating - that the lights must be fixed to the bike not the rider...

Sources:
[1] http://www.ctc.org.uk/cycli...
[2] https://www.gov.uk/rules-fo... (rule 60)

Prem Desai

March 15, 2015, 9:16 am

Very simple idea - bordering on genius.

There are some issues that come to mind however: what if the cyclist is looking sideways (as they do sometimes) - the headlight may or may not be visible to traffic ahead / behind him. Game of chance.

Also, every cyclist / bicycle combination will result in the light being at a different angle. There is a risk of dazzling an oncoming motorist. The light needs a self-levelling mechanism or the output powered reduced so as not to dazzle anyone.

Finally, these should not be used by themselves. The perception of depth goes to pot . One ususally associates a light at the edge of the vehicle, not in the middle. In some cases, another vehicle may think they have an extra metre for braking, but don't and will hit the bicycle.

RJ

March 16, 2015, 8:01 am

They might have a CE mark (meaning they are safe, won't burst into flames or something), but not an appropriate BS mark, meaning legal on British highways. BS authorised lights have to be attached to the bike not the cyclist, and meet various brightness/reflector standards. You might be lucky and never be stopped by the police, but if involved in an accident, any smart lawyer will press for contributory negligence for not using BS lighting. Caveat Emptor.

Doozer Daniel

November 5, 2015, 11:53 pm

...I don't think that these lights/helmet are intended to be your sole lighting system; as a daily city commuter, they wouldn't be mine. So I fail to see everyone else's concern - you are finding an issue where there isn't one.

I have my BS/CE certified night lights on my bike. Those are my lights to "help me see". But they, and this helmet, and all the other paraphernalia I have help me " be seen", and that's the issue, and why this is such a simple yet perfect product.

Peter

November 27, 2015, 9:28 am

My helmet was faulty and Torch have not replied to my emails yet on how to get a replacement or refund so it looks like it's not a firm to trust

Peter

November 27, 2015, 9:37 am

The issue is when a firm does not help you get a refund or replacement and leaves you £100 out of pocket
These lights with my others would have been excellent on my recumbent trike. Looks like I will have to go a step further to try and get my money back or just send the helmet back to America and hope for the best

Peter

December 27, 2015, 3:50 pm

At last a replacement then only found back light not working again, I was told of a way to restart the battery and bingo now both are working and great. Still have lights on my trike recumbent though for safety and suggest all do the same as the lights on the helmet are really not that bright to see on the road from a good distance

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