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Kickstarter: Trail LED’s Light, Bright and Low-Profile Helmet Specific Lights

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Trail LED headlights, family

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I love night rides! Apparently Trail LED’s founder Grady Pace also enjoys night riding, so much that he set out to create some top-tier helmet specific lights after finding disappointment from other brand’s offerings. While most companies stick to a more universal design that will work on both a handlebar and helmet, these multi-mount lights tend to be heavy and sit up high. They can cause neck fatigue and encourage helmet movement, or even worse can get snagged on low branches.

So starting seven years ago, Pace set out to create the lightest and brightest possible helmet specific lights and developed Trail LED’s unique low profile arced shape that rises just ¾” from the top of your helmet. Shine a light past the break for all the details on three different models that output between 1800 and 6000 lumens and how they’re looking to expand…

Trail LED is based out of Dallas, TX, and operates with the conviction that rider safety depends on the quality of their American-made products. The lights are fully developed and have been in action for some time (we reviewed them here) so their Kickstarter campaign was launched to fund for manufacturing costs as the company is looking to expand greatly and venture into the ATV and Motocross markets.

All of Trail LED’s headlights feature CNC machined anodized aluminum bodies. The curved design creates what they call Multi-Point Shadow Definition (MPSD), with the bulb positioning filling in dark spots on the trail ahead. Pace suggests this renders a secondary handlebar light unnecessary.

Trail LED DS light, rear view

The lights all operate via a large, tactile single button for easy use in the dark or with gloves on, and they mount with simple o-rings. The flexible o-rings can be attached between any of the light’s cooling fins for a nice tight fit on any helmet. If you’re wondering about your helmet fitting the arc on the Halo light, they have tried over 100 different lids so far with no issues.

Trail LED’s battery pack is a fairly compact cube with a rubberized coating to help it stay put in jersey pockets. If you happen to enjoy 24 hour races, the charger operates at a 1:1 ratio so you only need two battery packs to run the lights continuously. The power cable secures to the light with a quarter-twist lock to prevent potential mid-ride disconnections.

Trail LED XXX light on handlebar

All three models come with one battery pack, a charger, two helmet mount o-rings, a Trail LED handlebar mount (which sits centrally over your stem) plus Garmin and GoPro mount adapters. Despite the different outputs, they all take two hours to charge.

Trail LED XXX light

The XXX is the smallest model, outputting 1800 lumens with its three Cree LEDs. The body weighs just 50g, and its burn times are three hours on high, six hours on low and 27 hours in emergency mode. Early birds can snag one for $300 USD, but the price will go up to $350.

Trail LED DS light on helmet

The DS pumps out 3000 lumens via five LEDs. The body weighs 100g and it runs for two hours on high, four hours on low and 18 hours in emergency mode. The current Kickstarter price is $500, which will go up to $550.

Trail LED Halo light

The Halo cranks out an amazing 6000 lumens with 10 LED’s that span almost ear-to-ear. The body still weighs only 200g, and the Halo lasts two hours on high, four hours on low and 38 hours in emergency mode. Kickstarter buyers can have it for $1000, before the price rises to $1100.

Trail LED has undergone independent testing and promises their lights produce as many lumens as advertised, unlike cheap imported units that often don’t. Their lights are guaranteed for life against manufacturing defects, and the batteries are warrantied for 90 days. User caused damage can also be repaired by Trail LED, at the cost of parts and labor. On top of that updates and upgrades will be available in the future, keeping your high-end light from becoming outdated.

If you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, for a $100 donation you can meet the company founder and go for a test ride with all three models. Otherwise, check out their Kickstarter campaign or website for more info.

www.trailled.com

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Ryan
Ryan
8 years ago

That $1000 light just looks insane. I can’t knock it not having tried it, but wow. I have/use an 1800 lumen light and it’s crazy bright as is.

Erik S.
Erik S.
8 years ago

I’m loving the 3k Lumens, with only a 2hr recharge time and a helmet weight of just 100g I would be very happy to put it on my helmet.

Mr. P
8 years ago

Those look amazing, but all that light coming from a similar axis as your vision means the terrain will look flat and difficult to read (shadows will be behind obstacle)

P

Anthony
Anthony
8 years ago

They look good but the kickstarted campaign levels are strange. Pledge $300 to get a discount of retail pricing which is not yet determined ? No thx

J
J
8 years ago

I like alternatives and this idea appeals to my OCD self. They are not on my follow-up list

Chris Trunek
8 years ago

wow a grand? I got a light off amazon for 60 bucks with 2 batteries and it is bright as all hell and the quality is great. American made feels warm and fuzzy, but after spending alot of time in asia as an industrial designer the reality is that america gave up on manufacturing a long time ago. There are factories EVERYWHERE there, while in the USA there are almost none any more, and they want more money and don’t produce as good of product. It sucks, but we let that happen.

Will
Will
8 years ago

I custom built a big LED setup similar to that and found It threw to many shadows and wasn’t that great so I went back to my $50 eBay specials that have been going strong for two years and have more than enough light

Erick
Erick
8 years ago

@Anthony The way it is worded is a little confusing. A $300 pledge will get you the light, which is going to retail for $350. So technically you would be getting the light for $50 off. The next pledge is for $315 and so you technically would be getting the light at $35 off the $350 retail.

It is a cool idea, but there are other lights on the market that fit comfortably on a helmet that are under that price point. Personally, I ride with a Lezyne Mega Drive on the bars and a Cygolite Metro 550 on my helmet.

bored
bored
8 years ago

Why does nobody ask about safety in a crash? Putting a hard object onto your helmet totally changes how the helmet will act in a crash.

It may grab onto something and pull your neck back instead of sliding on the ground.
It may just crush right through the helmet and go into your skull.

Does anyone do any safety testing with hard objects strapped to helmets to actually prove/dis-prove this?

NCXC
NCXC
8 years ago

What’s nice about these lights are the 1:1 charge times, and their low weight.
I like my XXX and would buy it again. If you have the cash, get the DS…even better.

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