Rear facing lights like the Bontrager Ember USB which are fixed to helmets are gaining popularity and it’s not hard to see why. It is an effective way of being seen sooner in some situations and as I’m trying to be more visible this winter, I decided to invest in one from my LBS.
I took a quick look through their selection of lights and I couldn’t see one obviously made for mounting onto a helmet. As the staff are always eager to check I’m okay (i.e. “Doug do you need any help in spending some money today?”) I figured that I did need some help. I got the Trek Bontrager Ember USB light as that was the only one they had in stock that would do the job.
- Rechargeable lithium battery
- Mini USB cable supplied
- Silicone stretchy strap, so no tools are required to install it or remove it
- Designed for a seat post but can be used on a helmet
- Steady light or strobe, flashing
- Two LEDs – one 2w directional, one 1w diffused for wider 270 degree visibility
- Charge time is 2.5 hours (although it was partly charged and ready to use straight from the packaging). A small LED flashes as it charges and stays on once fully charged
- One toggle button operation
Fitting it to the helmet was a little fiddly but it was done in a few minutes. Because of that I think I will leave it there and charge it up just as you can see in the above photograph. Speaking of which, when it is charging, a small LED flashes and then stays on constant when it is fully charged.
It seems okay in use. The flashing strobe mode is at a frequency which is suitably annoying so should be conspicuous. The run times of 7 hours on the flashing mode seem realistic. It is unobtrusive once fitted to the helmet as it really is very light and it stays in place fairly well.
At £29.99 it seems a bit expensive, to be honest. But it could save your life. So not bad.