Cycling in Melbourne Australia
I ride with two lights on the front, two on the back. This is why http://ajenningsfrankston.blogspot.com/2011/03/two-lights-at-front-...
My setup is a 'do it yourself project' consisting of 2 lights, 27 Watts LED each, quite bright, 1500 Lumens each. The first light is fitted on the handle bar and the second light is a removable option on my helmet. I run a cable from the back of my helmet to my backpack. So there's not too much weight on the helmet to carry batteries. Then I carry a reasonable battery in my backpack which also doubles as an external laptop battery. I find the bike helmet and handle bar light combination quite useful, e.g. I still want to make eye contact with motorists to ensure they don't push in front of me. I know these lights are quite bright but I use discretion. e.g. look another way instead of blinding drivers approaching me. Then it's always helpful to have a spotlight on the road when looking sideways. There's almost no difference between riding in daylight versus night time. The setup cost me a fraction of the price than commercially available products.
Ah, you're one of those people with little regard for the retinas of others coming the other way, regardless of their transport mode ;-)
In general I'd advise against wearing anything on the helmet, especially large lighting appliances. Land on them and they'll split your helmet wide open and may drive into your brainbox.
Mounting anything on a helmet makes it no longer comply with the Aus. standard for helmets and thus no longer legal to wear on the road. I'd be completely amazed if anyone has ever been pulled up for it though!
I'm with Steve Jay on this one though, helmet mounted lights are great for the person wearing them, but 99% of the time they're damn anti-social to other road users and the equivalent of driving around with your car headlights on high-beam. Amazing the number of people who wouldn't dream of doing that in their car, but quite happy to do it to you when they're on a bike. Then out come the "blame the victim" responses of "Just look the other way" or "Just close your eyes until I go past".
I'm not sure of the logic behind that. I aim my helmet light away from oncoming riders as they approach, I can't do that with my handlebar mounted lights which just blast them regardless (however I aim it AT the car drivers though, that's the whole point. If they're dazzled by you there's at least a slim chance that they've seen you).
Agree wholeheartedly about mounting too much hardware on your head though. I'm kinda amazed that people are allowed to sell helmet lights that are firmly attached to your helmet. My helmet light is a very small flashing one, made from lightweight plastic, and I attach it with velcro, for the very reason that I want it to fall off if my helmet hits the road. Also stops it getting caught on low hanging tree branches etc, which could be a real hazard at speed.
High visibility good, retina burning lumen output bad.
There is some conflict regarding the value of side visibility, that if a driver has time to react to it, they were never going to hit you and if they're going to hit you, they'll hit you before they see you. Frankly, I prefer to err on the side of caution and wear (key work "wear", wheel reflectors are useless and slow the bike down) side visibility stuff in the form of ankle and wrist reflectives. Like a flashing headlight, reflective ankle strips say "BIKE!" pretty clearly and wristies help make hand signals visible.