When mountain bikers are riding at night, they usually go with two headlights – one on the bars to illuminate the trail that's straight ahead, and one on their helmet to light up whatever they're looking at, such as the part of the trail that's around the next curve. The Hydra 3 Bike Light, however, is claimed to make the helmet light unnecessary.
Developed by Colorado-based startup Mystic Devices, the 8-oz (227-g) Hydra 3 has three separate 600-lumen LED bulbs – a central one that points straight ahead, and ones on either side of it that point trail-left and trail-right.
While the central LED stays lit as long as the headlight is powered up, the outer two selectively come on and off as sensors within the headlight detect that the bike is turning. This means that when the cyclist is turning right, the LED which illuminates the area to their right will temporarily come on, with the same thing applying to the trail-left light for left turns.
When climbing, users can switch over to a Climb mode, which keeps both of the side LEDs on at a low output for a wider beam.
And although there already are multi-LED headlights that simultaneously illuminate both the trail straight ahead and a portion of the areas to either side, the Hydra 3's creators claim that these use up their batteries quickly, as they're constantly powering three bulbs.
Utilizing its internal 3,400-mAh lithium-ion battery, the Hydra 3 is reportedly good for two hours of use per charge at maximum output (the equivalent of about 900 lumens, as all three LEDs are never all on maximum at once). That run-time can be boosted by selecting one of three lower output settings, plus it's also possible to hook up a higher-capacity third-party external battery via the light's USB-C port.
If you're interested, the Hydra 3 is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. A pledge of US$149 will get you one, when and if they reach production – the planned retail price is $175.
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