Edelux Headlights for Hanging Attachments

Edelux headlights for a hanging attachment are now available. The hanging  attachment allows mounting them more securely underneath a front rack.

Most German bikes mount their lights above the fork crown (below). That is how most headlights are designed, including the Edelux. This “standing” headlight attachment is a simple way of doing it, but the headlight puts a significant load onto the attachment. Gravity pulls the “standing” light downward, so it tries to rotate around its attachment bolt. This force, together with the vibrations that occur during the ride, tend to loosen the bolt over time. If that happens, the light will tip forward.

In addition to that concern, a handlebar bag obscures a fork-mounted light, so randonneur bikes need different solutions. Mounting the light on the front fender (below) leaves it exposed and vulnerable, for example, when the bike is leaned against a wall. Furthermore, the bag can move on bumps and push the light forward.

The best solution is to mount the light underneath the front rack (below), where it is more protected. The lower beam also makes it easier to see road irregularities.

However, you cannot simply hang your headlight upside-down from the rack. Good lights like the Edelux have optics that project more light down onto the road than upward toward the sky. Turning them upside down inverts the beam pattern: Now you would shine more light into the sky and into the eyes of oncoming traffic than onto the road!

Until now, riders had to figure out ways to mount their “standing” headlights with brackets or other sub-optimal solutions.

Together with Schmidt Maschinenbau, we have developed “upside-down” Edelux for “hanging” attachments. (You have seen prototypes on the photos of our own bikes.) Now there is a production version of the “hanging” Edelux available. We just received our first shipment.

In addition to the inverted beam orientation, there are a few other differences to the “standard” Edelux:

  • No taillight connector: The taillight connector of the standard Edelux is on the triangular mount and faces down. On the inverted light, the connector would face up, and water would pool there. To avoid the risk of having water seep into the light, the taillight connector has been eliminated.
  • No daylight sensor: The sensor that automatically switches the light on and off does not fit into the upside-down light, because the screw for the mount is located where sensor usually sits. In any case, mounted underneath a handlebar bag, the light sensor is shaded by the bag, which makes it less effective. (It turns on the light at most times, whether it is dark or not.)

Otherwise, the “hanging” Edelux lights offer the same long, broad and bright beam that allows descending at up to 80 km/h (50 mph) in the dark. They are equipped with a standlight function that keeps the lights illuminated for several minutes after the bike stops. In addition to being perfect for a bike with a front rack, these “hanging” lights also work well if you mount your light on the handlebars. Hanging from the bars, the light is less likely to get bumped, and it keeps the tops of the bars free for your hands. And of course, we also carry the “standing” model.

We now include a bolt and spacer with our Grand Bois M-13 racks that allow direct mounting of the “hanging” Edelux headlights. Click here for more information about the lights.

About Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

I love cycling and bicycles, especially those that take us off the beaten path. I edit Bicycle Quarterly magazine, and occasionally write for other publications. One of our companies, Bicycle Quarterly Press publishes cycling books, while Compass Bicycles Ltd. makes and distributes high-quality bicycle components for real-world riders.
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31 Responses to Edelux Headlights for Hanging Attachments

  1. David G says:

    Nice, thanks for developing this. But what solution do you suggest for the tail light?

    • The ideal solution is an external switch, for example, inside the steerer tube, which allows you to turn both lights on and off.

      For a retrofit, many users run battery-powered taillights and don’t need a taillight connector. Or you could wire both together and just leave the light on at all times. That is what we did on my son’s bike with a LYT headlight and Seculite taillight, so we didn’t need to run two wires through the frame.

      Adding a taillight connector in a protected location would have complicated the light significantly.

      • cept says:

        when you say “wire both together and just leave the light on at all times,” what exactly do you mean? I assume that means splice front light wire & tail light wire together…and the lights turn on whenever the wheel is rolled, correct? if so, I’m cool with that.

      • Yes, that is how it basically works. We ran one wire from the hub to the inside of the steerer, where we connected it to one wire each from the head- and the taillight. The frame/fork acts as the return, so the other wire from the hub simply connects to a fender screw on the dropout. On my own bike, I added a rotating switch in the steerer tube, so I can turn the light on and off from the top of the stem.

      • Erik says:

        In case you chose to connect the taillight directly to the hub (taillight allways on), be sure to include a overvoltage protection. The one integrated in most taillights is designed to protect the light in case your headlight suddenly fails. It was never designed nor is it strong enough to continually protect the taillight from high voltages.

      • You are right, Erik. If your taillight is on, your headlight should be on as well.

  2. somervillebikes says:

    I’ve never examined an Edelux up close, but based on the last picture, it would appear that water can enter the housing through the wiring entry point. Is that port sealed? I can understand the desire to eliminate fulcrums because of the potential for them to loosen, but isn’t the possibility of water penetration of equal, if not greater, concern? I’ve been using homemade lever mounts without any loosening, even over bumpy fire trails and dirt roads.

    • That entry point is sealed. And since no water can pool there, it is fine. I have used “hanging” Edelux lights for quite a while now, both on my Urban Bike and through 10 hours of torrential thunderstorm in PBP, without problems. Of course, all Edelux lights carry Schmidt’s 2-year warranty.

  3. jack says:

    Jan, how are you wiring your tail lights?

    • We’ll cover that in detail in Bicycle Quarterly, but basically, I am running a single wire from the SON hub to the rotating switch inside the steerer tube. The switch then has two wires, one going to the head- and one to the taillight. The frame is the return for both. So basically, the head- and taillight are wired in parallel.

      For my son, we eliminated the switch (but still run everything into the steerer, from where the wires branch off), but the wiring is the same. His lights are on at all times.

  4. somervillebikes says:

    Whenever I internally route wiring in a frame for taillights/headlights, I run twin-conductor wiring and avoid using the frame for the electrical return path. I do this for two reasons: 1) using twin conductors and keeping the frame isolated from the lights’ circuits ensures a more reliable path for the current, instead of relying on frame/fender or frame/fork junctions for electrical continuity, and 2) if one conductor in the wiring were to sever or short, or fail for whatever reason, it would be trivial to reconfigure the system to run on a single-wire (using the other conductor), falling back on using the frame as the return. It’s like having a backup system built in.

    • Willem says:

      I really like the sensor switching for the extra safety it provides. You ride underneath a group of trees in a sun lit landscape or under a bridge, and the lights turn on automatically. I also like the tail light connector. Switches on tail lights are almost invariably unreliable, and as I said, the automatic switching is not only convenient, but also safe. So I applaud the effort the come up with an elegant hanging design, but for me the downside is too big.

  5. Rolly says:

    I made my own racks with light mounting tabs on the front, in the centre, hanging just below the platform so that the light sits just out in front and above the platform. The light sits far enough in front of the bag/cargo so that I can reach my fingers in to turn it on and off. I did this for two reasons: 1) The lights (an IQ Cyo) are meant to be mounted at fork crown height; 2) Though I love the look of lights mounted under the rack, doesn’t the wheel both splash water and dirt on the light and casue a shadow in the beam? Nobody else I know rides with these style lights and racks in my town so I’ve never been able to compare. I just reasoned that where I mount mine the fender would keep the light away from wheel splash and there’d be no obstruction of the beam.

    • There is no water spraying sideways out of fenders, so the light remains clean. On top of the fender, you usually get spray blown backward when riding fast, so a light mounted there tends to get dirty.

      For the shadow, if the light is mounted near the front of the rack, the tire’s shadow goes to the side, not forward, so it is not an issue at all.

      • I have found it necessary to return my EdiLux Head Lamp due to water contamination. The issue was covered under warranty, both times. The events that caused the contamincation were not unusual, descending fast in the rain. The lamp is mounted below the bag to the left of the tire, similar to your photo. Is the new ‘Hanging” version less apt to become contaminated?

      • Probably, as it doesn’t have the taillight connector. I have descended fast with my prototypes in hours of rain, and no problems. Overall, Schmidt reports that they have seen very few problems – that is why they can be generous with their warranty.

  6. John Hawrylak says:

    Nice Design and nice explanation.

    From the pictures, it looks like to headlight mounting ears are onboth sides of the rack eyelet, which would provide a stronger and stabler mounting. Can you provide a picture looking down at the mounted light?

    John Hawrylak
    Woodstown NJ

  7. mechBgon says:

    Does Schmidt have any plans on the table for a higher-output Edelux, with LEDs increasing their efficiency so quickly now? I have a Cyo N Plus, which people say is 90% of the Edelux’s performance. While it’s pretty good on a dark highway, my ageing eyes could always use a boost (particularly in more cluttered environments), so before I throw down $200 for that next 10% with the current Edelux, I’d be interested to know if there’s a revision coming down the pipeline that would make me regret my purchase.

  8. aushiker says:

    Looks like a nice solution. Would it work with the likes of Busch & Mueller Lumotec lights?

    • Lumotec lights are not available for hanging attachments. The old Schmidt E6 lights easily could be converted to a hanging attachment by filing the bayonet mount on the reflector so it could be mounted “upside-down.” But the old halogen lights offer such poor lighting compared to modern LED headlights that I have retired all of mine.

  9. Harald says:

    Riding through Montreal’s salty slush, I observed the spray around the front tire this morning. There definitely was a bunch of spray going to the side. Maybe this is dependent on your combination of tire and fenders, but with my studded winter tires and SKS longboards I’d say the amount of spray is slightly larger on the side than for a fork crown mounted light with sufficiently long fenders. That being said, I think in practice this doesn’t really matter. In worst case you’ll have to wipe off the light every once in a while.

    • Yes, with SKS fenders, there is no rolled edge to keep the water inside. So it sprays out to the sides. With metal fenders that have rolled edges, the water is channeled inside the fender, and drips off at the bottom. If your fender is long enough, it drips back onto the road. If it is too short, it joins the spray from the wheel that is directed at your feet and the chain.

  10. Steve Palincsar says:

    It’s a shame no “plug and play”solution (i.e., connectors installed, as you can supply for the standing mount) is available for the hanging mount Edelux. Soldering on those connectors is a tedious PITA.

    • You do it only once… and you get to make the wires exactly as long as you need them.

      • Steve Palincsar says:

        I’ve done it several times already, never very well (last time, solder ran down into one of the connectors and sealed it up). Working with that coax cable is no fun at all, it’s far too easy to cut the strands while removing the insulation — which is why cutting the wire exactly to length is a very dangerous proposition. But then, perhaps that’s just my lack of craftsmanship and proper tools. If it’s easy for you, all the more reason you should consider offering custom installation as an option!

      • somervillebikes says:

        Steve, you can get coax-stripping tools at any electrical supply house. I don’t understand why Schmidt uses coax cable, it doesn’t seem at all necessary. Personally, I just keep old cell phone chargers from my cell phones when they die, and this provides me an adequate source of thin, dual conductor wiring for my bike lighting projects.

  11. Drew Devereux says:

    I had 3 Edelux headlamps get wet inside. When water gets in the first thing you notice is that the light is on at walking speed, but reverts to standlight at speeds above that. If its dark and you have no spare light, the ride is over. Condensation can usually be seen inside the lens or on the mirror, or it may not show up until the next day. 
    A day or two later, the light may work normally again, with the condensation still visible inside. If left wet inside, I imagine the electronics inside could corrode. The first two I sent back under warranty.  The third one I still have. I unscrewed the lens ring and removed the lens. Then I blow-dried the interior of the light with a hair drier. Put it back together and covered the whole lamp with a piece of cling wrap. Not that attractive but it will stay dry inside now.  These lights are not advertised as being waterproof so it is good to know how to fix it instead of having to send it back (and waiting for a new one). 

    • I forwarded your comment to Schmidt. I am surprised, because my Edelux lights have been 100% reliable, and so have my friends. Somebody else mentioned that the light sensor could leak on these. Of course, my upside-down lights don’t have a light sensor, so perhaps that eliminates one potential for trouble. That said, my friends run standard Edelux lights, also trouble-free.

      Are yours mounted in a way where they are exposed to spray, like on the fork crown without a fender underneath, or at the front of the front fender?

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