It depends on your priorities and current equipment.
First let's consider the alternatives.
- Light Pets
- Shine Potion
The good thing about the Mining helmet is that it will allow you to see everything around you constantly, without the need of placing torches every time you settle somewhere. The problem is that in early game the lack of defense can be problematic, specially in biomes with a lot of monsters. If you, on the other hand, have good enough equipment, the lack of defense won't be that much of a problem and the helmet will be great.
Having said that you can also consider crafting shine potions, which require Daybloom and Glowing Mushrooms. However to make this a viable long term option you will need two small Daybloom and Glowing Mushrooms farms, to maintain your stock of ingredients.
Finally the light pets are a possibility, but in the early game they're quite lacking, as the light they provide is not much.
Personally I prefer using torches. If you plan on going hardmode on that specific world, they're only a small investment of time, given that you will be constantly using the tunnels you dug before.