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  1. #1
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    Does anyone 'spray paint' their lights?

    I know anodising is better but our anodisers now have a 250 minimum order which makes it pretty expensive for a couple of lights.
    I've got a guy who does spraying working in the unit next door and was wondering if spray painting them could be an option?
    Anyone else done it?
    Steve

  2. #2
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    I don't know about spraying but I would guess a good automotive lacquer could be pretty durable. However, with some of the ornate milling you guys do, just getting paint into the nooks and crannies could prove arduous. I wonder if powdercoating is an option as well. That is done often for frames and has proven very durable too.

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    cerakote or whatever that gun black stuff is (you'll have to bake either) would work, odtexas I think did some tests of different stuff.

    Anything else won't stick though and ends up flaking/ rubbing off and looking generally like a pile of poo.

  4. #4
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    ...don`t do it!!

    there would be too much prepping, cleaning, masking threads,
    it would have to be airbrushed on to get in the fins
    not as durable in our english winter crap
    .... i could go on, and on, .....
    ...Scun.thorpe, UK

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    This really depends on why you want to coat the housing.

    If it's cosmetic, do whatever pleases you.

    If it's for emissivity (heat dissipation),
    You'll have a hard time beating a matte finish black paint, IF you want a protective coating.

    Black anodizing IS NOT THE BEST CHOICE of black finishes because it produces a smooth, shiny surface.

    And you best emissive result is going to be a rough (glass bead-blasted) surface ... NO COATING, AT ALL.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeabuser View Post
    Black anodizing IS NOT THE BEST CHOICE of black finishes because it produces a smooth, shiny surface.
    Anodizing may not be the best for heat dissipation but the above is slightly in error. Shiny black ano parts have to be shiny before anodizing or "bright dipped" (nitric and phosphoric acid bath) before anodizing. If you black anodize a beadblasted part it will be a matte black anodized part. In anodizing you get out what you put in. Dents, dings, scratches all persist through anodizing.

  7. #7
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    Might be of interest, paint is good:
    Flashlights Polished vs. Coated
    DIY LED Bike Lights:
    A few Dynamo builds and some Small battery lights

  8. #8
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    all metal parts, be shiny and black !
    it's got to be, baby smooth too,...
    seams to be the fashion.
    and girls like different colors !

    heat resistant paint, grill/car works good.

    if it has to last longer , than anodized, powder coat it is.
    ---
    other minor detail, hard ano, between led-pcb and housing, is worse on thermal,
    than bare Alu. but it looks good.
    ---
    if you got this far, with your housing, like Bender said, bite my shiny metal A@$@,
    get it done !

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    Quote Originally Posted by rschultz101 View Post
    all metal parts, be shiny and black !
    it's got to be, baby smooth too,...
    seams to be the fashion.
    and girls like different colors !

    heat resistant paint, grill/car works good.

    if it has to last longer , than anodized, powder coat it is.
    ---
    other minor detail, hard ano, between led-pcb and housing, is worse on thermal,
    than bare Alu. but it looks good.
    ---
    if you got this far, with your housing, like Bender said, bite my shiny metal A@$@,
    get it done !
    I hope you're kidding ... Because PC would be the worst coating, if thermal dissipation is the goal.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeabuser View Post
    I hope you're kidding ... Because PC would be the worst coating, if thermal dissipation is the goal.
    not kidding.
    for undersized heatsinks, not recommended, as you noted, worse for thermal.
    ---
    it was just an FYI.
    the MIL-spec guys, like the powder coat , better than the ano parts. their heatsinks are more like bricks .
    the new tech, is , using some ceramic in the powder, to increase thermal.
    have multiple lights , sitting around, that are powder coated.
    but those, ain't going to be lightweight helmet lights, or shiny and black.
    for those guys, not shiny and some shade of green is in.

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    sorry Rob, but in my experience black heat resistant paint blows goats when it comes to painting aluminium, even when the surface was etched. It doesn't even do a great job of coating brake drums, as the now rusty 4mth old drums on my car would attest.

    Either anodising or bare aluminium (which has it's own coating I guess) are my personal choices. Baked on gun cote or cerakote, as I mentioned above, are supposed to work well though.

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    Hi Matt, agreed !

    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet View Post
    sorry Rob, but in my experience black heat resistant paint blows goats when it comes to painting aluminium, even when the surface was etched. It doesn't even do a great job of coating brake drums, as the now rusty 4mth old drums on my car would attest.

    Either anodising or bare aluminium (which has it's own coating I guess) are my personal choices. Baked on gun cote or cerakote, as I mentioned above, are supposed to work well though.

  13. #13
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    Steve you need to send your lights to one of us with an ano setup to do it for you.

  14. #14
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    +1 on what brad72 said. There are guys on this site that have done some amazing anodizing. With all the effort and time they've put into learning how to anodize, you might as well contact them and see what they can do for you.

  15. #15
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    +1 to that!

    I am in the process of moving house but the new place has a big garage that will become a workshop. I will certainly be able to ano some lights for you but just not on the next few weeks

  16. #16
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    Looks like I opened a can of worms with this....some interesting reading

    Hadn't even thought of all the guys on here doing anodising, great idea

    Righto, anyone in the UK willing to do some anodising for me? What I might do is run my lights for now. Then, when the light nights come in March, break them down for anodising...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeabuser View Post
    This really depends on why you want to coat the housing.

    If it's cosmetic, do whatever pleases you.

    If it's for emissivity (heat dissipation),
    You'll have a hard time beating a matte finish black paint, IF you want a protective coating.

    Black anodizing IS NOT THE BEST CHOICE of black finishes because it produces a smooth, shiny surface.

    And you best emissive result is going to be a rough (glass bead-blasted) surface ... NO COATING, AT ALL.
    Where did you get this info. In my researching when I was learning how to anodize I found it to be the opposite. I read that bare alum was the worse, then painted, and finally anodizing to be the best. I don't think fully understand the anodizing process, it does not produce a smooth shiny surface regardless of color. It puts a small layer of oxidication and that is what helps with the heat disipation. That is why you see cpu heatsinks always anodized, not polished or painted.

    In my experince I didn't notice a big difference in heat with painted vs anodized. I used self etching primer then just regular spray paint. I didn't really have an accurate way of testing the heat.

    painted light:


    Anodized light:

  18. #18
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    I think the main thing with anodizing is it hardens the surface some and is more resistant to scratching than a painted surface. It is also very hard to get the correct paint thickness. That said to get a nice ano finish one needs to polish the alloy prior to anodizing and then make sure the housing does not spend too much time in the de-ox/de-smut solution of the gloss will be lost.

    Regarding heat transfer the emissivityof polished alloy is 0.05, painted alloy is 0.2-0.67 vs anodized alloy at 0.77. It clearly shows that the thickness of paint coating has quite a bearing on how well the housing will dissipate heat. Polished alloy is pretty crap as the number show because it traps the heat and doesn't emit much.

    All that being said a black painted housing should in theory be better that a raw alloy one as it can emit heat from the surface.

  19. #19
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    Looks like there is a benefit to get my lights either painted or anodised. I've given the guy who sprayed my frame an old light to spray up to see what it looks like. He reckons you only get about 0.03mm paint thickness. If it looks good, I'll go that way for now. I can get the front light colour matched to my frame then too.
    I'm in the process of trying to get my boss to invest in some proper anodising equipment too as there's a big shortage of 'small batch' anodisers locally due to the excessive minimum orders so, in the near future, I may well be able to do my own anodising...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by deesta View Post
    Looks like there is a benefit to get my lights either painted or anodised. I've given the guy who sprayed my frame an old light to spray up to see what it looks like. He reckons you only get about 0.03mm paint thickness. If it looks good, I'll go that way for now. I can get the front light colour matched to my frame then too.
    I'm in the process of trying to get my boss to invest in some proper anodising equipment too as there's a big shortage of 'small batch' anodisers locally due to the excessive minimum orders so, in the near future, I may well be able to do my own anodising...
    I will be anodising my latest light as soon as I have my workshop set up and I'll gladly do yours too. I only have black and an orangey gold dye. I'll keep you informed as to when I am ready to do them if you like.

  21. #21
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    Odtexas had a good write up a while back about using Rust Oleum textured spray paint: So I got a Toaster Oven for Valentine's Day

  22. #22
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    Got my lights back from the painter today and am really impressed with the finish. Not as hard as anodising but should e plenty hard enough for general use. He did a grand job of getting in all the fins.
    It actually makes the lights look smaller and less obtrusive too. A few pics...






  23. #23
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    Awesome

  24. #24
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    Does anyone 'spray paint' their lights?

    Looks like you got a good painter there. Nice job.

  25. #25
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    Wooooo! they look great Steve, nice finish,
    any assembly issues, threads etc?
    and how about a `not so close` pic of the lights on that lovely Intense 6.6
    [edit].......... lets be having some beamshots eh!!
    Last edited by HEY HEY ITS HENDO; 02-28-2013 at 08:51 PM. Reason: Request Beamshots
    ...Scun.thorpe, UK

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