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  1. #1
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    New helmet light started

    I got some of the XML optics that were posted in this thread...

    Good XML optic

    I started thinking about a new helmet light design to try them in. I had an XPG on a test setup and tried one of these optics with it. It seems like a pretty nice beam. Has anyone completed a light using these optics with XPGs? Seems like it might make a little tighter beam than an XML.

    Anyway, here are a couple pics of the optic holder portion of the new housing.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails New helmet light started-dscn0928.jpg  

    New helmet light started-dscn0933.jpg  


  2. #2
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    Looks nice mate. I'm actually using one of those optics on my Altair housing with an XP-G. I've got XM-L's in the outer 2 and an XP-G in the centre. It's a much tighter beam than the XM-L...perfect for a helmet light

  3. #3
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    tidy and awesome, all in one! I was hoping someone would try those optics + XP-G/2, as I was considering going twin XP-G2 for my next helmet light, unless the mythical XM-L2 comes out first. I only want to go up to 2A at most, so it's not like there'll be a huge difference between the two.

    Very much looking forward to the progress

  4. #4
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    @deesta. Thanks! I was originally planning to go with some under driven XMLs on this light, but after doing a quick check with my test rig and an XPG and your experience using an XPG, I'm leaning away from the XML.

    @matt. This is not going to be an all-in-one. It will have remote 2 or 4 cell pack options. Lflex will be in the lighthead. Have not decided on an integral switch or wired remote yet.

  5. #5
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    oh no, I wasn't suggesting that at all Sounds pretty much like what I'm planning, hence the interest in the results! I'd suggest thinking about a wired remote, both for packaging reasons (light can be smaller/ lighter) and convenience (slap helmet vs. grope for light). I was dead set on making a wireless remote, but it's just too hard for me to do from scratch and the space it would need would make the light too large.

    Ever thought about using delrin for the back cover to save weight? It's something I'm considering, as long as I can get enough surface area on the housing.

  6. #6
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    Another piece partially done. Still some more fins to cut and holes to drill.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails New helmet light started-dscn0940.jpg  

    New helmet light started-dscn0944.jpg  


  7. #7
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    interesting! Not at all what I expected either. How's it going to mount to your helmet and where's the Lflex going to go?

    looking forward to the rest of it too.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet View Post
    interesting! Not at all what I expected either. How's it going to mount to your helmet and where's the Lflex going to go?

    looking forward to the rest of it too.
    im guessing the lflex will mount under the top set of fins.

  9. #9
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    Nice work Vancbiker. You do have me baffled though.
    Can't wait to see the puzzle unfold.

  10. #10
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    HomeGrown has it. The driver goes in a pocket behind the upper fins. The holes in LED mount surface go into that pocket and will be where the wiring from the driver to the LED will pass.

    I'm planning on a version of the bent sheetmetal mount style that I use on my earlier helmet lights. That mount allows easy up/down adjustment.

    My hope is this layout will allow mounting very low and forward on the helmet and provide enough area to cool a pair of XMLs. To that end, if cooling seems adequate, I'll mill off the lower small fins.

  11. #11
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    Doh! I built this light for LEDs on 20mm stars. I typically use the 10mm stars and don't have anything in 20mm. Since I have to order LEDs, I am wavering on XPG2s or XMLs but leaning toward the XPG2s for a slightly tighter beam. Thoughts?

  12. #12
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    XP-G2s, just because I want you to take the beamshots No, really, they should have a similar Vf at 1.5A or so and only be slightly lower in output, with a tighter beam.

  13. #13
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    As it's going to be a helmet light and you want a tight beam I would go XPG2 .If the optics work with the XPE2 then maybe that's the answer.

  14. #14
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    You can push XP-G2 way beyond 1.5A. I've moded a flashlight from XR-E to G2 and am runing it at 3.2A. No angry blue even after 10min of use

  15. #15
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    Weird - I just accidentally fried a G2 in a 6up series array when I accidentally set my driver to 3A. Popped in about 20 seconds.

  16. #16
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    Bad heat path? Crappy PCB?

  17. #17
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    I have some XPG on 20mm stars I'd be happy to mail to you if you want to get your light going. You could come down to B'ham and pick them up if you want them really quickly!
    "It looks flexy"

  18. #18
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    PM sent! BTW I'm in the "other" Vancouver. Across the river from Portland

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    PM sent! BTW I'm in the "other" Vancouver. Across the river from Portland
    Oh, well send me your address and I'll get them in the mail!
    "It looks flexy"

  20. #20
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    Had a quick play with my revamped spare commuter light (XM-L @1.5A) in the parking lot last night - went from CW T6 or U2 (can't remember, think it was a T6) and Regina to NW T6 and LED DNA narrow optic. Definitely prefer the beam - much wider hotspot with a lovely smooth transition from spot to spill.

    I quickly compared it to my all-in-one light with pretty much the same LED and bare LC1 optic and the LED DNA hotspot was ~2x as wide although the spill was about the same. Can't remember about the cut off, although I think it was a bit sharper on the LC1. No beam shots, it was below freezing and a hot dinner was waiting at home.

    I'm really interested to see what the beam is like with an XP-G2.

    On the downside - I now want NW tints in all my lights

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet View Post
    Had a quick play with my revamped spare commuter light (XM-L @1.5A) in the parking lot last night - went from CW T6 or U2 (can't remember, think it was a T6) and Regina to NW T6 and LED DNA narrow optic. Definitely prefer the beam - much wider hotspot with a lovely smooth transition from spot to spill.

    I quickly compared it to my all-in-one light with pretty much the same LED and bare LC1 optic and the LED DNA hotspot was ~2x as wide although the spill was about the same. Can't remember about the cut off, although I think it was a bit sharper on the LC1. No beam shots, it was below freezing and a hot dinner was waiting at home.

    I'm really interested to see what the beam is like with an XP-G2.

    On the downside - I now want NW tints in all my lights
    Good info! I'm not gluing the stars down on this light so I can easily swap emitters. I'll start with XPGs, then try others when I get some on 20mm stars. I'm thinking about trying the NW tint as well though I have been happy enough with CW to date.

  22. #22
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    no worries I'll get round to some beam shots as soon as I can (feel my fingers outside) to see if I can capture the differences. The LC1 probably throws further, but I don't like small hotspots.

    As for NW tints - try it and you'll find it hard to go back. The improved colour rendering and contrast make a big difference in the woods, particularly when you're trying to pick out slippery angled roots hiding underneath a thick layer of leaves (not that I came off last night or anything..!). Besides, as cheap as LEDs are now, you won't be out much if you don't like it

  23. #23
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    Iíve just received some of these DNA 10 degree optics, plonked one on an XPG. The beam is quite wide when compared to the Regina.
    A more accurate description would be a much bigger hotspot and no outer ring.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by yetibetty View Post
    The beam is quite wide when compared to the Regina.
    A more accurate description would be a much bigger hotspot and no outer ring.
    That was about my thought with an XPG. Less focused than the Regina but approximately the same total angle.

    A little more progress on the housing. Driver cover is made. Still have to do a mount and cable entry holes.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails New helmet light started-dscn0960.jpg  

    New helmet light started-dscn0962.jpg  

    Last edited by Vancbiker; 11-09-2012 at 08:50 AM. Reason: spelling correction

  25. #25
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    Nice stuff. Are you doing this manually or CNC?

    I have just found an old housing that I made years ago and these optics fit so now have a twin XPG S2 bin version with a nice 2b tint that I will go for a ride with tonight. If I like it then I will make a new housing. So far it looks like I will.

    I think you'll be pleased with yours. Nice smooth beam!

  26. #26
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    Just got in, freezing cold. Time to make a new housing.

    Even though the hotspot is much bigger than with the Regina they throw just as far, if not further.

    Very reflector sort of beam for an optic with plenty of spill(that I didn't notice indoors)but no sharp cut off.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by yetibetty View Post
    Just got in, freezing cold. Time to make a new housing.

    Even though the hotspot is much bigger than with the Regina they throw just as far, if not further.

    Very reflector sort of beam for an optic with plenty of spill(that I didn't notice indoors)but no sharp cut off.
    Where do you get the DNA 10 degree optics?

    Nevermind, found them on ebay. Also, us the XML U3 cool white the XML to get at this point?
    Last edited by gticlay; 11-09-2012 at 12:12 PM.
    "It looks flexy"

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by gticlay View Post
    Where do you get the DNA 10 degree optics?
    Good old ebay............ see the link in Vancbikers first post.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by yetibetty View Post
    Nice stuff. Are you doing this manually or CNC?
    The outside profile of the optic holder part was CNC'd, the rest is all manual milled. It weighs 32g so am wanting to trim out a bit more metal.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    The outside profile of the optic holder part was CNC'd, the rest is all manual milled. It weighs 32g so am wanting to trim out a bit more metal.
    Well I wish I had your skills.

    I think that I will make a helmet and bar light with these optics as I think that the beam can do both jobs.

    I'll either run the helmet light at 1.2 A and the bar light at 750 MA or run them both at the same current and do the helmet light as a double and the bar light as a triple.

    Nice lens none the less.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by yetibetty View Post
    Well I wish I had your skills.
    What are you talking about! You've built some awesome lights.

  32. #32
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    I've been running a single helmet light on my night rides lately. It's an OG L332 XPG with the Carlco narrow optic (which isn't all THAT narrow). I think I can ride as fast with it as when I run my XPG 7-up plus a helmet light with a few occasions where our trails get super fast.

    What do you guys think would be the optimum medium throw, medium spot helmet light (building yourself)? I happened on a 4-up XPG board (and optic) that just seems like it might rock if you ran it @ 1.5A.

    Dunno, but I'm sort of getting obsessed with building something like that and would love your opinions.
    "It looks flexy"

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by gticlay View Post
    What do you guys think would be the optimum medium throw, medium spot helmet light (building yourself)? I happened on a 4-up XPG board (and optic) that just seems like it might rock if you ran it @ 1.5A
    The cute3 narrow is kind of a blend of flood and a bit of throw. It is too wide for my preference on the helmet. I'm currently running 2 of them on the bars and am sort of happy with it, but I plan to build something tighter.

    Hard to say about the quad. Is it the GT4 optic? I've not built with that and beamshots i have seen look pretty floody.

    So far the best helmet setup I have used is a 2 up XPG with Regina reflectors. Based on Yeti's comments, I have hopes these leddna optics will make a nice beam. The new XPG2 might really be the ticket.

  34. #34
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    Well, for now, I'm content to build up my 1440 lumen L334 Quazzle unit with the Carlco narrow - an additional 340 lumen would be nice. I'll be watching this thread and plotting my next light. Buuuhaaaahahahaaaa! I need to calm down!
    "It looks flexy"

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by gticlay View Post
    I've been running a single helmet light on my night rides lately. It's an OG L332 XPG with the Carlco narrow optic (which isn't all THAT narrow). I think I can ride as fast with it as when I run my XPG 7-up plus a helmet light with a few occasions where our trails get super fast.

    What do you guys think would be the optimum medium throw, medium spot helmet light (building yourself)? I happened on a 4-up XPG board (and optic) that just seems like it might rock if you ran it @ 1.5A.

    Dunno, but I'm sort of getting obsessed with building something like that and would love your opinions.
    If the 4-up XPG optic is a GT4 it is very floody and doesn't seem to get a lot of light out the front. i.e. Not very efficient. (my very old quad XRE is brighter).

    A good all rounder is the DNA 10 degree on the XPG as it's brighter and wider with just as much throw as the Regina but not at all what I would call wide. lots of soft light around the outside of the main beam and no sharp cut off. Floats my boat anyway

    I tried to take some beamshots tonight but had the camera on the wrong settings.
    Might have another go if I can get my arse off the sofa.

  36. #36
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    I have added some beam shots to the beamshot sticky so as not to hijack Vancbikers thread.

  37. #37
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    When the mind's eye and reality don't jive

    Finished up the mount and put it on the helmet. Not very good looking, maybe it will work well enough to offset that.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails New helmet light started-dscn0963.jpg  

    New helmet light started-dscn0966.jpg  


  38. #38
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    it's going to be dark when you use it, so who gives a monkeys? As long as it works!

  39. #39
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    It's original, unique, different, & clever. That's got to be good.

  40. #40
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    Innovative solutions always look a bit weird at first. Personally I'm into function over form and this light has some great features which push the boundaries of what is possible just that bit further and inspire the rest of us.

    Maybe one day all lights will look like this.

  41. #41
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    its not bad looking. nice and low profile.

  42. #42
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    I think it is awesome!

    You guys have inspired me to start my own project- keep up the good work!

    Don
    09 Specialized Rockhopper Comp 29er

  43. #43
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    I always am slightly dissatisfied with each new design I do. That way I can justify building another! I just started a different base piece for this light tonight. I think it will be a nicer looking, but still innovative package.

  44. #44
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    very nice start

  45. #45
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    Can we see the front?
    "It looks flexy"

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by gticlay View Post
    Can we see the front?
    Here you go.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails New helmet light started-dscn0968.jpg  


  47. #47
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    Looks good to me. Did the LEDs not show up?
    "It looks flexy"

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by gticlay View Post
    Did the LEDs not show up?
    Came in today. Thanks! I hope to test fit them tomorrow.

  49. #49
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    Looks interesting. Might be sleeker if you had the big fin section below the light, wide side down, he said typing from an armchair since he can't machine things...

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ofroad'bent View Post
    Might be sleeker if you had the big fin section below the light, wide side down,.
    I'm going to toss this version in the scrap pile. I have already made a start on version 2. Still going to have the driver above and behind the LEDs, just more compact. The original goals remain the same.

    Low profile
    Close to helmet front
    Enough area to cool 2 XMLs at 2A
    Around 50 grams

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