Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,900 Lumens 12X XML Light

    So, it's been years since I last posted a light creation here, and figured it was time for another injection of lumen medicine here for you light addicts on MTBR. I’ve been riding with my custom built lights for a while now, and have had some friends ask me to build them a monster light of their own. My close riding friends are my buds, but due to the sheer nature of the time involved in manually machining my lights and finishing them in the past, I just didn’t have the time to make a WTF, or Rubix light for any of them.

    Before I continue any further, below are some links to my past creations in case you may have missed my posts years back:

    Wall-E: Wall-E - The Dual Ostar Light 2,000 lumens
    Rubix: Rubix - The Quad D-Bin P7 Light 3,600 lumens
    Rubii: Rubii (aka Rubix Dual) – The 8X D-Bin P7 Light 7,200 lumens
    WTF: WTF - The Quad SST-90 (SSR-90) Light 8,600 lumens

    History:

    So one day while perusing the intarwebz, I found import multi-emitter flashlights and thought to myself, “Hey I can merge part of this flashlight with part of something I could create to get high powered lights into the hands of my close riding friends – all with a fraction of the work”. And thus, the idea of the half-import-half-USA-made light was born. I decided to name this light, “Happa”.

    Enter the cheap import multi-emitter flashlight, exhibit A:Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_1.jpg

    I bought this particular flashlight for under $100, which is built using 15X XML T6 emitters. It’s advertised as putting out 18,000 lumens, but we all know better than to trust these false overstated ratings. You can get these also in 12X and 18X, and various other numbers of emitters, but the first Happa I built was based off the 15X model.

    Design Phase:

    Using my usual fashion of stem-mounted faceplates (see WTF and Rubix designs), my goal was to build a light base that I could simply unscrew the head of the flashlight and screw into my light base and have a functioning bike light. The idea here is to use the flashlight’s electronics and emitters, and use minimal wiring in the base itself. With this design, a replacement can be had by simply buying another flashlight and swapping the head onto the base again - in the event that the light head is damaged or destroyed in a crash.

    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_2.jpgHappa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_3.jpgHappa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_4.jpgHappa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_5.jpg

    The Build:

    After the design was complete, I began purchasing the small electronic parts (pigtail connection, switch, switch boot, and ring terminals) and decided to do a CNC run of the parts instead of the manual machining that I had done in the past. And in an effort to save time, I ran the parts through an ano shop instead of my usual anodizing in my garage.

    Some of the Completed Parts:

    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_6.jpg

    And after some assembly, Happa was born:

    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_7.jpg

    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_8.jpg

    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_9.jpg

    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_10.jpg

    And some photos mounted on bike:

    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_11.jpg

    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_12.jpg

    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_13.jpg

    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_14.jpg

    Bench Testing:

    Before I set out for a ride, I hooked the light up to my power supply and tested various voltages to see what kinds of output it would make. Upon testing I found that the driver was definitely not a constant current buck driver, but varied output based on input voltage. I didn’t bother to measure Vf of the LED string or the current driven to the LEDs, but made some very rough assumptions of driver efficiency and lumens per watt outputs and jotted down the following data:

    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_15.jpg

    This particular flashlight was advertised as requiring 4 li-ion cells to run, for a nominal voltage of 14.8V. At its peak, a 14.8V cell pack would make 16.8V, causing this light to draw around 77 watts of power – and by my quick estimation, 6100-6200 lumens or so…. a far cry from the 18,000 lumens as advertised. I really liked what I saw when the voltage was upped to 18.6V, but finding a pack voltage close to this was going to be nearly impossible, seeing as my 18.5V packs are 21V at their peak voltage.

    You can quickly see just how fast the lumen output drops if a 14.8V pack is used. I opened up the light and found that the emitters were wired 5S3P, which explained the sharp drop-off after around 14V - this voltage must be coming very close to the total Vf of the 5-series LED string. But I decided to try riding the light anyways to see how it would perform.

    Riding impressions (1st go-around):

    At first the light was awesome. 6000+ lumens…. and it was relatively easy to get. But after the show-and-tell session with my riding buddies, I flipped the light into low power to conserve energy for the climb on our ride. Upon descent, the battery had some time to discharge, but light output was still great. After a short while, it seemed just not as powerful as it was originally. Still bright, but not that jaw dropping, ‘holy $**t’ power. Nearing the end of the ride, the light was no brighter than anyone else's light.

    It was apparent that due to the 5-series LED Vf, the light only allows a half of the battery pack to be used. I wasn’t exactly happy with its performance. So what to do now?

    I decided that I really wanted a constant current buck driver in this light, but that called for more work than the “plug-and-play” design that I originally set out to build. I opted to retrofit Happa to use George’s TaskLED H6Flex driver as I did for the WTF light, which would allow me to use my 18.5V packs that I typically run on my previous lights. Upon opening the light, I found the body to be too small to accommodate the H6Flex:

    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_16.jpg

    No sweat, I yanked out the cheap import driver, and bored out the light body to just slightly larger than the H6Flex:

    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_17.jpg

    And then built a small heatsink for the H6Flex to mount to:

    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_18.jpg

    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_19.jpg

    I then lowered the Vf of the LED string to ensure that I could use the full power of my 18.5V pack by by shorting out one LED of each of the 5-series strings. The result is a 4S3P connection of the 12 remaining XML LEDs:

    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_20.jpg

    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_21.jpg

    I didn’t take photos of final wiring, but basically I switched from a latched toggle switch to a momentary switch (as required by the H6Flex driver), and wired the head to my light base housing. With the new LED 4S3P wiring, and 6.6 amps of current, I estimate about 8,900 lumens based on the Cree XML luminous-flux-vs-input-current charts. (Cree PCT tool estimates 8,912 lumens):

    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_23b.jpg

    Riding Impressions (2nd go-around):

    The following week, I took Happa out on a night ride and LOVED it! It was a blast to be able to use the light without worrying about an ultra-short run-time due to the previous Vf issue, and it was great to not have the output decrease as the ride progressed. Although still more work than I had originally planned, having 8,900 lumens on tap without nearly the amount of work I had to put into the WTF light was the icing on the cake. At the end of my night ride, I let loose and rode all out on the final descent of the night, as if it were day.

    Beam Shots:

    In the spirit of doing less work, I’ve decided not to take beam shots… I mean, what’s the point right?

    But in the case you are wondering, I did find that the flashlight originally was a tad on the spotty side. The photos posted above of Happa complete show the glass frosted with Rustoleum frosted glass spray, which produces a nice floody beam with the most intensity at the center – just the way I like it.

    My friends are happy campers now, and casting shadows on me with my own damn lights during our night rides.

    (Edit 4/4/15 - Beamshots added below):

    First set of beamshots taken using the MTBR “Standard Camera Settings” on tripod:
    ISO 100, F4, 6 Seconds

    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_sd.jpg

    Next set of beamshots taken using the:
    MTBR "Standard Camera Settings for High Powered Lights"
    ISO 100, F4, 1 Sec

    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_hp.jpg

    And thought I'd post just one more pic for good measure, of the size comparison between the Happa, Rubix, and WTF bar lights. Happa is sized right in between WTF and Rubix in terms of both size and weight. Perhaps, she's the "mamma bear"... just right!

    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_24.jpg
    Last edited by cosmoworks; 04-25-2015 at 10:57 PM. Reason: Edit lumen rating. Cree PCT tool estimates 8,912 lumens

  2. #2
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    Has been ages since one of your stellar creations graced these pages. As usual, beautiful job there!!!
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

  3. #3
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    Beam shots, please!!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    Has been ages since one of your stellar creations graced these pages. As usual, beautiful job there!!!
    Vancbiker, yes!! Ages is an understatement! This project was a long time in the making just due to the sheer lack of time on my hands. I don't know how I ever had the time to do the previous builds!

    Quote Originally Posted by Advard View Post
    Beam shots, please!!
    Advard, beamshots posted above! Enjoy...
    Last edited by cosmoworks; 04-05-2015 at 03:13 PM.

  5. #5
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    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,900 Lumens 12X XML Light

    UPDATE:

    So I noticed that my reading of the cree luminous flux versus current charts were a tiny bit off, and found that using the Cree PCT tool (pct.cree.com) shows that Happa is estimated to be 8,912 lumens and not the 8,800 as I originally thought. I'll take it!

    But on another note, I recently modified a 12X flash light head instead of a 15X head. My reason for using the 12X head was so that I didn't have to disable 3 of the LED's to make it work with the H6flex driver, and that I'd have a slightly larger reflector area as an added benefit.

    Upon the disassembly of the 12X head, I found that the wiring was different than the 15X head. It appeared that the 15X head used a cheap buck driver, but that the 12X head used a cheap boost driver. In any case, the 12X head was wired 6S2P. It took some cutting of the original board traces and re-wiring, but I managed to rewire it up to the 4S3P wiring that I needed:

    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_3b.jpg

    Then yet, on another 15X head, I decided to try 3S5P wiring for use with a friend's 14.8V pack instead of the 18.5V packs that I use myself. The 3S5P wiring enabled me to light up all 15 LEDs, but it took some very creative trace cutting and wire jumping to achieve 3S5P:

    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_4b.jpg

    All lit up!...

    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_5b.jpg

    Turns out lighting up all 15 LEDs actually puts out less lumens than the 12 LED setup, topping out at 7,419 lumens:

    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_6b.jpg

    On the next few builds I was able to finagle status LEDs in place of a screw on the back of the light for the status output of the H6Flex (it's hard to see in the photo below, but it's there). Also in one of the builds, it wasn't too hard to fit the Apem push button switch that I've used in past builds:

    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_2b.jpg

    And the last part of my update includes the testing of a partially frosted lens (see light on the left). So far, I've tested no frost (right), full frost (middle), and partial frost (left), and the partial frost seems to have the best output pattern, since it allows the 4 middle LEDs to put out a 3,000 lumen spot up ahead with the rest of the 8 emitters throwing out the massive flood:

    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_1b.jpg

    That is all. Enjoy

  6. #6
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    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,900 Lumens 12X XML Light

    UPDATE 2: (Partially frosted lens beamshots)

    One last update. I finally had a chance to go back out and take some beamshots of the partially frosted lens (light on the left from the photo in my last post).

    I was about to post up beamshots at all the different camera settings and power levels as I did before, but realized that the "Standard Camera Settings" pretty much looked the same. So no point in posting those.

    Instead here's a "Before" (top) compared to the "After" (bottom) at the "Standard Camera Settings for High Powered Lights" instead, since the difference between beam patterns can be seen better at the HP settings. It's real subtle, but you can tell that the partially frosted lens throws out further than the fully frosted lens, as expected...

    Happa - Half-Import-Half-Domestic 8,800 Lumens 12X XML Light-happa_lens_compare_hp.jpg

    Again, it's really hard to gauge this from beamshots, but I'm finding this beam pattern is actually just perfect!

  7. #7
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    Good looking light mate. I do like the idea of the cnc run and anodizing. As fun as doing it at home is it's much easier to have it arrive at our door ready to go.
    Last edited by brad72; 06-01-2015 at 07:36 PM.

  8. #8
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    Thanks Brad. Yes, the outsourcing of most of the steps that I've performed myself in the past, has allowed me simultaneously have a life, and enjoy the fruits of someone else's labor

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