Light Ideas/Help- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Light Ideas/Help

    looking to add some handle bar lights to my bike... anyone have any suggestions for me?

    or any one on here who made a diy light interested in selling to me?

    i had thought using a hose clamp on the handle bars and than using one around a flashlight attached to the one on the bars would work but im having problems finding a good priced led flash light that is small.


    any help would be appreciated.

    thanks guys!

  2. #2
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    i found these and had planned on using them:

    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.13004


    i just need to find a decent light to match up.

  3. #3
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    Here is what I use

    If you just want to mount flashlights I recommend this:

    http://www.kaidomain.com/ProductDeta...ProductId=6267

  4. #4
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    i was hoping to gather some other ideas.....

  5. #5
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    Other ideas

    i was hoping to gather some other ideas.....
    Such as?

    There are tons of discussions on using flashlights (torches) as primary lighting. Seems like this one:
    https://forums.mtbr.com/lights-night-riding/night-ride-just-torches-519058.html
    has some good info.

    My cheapo lighting setup will one day be replaced by nice bright P7s, but until that day comes it works well for the commute in (1-1.5 hours of darkness). It has survived numerous batteries (a mixture of two dozen rechargeable AAs and a handful of RCR123a that have a separate battery pack) and bumps, bruises, and spills over the past several months. I've put it on both my road bike and mtb, along with a cheapo headlamp (135 lumen RR from Target on sale for $7.50) and ticked off my friends who shelled out $300 for their dimmer setups. Why AA batteries? I have tons of them and four chargers. I have ordered my 18650 lithium-ions, which will lighten my load from 8 batteries to 4.

    While it isn't fancy it has worked and will probably continue to work for the long haul. I made it for less than $40 out of a couple of R2 P60 flashlight dropins, the kind used to upgrade SureFire and clone flashlights. The dropins are cheap and already have regulators, you just need to attach wires and batteries to get them to work.
    I you want single-mode I recommend this one from kaidomain.com:
    https://kaidomain.com/ProductDetails...ProductId=1769
    If you want multiple modes such as Hi-Low-Medium try these, they are what I used because the KD ones were not out yet:
    https://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.14442


    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Here is the el cheapo from the front sporting the diffusers cut from an old fluorescent light cover. You can see the weird textured aluminum tubing from an old extendable light bulb changer I had broken. I have replaced these old diffusers with Glad Press N Seal, which works much better. The inserts fit inside the tubing perfectly and they transfer heat fairly well to the outside. The back is sealed up with a round piece of aluminum and good old JB Weld. It is mounted with two of the shotgun light holders from DX (before I found the twofish clones at KD).



    Here is a rearshot showing the wiring and the switches waterproofed with an old road tube, the most useful tool on the planet.



    Here is a shot of the battery holder, thanks to the ADA Tour de Cure for the bottle.



    And finally the inside of the battery case, padded using foam from a shipping container from work. I used RCA connectors for switching between the AA battery packs and the RCR123As.

    I have since replaced these holders with some from RadioShack that don't require a screwdriver to change batteries.




    If I remember I'll post updated pics, including nice shrink-tubing and cleaned up mounting when I get home tonight.
    Last edited by xiejol; 07-14-2009 at 07:26 AM.

  6. #6
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    Nice tutorial
    Its great to see how much can be done with the least amount of $$$ spent.

  7. #7
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    hey i like your light setup its good.. however i am looking for something that is very bright and will light the trails up.

  8. #8
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    Hee hee

    however i am looking for something that is very bright and will light the trails up.
    The R2s are nice and bright, two of them lights up trail and road alike. I'm going down curvy potholed hills in the +30mph range without problems. The Press N Seal makes trail lighting great.

    P7s are a lot brighter, but you're moving into 18650 battery range and will need both batteries and chargers. For $23 I could put a MC-E dropin in the place of an R2 for a quick upgrade, but I'll probably buy a P7 flashlight and chop it down to fit an external battery pack.

    I keep another R2 flashlight as a backup light, but I find that flashlights wobble, even with the nice mounts, more than I like.

    I'll try and get some beamshots tonight, but I won't be on the trail for a while (road in summer, too hot for trails until fall)
    Last edited by xiejol; 07-14-2009 at 08:32 AM.

  9. #9
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    One other thing...

    Keep in mind, these dropins are not crappy little lights like you see in the bike shops and at the department store. These things can blind someone at night. I laugh everytime someone comes by my office, looks at the lights, and turns them on.

  10. #10
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    can someone show me what the p7s look like on a bike?


    also what is "p7"

  11. #11
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    P7, MC-E, R2, etc...

    A P7 is a LED emitter from Seoul Semiconductors (SSC) consisting of 4 separate LEDs on a single die. It is rated by SSC to run up to 900 lumens, but most are not driven hard enough to do so. Most run 400-700 lumens max.

    Some of the other LEDs that are out there are the R2s, which usually put out 200-250 lumens each, the MC-E, which may go from 300-600 lumens, and several others.

    You can search this and other forums for "beamshots" and find lots of pics.

    Start here for some beamshots of P7s and others.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=485574

  12. #12
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    so as i take it ... seems like running 2 p7's is the way to do it ??

  13. #13
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    P7s

    You could buy two P7 flashlights and they would work wonderfully. You would have to switch out batteries every 45 minutes to an hour, so carry spares. Search around here, someone posted pics of two P7s lighting up a dirt road and it was nice.

    A P7 flashlight will run at least $30, batteries on DX are around $8/pair (do NOT buy 3000 mAh, they don't work well with the load), the charger runs around $7, and then whatever mounts you like.

    The only downside to flashlights is runtime since battery space is limited. I like being able to run for 3 hours or so, even though I only ride about 1.5 hours in the dark. The upside is being able to use your bike light while camping or running or whatever.

  14. #14
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    updated photos

    Here are a few pictures from the (nearly) finished lights.

    Here you can see where I've mounted the lights together using a shotgun mount, then attached the mount to another mount, creating a T


    Here is a shot showing the front and the Glad Press N Seal diffusers, which eliminate the hotspot. You get a smoother light, at a slight brightness compromise, but with night vision it makes sense because there is no spot to blind you.


    I cleaned up the switch. It is just a couple of switches taped to a popsicle stick, covered with a piece of road tube, and sealed with heat-shrink tubing (RadioShack).


    Here is the spare RCR123A battery holder. I cut out the middle of a AA holder and used some wire from a twist-tie to reconnect the bottom to the top. Works very well, but only for emergencies since the RCR123As only run for about 40 minutes.


    Here are the 4-AA packs, which have been my primary battery source until now.


    I just got my 18650 batteries in from DX, so I haven't had time to build a proper battery pack for them. For now I've added some clips to an old storage case. Later I'll cut some plastic to build my own 4-pack holder; with 2 batteries in series x2



    Again, this was meant to be cheap and a learning experience. The lights work well, but I can't wait to upgrade to P7s or MC-Es. Once the 18650 pack is built it will be easy to upgrade.
    Last edited by xiejol; 07-14-2009 at 08:18 PM.

  15. #15
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    Beamshots

    Not as impressive as others, but it cost $40. This bar-mounted setup is used along with a fairly powerful headlamp. The photos don't do it justice, but they were set at the best manual setting my crappy point-and-shoot allows. You'll notice lots of spill, thank the Press N Seal for that.

    Control shot:


    AA battery packs, 1 light:


    AA battery packs, 2 lights:


    18650 battery packs, 2 lights:


    You'll notice the Lithium Ion shots are a bit brighter. The lights run hotter as a result, but since I'm always moving they stay cool. In the long term it is probably better to use them for the better runtimes, power, and weight savings.

    Anyway, lots of posts for a single question, but you wanted ideas. I'm tempted to buy two MC-E dropins just because they are easier to use. If I go the P7 route it involves chopping up an existing flashlight or building from scratch and I don't know if I want to do that yet.

  16. #16
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    Hey AeRO,

    You could have a look at my CNC'd housings. Here's a link to the main thread or have a look at the website.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=481325

    I've got a couple left....

    Steve

  17. #17
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    hey deesta i sent u a private msg sorry for my delay

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