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 Post subject: Ultimate DIY Light Kit
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:58 am 
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revolting kitty
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DIY Kitties: i'd like to create the ultimate DIY light set parts list and instruction manual. Here are the requirements:

1. $150 USD in parts total
2. Handlebar light 2000 lumens
3. Helmet light 1000 lumens
4. Rear red light 500 lumens
5. One switch controls helmet and handlebar high/low function for oncoming traffic/battery conservation.
6. Two-hour run time on high beam

What do?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:21 am 
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stealth kitty
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Here's a starting point - you can probably modify this for the bike.

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-S

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:27 pm 
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revolting kitty
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Nice!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:21 pm 
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big hucker
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I don't have a well rounded knowledge in DIY lights, so I'll just share my shade-tree experience. ;)

If you visit the CREE website, you can do comparisons between the different XML LEDs (at varying amperage) they offer.

The printout I have shows the T6 bin will put out 910 lumen at 3A and the U2 will put out 975 at 3A. But, they're not designed to run at that amperage for an extended amount of time. You may need to use 2-3 LED to reach the 2000 lumen bar light (U2 at 2A produces 713 lumen, three would give you ~ 2100).

I think the biggest obstacle to your budget will be the batteries. I was able to salvage my batteries from laptop battery packs. New (quality) 18650 batteries are not cheap. You'll need a fairly large pack to run 6A worth of lights for two hours.

What type of housings were you considering? I've seen people re-use off the shelf housings (like I did), create housings out of 1" square aluminum tubing, and even make some beautiful housings from scratch using mills/lathes.

The cheap LED drivers are what I've used (from Kaidomain at ~ $5 each). But, you can buy much better options for not much more (google search "LED driver").

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:30 pm 
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revolting kitty
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Yep - I loved your laptop battery pack. I bet I can salvage some on the cheap.

Was looking to see if we, as a group could come up with something to share with people with little or no experience to take a $150 gamble on a little project.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:43 pm 
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bad kitty!
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Big S. is the key here.


Magura /who just got his first sponsored bike :D

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:50 am 
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revolting kitty
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http://kaidomain.com/product/details.S020991


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:51 am 
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revolting kitty
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http://kaidomain.com/product/details.S020992


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:07 am 
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big hucker
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That bar light might be worth a try. That torch is crazy! I can't imagine it'll put out anywhere near 13,000 lumen. :lol:

Still, I have a couple of 1,000 (rated) lumen torches that run off a single 18650 and I really like them. I usually bring one (with a handlebar clamp) in my pack when I go night riding just in case I need it.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:48 am 
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revolting kitty
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http://kaidomain.com/product/details.S021113

I'm becoming convinced these are a good gamble. Look at this thing!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:08 am 
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revolting kitty
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Okay, here's the combo:

http://kaidomain.com/product/details.S020906

http://kaidomain.com/product/details.S021014


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:51 am 
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fat kitty!
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A bit confused here, are you going to buy some nice, ready made bike lights and modify them to make it DIY? Apart from the single switch to toggle between high and low, what's the point if they already work just fine?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:45 pm 
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big hucker
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Wmac wrote:

Cool finds! I'll be honest, I want someone to buy and test them so I can see how they actually perform. :)

Wmac, do you own a digital camera with manual setting override? It would be neat to start a beam shot thread for off-the-shelf lights.

When I get done with these fork rebuilds I'll start one, post the preferred camera settings, and put up some beam shots of the LED torches I've bought.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:34 pm 
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revolting kitty
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Sandrenseren wrote:
A bit confused here, are you going to buy some nice, ready made bike lights and modify them to make it DIY? Apart from the single switch to toggle between high and low, what's the point if they already work just fine?


I was going to build them and got laughed at for my cost objective. When I started researching parts, I found these two that fit the criteria.

Can we build something as good or better for less?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:40 pm 
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grumpeh kitty!
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marpilli wrote:
Still, I have a couple of 1,000 (rated) lumen torches that run off a single 18650 and I really like them. I usually bring one (with a handlebar clamp) in my pack when I go night riding just in case I need it.


I bring one for the helmet, one for the bars and one spare in the backpack.

BTW, there may be a flood of slightly-used lithium batteries on the market soon:
http://money.cnn.com/2013/02/15/news/ai ... ?hpt=hp_t3

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:02 pm 
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grumpeh kitty!
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Wmac wrote:
I was going to build them and got laughed at for my cost objective. When I started researching parts, I found these two that fit the criteria.


I certainly wouldn't laugh at you for your cost objective, but I will say for a ground-up build to meet all those specs, it is very aggressive.

So, keeping with the "ground-up" approach for the moment:

I know you have seen the "Very Easy XM-L Build" thread over on EB. IMHO something along those lines may be the closest you're going to get for the head & bar lights within your cost target. Instead of sourcing aluminum conduit parts, it may be easier to start with Marwi-style housings from Hoffman Amps, and particularly the "Double new style Marwi lights" about 3/4 of the way down the page. For $18 you get 2 lights, pre-wired with switches. From there you gut the halogen bits and repopulate with XM-Ls. You could go with parts (emitters, drivers, heatsinks) from that site or get them cheaper from DX or KD. This would be your bar light arrangement, but you won't get 2,000 lm "out the front." A similar approach with a single housing would get you the helmet light, but again you won't get 1,000 lm OTF.

That said, none of the lights you linked to at KD are going to provide the advertised lumens OTF. I don't even see how they can claim 3,600 lm from 3x 1,000 lm lights (the 3x XM-L model). However, it might get you to your 2,000 lm bar light goal; but I'm not sure what run time you're going to get with a 2S2P battery pack.

And I don't have an answer for the single switch solution. If it's what I think you're saying, I don't personally want my helmet light tethered anywhere lower than my backpack's shoulder strap; nor would I want my bar lights attached to my body in any way.

Anyway -- enough blathering by me -- if you can get close to your goal, whether by ground-up or by modding already completed products, it will be deserving of major kudos.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:13 pm 
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revolting kitty
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Are there any wireless controller options? Also, how much better would a ground up build be compared to the $100 in lights above?

I suspect one could change light patterns and battery packs if the ready made ones aren't sufficient.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:34 pm 
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grumpeh kitty!
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Wmac wrote:
Are there any wireless controller options? Also, how much better would a ground up build be compared to the $100 in lights above?


I haven't looked into wireless switches, but there may be RF devices small enough to use.

I honestly don't know if you could build up a *much* better product, for the money, than the lights you posted. One advantage is you'd have control over the build quality (soldering, heatsinking, etc.). Instead of single XM-Ls like I posted above, you could look into something like a triple XM-L emitter in a different housing with optics, or one of the new Cree MK-R emitters with a buck driver. Not sure what this does to the cost, though.

Quote:
I suspect one could change light patterns and battery packs if the ready made ones aren't sufficient.


Yes. You could build a battery pack with as much capacity as you care to load onto your bike or person.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:27 pm 
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revolting kitty
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Yeah, difficult or impossible to beat. I was looking forward to building a light set, but it looks like ready made stuff is going to be impossible to beat.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:49 pm 
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big hucker
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If I had to do it over again, I probably would have just bought two of these (US seller): http://bit.ly/11LlxjH

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:29 pm 
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lurkin' kitty
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the wiring is awful on those maripilli
we night ride allot in the winter here due to no other choice
the housing on that light cracks and shorts out
its lumens are no where near 1200
was about as bright as my cygo 740 turbo and that was over rated
I got a smoking deal on a seca 1700 enduro so I'm good for a while
the light pattern is so good


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:22 am 
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big hucker
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That's good to know, thank you. If/when mine fail I'm gonna just use XML flashlights and see how that works.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:10 am 
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revolting kitty
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Orange - is it worth it for the LED, battery, charger and lenses? I imagine having those parts are worth the price. Once it starts breaking down, salvage with a custom housing and re-wired, etc.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:29 pm 
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lurkin' kitty
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I was not impressed with the reflector
like my cygolight 740 turbo I had "sold" it has a hot spot
I find this hard on your eyes when you are riding
most reflectors are stock flash light parts
I prefer a light that is low and wide
it is much easier on your eyes in the single track even light and no hotspots
lights in motion has a cool comparison tool on there sight if you want to see what I mean
they use the pics from that other sight with all the B.S.
I guess you can polish a turd
Oh the battery is not sealed also
just not a big fan


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:35 pm 
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pussy
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I have another incarnation of that cheap XM-L light and I am quite happy with it. It has sealed battery pack and a pouch with two straps, orange peel reflector, sealed connector. With a cheap fresnel lens, the beam is reasonably wide for my needs.


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