Cheap DIY LED headlights

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by SirJakesus, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. SirJakesus

    SirJakesus New Member

    Hello everybody!
    It's been awhile since I started a thread but I wanted to let you fellas know about an awesome DIY headlight setup that won't break the bank.

    I bought a 14v lipo battery a few years ago to power my bikes taillight, directionals and horn but I was stuck using some ordinary flashlights for headlights. I got sick of charging separate batteries and having extra weight so I ordered two of these:
    I found some metal tubing that fit them perfectly, soldered some leads onto the contacts (outside coil is negative, small inside coil is positive) made some lenses out of clear plastic and siliconed the whole shebang together to make two separate lights that fit into these:
    I then mounted them onto my handlebars and wired them in parallel.

    I don't have any pictures but they're BRIGHT and extremely lightweight. I used my multimeter on the hot circuit and found the two LED's were only using a little bit over one amp off of my 14v battery.

    Hope you guys enjoy!

    I forgot to mention that these drop in modules can take anywhere from 4-18 volts so just about any battery or pack will run them.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011

  2. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    If they're isolated from ground, (which they should be, considering the way you've mounted them) you should be able to connect the two lights in series; this way, you'll be pulling less current, and the driver board in the lights should be dissipating less heat..
  3. SirJakesus

    SirJakesus New Member

    I wired them in parallel with the goal of getting the highest output per emitter since there are no streetlights where I live. From my understanding of DC electrical systems the more loads you put in series the lower the output of each individual load due to increased resistance. I do have these things connected with insulated male/female crimp terminals so I could easily shut one off or remove them entirely if needed. It wouldn't be too hard to change them to a series configuration out of curiosity.
    I didn't mention in my first post that the housings and reflectors are aluminum and I used some thermal paste to dissipate the heat as quickly as possible. They got pretty warm when I was just bench testing the emitter/reflector as it came in the mail but when they're on the bike the wind keeps them so cool to the touch that I'm not at all worried about them croaking early on me from heat.
    Maybe a series config would be better as a DRL... hmmmm.

    Thanks for the insight Loq!