12V 18-25W headlight wanted

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by AussieSteve, Mar 14, 2010.

  1. AussieSteve

    AussieSteve Active Member

    To go with my new 30-50W generator charge system, I'm looking for a 12V, 18-25W headlight that's reasonably easily mounted to a mountain bike.
    The exact original wattage isn't too relevant, as long as the body and socket can handle the heat of a 25W bulb and it doesn't look too ugly. Also, high/low beam would be good. (I don't want much.)
    I'm considering an after-market reverse-light, if I can find a suitable one, but am open to any better suggestions. (A reverse light won't have a dual-filament socket, so hi/low would be out.)

    I'm in the midst of an eBay (Oz) search for '12v headlight', but aren't getting very good results so far. ('12v reverse light' next.)

    Any help would be much appreciated.

  2. augidog

    augidog New Member

    close suggestions

    search automotive foglamps and driving lamps...not much in the way of dual-circuit but very nice housings and easily mounted. most use a 55W h3, a 35w h3 is available.

    a 12V dual filament auto bulb would be the "1157" taillight/brakelight.

    in the scooter realm you'll find 12V dual headlight bulbs, 35/35, maybe 25/25...but you'll only find really cheap offerings requiring a special socket.

    my "raptor" headlight fairing uses 2 matching 24V/21W bulbs...but search "headlight fairing" for some really neat 12V dual-light options...mine is fastened to my 5" riser bars with 4 zip-ties, been on there for over a year now :)
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2010
  3. AussieSteve

    AussieSteve Active Member

    Thanks for the reply, augidog.
    I do like the look and easy mounting of fog/driving lights, but they all seem to take H3 bulbs, which only go down to 35W. I might get away with 35W, but about 20 would be better.
    If I have to, I'll buy a driving light, then change the bulb socket, but only as a last resort.
    MR16 20W halogen bulbs look good, but I don't know where to get a decent housing to suit.

    A taillight/brakelight bulb would be better than a single filament, but they typically have a very low wattage brake filament, ~3W. I'll check out the 1157.

    I've checked some of the scooter world, wasn't too impressed. Possibly a dirt-bike headlight with a smaller bulb, if I can find a source.

    I'm sort of filling in time, waiting for my 100W DC motor/generator to arrive.

    Love the idea of the tour - not coming down-under? The pizza and beer would be my treat.
    Good to see bamabikeguy's quote, too - Paul was the man for touring.

    * Just checked out the 1157 bulb, the main filament is 27W and the secondary filament is 8W. A little high, but I won't use high beam often. (For high beam, I'd light both filaments.)
    If I don't find better, this is the way I'll go.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2010
  4. gothicguy64

    gothicguy64 Member


    want me to checkout the motorbike wreckers here ,steve ?

  5. augidog

    augidog New Member

    pontoons it is...anything for free beer, eh?

    i edited in a pic and info above about my "headlight fairing" which i personally LOVE!

    my 1157 opinion: you might consider that the 8W brakelight alone may be enuff for daylight safety with a reflector-style housing...and 27W alone will certainly light you up at night.
  6. AussieSteve

    AussieSteve Active Member

    Thanks for the offer Brad, I might hold you to it, yet.
    Still, for the moment I haven't checked out our local wreckers yet.
    There were two until last week, but one burned down, a motorcycle dealer/wrecker. (Where I usually buy bits and pieces like my inline fuel filters, fuel line etc.)
    And first, being inherently lazy, I'll check the web first for a day or two.

    Get them pontoons together, plenty of free beer here. I run two fermenters full-time and make 82 stubbies, (375ml bottles), a week. About 5.3% alc.
    You won't want to leave. (My mates never do.)

    You're right about the 1157, 8W would go close to doing it most of the time and 27 wouldn't be a bad high beam. It balances pretty well - I want 4 x 3W turn-signals, a taillight and headlight. About 40W would cover the lot. (One turn signal at a time, of course.)

    I love your fairing, but how the f&@$ do you power 2 x 24V, 21W bulbs?
  7. augidog

    augidog New Member

    those fairings come standard 12V dual 35/35 halogens, but melted the cheap-butt socket first night...my various onboard charging experiments cost me $100 easy...what's that smell?

    plan "b" was to utilize the best of everything i already owned...i bought 24V/21W non-halogen e-scooter bulbs & repaired the sockets, 24V LED's for my honda-hobbit tailight, and powered it with an original "Currie" 24V/12A battery pack...yes i have the original charger too...over 5 hours of runtime per charge:
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2010
  8. AussieSteve

    AussieSteve Active Member

    Well done - you have the pioneering spirit.
    My electric bike, (36V), melted the sockets in both lights, too.

    I'm trying to avoid that, this time.

    I'm fitting a 12V 5Ah batt, so I could run my 40W peak for an hour or more, without the generator. The generator should provide up to 100W, so there'll be no worries on that side of things.
    I already have a good LED taillight, but I'll need to adapt it from 3V to 12V. A 3V regulator from the 12V supply could power my taillight and speedo.
    Having said that, I might do away with the taillight and get an integrated taillight/brake-light yet. My electric bike has brake levers with switches. I'd just need to buy spares and fit them to the HT MB, to operate the brake lights.
  9. vegaspaddy

    vegaspaddy Member

  10. AussieSteve

    AussieSteve Active Member

    Thanks for the link, vegaspaddy. Good looking light. Just the right size, too, at 4.5".
    I'd buy one, but with delivery to Australia, it would be a bit too expensive. A little over $90AU.
    I'll try my luck at searching for the same one on eBay Oz.


    Attached Files:

  11. vegaspaddy

    vegaspaddy Member

  12. AussieSteve

    AussieSteve Active Member

    Things are pretty expensive here in Oz - $128AU delivered for the same light from eBay Oz. Yet only about $95AU to buy from the US and have it delivered.
    That's why I buy so many things directly from the US or Asia.
    Despite the high postage cost, I still usually save money, and with stuff from Asia - I always save money.
    Australian vendors need to wake up a bit and make their prices more reasonable.
  13. vegaspaddy

    vegaspaddy Member

    the good thing about the USA is that shipping is pretty cheap, with the competition between FED EX and UPS, the normal USPS service is in severe debt problems and looking and going down to a 5 day deliver schedule just to save money.....
  14. AussieSteve

    AussieSteve Active Member

    UPS is pretty expensive to Australia. That's how most of my stuff comes. Typically $40 delivery for a small parcel.
  15. vegaspaddy

    vegaspaddy Member

    hi steve,

    talk about false advertising, the light bulb was a 55 watt bulb,(not 25 watt) and doesnt even have the high low beam, just two wires,not the three they advertised, one for the light and the other for a small bulb to light up the blue cap....


    about to go on ebay and give them s...., but might still keep it all the same, the housing is a perfect size and it is a well built unit i will just have to make sure my attachment bracket is bombproof first.
  16. AussieSteve

    AussieSteve Active Member

    Not good. I'm glad I didn't buy one, at the Oz price with delivery.
    At least the housing gives you a base to work with.
  17. augidog

    augidog New Member

    Last edited: Mar 22, 2010
  18. AussieSteve

    AussieSteve Active Member

    Thanks augidog, not bad looking, although the diameter is pretty large, the price is good.
    As you say, they don't mention wattage, but more important is the socket. If it's a common size/type, I can probably get a 20-30W globe to suit.
    I'll try contacting them for more details.

    Tested the new 100W (ex-electric scooter) motor/generator today - works great. I need a better motor-to-generator coupling for my test setup, (almost done), but meantime I got a comfortable 66W at 16VDC today, without hitting full generator rpm.
    Hopefully this will end up an a s s-kicking lighting and charge system.
    (It's costing an arm and a leg, it better be.)

    I started to browse VirtualVillage's other lighting earlier, but IE kept crashing. Seems OK now. I've bought a few things from them in the past including the optical tacho that I'm using for my testing.)
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2010
  19. vegaspaddy

    vegaspaddy Member

  20. AussieSteve

    AussieSteve Active Member

    That's not a bad looking little light. Price is good, too. $9.99US + deliv. Works out at about $45AU delivered. It's on my watch list.
    Do you think a 12V 18W car indicator bulb would fit?