Head Light Solution

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by Timbone, May 13, 2016.

  1. Timbone

    Timbone Active Member

    After several different tries, I finally came to a simple headlight idea. I built two simple clamps for two bright flashlights and hung them off the handlebar.

    Each light puts out over 300 lumens and is fueled by 4 AAA batteries. They see me.

    Attached Files:

  2. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    There you go, Timbone.

    I run two headlights as well. Mostly in case one of them suddenly dies I won't be left out in the dark.

    I also mounted them on quick releases. That way I can just pull them off nice and quick and put them in my backpack and head inside. So that they don't spend their entire life mounted on the bike and exposed to the weather.
  3. Timbone

    Timbone Active Member

    My rear lights are quick releases. That's the way to go, really.

    I have had so many ideas, but battery powered lights are the natural solution. These engines are so low power and quirky you really can't waste a joule of energy running an kind of generator.

    I invested a great deal of time and built a dual headlight: two bright LED bulbs, each powered by 4 AAA batteries. The design is a styrofoam superstructure held together with electrical tape and Gorilla duct tape. The headlight was really bright and I was excited about using it but it was hard to mount, looked UGLY, and on test runs the EMF pulse of the engine made the lights strobe at high RPM. In the end, the vibrations broke some of the small wire connections so I gave it up.

    I am using a wireless brake light on the back that I bought from one of the motorbike vendors for about $25. It is quick release and easy peazy, and it is supposed to emit a bright red light when it senses the bike slowing or stopping. It actually doesn't work nearly that well in real life. In fact, the bright brake light function is pretty much on all the time, which isn't so bad. It helps me to be seen so it is a net positive. It runs very bright light off a charge for about 1 1/2 hours of running time.
  4. HeadSmess

    HeadSmess Well-Known Member

    i tried one of those head mounted lights for a while...not good. seems the angle being so close to your line of vision prevents you from seeing shadows, therefore depth, which is a tad scary at high speed...

    mounted on the handlebars etc...down low... perfect.

    so if you want to SEE, dont attach them to your helmet.

    no problem if its just to be SEEN though...

    just found a nice lil twin beam one from the china shop for $5 the other day :)
  5. Timbone

    Timbone Active Member

    HS, there's one big advantage to helmet mounted lighting: you can aim it. At wild animals, that spot around the curve, or into the eyes of a car driver who's thinking about pulling out into the road where you will be soon. :)
    Randall likes this.
  6. HeadSmess

    HeadSmess Well-Known Member

    yep. that i agree with. the aiming ability is nice.

    iunno, maybe its just my eyes...but i really had to slow down when i had only a head mounted light on. and i HATE slowing down!
    Timbone likes this.
  7. Hello Moto!

    Hello Moto! Active Member

    I ride my pedal bike at night lol. But I have a 1000lm flashlight mounted on that with two hose clamps. One around the light the other looped in that one and around the bars. Simple but highly efficient :)
    Randall and Timbone like this.
  8. KCvale

    KCvale Motorized Bicycle Vendor

    I have a couple of new builds sitting here that have 12V on-board and just starting to look for good 12V lighting for them.

    As you might expect, I am kind of digging these...


    But these might be more practical...
    2 bikes, to headlights ;-}
  9. Frankfort MB's

    Frankfort MB's Well-Known Member

    Gotta love those old KC lights:)
    People round my place have used those lights for years
  10. skyash

    skyash Active Member

    $10 on eBay 3000lm rechargeable bike light. Lights up the hole street. One charge last all week and it tells you when it needs a charge not just cut outon you . Comes with a helmet mount and free posting. From China of course

    Attached Files:

  11. bakaneko

    bakaneko Active Member

    Just make sure you angle it slightly down. 3000 lumens is going to blind someone if seen directly and might cause an accident either ironically into you or someone or something else. LOL
    Frankfort MB's likes this.
  12. Frankfort MB's

    Frankfort MB's Well-Known Member

    Maybe even the stray few deer;) lol
  13. KCvale

    KCvale Motorized Bicycle Vendor

    Ya, I had them on all my 4-wheelers.
    I should be getting royalties from them using my name and all ;-}
  14. Wolfshoes

    Wolfshoes Member

    Recently I purchased a bike headlamp: Cree XML T6, 6 led bulb, 3 mode, 9600 lumens from lightinthebox.com for $42. For a comparison with a previously owned smaller Cree 4800 lumen version, I mounted it on the same bike with the two offsetting each other, which helped both of them stay in adjustment.


    I had a chance to test it during a warm evening late night ride. Giving it a real test I was on a nearby rural road that was paved after the horse and buggy days; paved wide enough for two model T Ford's to pass each other and had been patched with asphalt ever since. Our neighbors to the north in Wisconsin seem to think this the typical road construction in Illinois; but there is some room for dispute. The older single LED model is good enough to navigate Illinois roads at night, although they get bumpy over 10 mph. The new stronger model is much better at keeping the rider aware of the typical road hazards encountered in rural Illinois at night; such as turtles, free range chickens, wild turkeys, angry husbands, ect. One thing to note about using the stronger headlamp, which is more like a mini car headlamp, is that it does not work when the battery gets weak, perhaps about after one half hour of use at full power. Without warning, the battery shuts down. It's one thing when your battery power tool shuts down like that; its something else when your headlight shuts off at night when you are in the lane of traffic. Having a second headlamp or battery ready may be necessary. When using the dimmer setting with either headlamp, the road was still adequately illuminated, and was not too bright for oncoming traffic. They did not flash me to dim it down.