Home-made headlight

Warner

Member
Local time
1:40 AM
Joined
Jun 3, 2008
Messages
541
Location
Chicago 'burbs
I had some time today so I did some research and gathered up some parts to make myself a headlight. It basically boiled down to just 3 main parts really...the battery, the light, and a switch. I did it the easy way....I went to the auto parts store and bought a set of driving lights. I'll only need 1 of them, so I have a spare. The lights were $20 and are 55 watt and have the H3 halogen bulb in them. Knowing that these will take some real battery to power for any length of time, I bought a 7.5 AH Sealed lead acid battery and charger - both pieces were about $65. And finally I bought a toggle switch to turn the light on and off. I'll take pictures tomorrow and show you guys what I have so far. My battery is mounted from the top tube of my frame towards the front of the bike using velcro....I may look into a different mounting system - I'm not sure I like this one too much. I mounted the headlight and the toggle switch to the bracket that was being used for my front refelector. Worked great...very happy with that part of the setup. Then I waited until it was dark....REAL dark. After making some adjustments to the headlight, I can say that I'm VERY happy with this sucker! It REALLY lights up the street! I ran my bike full throttle and did not outrun the headlight or EVER feel unsafe. Thing works GREAT! I have close to $100 into the project, but I can't imagine that I could buy something that was completed already that is as bright as this with a battery and recharger for $100. I'll try to get some night pictures tomorrow night.....I'm VERY pleased with the amount of light it puts out.

Warner



Here's the site I used for most of my research:
http://nordicgroup.us/s78/

PS - If you're interested, when you're in the headlight section, it's worth clicking on the picture of the girl who's standing in front of the tree....it opens the unedited photo.
 
Last edited:
Here's some photos. Not dark yet but I'll try to get some that show how this light kicks butt. Next on my list of stuff to do is the following:

Front suspension fork, which will mean converting to threadless.

Disc brake setup up front (new wheel and brake kit)

A friend and fellow member (ihatemybike) is helping me source the parts for the above changes.



Install tach/hour meter (should come from Staton tomorrow)

Here's the photos - I made myself feel better with the velcro mounting by adding some big A$$ zip ties that are rated at 175lb each:

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd265/warners_photos/MAB28.jpg

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd265/warners_photos/MAB29.jpg

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd265/warners_photos/MAB30.jpg

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd265/warners_photos/MAB31.jpg

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd265/warners_photos/MAB32.jpg

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd265/warners_photos/MAB33.jpg

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd265/warners_photos/MAB34.jpg

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd265/warners_photos/MAB35.jpg



Warner
 
Slow down before you bike looks like this! :oops:
 

Attachments

  • lang_fig1.jpg
    lang_fig1.jpg
    158 KB · Views: 498
Okay guys....here are the requested night photos. I now realize that the photos don't show exactly how good this setup is, but you get the idea. In the first two photos look at the stop sign that is a full block away! These were taken on two different streets. You can see VERY well with this light setup.


First comparison

Light off:
http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd265/warners_photos/MAB36.jpg

Light on:
http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd265/warners_photos/MAB37.jpg






Second comparison

Light off:
http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd265/warners_photos/MAB38.jpg

Light on:
http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd265/warners_photos/MAB39.jpg



Warner
 
Man, the pictures REALLY don't do this light setup justice. It's basically a motorcycle headlight on a bicycle. 55 watt halogen H3 bulb. Ah well...the wonders of digital photography I guess. It DOES light up the road real well though...

Warner
 
bright idea

Man, the pictures REALLY don't do this light setup justice. It's basically a motorcycle headlight on a bicycle. 55 watt halogen H3 bulb. Ah well...the wonders of digital photography I guess. It DOES light up the road real well though...

Warner

Seems like a reasonable price for a powerfull light. How long will it last on a full charge?
 
Seems like a reasonable price for a powerfull light. How long will it last on a full charge?

That's a good question! I think the answer is "A LOT longer than it'll ever have to". I believe the battery has a discharge time of something like 20 hours. I don't think it would run the headlight that long, but I'm SURE it would last a few hours anyway, and I just clip the little alligator clips from the recharger onto the battery terminals when I bring it in after a night ride. I JUST got back from one, in fact! It's SO much fun riding at night! And that headlight is ultra cool! I like riding at night much better than in the day....esp here in the Chicago area it's so nice and cool out right now. The only thing that I like less is that I can't see my speedo (and now my tach/hour meter). Other than that, night riding is for me!

Warner
 
Back
Top