Home-made headlight

Warner

Member
Local time
3:39 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:

Warner

Member
Local time
3:39 AM
Joined
Jun 3, 2008
Messages
541
Location
Chicago 'burbs
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
 

stringer

New Member
Local time
2:39 AM
Joined
Jun 15, 2008
Messages
171
Slow down before you bike looks like this! :oops:
 

Attachments

  • lang_fig1.jpg
    lang_fig1.jpg
    158 KB · Views: 469

Warner

Member
Local time
3:39 AM
Joined
Jun 3, 2008
Messages
541
Location
Chicago 'burbs
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
 

Warner

Member
Local time
3:39 AM
Joined
Jun 3, 2008
Messages
541
Location
Chicago 'burbs
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
 

jg767

Member
Local time
4:39 AM
Joined
Jun 7, 2008
Messages
166
Location
eastern Ma.
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?
 

Warner

Member
Local time
3:39 AM
Joined
Jun 3, 2008
Messages
541
Location
Chicago 'burbs
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
 
Top