Looking to add lights. General consensus?

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by RumblingV8, Apr 23, 2015.

  1. RumblingV8

    RumblingV8 Member

    Hey guys,

    I'm looking to add a headlight and taillight to my motorized bike. I know well enough not to bother with the white wire.
    I've heard mixed reviews on the ebay/amazon generator kits, and frankly the batteries and charging and regulators and all that nonsense seems entirely too complicated. I like to keep things simple, and cheap.

    If all i'm looking for is to be seen rather than to see, would just battery operated be my best bet? Style is important to me, I'd most likely be buying a bullet style headlight. Taillight style doesn't matter much to me.


  2. KCvale

    KCvale Motorized Bicycle Vendor

  3. josh

    josh New Member

    cost me 30 bucks :)

    Attached Files:

  4. RumblingV8

    RumblingV8 Member

    Looks to be a fairly priced piece of equipment if it's as good as you say. Any recommendation on a taillight?

    Info on this setup? Looks good!
    josh likes this.
  5. josh

    josh New Member

    thanks, headlight, tail light and LED'S, were all department store bought. all are battery powered. LED's are hooked up to two 9 volt batteries and a on/off switch. 4 stroke kit from bicycle-engines.com. bike is a huffy cruiser 29er
  6. KCvale

    KCvale Motorized Bicycle Vendor

    No thoughts on tail lights other than a bright blinker is easier to see than a solid light.

    The little CREE T6 LED lights though unmatched for brightness and strobe ability have their flaws as well.
    The 'rubber band' handlebar mount is not ideal, and when the light is off the power button stays lit.

    Still the best for the money in my book however as we won't even test ride without that strobe on front, we have seen first how differently drivers react when they see one.
    In short, it's the car that was about to cut across my path doing the panic braking, not me ;-}
  7. 2old2learn

    2old2learn Member

    At many of the autoparts stores, they now have an after market LED section. In that section they have a red side marker strobe light that can run off 12 volts and is about 2" x 3". Perfect for a back light. On water it can be seen for 5 miles. At close range it is quite bright. I'll adjust mine downwards a bit so as to not blind drivers. $10-20 range. Waterproof.
  8. 2old2learn

    2old2learn Member

    Like KC, I have the same cree lighting and have tapped into the headlights power pack via a waterproof handlebar switch to operate my back red strobe light LED's so they are not running all the time. Could have hooked it up as a brake light but already had one by the time I ran across the red strobe light.
  9. butterbean

    butterbean Well-Known Member

    Blinking lights distort depth perception at a distance
  10. 2old2learn

    2old2learn Member

    I also have a solid red taillight at a higher position that will be on at night. The strobe is to get their attention. I'll also have reflective material on my riding jacket. I doubt I'll ride much at night but one can have a problem and then find themselves riding home in the dark.
  11. KCvale

    KCvale Motorized Bicycle Vendor

    Like 2old I only ride at night if I have to but riding at night with no light is no fun at all, especially on a dark road or in my case along a canal bank in pitch black.
  12. RumblingV8

    RumblingV8 Member

    After almost being cut off tonight on my way home from work, I'd say I need this effect.
    Would you say the cord is long enough for the battery pack to find a home underneath my gas tank? I have my CDI tucked up in there as well for a cleaner look.

    Only thing that bothers me is lack of symmetry... wish i could tuck that brightness into a bullet headlight style enclosure but I'm not in the mood for that kind of effort.
  13. KCvale

    KCvale Motorized Bicycle Vendor

    Battery cable is 14", light cable is 28" so yes, plenty of cable to hide the battery.

    Only thing that bothers me is lack of symmetry... wish i could tuck that brightness into a bullet headlight style enclosure but I'm not in the mood for that kind of effort.[/QUOTE]
    The issue for putting these in an enclosure is heat, and the power button.
    These guys get hot in solid full power on mode.
    Not an issue for daylight strobe mode but despite my best efforts I can't find a way to make a remote on/off switch, you have to get to that back button to operate it.
  14. 2old2learn

    2old2learn Member

    KC, if we were to open one wire running from the battery to the headlight and run that to a remote on/off switch and leave the headlight's push button switch in the ON mode, do you think that would do Two things, prevent battery drain due to the led glow on the headlights switch and enable remote convenient control?
  15. KCvale

    KCvale Motorized Bicycle Vendor

    Tried it, it don't work.
    When you plug power in the power button turns on, nothing else, toggling power does nothing.
    I pulled one apart, the 'button' is not a real button, it is actually part of the tiny circuit board that makes the thing function, which it won't do until it has power first.

    What can work however is a CREE T6 based flashlight.
    The one I used to put in a bullet housing ran on 2 18650 LI batteries, half of what the compact lights use, but the On/Off button toggles modes with each On click.
    Cumbersome as you have to On/Off through each of it's modes every time, but it shuts off and you can control it with a remote button.

    I'll have to find the thing on it on my web site a few years back, if my memory servers it a 4-stroke Felt Army build...
  16. libranskeptic

    libranskeptic Member

    Intuitively, given:

    leds are low volt

    li-ion/lifepo4 canisters are lo volt

    multiple canisters are a hassle (balancing/housing)

    cars have 2 lights on 2 front corners & it works for them, so why not bikes -2 lights widely spaced?


    isnt the ideal a ~cree pack that runs from the native voltage (3.2v-3.4v) of a suitable lifepo4 cannister like the 38120?

    (a 10ah cannister is 33 watts for an hour, .33 kg, my guess is you can recharge from usb), methinks i saw 12/13 ah cells also

    lovely threaded contacts on each cell

    disposable cells should be fine for rear lights small needs. not worth wiring them in (3.2v wont like distance)?

    I have 2 x 2$ 2xAA on back, last forever but if one goes flat or has problems, always have one for now.

    one trap i have found, is if you get greedy about cell size in cheap tail lights, is they shake loose on bumps. So Maybe opt for aaa over aa? Ideally the cells should be housed facing up and the tail light pointed back.