HomeMade 55 watt halogen light Older Lights

55 watt halogen light

HomeMade 55 watt halogen light

User Reviews (11)

Showing 1-10 of 11  
John   Downhiller [Aug 26, 2003]
Strength:

Unbreakable. Maglite-like reliability. Made from easily located parts and spare batteries are cheap.

Weakness:

Heavy. Charge time is long.

I wanted to night ride but didn't want to lay out the $$$ to cover the specs. After researching on the web and borrowing from several other ideas I stumbled onto the fact that an MR16 Halogen lamp fits in a Maglite body. After stripping out a dead Maglite and experimenting a little I was on my first nightride. Wooo! Yeah, at 5.5 lbs it aint for weight watchers, but if you ride the weeknights with it and take of that extra weight for the weekend stomps you find yourself literally FLYING on those trails. Check out my setup at www.freewebs.com/trapper
Building your own light is a 5 for rating, but a 4 overall due to weight.

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Dan   Cross Country Rider [Apr 24, 2003]
Strength:

Very bright lights (choose 20, 35, or 55 watts both), uses standard MR-16 bulbs, long burn time up to 4 hours, durable PVC housings, super bright flashing LED taillight.

Weakness:

Heavy battery (could be remedied by going with a NiMH pack)

This lighting system rivals the boughten units hands down. It is complete with a very bright attention getting LED taillight. It was not cheap to build, nor is it cheap in quality. It is compatible with the gamut of readily available MR-16 reflector bulbs. I use it in winter commuting, and plan to build a more compact version of it for my road bike. You can see photos and details here.

Similar Products Used: 6-volt 3-watt bottle dynamos, clip on LED flashers
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Andreas   Cross Country Rider [Jan 15, 2002]
Strength:

Cheap, infinitely customizable, ultrabright, super efficient, super light, can be run from 9V batteries or AA's!

Weakness:

infinitely customizable, not as waterproof yet as superexpensive setups (yet), not as secure on the bike as would have liked (yet)

As an electrical Engineer I was lucky enough to have a perfect setup at work to make my own PCB's of circuits I wanted. I also employed ULTRABRIGHT LED's in parallel and of different colors (white LED's however awesome they are, they're not as bright and are MUCH more expensive).
LED's, unlike incandescent lights, are EXTREMELY efficient (i.e. converts most of electrical energy into light) and therefore need much smaller batteries (i.e. lighter weight) to work with. Also, LED's are virtually foolproof and have virtually infinite life.
LED's need only 20mA at ~3V (60mW)for brightest light compared to incandescent lights. Assuming you're using a 14.4V 20W light system, the incandescent buld would consume ~1.4A ( that's the equivalent of 70 -SEVENTY- ULTRABRIGHT LED's).
If anybody wants to contact me, feel free:
ageorgiades@gain.com
Andreas Georgiades

Similar Products Used: None worthy of mention
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Iain   Weekend Warrior [Sep 14, 2003]
Strength:

Inexpensive, separate parts easliy replaceable, since you made it yourself - you know how to fix it, pride in a job well done, good lights, cheap bulbs.

Weakness:

4.5 amphour SLA battery weighs a bit more than a NiCad or NiMh (still, i could easily loose a few pounds around the midriff), doesn't look swanky along side more expensive lights (who gives a sh*t)

If you are looking for a good housing for bulbs (so you get that professional look) go to an auto-mart and buy a pair of the smallest plastic housing spotlights. Replace the 50 watt bulb with a 20 watter (unless you want to lug a bigger battery / do shorter rides)Buy a switch of your choice and connect it to the light housing or handlebars. Could even put one of those 3 step dimmers in line if you want (run it low on long rides when able to to conserve battery)

Good idea to solder all joints (otherwise you WILL experience a black out)

Bottom line is - bloody good lights for the price. Easy to build. Ideal for the as yet unconverted night rider (lets you get a taste without spending a fortune)

Similar Products Used: BLT (excellent - see review), Vista-Lights (no so excellent, see review), mates home made jobs
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Gene   Cross Country Rider [Oct 21, 2001]
Strength:

Cheap, repairable, and disposable. Very bright.

Weakness:

Ugly, 12V 7 amp/hr battery (scavenged from a computer UPS)is heavy

25W spot-beam with a coke can wrapped and hose-clamped around it, filled with RTV, and then hose-clamped to my handlebar.

Similar Products Used: Niterider
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Nacho   Cross Country Rider [Sep 21, 2001]
Strength:

Home made, easily replacable parts, inexpensive

Weakness:

Need to be very thourough and careful with connections, may not be as watertight as an off the shelf system.

Not knowing where the guys here bought the SLA 7.0 Ah Battery I walked into a radio shack and bought a 7.2V, 3000 mAh 'TurboBattery' for RC Cars with a 5 hour charger. I hooked it up with RCA's to a cheap handlebar battery light and replaced the original bulb with a GE PR12 6.0V Bulb, and held the battery under the top-tube (Night Owl style) with Velcro Straps.

This light and stealthy system is bright enough for commuting and lasts a long time; it may not be too bright for trail riding, but the battery shines bright with a 6V 20W halogen bulb (29Watts @7.2V), but I need to find a metal reflector for them.

Similar Products Used: Cygolite, Battery operated Handlebar lights
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Graeme Low   Weekend Warrior [Apr 22, 2001]
Strength:

cheap, satisfaction of DYI, VERY bright, flexible

Weakness:

bodgy connections can spell troubel!

hitched up 2 12v 20w halogen globes, one spot and one flood to 4.5Ah SLA battery, took me about 3 hours to set up (I have never done anything electrical before). First time out down rough downhill, I lost one of the battery connections, but had torch with me for just such an emergency, get the connections strong and all is well, I now use audio RCA's.
40w is great, and 1/3 the cost of an equivalent system from the shop. it really pisses friends off when you tell them how much your way brighter system cost. (thanks to the Fat Hippy for the plans)

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Brian   Cross Country Rider [Nov 27, 2000]
Strength:

Cheap!!
40 watts of total power makes for no-reservations cross country riding.
pretty robust
lasts about 4 hours on low beam, 8.5 with different bulb
inexpensive!!

Weakness:

battery weighs about 5 pounds and likes to abandon ship at speed, extinguishing lights.
mounting is difficult

I am using this space to review my own light creation, and I hope others can put together some lights and tell us about them here
Mine is a dual beam, flood/spot, 20w/20w 12v halogen system.
This light definitely puts out ample light for high speed cross country riding. The flood is good for average riding, but when the speeds pick up or the trail gets tricky the spot really improves your sight range.
The lead/acid battery is really the only flaw. I'm trying to find a suitable nicad that can be bought for cheap, but the SLA battery was only 25 canadian at a pawnshop and lasts forever. email me if you want more info or some instructions on making your own.

Similar Products Used: cateye HL500 junk
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Tom Diaz   Cross Country Rider [Sep 01, 2000]
Strength:

Hooey! Some bright, this buggah!

Weakness:

Big motorcycle battery dragged my rack down onto my rear brakes.

This worked okay for my flat 13 mile road commute in New Mexico, but those days are gone and it's time for a new attempt or a real (expensive) light system. I'm doing some research in both directions and easing the wife into the idea of spending $300 on a Jet, Nightrider or similar level system. I currently commute across 6-10 miles of Mojave Desert, so carrying a 14 amp-hour motorcycle battery is no longer a viable option.

Similar Products Used: Mag lite strapped to front rack, mini-mag strapped to helmet and Cateye Micro-Halogen.
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
4
Mark C   Weekend Warrior [Feb 04, 2001]
Strength:

CHEAP!
bulbs, £3 each. Battery, £20. light casings, £4 each. Bracket home-made. switches and wire found in the workshop

*Very bright, very robust. 50W spot, 20W flood

Weakness:

7Ah Battery weighs a lot (~6lbs), but stored in waist pack, I hardly notice it.

20W adequate for technical and low speeds
50W cuts through the dark and also very effective in fog

I intend to experiment with different bulb combinations, perhaps a lower power 'low beam', with the 50W spot.

Why pay 100's of $/£ for inferior lighting?

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 11  

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