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Gone riding
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3,350 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I think there are now enough home made and modified light builds out there to warrant a dedicated database! :thumbsup:

Please use the template provided below in your post as a guide, but feel free to modify it as necessary for your purpose. Linking in the manner demonstrated to the websites of the various components or resources that you have used as they are mentioned would be appreciated. All lights and builds are more then welcome! :D

Please keep this thread as a pure database. Start a new thread if you would like to make a comment or ask a question! ;)

Cheers, Dave.

Light Source:

List what type of bulbs or emitters you use, how many, and what the model number or bin code is if you know.
Voltage or drive current as appropriate would be nice too.

Optics / Reflectors / Lens:

List what you use or have tried, and what you like and dislike.

Housing:

List where you have purchased housings, or how you have made housings, and from what materials.

Power Source:

List your battery chemistry, voltage and capacity. Also provide details on your charger if you like.
Connector choice could go here too.

Regulator:

If you are regulating the power to your light source, list what device you are using, and feel free to list any setup details.

Additional comments:

Anything goes. Construction method, mounting solutions, likes and dislikes, future upgrades.
Perhaps you could provide a link to an existing thread discussing your light if you wish.

Photos:

Photos are encouraged, but please keep them to a reasonable size.
 

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I ride a Swarf
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1,314 Posts
Modified lighsta re allowed...cool :)

This is combined for my triple and double...i will highlight any differences

I have a more detailed thread in my sig that shows the mods (I haven't added any detail about swapping out the optics yet)

Light Source:

3 and 2 Seoul P4 LEDs driven at 1 amp and below. Original LEDs were Luxeon 3

Optics / Reflectors / Lens:

Initially I used the stock optics. Even with the orignal lux the beam is ringy with more of an emphasis on a hot spot. The triple floodyness is provided by the front plastic being frosted on the outside leds.

I am still juggling reflector choice, but Khadod and IMS 20m optics fit when the plastic LED clamp is removed. Luckily these reflectors are just the right size ot fit AND provide the clamping mechanism for the LEDs when the front of the housing is screwed on.

Triple
So far the best reflector setup seems to be have 2 Khatod narrow beans on the outside and a wide/flood in the middle. The frosting of the fron plastic softens the spots a bit to give a smoother bigger hot spot.

Double
I think throw is more important on the double for helmet use. So far I have only tried 2 Khatod narrow beams. 1 of the wides do give flood, if you want to use the double as a bar light.

I have more IMS and some McR reflectors on the way to try.

Housing:

Stock cateye housings.

Power Source:

1) stock cateye battery and integral controller
2)14.8V 2.2Ah LiIon (used with nFlax)

Regulator:


See above

1) The stock controller seems happy enough. It should run at 700mA (I need ot test)

2) nFlex set to 1 amp and 2 lower levels (need to measure lower level currents). nFlex seems like agreat unit so far.

Additional comments:

This set up is loads brighter than stock!

I already mentioned I want to try other reflectors.

I need to wire up a remote switch for the neflex.

I need to do more testiing especially on the stock controller. I am going to to back to back run time tests on the stock bat/controller against astock triple (my mates). Run time should be improved, but the triple had a fair bit of dimming after 2 hours. I need to chase this up as it should be better than stock.

When on the lowest nflex setting (which ever one I chose hehe) it is still bright enough to easliy fix a punny....but doesn't get warm when not in moving air. The housing gets warm in both stock and modded setups when not in moving air and driven by the stock controller levels or above (to be expected).

hoping to go the whole hog and do a DIY housing before taking tha cateyes much further...they are a good test bed for my light ideas/preferences though :).

I will do a new entry for project CopperHead.

Photos:

see my link in my siggy

Stu
 

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1,281 Posts
Light Source:
12V MR16 20W bulbs, currently using 1 30* flood, 1 9* spot. Overvolted to 14.4V, using Lightbrain controller to give 5 light levels.

Optics / Reflectors / Lens:
Nothing special, using the sealed MR16 bulb

Housing:

Started with the "Pond Scum" setup, then moved to custom-machined aluminum housing

Power Source:

Batteryspace 14.4V 5000mAh waterbottle pack, NiMH with supplied connector

Regulator:

As mentioned above, using the Lightbrain Twin-Plus controller, http://www.trailheadlights.com/

Additional comments:

Currently trying to decide if I want to keep the flood/spot combo, or go with dual spots. Also looking into ideas for fine-tuning the angle of the beams independently to better light the trail.

Photos:

Coming soon! (I hope)
 

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96 Posts
My pair of dual Cree lights

Light Source:

4x Cree XR-E (P4 bin)

Optics / Reflectors / Lens:

Ledil square optics:

Helmet mounted pair: 1x smooth spot, 1x diffuser
Bar mounted pair: 1x diffuser, 1x medium

Housing:

2x dual LED "achesalot" DIY alloy housings

Power Source:

9.6v 2500mAh NiMH- 1 for each light pair

Regulator:

BuckPuck at 1000mAh.

Additional comments:

Still finishing them... (actually I'm making 6 units as a couple of friends want them too)

Photos:

Photos are encouraged, but please keep them to a reasonable size.[/QUOTE]
 

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Gone riding
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3,350 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Housing:

I'm using a very early Night Lightning Endurenz housing from Eric, which is a little longer then the current offerings and has a few extra fins for extra cooling. It has seen a few different emitters in its life! Mounting the light to the bars I have successfully used a modified version of the system that Night Lightning use which is based on a CatEye mount, but now I have made the switch to an oversized Lupine handlebar mount rather than the CatEye mounting option.

My regulator on this light is mounted separately to the light, in a Night Lightning in line housing, with a waterproof momentary switch.

Light Source:

Most of the time I have run my light with three high binned Lumileds Luxeon III emitters, running at 1000mA in series. Unfortunately I've lost track of the exact bin I have. I have also experimented with Luxeon V emitters and some Luxeon K2 emitters at various drive currents from time to time too.

All of these emitters have been mounted on Stars of various types, lapped and bolted to the housing with some Arctic Silver 5 thermal compound.

Optics / Reflectors / Lens:

The great thing about the Night Lightning housing is that you are not limited to any particular optic or reflector. As a result I have experimented quite a bit, although mainly with 20mm optics. For most of the time I ran the light with a triple Carclo P10003 optic setup. I have tried a lot of different optics from many different manufacturers, but very few provided the optical quality that I found with the Carclo Optics.

I often tried a single P10003/15 and double P10003 setup, and while it provided a superior beam to the triple P10003 arrangement my emitters just didn't have the lumen horsepower required to make use of them. I always ended up putting the Carclo P10003 optics back in, which gave a 9 degree beam angle with the Luxeon III emitters.

Power Source:

For power I have always run a 4 cell 14.8 volt, 2.2Ah Lithium Ion pack built by Siomar, but purchased through Night Lightning. This pack has been used quite regularly for the last three years without any issues, apart from a recent failure which was caused by my own negligence. Luckily I found that the protection circuitry in these packs is top quality!

I use Molex 0.062" Standard 2-pin connectors, part numbers 03-06-2023 and 03-06-1023. These have the clips removed, and are used by Night Lightning and Stenlight in their lights too.

Regulator:

I have used a few constant current regulators of my own (crude) design from time to time, and have successfully ran these poor Luxeon III emitters at around 1400mA for quite some time. For most of the time though I have used an nFlex from George at TaskLED, running the 1000mA drive current table.

Additional comments:

This is my old lighting setup, which has now been upgraded to a triple Seoul P4 emitter arrangement, running at 1000mA with some extra new goodies. I'm constantly playing with optics and reflectors in the quest for the ultimate beam.

I'll make another post with my latest setup once I'm happy with it and have cleaned things up a little! :D

Photos:







 

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1,902 Posts
Light Source:
Nichia 5mm LEDs (I think the last set I had were 12000mcd)
Luxeon 1,3,5 watt LEDs various batches
Lamina 5W LEDs

Optics / Reflectors / Lens:
Carclo 20mm
NX05s 20mm
Fraen 20, 30mm + triples
Various unknown ones

Housing:
DIY (various)
Modded (from Vistalite & Nitrider)
Night Lighting (very nice aluminium housings available)

Power Source:
Anything goes here, Alkiline, NiCd, NiMH, Gel cels, Lithium, etc... in various cell sizes. I have also used a NX-30 generator hub.

Regulator:

As well as various others from TaskLED & Sandwich Shoppe, in addition to several DIY versions.

Additional comments:
I probably started building and using LEDs as a primary (and only) night riding light before most people, starting with arrays of 5mm Nichia LEDs - I did my first 24HR race with an array of 51 - 5mm LEDs (and no other light) in 2001. There must have been $100 worth of LEDs in that thing!

Photos:


An array of 51 Nichia 5mm LEDs, driving at 1A from a buck regulator, and any battery from 4.5V to 18V. This was my first serious LED trail light.


Four 1W Luxeons with Fraen optics, and a boost regulator running of a 6V battery.


An early 2x 5W Luxeon with 30mm Fraen optics, and TaskLED buck controllers and anything from 7.5V to 20V battery - still in use today.


2 DIY units using Night Lighting's housing, Luxeon-IIIs

left using Carclo optic, right using a modified Fraen tri-optic, both are boost regulated from a 6V battery.

PS: I'll update the pictures as I hunt them down.
 

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13 Posts
Light Source:

3 cree P4 LEDs driven at 1 amp

Optics / Reflectors / Lens:

kaidomain cree optics - no idea on specs

Housing:

we all know the one - 3 tubes of square aluminium - mines a bit different with some nice bling finishing touches (carbon, purple nuts)

Power Source:

12 x aa batteries ni-mh 2200mah

Regulator:

ebay buck one from germany

Photos:




my bike - old kona

 

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44 Posts
Light Source:

Three Seoul P4 U bins.

Optics / Reflectors / Lens:

This light uses two 8.4 degree optics and one 20 degree Carclo Lenses.

Housing:

Aluminium tubing epoxied together, with various aluminium bits and pieces.

Power Source:

Tenergy Li-ion 18650. 14.8volt 4400mAh.

Regulator:

Luxeon Buckpuck 3023.

Additional comments:

One switch is for on/off one is for High beam, Medium beam and low beam.

Additional Comments:

This is my second light after my original one which had a wider beam pattern. I'm intending to use this as a helmet mount light and the other as a bar mount.

Photos:













Tony
 

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My Dual Cree XR-E Bike Headlight

Light Source:

Dual Cree XR-E (P4bin) driven @ 1000mA

Optics / Reflectors / Lens:

Dual L2 Optics OPTX 1-006 Lenses

Housing:

Housing is hand made from 1-1/4-inch square tubing and 1-inch bar stock sourced from smallparts.com. Design was based on that at https://myfwyc.org/bikeled/DIY_LED_Bike_Lighting_Guide.html and modified slightly. Acrylic lens was fabricated by cutting a section of plastic out of a broken-off cassette player door found on the sidewalk. :)

Power Source:

Battery is 8xAA NiMH 2500mAH cells for 9.6V total.

Regulator:

TaskLED's excellent bFlex driver in UIB mode.

Additional comments:

I wanted to design a compact light similar to the Dinotte but brighter. I think I've succeeded. Here's the original thread I posted after finishing the light.

Photos:



Additional photos at Flickr.

More info at my website.
 

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463 Posts
Modified Achesalot design

Front Mount
4 X sscp4 with a fatman boost driver from taskled driven at 800ma
http://www.taskled.com/fatman.html
2x6degree L2 optics
2X15 degree L2 optics outside mount
bar mounted 50kohm slide potentiometer with velcro attachment for dimming
5000mah 9v NiMH battery pack

Front Shock mount
Helmet Mount
2 X sscp4 on helmet mount driven by 3023 DE from Luxeon driven at 1000ma
2X5 degree L2 optics

5k ohm rotary potentiometer built into housing for dimming
using AA Nimh battery pack in camel back

All optics and 3023 driver came from LED supply
http://www.ledsupply.com/index.php

LEDs came from deal extreme
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.1445

Guestimate of @ 1200 lumens and 3+ hours of burn time on full power as I never ride that long

Updated design with pics coming later
 

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Light Source:

3 x Seoul P4 U-bin stars

Optics / Reflectors / Lens:

One of these: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.4630
This is a 50mm triple optic, plastic, of unspecified beam width. 3 pack of these optics was $9.95

Housing:

1 x 170g can of Woolworths home brand tomato paste with ring-pull lid
50mm x 3mm piece of aluminium
40 x 40 x 1mm aluminium 90 degree angle
3mm x 40mm bolts
Aluminium rivets

Helmet mount:

PVC pipe
Old inner tube
19mm wide elastic
150mm x 19mm wide velcro
rivets

Power Source:

Lithium Ion 14.8V 2.2Ah
http://www.all-battery.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=509

Regulator:

TaskLED bFlex, UIB, set at 1A but not running max brightness.

Construction:

Open your can of tomato paste, remove paste, use it to add flavour to your dinner (try a Moroccan tagine with chicken, pumpkin, carrots, preserved lemon...)

After you have eaten, wash out the can and carefully cut it about 2/3 of the way down. I used a Dremel knockoff tool, a hacksaw also works with a gentle touch and some patience. Take the bottom part of the can and cut off another cm or so, then use your dremel/hacksaw to open it down the seam and take out a couple of mm (the lower part of the can gets pushed inside the upper half so needs to have some flexibility). Where the seam meets the bottom of the can, make the opening big enough for your power wire to get in (I used a few layers of glue lined heatsink to protect the wire from being cut, heating it also lets you bend it so the wire exits at the desired angle).

Take your 50x3mm aluminium and cut/grind an oval piece so that it is a very tight fit inside the can. This will take some time and care. Luckily it doesn't need to be perfectly oval as the can is thin enough to deform, but symmetrical and gradual curves helps. Alternately if you start with some slightly wider metal (the internal diameter of the can is around 53mm) you could cut a circle out with a drill press and hole saw etc. Your SSc/Cree stars will mount to the front of this. Drill a hole near one of the edges for your power wire to come through from the back.

Take your optic, cut the legs off it and drill 3mm holes for your bolts where the legs were. You should find that the optic rests neatly in the rim of the can, flush with the top. Work out where these holes will align on the metal plate where you are mounting your stars, drill the holes in this plate small enough so that your bolts will cut their own threads (means you won't need bolts, helps if you ever wish to disassemble the front of the light, e.g. to upgrade your LEDs). Unfortunately I drilled the holes while planning on using the bolts, and now the light is all riveted together, if I ever remove the optic...:madman:

Cut some angle aluminium to attach to the back of this plate, use an irish spanner and other suitable tools to round out part of this so it will make good contact with the inside of the can. This should help conduct the heat to the body of the can, as well as providing the support to mount your bracket. Drill appropriate mounting holes to bolt this securely to the plate the LEDs mount on

Work out all your internal wiring and solder up your stars. If you leave enough a few cm slack wire between your bFlex and the stars it gives you flexibility in positioning the optic on the stars as well as ease of replacing the stars if you want to upgrade later on.
Solder everything up and test before you close up the can.

Mount your bFlex on the base of the can (I used some plastic and epoxy), drill a small hole for the bFlex switch to poke through.

Position your stars in the optic, and screw it down to the mounting plate (use some heatsink paste under the stars) If the plate was too far back in the can it should be pulled up as you tighten the screws, otherwise you may need to push back on the optic until it sits on the rim of the can.

Push the back half of the can iside the front half, align so it's all neat and tidy, then drill holes for your rivets though both parts of the can and the angle aluminium inside which is your bracket support. Cut another 30x40mm piece of 1mm aluminium to attach to the outside of the can underneath the angle, to which you can attach your helmet/bar mount of choice. Drill holes, align, and rivet everything together.

My helmet mount is very simple, made of a piece of PVC drainpipe which is fixed (more rivets) to the aluminium plate under the can. Heat the PVC with a butane torch (don't inhale) to shape. I have it shaped away from the hemet to provide some tension in the velcro. Cut slots in the PVC through which to slide the velcro, have it so the hook side faces away from your head when fastened though your helmet vents. I also used some doubled over 19mm wide elastic on one side to attach the velcro, after finding it difficult to get sufficient tension to stop my previous (commercial!) helmet light sliding around. A bit of old inner tube glued to the PVC protects the helmet from scratches and stops the light sliding.

Photos:

Coming soon
 

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Light Source:

2 Seoul P4 LED (bin code: USXPI)
drive current: about 830mAh

Optics / Reflectors / Lens:

20mm collimator x 2
6 and 10 degree

Housing:

made of heatsink
20 x 45 mm sized heatsink x 6

Power Source:

7.4V 6600mAh lithium ion battery
(originally, I use this battery with 6V 10W Halogen light)

Burning time:

about 8 hours

Regulator:

one 5W 1.2ohm resistor only
didn'y use regulator

Photos:




 

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Banned
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7,930 Posts
aljsk8 said:
Light Source:

3 cree P4 LEDs driven at 1 amp

Optics / Reflectors / Lens:

kaidomain cree optics - no idea on specs

Housing:

we all know the one - 3 tubes of square aluminium - mines a bit different with some nice bling finishing touches (carbon, purple nuts)

Power Source:

12 x aa batteries ni-mh 2200mah

Regulator:

ebay buck one from germany

Photos:




my bike - old kona

What's the cost of your Bill of Materials? How much total did it run you to build your light?
 

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not sure we are ment to post in here (aside from origional post) but....

aluminium tube from ebay 4 peices cut to size: 10GBP
carbon peices cnc cut (fibre-lyte): 12GBP
driver - ebay: 15GBP
L.E.Ds cree p4 from dealextreme: 9GBP
optics - dealextreme: 4GBP
wire - had already
thermal paste - had already: 1GBP WORTH
conectors and switches: 5GBP
handlebar mount: 5GBP
screws washers and nuts: 2GBP
battery holders: 2GBP

TOTAL: 65GBP ($130)

BATTERIES ARE 12AA 2000MAH NIMH there all different prices everywhere

really i could have bought a propper light for this money but this way i could get a few bits every few weeks so it was easy for my financial situation!

hope this helps
 

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Here's a light that I made back in 2004... I recently re-discovered it while getting back into biking, and made some changes as I now have a milling machine (the nice clamp style mount!). Obviously most don't have a milling machine, and what I used originally was a piece of stainless hose clamp that I rivetted to the housing and then bolted to the front of the stem, through one of the bolts.

The light housing was made out of Copper - PVC fittings and a compression repair fitting from Lowes / Home Depot. The lights are MR-11, 10W Spot and Flood. Originally I had a 12V gel cell battery back-up running the lights which worked great. However, this light set sat for a couple of years, so I hooked my DeWalt 14.4V cordless drill battery to it, with a little brighter light, a little less duration... The light with the DeWalt battery will last a full hour though.

The first light set I made was with MR-16's 20W. I made it the same way only out of PVC fittings... Within 20 minutes, it drooped the lights and caught fire, so, thus the reason for going to MR-11's.

None the less, it puts out pleanty of light, and of course that's not enough, so it's back to the milling machine with some aluminum blanks to make a full-on metal pod(s) for the MR-16's.

I don't know anything about LED's yet, so I'll stick to Halogens for now.

MPB
 

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fuggansonofahowa
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1,070 Posts
Another achesalot creation - thanks, Allen.

Light Source:

Seoul P4 (U-bin) - 3 each

Optics / Reflectors / Lens:

20mm round optics for Luxeons from ledsupply.com (2-15deg straddling 1-5deg)

Housing:

Same physical design as achesalot (link) with the noted exceptions:
- 1/8" thick straight stock used for led backing and for back of light (to offset stat led, pushbutton & cable connector).
- side knobs for easier adjustment (Lowes).
- Heatsink - cut and sized from stock ATI 1600 video card - low profile. Lapped surfaces for maximum heat transfer (400, 1000, 1500 grit).
- Lexan front sealed with GE Lexan silicone sealant.
- Green stat led from Radio Shack - panel mount.

Power Source:

Batteryspace.com 14.8V Li-ion, 5200mAh - haven't verified full runtimes yet. Should be 6+ hrs or so.
Connector and cable also from batteryspace.com. Waterproof battery cables and strain-relief connector - taped and heatshrunk.

Regulator:

Bflex-UIB2 v1.00 driver (nice job, George), running at stock except for 1000mA current drive level {350mA default}, Thermal protection set at 70degC {disabled default}, VStat set to 10 seconds {disabled default}.

Additional comments:

Wowser - some serious light from this little beast. The heatsink is attached with Arctic Silver adhesive and adds quite a bit of additional cooling. The light can sit at full draw and get pretty warm, but not as hot as reported. Of course, it is a New England fall, and the ambient is down to 60degF or so (much cooler at night). Makes a nice hand warmer.

Left to do: waterproofing - I'll seal seams with silicone and glue on a boot for the pushbutton. Maybe do some finishing - brush or polish.

Now I need to mod my Cygolite DualCross. When I got it, it was bright. Now it pales. Will replace the Luxeon stars with Cree Q5's for my next project (a much easier one).

Photos:





 

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I pretty much copied aschelots guide with some mods
Light Source:

3 cree xr-e / 3.7v each? 15.00 deal extreme

Optics / Reflectors / Lens:

i have ledil optis, 6 degree real spot and 2 9 degree medium spots 12.00 from cutter

Housing:

aluminum home depot 1 inch square tubing. 10.00

Power Source:

12 AA NIMH 14.4 / 2500 mah. i used a size N dc power connector originally thinking I could use my night rider charger,(but I can't) so i bought a charger for 25.00 / batteries 30.00

Regulator:

buckpuck 1000 mah

Additional comments:
I tested it in back yard. it is awesome, can't wait to ride with it.
almost completed, I will come back and post a pic
 

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519 Posts
Light Source:

2x CREE xre P4 dropin modules designed for surefire lights

Optics / Reflectors / Lens:
dropin metalic reflectors - the beam is very tight

Housing:

RTA aluminium - annodised black sourced from local hardware chain, comes with matching plastic endcaps

Power Source:
one of the following

-1 makita 9.6v 3000mah stick battery [9.6v]
-2 6x 1.5v alkaline batterys in a 6xAA holder [9v]
-3 8x 1.2v 2500mah AA rechargeables in a 8x AA holder [9.6v]

Regulator:

2x kaidomain kennan regulators - 1 per light

Additional comments:

i would not try the dropin method next time, i would use Anchelots Ledil lens method instead. it was still worth doing though. big tip, DONT wire 2x regulators in series, they go pop.

Photos:





 
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