Bicycle Lighting

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Ed, Nov 27, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Ed

    Ed Guest

    In order to save some money and build my own lighting system, does anyone know of a electronics
    catalog out there which would carry bulbs / light shells / switches, mounting clamps etc?
     
    Tags:


  2. Tim McNamara

    Tim McNamara Guest

    [email protected] (ed) writes:

    > In order to save some money and build my own lighting system, does anyone know of a electronics
    > catalog out there which would carry bulbs / light shells / switches, mounting clamps etc?

    Nowhere that would have all the items you need in one convenient location. Bulbs, sockets, batteries
    are easy to come by. You'll have to make housings out of stuff you can find in harware stores.

    There's lots of great information about these projects on the Web, including one guy from Australia
    (fat old hippy, I think he calls himself). A Google search for "homebrew bicycle lighting" should
    turn him up.
     
  3. kh6zv9

    kh6zv9 Guest

    ed <[email protected]> wrote:
    : In order to save some money and build my own lighting system, does anyone know of a electronics
    : catalog out there which would carry bulbs / light shells / switches, mounting clamps etc?

    Go to home depot and buy a large maglight flashlight. Buy some wire and a switch. Buy a 20 watt
    halogen spot light in it's own housing.

    Don't get a flood light! They work crappy.

    The new halogen housing will fit in the maglight perfectly.

    Shorten the maglight handle with a saw. Add a switch. Install the new Halogen light. Make a handle
    bar mount to suit.

    For power buy a 7 amp hour lead acid battery, and a smart charger for it.

    Cars think I am a motorcycle in the dark.

    I mount the battery to a rear rack using toe clip straps to secure it to the rack.

    --------------------------------
    Bob Masse' [email protected]
    --------------------------------
     
  4. Steve Knight

    Steve Knight Guest

    On 27 Nov 2003 05:43:21 -0800, [email protected] (ed) wrote:

    >In order to save some money and build my own lighting system, does anyone know of a electronics
    >catalog out there which would carry bulbs / light shells / switches, mounting clamps etc?

    for most you will have to make do with what you can find. http://www.bulbsource.net/ the mr11 bulbs
    are what most bike lights use. I just made mine. it is a over volted system, it runs a 12v mr11 bulb
    at 16 volts using a LVR http://www.cs.indiana.edu/~willie/lvr.html (a bit out of date) it turns the
    light on and off really fast (can't see it) and also keeps you from draining the battery too much. I
    used two 9.6v rc battery packs and a good rc battery charger. the only bad part is I used my lights&
    motion commuter housing and I melted the switch in it (G) but once I got past that I got a hello f a
    lot of light for about 140.00

    --
    Knight-Toolworks & Custom Planes Custom made wooden planes at reasonable prices See
    http://www.knight-toolworks.com For prices and ordering instructions.
     
  5. Q.

    Q. Guest

    "ed" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In order to save some money and build my own lighting system, does anyone know of a electronics
    > catalog out there which would carry bulbs / light shells / switches, mounting clamps etc?

    Many places have those items however ...

    This may not be what you want to hear, but it's been my experience that these type of projects end
    up costing as much or more than just going out and buying off the shelf stuff. It's not only the
    cost of the parts, but your time as well. If you want to do it for fun that's great, but don't
    expect to save any money over store bought lighting.

    I've fixed up, modified or made many things, including making guitars and restoring old cars.
    Here is a formula to factor in cost that I use, and it always works: Figure out to the penny how
    much all the parts will cost, then DOUBLE that figure, and that's how much it will actually cost
    in the end (c:

    If you want to do it for fun, then you'll have to start thinking in strange directions, and using
    parts not intended for lighting applications. For example, one "trick" my friend uses for
    rechargeable batteries for his bike, is to use Sony video camera battery packs. Very high watt hours
    for the weight.

    Try to find a good electronics store near you, nothing beats being able to pick something up in your
    hand. You can try http://www.mouser.com/ and http://www.digikey.com/ I've gotten a lot of stuff from
    them. This place has weird and sometimes useful items http://www.sciplus.com/

    C.Q.C.
     
  6. Steve Knight

    Steve Knight Guest

    >This may not be what you want to hear, but it's been my experience that these type of projects end
    >up costing as much or more than just going out and buying off the shelf stuff. It's not only the
    >cost of the parts, but your time as well. If you want to do it for fun that's great, but don't
    >expect to save any money over store bought lighting.

    I agree. my project was a bit of a pain. but I did not want just a normal light I wanted a lot of
    light. I just could afford a HID so I had to make my own. cost so far using the light figure I had
    about 140.00 and a couple three hours.

    --
    Knight-Toolworks & Custom Planes Custom made wooden planes at reasonable prices See
    http://www.knight-toolworks.com For prices and ordering instructions.
     
  7. [email protected] wrote:

    > I mount the battery to a rear rack using toe clip straps to secure it to the rack.

    You "retro" guys!

    A _real_ cyclist would disassemble a Look A5.1 pedal and use the "clipless" mechanism to hold the
    battery to the rack.

    Unless it's a mountain bike, of course. Then substitute a Shimano M540 ATB pedal mechanism.

    ;-)

    --
    Frank Krygowski
     
  8. Q. wrote:

    >
    > This may not be what you want to hear, but it's been my experience that these type of projects end
    > up costing as much or more than just going out and buying off the shelf stuff. It's not only the
    > cost of the parts, but your time as well.

    Like so many things, it depends; YMMV.

    When I was younger and poorer, I did lots of "homemade" solutions. My life was more relaxed, I had
    the time, and I didn't have the money, and I liked tinkering and learning how to do things. I'd
    judge which jobs to do myself by estimating my time versus my cost savings. If I cleared $10 per
    hour, it was worth it to me.

    Nowadays, money isn't nearly so tight, but free time is much less. My priorities have changed.

    > If you want to do it for fun that's great, but don't expect to save any money over store bought
    > lighting.

    It's quite easy to save money over store-bought rechargeable lights. I built a pretty elegant one
    for about $10. Admittedly, I was given a couple 12 volt battery packs from hospital defibrillators.
    But my scrap boxes have lots of stuff to work with.

    > ... Figure out to the penny how much all the parts will cost, then DOUBLE that figure, and that's
    > how much it will actually cost in the end (c:

    ... and don't forget to multiply your best "work time" estimate by pi!

    --
    Frank Krygowski
     
  9. kh6zv9

    kh6zv9 Guest

    frkrygowHALTSPAM <"frkrygowHALTSPAM"@cc.ysu.edu> wrote:
    : [email protected] wrote:

    :> I mount the battery to a rear rack using toe clip straps to secure it to the rack.

    : You "retro" guys!

    : A _real_ cyclist would disassemble a Look A5.1 pedal and use the "clipless" mechanism to hold the
    : battery to the rack.

    : Unless it's a mountain bike, of course. Then substitute a Shimano M540 ATB pedal mechanism.

    : ;-)

    : --
    : Frank Krygowski

    Damn! That really is a good solution!

    --------------------------------
    Bob Masse' [email protected]
    --------------------------------
     
  10. On 27 Nov 2003 05:43:21 -0800, ed <[email protected]> wrote:

    > In order to save some money ...

    Buy a bicycle light, off the shelf. I recommend the Cat Eye HL-EL300, similar to this link but with
    a white, translucent enclosure : http://www.cateye.com/detail.php?products_id=91 It gets attention
    even when aimed at the road 10 feet in front of me, lights up the road a little bit, and has held up
    to some medium amounts of rain.

    However, if you just want to learn what it's like to build a lighting system, or to get just the
    right system for you, or you want to enhance what someone else has made incorrectly, then by all
    means go for it! :)

    But the manufacturers get quantity discounts when ordering their parts, plus they mass produce their
    lights so that gives them the advantage of economies of scale, over a homemade prototype.

    Prototyping is always expensive compared to the manufactured item. So it is unlikely that you light
    will be cheaper when compared to a substantially similar, manufactured light, but not impossible!
    You might find some source cheaper than them.

    > and build my own lighting system, does anyone know of a electronics catalog out there which would
    > carry bulbs / light shells / switches, mounting clamps etc?

    You can get low quantity (onesys, twosys), electronic components from Radio Shack (
    http://www.radioshack.com ) under their "Parts, Tools & Wire" link. The also have project boxes that
    you can drill holes in to use as your enclosure. But these are rectangular shapes, nothing curvey
    and pretty like the Cat Eyes or Nightsuns.

    Some cities have businesses that harvest electronic parts and sell them in low quantity to the
    general public. That would depend on your town, weather or not one is available to you.

    I recommend you use the new bright LEDs. They are much more electrically efficient, and have a much
    longer life than halogen, but much cheaper than a HID. That HL-EL300 has a round spot beam with a
    brightness much brighter than a single 6V halogen bulb, but much dimmer than an HID bulb. Although
    that HL-EL300 uses some nice lenses to form the LEDs into a nice, round beam. But, figuring out how
    to get a nice beam is part of the fun of these homemade prototypes, isn't it? :)

    --
    __/_ _ _ _) /(- \/(- _) .
    -----------------------------------------------------------
     
  11. Bill Cotton

    Bill Cotton Guest

    Steve Sanfratello <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > On 27 Nov 2003 05:43:21 -0800, ed <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > In order to save some money ...
    >
    > Buy a bicycle light, off the shelf. I recommend the Cat Eye HL-EL300, similar to this link but
    > with a white, translucent enclosure : http://www.cateye.com/detail.php?products_id=91 It gets
    > attention even when aimed at the road 10 feet in front of me, lights up the road a little bit, and
    > has held up to some medium amounts of rain.
    >
    > However, if you just want to learn what it's like to build a lighting system, or to get just the
    > right system for you, or you want to enhance what someone else has made incorrectly, then by all
    > means go for it! :)
    >
    > But the manufacturers get quantity discounts when ordering their parts, plus they mass produce
    > their lights so that gives them the advantage of economies of scale, over a homemade prototype.
    >
    > Prototyping is always expensive compared to the manufactured item. So it is unlikely that you
    > light will be cheaper when compared to a substantially similar, manufactured light, but not
    > impossible! You might find some source cheaper than them.
    >
    > > and build my own lighting system, does anyone know of a electronics catalog out there which
    > > would carry bulbs / light shells / switches, mounting clamps etc?
    >
    > You can get low quantity (onesys, twosys), electronic components from Radio Shack (
    > http://www.radioshack.com ) under their "Parts, Tools & Wire" link. The also have project boxes
    > that you can drill holes in to use as your enclosure. But these are rectangular shapes, nothing
    > curvey and pretty like the Cat Eyes or Nightsuns.
    >
    > Some cities have businesses that harvest electronic parts and sell them in low quantity to the
    > general public. That would depend on your town, weather or not one is available to you.
    >
    > I recommend you use the new bright LEDs. They are much more electrically efficient, and have a
    > much longer life than halogen, but much cheaper than a HID. That HL-EL300 has a round spot beam
    > with a brightness much brighter than a single 6V halogen bulb, but much dimmer than an HID bulb.
    > Although that HL-EL300 uses some nice lenses to form the LEDs into a nice, round beam. But,
    > figuring out how to get a nice beam is part of the fun of these homemade prototypes, isn't it? :)

    > But these are rectangular shapes, nothing curvey and pretty like the Cat Eyes or Nightsuns.

    PVC pipe and heat can help with the curvey shapes. See:
    http://www.billcotton.com/bicycle_electric.htm AA NiMH seem to be advancing the fastest as
    weight/Amp hours. I used Radio Shack's cell holder to make AA battery packs. 2 ten cells pack of
    2000 mAh produces 4 amp hours at 1 pounds weight. The newest cells I aquired are 2250 mAh.
     
  12. Frkrygow

    Frkrygow Guest

    Steve Sanfratello wrote:

    > On 27 Nov 2003 05:43:21 -0800, ed <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> In order to save some money ...
    >
    > ... However, if you just want to learn what it's like to build a lighting system, or to get just
    > the right system for you, or you want to enhance what someone else has made incorrectly, then by
    > all means go for it! :)
    >
    > But the manufacturers get quantity discounts when ordering their parts, plus they mass produce
    > their lights so that gives them the advantage of economies of scale, over a homemade prototype.
    >
    > Prototyping is always expensive compared to the manufactured item. So it is unlikely that you
    > light will be cheaper when compared to a substantially similar, manufactured light, but not
    > impossible! You might find some source cheaper than them.

    Actually, there are numerous websites that detail how people made rechargeable lighting sets for
    much less than the typical retail prices. I did that, as mentioned, and mine would have beat retail
    by a large margin even if my batteries weren't free.

    This is what continues to astound me about rechargeable bike headlights. The profit margin _must_ be
    significant; there is almost no other mass-produced technical item that can be homemade for less
    than its retail cost. (Try building an ordinary flashlight, for comparison.)

    You'd think they'd plow some of that profit back into optical design, which is sadly lacking in
    those light sets - at least, for road riding.

    But I guess enough customers think they need watts, watts and more watts. They don't realize what
    they really need is illumination. And they don't realize that there's a difference.

    --
    Frank Krygowski [To reply, omit what's between "at" and "cc"]
     
  13. Steve Knight

    Steve Knight Guest

    >This is what continues to astound me about rechargeable bike headlights. The profit margin _must_
    >be significant; there is almost no other mass-produced technical item that can be homemade for less
    >than its retail cost. (Try building an ordinary flashlight, for comparison.)

    yep look at the chargers they are pathetic. L&M's 14 hour charger if I needed to replace it it would
    cost me 50.00 I can get the same one at ratshack for about
    12.00 their 3 hour smart charger is 100.00 I got a far better far more versatile RC battery charger
    that is computer controlled for 49.00 off of ebay shipped. I can charger 4 to 10 cells with it
    trickle or peak charge it at up to 6 amps.

    --
    Knight-Toolworks & Custom Planes Custom made wooden planes at reasonable prices See
    http://www.knight-toolworks.com For prices and ordering instructions.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Loading...