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Old 05-26-11, 12:41 PM   #1
formicaman
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Brighten that old light

I didn't think to build my wheel with a dynamo, so when I decided I wanted classic lighting for my Raleigh Sports, the options were pretty limited. I bought this old Ellite lamp that clips to the light bracket.

2 D batteries and a 2.7v flashlight bulb. It actually put out pretty good light - more be seen than see of course, but it did actually light up the road a bit. However, battery life was subpar.
I was thinking of getting all fancy and wiring an LED cluster into it, but then I found a site selling LED bulbs to retrofit old flashlights (http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-b...t%2Fbulbs.html)
I ordered one ($10+ shipping - ouch) and now my old light is blindingly bright. Sure, I'll miss that warm orange incandescant glow, but batteries are expensive and thise bulb should keep that set of D bateries going a long long time.
I assume these bulbs would work for Dynamo lighhting too.
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Old 05-26-11, 12:58 PM   #2
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now my old light is blindingly bright.
If it is Super bright, that's no good either. Maybe you could tone it down by fitting the set-up to use just one of the D batteries. Then you'd also always have a spare battery with you. Or save some weight if you're concerned about that sort of thing. I'm all about being seen and not getting hit by cars, but I'm also all about hoping someone does almost hit the jerk who's more concerned with himself than blinding others on the road(Not saying You are. I just have dealt with that and it's dangerous to others.). It's just as bad as those "ricer" guys in their civics who put in bright blue HIDs but don't bother to fit the cut-offs like HIDs are designed to use.

But in any case, nicely done. It'll still have that nice C&V look, but get a Ton more life out of your batteries. I dig it. Now we just need a picture of it where we can see the whole bike too!
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Old 05-26-11, 01:35 PM   #3
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Just wire the set up in parallel instead of series. Should take care of it being too bright and extend battery life.
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Old 05-26-11, 01:39 PM   #4
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That bulb is rated for 35 lumens, which is not blindingly light! Don't worry about it.
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Old 05-26-11, 01:43 PM   #5
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It is not nearly as bright as an actual light that you would use to illuminate a dark road. It's about as bright as any other good cycling light, which is a lot brighter than it was before. In any case, my light points down and has a glare hood.
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Old 05-26-11, 03:35 PM   #6
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I've put a couple of these in my headlights. The screw bases are getting harder to find. I'm a little bummed that the bulb doesn't really take advantage of the parabolic reflector but it seams to get by with out it.
Thanks for the source. Time to stock up.
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Old 05-26-11, 05:24 PM   #7
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How about this bulb?

http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-b...2Fcandelab.htm

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Old 05-26-11, 08:03 PM   #8
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That'd be great if you're taking out the back of your current light and starting fresh but the ones Formicaman recommends just screw right in to your old light.
These also ask for 6-12v rather than the 1v of the flashlight bulbs. I expect 4 batteries will last longer than one and that would be an advantage on a longer ride.
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Old 05-27-11, 04:38 AM   #9
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On a different note...

Anybody ever trying "gerri" rigging an LED from an LED flashlight? This is a project I haven't gotten around yet to attempting for my generator light set. Plus, I keep seeing these $1 LED flashlights at the dollar store, and better ones at the local True Value hardware store. Anybody ever try this with successful results?
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Old 05-27-11, 06:13 AM   #10
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Something to note while doing all this, most LEDs are not higher voltage friendly. Stay in the 1.5v to 3v range. These kits obviously have their own recommended voltage but if someone were to just sit down and make their own, they need to remember such things. Putting an LED in a standard base really shouldn't be that hard either.
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Old 05-27-11, 06:30 AM   #11
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On a different note...

Anybody ever trying "gerri" rigging an LED from an LED flashlight? This is a project I haven't gotten around yet to attempting for my generator light set. Plus, I keep seeing these $1 LED flashlights at the dollar store, and better ones at the local True Value hardware store. Anybody ever try this with successful results?
I've done that several times, basically on the logic that this thing is cheap and has all the parts I need, I'm just changing the power supply. Well, it wasn't worth the effort. One of the problems I encountered was with the switch; the lights I've worked with have an electronic switch of some kind, where pushing the button causes a momentary interruption in the current, which switches the thing to the next setting in a cycle of off>low>high>flashing>off>&c. So every time the current stops, for whatever reason, the light switches to a different setting. I know there's a way to outsmart this, but it involves going into a tiny circuit board with a soldering iron... with my soldering skills, it's a better use of time to just throw the thing away and go for a bike ride in the dark, because the end result will be the same. YMMV.

If you want a cheap and effective LED light set to run off a dynamo hub or sidewall dynamo, you're really better off building it yourself. Did you see the lights I put on my Fothergill? Photos and some information on the light here, and more detail in this post.

Last edited by rhm; 05-27-11 at 06:35 AM.
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Old 05-27-11, 04:33 PM   #12
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There are those really old candle lights on Ebay sometimes. I sorta wanna get one of those and stick a Mag Light where the candle is supposed to go.
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Old 05-27-11, 04:51 PM   #13
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If you are really interested in light and not so much in the C&V-ness or a minimal cost, you can run the B&M headlights and taillights with a bottle generator. That's what I have on my commuter UO8. They are expensive but boy do they put out some light.
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