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  1. #1
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    Halogen Lights Night Commute Changing Bulbs?

    How often do you have to change your halogen bulbs when you ride?
    Also, how long do you often ride for when using the halogens?

    e.g. Ride 5h a week with halogen bulbs, and rides for about 4-5 months before needing to change bulb.

  2. #2
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grun View Post
    How often do you have to change your halogen bulbs when you ride?
    Also, how long do you often ride for when using the halogens?

    e.g. Ride 5h a week with halogen bulbs, and rides for about 4-5 months before needing to change bulb.
    I've been running MR11 halogens for around 15 years. I start using them in October and use them 3 to 5 times per week for about 1.5 hrs per day. I also overvolt them by 10 to 20% (7.2V or 14.4V on 6V and 12V lights, respectively). Last winter was the first time I every had a bulb go out on me. I've changed bulbs in the past because of changes in the voltage of the system (going from 7.2V to 14.4V) but last years was the first time since I started using MR11 that I had one burn out.

    These bulbs are very rugged especially considering the cost...about $3 each.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  3. #3
    __________ seeker333's Avatar
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    Even overvolted twenty percent. good mr11 halogen bulbs last for years / 100s (1,000s?) of hours use.

    Crappy ones can last an hour.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    I've been running MR11 halogens for around 15 years. I start using them in October and use them 3 to 5 times per week for about 1.5 hrs per day. I also overvolt them by 10 to 20% (7.2V or 14.4V on 6V and 12V lights, respectively). Last winter was the first time I every had a bulb go out on me. I've changed bulbs in the past because of changes in the voltage of the system (going from 7.2V to 14.4V) but last years was the first time since I started using MR11 that I had one burn out.

    These bulbs are very rugged especially considering the cost...about $3 each.
    Dude, you gotta clarify this one for me. Your MR11 Halogen bulb lasted 15 years!? with moderate use (1.5h
    at a time/a few times a week)?

  5. #5
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grun View Post
    Dude, you gotta clarify this one for me. Your MR11 Halogen bulb lasted 15 years!? with moderate use (1.5h
    at a time/a few times a week)?
    I've not had the same bulb for 15 years. I've changed wattages and voltages a few times. Some of the bulbs have been replaced with wider angled beams but, in the 15 years of using the MR11, I've had two failures that I can think of. One was from the mirroring on the reflector coming off and coating the inside of the lense...still useable but rather diffuse and the other was from the bulb burning out which was last year. I don't keep track of the changes but from what I can recall most of my bulbs would have been in use for around 5 years.

    I use multiple lamps when I ride also, so I've got more then one bulb in play at any given time.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  6. #6
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    My friend is riding with my old Nightrider Classic, it's probably about 8 years old. He uses it a couple of times a week. Never changed the bulbs. I did not use it every single day.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    I've not had the same bulb for 15 years. I've changed wattages and voltages a few times. Some of the bulbs have been replaced with wider angled beams but, in the 15 years of using the MR11, I've had two failures that I can think of. One was from the mirroring on the reflector coming off and coating the inside of the lense...still useable but rather diffuse and the other was from the bulb burning out which was last year. I don't keep track of the changes but from what I can recall most of my bulbs would have been in use for around 5 years.

    I use multiple lamps when I ride also, so I've got more then one bulb in play at any given time.
    show us your ultima setup!

  8. #8
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grun View Post
    show us your ultima setup!
    Here you go but be warned, it's a lot of photos

    On my mountain bike



    Batteries: 7.2V RC car batteries wired in series to get 14.4 V with a run time of around 1.5 hours (all I really need)



    Here's what the wiring looks like



    Total system (without helmet light)



    On my road commuter





    And, finally, beam shots of the whole shebang (with helmet light)...all 89 W and 2600 lumen

    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  9. #9
    Senior_Member2 diff_lock2's Avatar
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    I don't see why you would use mr11's. Apparently mr16s put out a lot more light.

    I have JUST started using Halogen lights for night riding. I am using OSRAM's IRC lights, which put out a lot of light for their wattage. They claim 35w halogen light out put from a 20w light. I use their 20w Flood light. Its really good for forest riding, but i really want a 10w spot+10w flood. But they don't make IRCs with such low wattage (or at least i don't think so).

    With a 12v 20w bulb and a 3.4Ah 14,4v pack i get 40min bright light and then 20min of dimming light. I need more run time.

  10. #10
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diff_lock2 View Post
    I don't see why you would use mr11's. Apparently mr16s put out a lot more light.

    I have JUST started using Halogen lights for night riding. I am using OSRAM's IRC lights, which put out a lot of light for their wattage. They claim 35w halogen light out put from a 20w light. I use their 20w Flood light. Its really good for forest riding, but i really want a 10w spot+10w flood. But they don't make IRCs with such low wattage (or at least i don't think so).
    I use commercial headlamp units so I'm constrained to the MR11 by design. I could build the lamp unit but then I'd lose easy interchangeability of the lamps between bikes. Only a few commercial systems ever went with MR16s...probably because of size.

    Quote Originally Posted by diff_lock2 View Post
    With a 12v 20w bulb and a 3.4Ah 14,4v pack i get 40min bright light and then 20min of dimming light. I need more run time.
    Something is wrong with your battery. Your system should draw 1.7A and should give you around 2 hours on a 3.4 Ah battery. I draw 32W from the same size battery at the same voltage and still get over an hour of run time.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  11. #11
    Senior_Member2 diff_lock2's Avatar
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    Yeah i estimated 2hrs too, thats why i was surprised when when it started dimming at 40min.
    yeah, its a shame commercial units don't usually use mr16 lamps.

  12. #12
    Senior_Member2 diff_lock2's Avatar
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    I just went for an other ride. I got 1hr of useful light. I think my chargers are not up to the task of fully charging these cells. I will buy a better charger and see what i can get out of these cells.

  13. #13
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diff_lock2 View Post
    I just went for an other ride. I got 1hr of useful light. I think my chargers are not up to the task of fully charging these cells. I will buy a better charger and see what i can get out of these cells.
    Is this a new battery? Nickel chemistry batteries take a few cycles to get to full power. For chargers I like Maha C777+. It's expensive but it's incredibly flexible and does a real good job on all my batteries.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  14. #14
    Senior_Member2 diff_lock2's Avatar
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    These batts are new. I am charging them for the third time now. Ordered a pretty cool charger from a Rc shop. Set me back 100eu. But it can charge all kinds of batts. Even li batts.

  15. #15
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diff_lock2 View Post
    These batts are new. I am charging them for the third time now. Ordered a pretty cool charger from a Rc shop. Set me back 100eu. But it can charge all kinds of batts. Even li batts.
    Give 'em a few more cycles before you give up on them. My charger has a discharge function and I usually run mine through about 4 cycles before I get to full power.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  16. #16
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Give 'em a few more cycles before you give up on them. My charger has a discharge function and I usually run mine through about 4 cycles before I get to full power.
    I think my old Nightrider Classic said as many as ten cycles on the NICads before getting full run time.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  17. #17
    GATC
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    I use several bulbs/season on my cygo nitro. Just starting my 3rd season with this rig. They (Cygo) asked me to send the whole rig to them for testing this past summer, but I didn't get around to it. I stopped using their (proprietary?) bulbs a while ago (~$15 per from LBS although they were only charging me for every 2nd or 3rd bulb...) switched to generic mr11s from batteryspace.com (which, knock on formica, don't seem to blow as frequently). I am looking at ~5-8 hrs/ wk of run time from ... just about now through May. It's only crucial (constantly dark) from probably Nov to Feb/March.

    I am thinking that better lighting is my next project to save up for.

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