Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Electronics, Lighting, & Gadgets HRM, GPS, MP3, HID. Whether it's got an acronym or not, here's where you'll find discussions on all sorts of tools, toys and gadgets.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 11-16-07, 12:18 AM   #1
operator
cab horn
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Toronto
Bikes: 1987 Bianchi Campione
Posts: 28,306
Where does most of the cost come from in LED systems?

I'm talking about the more expensive options in LED >$100. The LED itself? The batteries? The electronics?
operator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-07, 02:50 AM   #2
Ziemas
Senior Member
 
Ziemas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Riga, Latvia
Bikes:
Posts: 10,082
I'd say the batteries and the gee-whiz factor. Prices for lights are going down and down all the time.
Ziemas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-07, 06:05 AM   #3
ViperZ
Baby it's cold outside...
 
ViperZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: SK, Canada
Bikes: Trek 5000, Rocky Mountain Wedge, GT Karakoram K2, Litespeed Tuscany
Posts: 7,307
Quote:
Originally Posted by operator View Post
I'm talking about the more expensive options in LED >$100. The LED itself? The batteries? The electronics?
I would say depending on units, it could be the sum of the parts, and the overhead for the companies R&D, marketing, sales distribution, service and warranty...etc. Like most other specialized products, there is a premium to be paid for leading edge.

Looking at Cutter Electronics to build a DIY 3 array LED of the same class as say a Dinotte 600L, it would cost at least $174 for the 3 emitter Cree MR11 Kit (includes LED driver), and a slick machined housing. This does not include batteries, or charger. The batteries would be around ~$65 for 2 x 4000mAh units and a smart charger.

So we are roughly up to $234 with out shipping and assembly for the parts. I think the $389 I paid for a canned solution 600L is a small price to pay for all the other overhead.

This is just one example, and certainly it could be done cheaper or more expensive.


Next season I may just have to look at building one for fun!
__________________
-Trek 5000* -Project Litespeed* -The Italian Job* -Rocky Wedge* -The Canadian Connection*

Last edited by ViperZ; 11-16-07 at 06:26 AM.
ViperZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-07, 07:40 AM   #4
skingry
Asshat
 
skingry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Bikes:
Posts: 333
Quote:
Originally Posted by ViperZ View Post
Looking at Cutter Electronics to build a DIY 3 array LED of the same class as say a Dinotte 600L, it would cost at least $174 for the 3 emitter Cree MR11 Kit (includes LED driver), and a slick machined housing.
Breaking down your $174 figure:

~$15 US for a triple lens (Cutter or LED Spot)
~$18 US for three emitters (Deal Extreme)
~$32 US for the driver (Task LED)

--Total minus the housing ~$65 US... so it's safe to say the majority of the cost involved is the housing (Electronics - $65, Batteries - $65, Housing $100+ if you are buying it pre-made).

Still the 100+ for a housing is a bit steep. This is probably due to them not being made in quantity by whoever is charging that much... considering you can get a 'Cree x3 X-550' flashlight on ebay for that much... that's a flashlight, with the electronics (emitters/lenses and driver), a machined aluminum body, two Lion rechargeable batteries, a charger, and shipping.

Last edited by skingry; 11-16-07 at 07:47 AM.
skingry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-07, 08:46 AM   #5
jeff-o
Recumbent Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Kitchener, Ontario
Bikes: Rebel Cycles Trike, Trek 7500FX
Posts: 2,991
The machined aluminum body and lithium batteries contribute to most of the cost, followed by assembly, then the driver, then the emitters, then everything else.
jeff-o is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-07, 10:23 AM   #6
ViperZ
Baby it's cold outside...
 
ViperZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: SK, Canada
Bikes: Trek 5000, Rocky Mountain Wedge, GT Karakoram K2, Litespeed Tuscany
Posts: 7,307
Quote:
Originally Posted by skingry View Post
Breaking down your $174 figure:

~$15 US for a triple lens (Cutter or LED Spot)
~$18 US for three emitters (Deal Extreme)
~$32 US for the driver (Task LED)

--Total minus the housing ~$65 US... so it's safe to say the majority of the cost involved is the housing (Electronics - $65, Batteries - $65, Housing $100+ if you are buying it pre-made).

Still the 100+ for a housing is a bit steep. This is probably due to them not being made in quantity by whoever is charging that much... considering you can get a 'Cree x3 X-550' flashlight on ebay for that much... that's a flashlight, with the electronics (emitters/lenses and driver), a machined aluminum body, two Lion rechargeable batteries, a charger, and shipping.

Are those emitter arrays you quoted of the same Output level as the Cree MR11 or Dinotte 600L, and do they have the same quality controllers and drivers?
__________________
-Trek 5000* -Project Litespeed* -The Italian Job* -Rocky Wedge* -The Canadian Connection*
ViperZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-07, 12:01 PM   #7
n4zou
Scott
 
n4zou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Bikes: Too Many
Posts: 2,393

3-LED Cree 3-Mode Regulator + Reflector 2x18650 Module Set (3.6V-9V) $28.27
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.9358

You'll need to fabricate a cap with switch for the back where it would screw on a Cree flashlight battery case.

Unsolder the springs and replace with wire to an external battery pack.
n4zou is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-07, 12:03 PM   #8
Mr. Underbridge
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Reston, VA
Bikes: 2003 Giant OCR2
Posts: 2,369
R&D. Early adopter tax.
Mr. Underbridge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-07, 12:23 PM   #9
ViperZ
Baby it's cold outside...
 
ViperZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: SK, Canada
Bikes: Trek 5000, Rocky Mountain Wedge, GT Karakoram K2, Litespeed Tuscany
Posts: 7,307
Quote:
Originally Posted by n4zou View Post

3-LED Cree 3-Mode Regulator + Reflector 2x18650 Module Set (3.6V-9V) $28.27
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.9358

You'll need to fabricate a cap with switch for the back where it would screw on a Cree flashlight battery case.

Unsolder the springs and replace with wire to an external battery pack.
Do you have specs (output and efficiency's) for that?

Looks like a good project.
__________________
-Trek 5000* -Project Litespeed* -The Italian Job* -Rocky Wedge* -The Canadian Connection*
ViperZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-07, 12:45 PM   #10
ViperZ
Baby it's cold outside...
 
ViperZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: SK, Canada
Bikes: Trek 5000, Rocky Mountain Wedge, GT Karakoram K2, Litespeed Tuscany
Posts: 7,307
Here is a read on the Cree 3 Mode

It's not for me...
__________________
-Trek 5000* -Project Litespeed* -The Italian Job* -Rocky Wedge* -The Canadian Connection*
ViperZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-07, 12:55 PM   #11
n4zou
Scott
 
n4zou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Bikes: Too Many
Posts: 2,393
Quote:
Originally Posted by ViperZ View Post
Do you have specs (output and efficiency's) for that?

Looks like a good project.
Just the info on the site. It just showed up a few days ago. No review as yet as it takes a week of so shipping time. Should be the same as this flashlight but not 100% sure.
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.5971
n4zou is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-07, 01:32 PM   #12
Ziemas
Senior Member
 
Ziemas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Riga, Latvia
Bikes:
Posts: 10,082
Quote:
Originally Posted by ViperZ View Post
What exactly is the problem that you have with it?
Ziemas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-07, 03:52 PM   #13
skingry
Asshat
 
skingry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Bikes:
Posts: 333
Quote:
Originally Posted by ViperZ View Post
Are those emitter arrays you quoted of the same Output level as the Cree MR11 or Dinotte 600L, and do they have the same quality controllers and drivers?
The emitters are U-binned SSC P4's (5.82 each) Linky.

Last edited by skingry; 11-16-07 at 04:01 PM.
skingry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-07, 04:13 PM   #14
2manybikes
Dog is my co-pilot
 
2manybikes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Bikes: 2 many
Posts: 15,467
Quote:
Originally Posted by operator View Post
I'm talking about the more expensive options in LED >$100. The LED itself? The batteries? The electronics?
If it's a custom made lens, the tooling for the lens production. If it's a custom housing the tooling for the housing production too.
And enough profit built in so that a retailer will make enough from your product to want to sell it. Without that there will be no bike shop sales, or big mail order company sales etc. And labor to assemble the product depending on where they are made.

Those are probably the highest things. The custom made circuit board would be another if that light has one. But the fixed costs like mortage or rent and utilities can vary so much it's hard to guess about one particular light. The cost of living from country to country and even from town to town can really change things.
2manybikes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-07, 04:32 PM   #15
znomit
Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk
 
znomit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New Zealand
Bikes: Giant Defy Composite,Trek 1.7c, Specy Hardrock, Nishiki SL1, Jamis Commuter
Posts: 3,301
Well this is part of the cost too.
You make a "OMG P4 71 lums per watt" triple cree state of the art light head and by the time it gets designed, produced and shipped people say "Meh, I want my R2s cause they have 40% more light". So it doesn't sell.

However you look at it, this is a triple led machined head and driver for 28$. Yeah you will pay a few dollars more for a nicer driver and better LEDs.
A cateye el530 is very nicely made, if underpowered, and sells for about 40$, so presumably combining the two a nice triple can be make for well under 70$ even with the best drivers (I think if cateye called taskled and asked for 10,000 boards they wouldn't be charged 30$ each).

The homebrew LED light scene is busy because we can put together good lights for cheaper than the retail options. Once Cree stop the improvements and they same light can be sold year after year at your LBS hopefully prices will half, and we can all go find new hobbies.

Last edited by znomit; 11-17-07 at 04:26 PM. Reason: speeeelin
znomit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-07, 08:22 PM   #16
GlowBoy
GN BIKN
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Portland OR
Bikes: 1990ish MTB converted to 'cross, custom Vulture 29"er, Swift 2-speed Automatix folder, Madsen cargo bike
Posts: 255
Overhead and profit. IMO most of the commercial LED systems are ridiculously overpriced considering the cost of the parts.

But this is only more true than with halogens by a matter of degree. My $140 homebrew system blows the lenses off any $300 halogen system I know of. Only HIDs beat it, and not all of them do.
GlowBoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-07, 08:28 PM   #17
operator
cab horn
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Toronto
Bikes: 1987 Bianchi Campione
Posts: 28,306
Quote:
Originally Posted by n4zou View Post

3-LED Cree 3-Mode Regulator + Reflector 2x18650 Module Set (3.6V-9V) $28.27
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.9358

You'll need to fabricate a cap with switch for the back where it would screw on a Cree flashlight battery case.

Unsolder the springs and replace with wire to an external battery pack.
What's the lumens on that?
operator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-07, 07:42 AM   #18
ViperZ
Baby it's cold outside...
 
ViperZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: SK, Canada
Bikes: Trek 5000, Rocky Mountain Wedge, GT Karakoram K2, Litespeed Tuscany
Posts: 7,307
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
What exactly is the problem that you have with it?
Not to sound pompous, but it's est 300lumen output, it's not the caliber of something I would use in a build.

I have a lot to learn before I attempt one, however I can't see me, personally, saving a lot of money over a canned solution. Just like the parts I quoted, it would still cost a lot regardless. For me it would be more for the fun and pride of building a current state of the art unit, using the latest equipment tech available.
__________________
-Trek 5000* -Project Litespeed* -The Italian Job* -Rocky Wedge* -The Canadian Connection*

Last edited by ViperZ; 11-17-07 at 07:53 AM.
ViperZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-07, 11:47 AM   #19
Ziemas
Senior Member
 
Ziemas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Riga, Latvia
Bikes:
Posts: 10,082
Quote:
Originally Posted by ViperZ View Post
Not to sound pompous, but it's est 300lumen output, it's not the caliber of something I would use in a build.

I have a lot to learn before I attempt one, however I can't see me, personally, saving a lot of money over a canned solution. Just like the parts I quoted, it would still cost a lot regardless. For me it would be more for the fun and pride of building a current state of the art unit, using the latest equipment tech available.
That a ready solution flashlight you linked to; nothing to do with a build kit. It is a canned solution, and a cheap one.
Ziemas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-07, 01:53 PM   #20
ViperZ
Baby it's cold outside...
 
ViperZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: SK, Canada
Bikes: Trek 5000, Rocky Mountain Wedge, GT Karakoram K2, Litespeed Tuscany
Posts: 7,307
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
That a ready solution flashlight you linked to; nothing to do with a build kit. It is a canned solution, and a cheap one.
That's is my point, it's using the 3-LED Cree 3-Mode Regulator linked above for $28.27, I suspect it's not in the same league as the Wilma or 600L. Thus it's not for me.....

You asked "What exactly is the problem that you have with it?"
__________________
-Trek 5000* -Project Litespeed* -The Italian Job* -Rocky Wedge* -The Canadian Connection*
ViperZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-07, 04:22 PM   #21
Ziemas
Senior Member
 
Ziemas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Riga, Latvia
Bikes:
Posts: 10,082
Quote:
Originally Posted by ViperZ View Post
That's is my point, it's using the 3-LED Cree 3-Mode Regulator linked above for $28.27, I suspect it's not in the same league as the Wilma or 600L. Thus it's not for me.....

You asked "What exactly is the problem that you have with it?"
I mean what in the link that you posted along with your comment makes you say that? It seems to have decent reviews considering the cost.
Ziemas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-07, 04:49 PM   #22
ViperZ
Baby it's cold outside...
 
ViperZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: SK, Canada
Bikes: Trek 5000, Rocky Mountain Wedge, GT Karakoram K2, Litespeed Tuscany
Posts: 7,307
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
I mean what in the link that you posted along with your comment makes you say that? It seems to have decent reviews considering the cost.
Somewhere in the link it states the expected lumens is about 300.... Thats not enough for me at this point.

If I build something it's going to have to eclipse my current systems, as such will not be cheap (currently), I think.
__________________
-Trek 5000* -Project Litespeed* -The Italian Job* -Rocky Wedge* -The Canadian Connection*

Last edited by ViperZ; 11-17-07 at 05:07 PM.
ViperZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-07, 04:59 PM   #23
znomit
Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk
 
znomit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New Zealand
Bikes: Giant Defy Composite,Trek 1.7c, Specy Hardrock, Nishiki SL1, Jamis Commuter
Posts: 3,301
About 10lm per dollar.... sounds pretty good.
No its not in the same league as a dinotte or wilma (less than 2lm per dollar).
znomit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-07, 05:20 PM   #24
ViperZ
Baby it's cold outside...
 
ViperZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: SK, Canada
Bikes: Trek 5000, Rocky Mountain Wedge, GT Karakoram K2, Litespeed Tuscany
Posts: 7,307
Quote:
Originally Posted by znomit View Post
About 10lm per dollar.... sounds pretty good.
No its not in the same league as a dinotte or wilma (less than 2lm per dollar).
Case, battery, charger, straps, mounting, build time, having something tried and true....
__________________
-Trek 5000* -Project Litespeed* -The Italian Job* -Rocky Wedge* -The Canadian Connection*
ViperZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-07, 05:21 PM   #25
operator
cab horn
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Toronto
Bikes: 1987 Bianchi Campione
Posts: 28,306
Quote:
Originally Posted by ViperZ View Post
That's is my point, it's using the 3-LED Cree 3-Mode Regulator linked above for $28.27, I suspect it's not in the same league as the Wilma or 600L. Thus it's not for me.....

You asked "What exactly is the problem that you have with it?"
It says it's $44.97 here. That is still considerably less than the retail of ~ $170 for the 200L. Obviously won't be anywhere near the 600L. But 300L > 200L...

Couldn't you just stack 2 x 300L flashlights = 600L?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ViperZ View Post
Case, battery, charger, straps, mounting, build time, having something tried and true....
I wasn't impressed with the mounting system that came with the 200L. My battery pack slides all over the top tube with the included 2x velcro straps. The small one and the big one are equally bad. I've accidentally hit the battery pouch once and spilled it all over the road with my new while getting out to sprint How hard would've it have been to have something that would securely attach the AA case to your bike?

Batteries and charger - didn't really matter much to me. I picked up a 2500mah AA Energizer nimh's complete with charget at walmart for $27. (Since I got the "weekend" sale version of the light which did not include charger/battery).

For $45, that dealextreme flashlight looks like a steal.

Last edited by operator; 11-17-07 at 05:32 PM.
operator is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:18 PM.