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Old 08-16-08, 12:42 PM   #1
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Lighting decision paralysis

Alright, I am pleading for help. Choosing lights is proving harder than choosing a bike... I have on order one of the 9 LED taillights from Dealextreme for a steady tail light, and I just bought a Mars 3.0 for a blinking rear light (I was leaning towards the Superflash but those were out of stock at the moment of truth).

For headlights: I'll be using them for commuting on suburban/somewhat urban roads with decent to poor lighting. Here's my summary of various options that I'm working on right now...

Commercial HID: Too much $$$, convenient and bright.
Commercial bike LEDs: $$$, not that cost effective
LED Flashlights: $, bright, may have to juggle lots of small batteries
MR16 halogen, 13.2 or 14.4V: $, very bright, simple using Optronics housing, need a large battery, perhaps less reliable.

I'll probably buy one of the popular Ultrafire flashlights from dealextreme soon as a starting point. The ideal solution for me would be something simple based on a couple of the Cree LED emitters, combined with a single external battery pack - in other words something basically equivalent to the MR16 solution but without the filament. Does something like this already exist? Are the LEDs mounted in the MR16 housings worth looking at?

I am more than capable of fabbing my own DIY LED lighting system, with a background in optical design and ready access at work to a milling machine and lathe, but I just haven't had the free time to consider that route so I'll table that option for now.

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Old 08-16-08, 05:37 PM   #2
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Since you're willing on the DIY front, and especially since you have access to machine equipment, I'll suggest you pick up a Task Force Cree 2C at Lowe's. The head unit (with the circuitry, emitter, and optics) screws right off the body - all you need to do is fab up a mount, back, and wire a battery pack for an excellent light with long throw and (potentially) long runtime.

Much easier and with superior optics than taking apart a DX light, imho.
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Old 08-16-08, 07:00 PM   #3
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I second the light output from that two c flashlight from Lowes, it's puts out a pretty good spotlightish' beam.
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