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  1. #1
    Ha ha HA! Me likey bikey! Foofy's Avatar
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    Making a lighting system. Need people's help.

    After reading around and getting a general idea of options and how this stuff works, I decided to buy these bulbs today while I was at a hardware store. They're 3 mr16 halogen floodlights, rated each at 20W and 12V.

    I've never made a lighting system before, and my main goal here is to successfully build a good, working system. I'm not expecting perfection here, as I can always learn more stuff later on and build another system or improve an existing one later on. Main goal here is to learn, get practice, and build something that works decently. That being said, will these bulbs make decent headlights?

    If so, how am I to mount these on my bike? What enclosure options do I have? Anything they sell at home depot? Fabricate something with PVC pipes (can they handle the heat?)?

    I already know how to solder wires and connections, so I'm not too worried about that. Learned how to do that on electric guitars. Though any tips you guys have are certainly welcome.

    I read somewhere that it's a good idea to use a fuse, so I plan on doing that. How do I know what fuse to get? Since I'm looking at running roughly 5 amps, do I get a 5 amp fuse? 7? 10?

    Do I need to use a resistor if the batteries turn out to supply more voltage or amps than what the system calls for?

    I'm a newbie here, so any help/advice is much appreciated.
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    Last edited by Foofy; 03-03-09 at 04:02 PM.

  2. #2
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    Buy a 12v MR16 garden light or a 12v MR16 pond light, either of these is already in a robust housing and can usually be mounted to the bars successfully.

    Also, check out the HID light in my signature.
    Making a Pilom Triple LED Headlight ? I have parts available :)
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  3. #3
    Ha ha HA! Me likey bikey! Foofy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the recommendations Unknown. Will do. And that HID light you did looks really cool.

    I actually just got back from Home Depot, looking for housings that take the exact bulbs I bought. For the life of me, I couldn't find them, even though the store sells the exact same bulbs. I didn't bother to ask anyone there, because I'm crazy and illogical at times. So that's on tomorrow's to-do list before heading to work.

  4. #4
    Senior Member brokenknee's Avatar
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    Clarity to Agreement (Dennis Prager)

    alot? a lot.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Pig_Chaser's Avatar
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    Read the total geekiness thread, there's lots of info on Halogen lighting systems or do a search for cycocommute's threads. He didn't invent halogen lighting, but he may have perfected it.

    One quick tip though is that you may want to get you hands on a spot halogen bulb instead of flood. It'll put more light where you want it (in front of you).

  6. #6
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    MR11s fit well in tennis balls with a bit of silicone glue, and ball holders make the perfect mount.
    As said, flood lights are no good, look for a spot under 20deg.


  7. #7
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    -1 on the tennis ball idea.

    It's not 1st April is it...checking....no it's 5th March.

    Are you serious ??
    Making a Pilom Triple LED Headlight ? I have parts available :)
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  8. #8
    Senior Member brokenknee's Avatar
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    I wonder how many lumen's you get from the flames of the tennis ball once it starts on fire? It might be bright, but run time would sure suck.
    Clarity to Agreement (Dennis Prager)

    alot? a lot.

  9. #9
    Senior Member jack002's Avatar
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    I want a light thats more aero, can I mount one in a football instead?
    Biking isn't a sport because anybody can do it. I can bike, you can bike. For goodness sakes, my mother can bike! You don't see her on the cover of Sports Illustrated, do you?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jack002 View Post
    I want a light thats more aero, can I mount one in a football instead?
    Footballs are still spherical and much larger.

    If you want something pointy try a rugby ball.

    Making a Pilom Triple LED Headlight ? I have parts available :)
    Bell R2 Conversion
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  11. #11
    I am not a car Map tester's Avatar
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    Bulb housing: at Walmart, automotive section, look for Optronics QH-7CC ( like these: http://www.optronicsinc.com/competition.htm ).

    Rear lights: look around your local auto parts store for marker/truck clearance LED lights or add-on LED lights.

    To mount to handle bars, Home Depot conduit hangers (like this: http://www.hardwareandtools.com/invt/6306054 ) You can buy them in different sizes to fit your handbars.

    Battery: cheap and the recharger is cheap too: 12v 5 Ahr sealed lead acid http://www.zbattery.com/B-B-12V-5Ah-...category=60816

    You can get a blade fuse hold at any auto parts store. I use a 10 amp fuse in mine.

    I use a cheap under-saddle bag from Walmart to hold the battery, fuse, and switch. It isn't the fanciest system, but it works day to day, and is easy to fix and replace worn-out parts.
    "Bad facts make bad laws." FZ

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Map tester View Post
    Battery: cheap and the recharger is cheap too: 12v 5 Ahr sealed lead acid http://www.zbattery.com/B-B-12V-5Ah-...category=60816
    "Weight: 4.15 lb(s)" for the battery alone.

    Alternatively, 3 x 18650s in a carrier would give you 11.1 volts, but only half the capacity so depending on what runtimes you require you could go for a much lighter set up. (5 oz) 6 x 18650 would give you similar capacity to the lead acid (6 x 18650 = 10 oz).

    4 x 18650s would give you 14.4 volts and a lot more current resulting in a lot more light at the expense of bulb life.

    Of course...if you used LEDs as well.....
    Making a Pilom Triple LED Headlight ? I have parts available :)
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  13. #13
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unknown Cyclist View Post
    -1 on the tennis ball idea.

    It's not 1st April is it...checking....no it's 5th March.

    Are you serious ??
    Yes I am serious. It worked very well. I needed to add some material to the holder to tighten it for the MTB. The housing was so cheap and easy (buy a bulb, ball, socket and connector, cut a big hole for the bulb and a small one for the wires, glue in bulb and attach connector), I had a 20w and a 12w made up.
    No there are no flames, I ran the 20W as an outdoor light a few times so even with no cooling the rubber handles the heat just fine, remains cool enough to touch too.

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