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Old 10-27-09, 09:41 PM   #1
FunkyStickman
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580 Lumens for $25?

It's true, I did it... I found a sealed 12V 5AH battery going in the dumpster (we're not supposed to throw those away, anyway!) and on a whim I picked up some Optronics MR16 driving lights for $20...
throw it together with a rocker switch, and you got yourself some magic!

These came with 50W bulbs, I'm guessing they're 36 degree floods, and at 2000 CBCP (center beam candlepower) at 36 degrees, that comes out to about 580 lumens. I will try some tighter beam patterns later on, but this one works fine. Just need to mount it where it won't melt anything.
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Old 10-27-09, 09:58 PM   #2
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If we're talking non-commercial pricing, then I got 1000 lumens for free by inheriting some P7 and LED flashlights for free! LOL
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Old 10-27-09, 10:04 PM   #3
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If we're talking non-commercial pricing, then I got 1000 lumens for free by inheriting some P7 and LED flashlights for free! LOL
I've seen these batteries online for $18... still, that's cheap! $40-ish is fantastic for a setup like this.
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Old 10-27-09, 10:05 PM   #4
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What does that setup weigh?

Just one of those lights should pull down the battery in about an hour maximum and that is with a new battery. Likely quicker with a dumpster rescue one which no longer has full capacity.

Lead acid batteries do not appreciate being even close to fully discharged and recharged except for special deep discharge versions. Even they do better if only discharged to 40% or so left. They can also be damaged by being left discharged for even relatively short periods like 2 or 3 days.
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Old 10-27-09, 10:21 PM   #5
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True, I picked up a 35W bulb for comparison, I haven't tried it yet. It weighs about 4-5 pounds, I will put it on a scale tomorrow and see. But my commute ride is only about 45 minutes, so it will work fine for me. Even with a 35W bulb it will meet my needs quite well, and I can go down to a 20W if I need longer run times. I will give it a real test in the coming weeks and see how it performs!
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Old 10-28-09, 06:28 AM   #6
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I've been running that same set up for 3 winters now and the only change I made was to purchase a 35 watt bulb so I could run longer but then switch on the 50 as well when needed..(I have both on the bike, not just one)
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Old 10-28-09, 06:40 AM   #7
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I've been running that same set up for 3 winters now and the only change I made was to purchase a 35 watt bulb so I could run longer but then switch on the 50 as well when needed..(I have both on the bike, not just one)
If you don't mind me asking, what beam pattern bulb are you running? Narrow flood, spot? I haven't tried these on a long ride yet, so I can't tell how much side light I'll need yet.
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Old 11-06-09, 05:41 PM   #8
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If you want to go really cheap I picked up a Tank 007 PT10 through a PayPal promotion for $1. Another $21 for two Li-Ion batteries and charger and I'm good to go with 230 lumens of nice white light. Mounting hardware extra :-)
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Old 11-07-09, 10:28 AM   #9
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If you don't mind me asking, what beam pattern bulb are you running? Narrow flood, spot? I haven't tried these on a long ride yet, so I can't tell how much side light I'll need yet.
I used generic 36 degree floods, which is commonly available at almost any store. I've since put in a 20W bulb (also a 36 degree flood) and it illuminates almost as well, at less than half the power.

Some folks have gone with two bulbs, a 36 degree flood, and a 24 or narrower spot for long-distance illumination. I don't live in hills, and I don't ride very fast, so I don't have much need for a narrow spot.

After riding the bike at night a few times, the 50W really is overkill (I never thought I'd hear myself say that!) and I'm happy with the 20W.
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