Spreading out a P7 hotspot
Recently I took a good hard look at my two-P7 setup and decided it could be improved.
I had two Euro-beam Vision X Solo Solstice "pods". A bit heavy (not surprising since they are made mostly for off-road vehicles) but sturdy, relatively small (2" x 2"), very bright and not that bad considering the weight has essentially shifted from my old battery to the lights (I previously used over-volted halogens with a BIG battery). But these Solstice pods produced cones of light with a very bright center, despite the small diffuser (which essentially did nothing, as my test with/without proved). I was blinding traffic and myself.
So, as I stared at the bright center projected on a wall, I noticed how stark the difference was between the very bright center and the surrounding halo. I thought, wow, what if it that beam were stretched out WIDE in the x axis, and unchanged in the z axis? Seemed like the less-intense part of the cone -- spread out -- would essentially disappear, while the intense core would become a band with a nice cutoff. So I super-glued some MR16 linear spread lenses in front of each of the Euro beams, and just like that, the cone had become a wide, spread-out bar. I also later added a third "elliptical" Solstice pod just for fun/comparison. The pods are now all interlinked in line formation and it is quite mpressive. On my ride last night felt like a had the best visibility ever. No more ruining my night vision with my own hotspot on the ground, and I could see equally well in all directions ahead of me.
The nice thing about the add-on linear spread lenses is that they give just the right amount of side visibility (some light leaks out the edge, which is about a 1/4 inch) The standard Vision X elliptical Solo Solstice (model S1103) doesn't provide this. However, they all take a flexible 9-50 VDC input which is nice, especially for anyone who has been using a battery in the range of 14-16 V for over-volting halogens.
Trust me, you're not going to win any weight contests with this setup, but it's got a lot going for it. Any users of multiple Magicshines might be able to use the idea of linear spread lenses. They work great! One narrow-beam P7 spread out that far is a bit dim, but 2 or 3 is perfect!