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Thread: Lights

  1. #1
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Lights

    This will probably be hard to understand but I will try anyway. Would it be possible to take the light bulb out of a bike headlight and replace it with a light of more lumens?

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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Huh?

    It could be possible but there are many considerations. Specifically, what light is it and what's the power source? What's the motivation for doing this instead of getting a new brighter light?

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    Depends on the type of bulb on your light.

    If you have an older light using standard filament bulb, then you can swap it out with a higher current bulb or changing it to a halogen, krypton, or xenon bulb. Most modern bike light does not use these.

    In a halogen light, it will probably be easier to over voltage it to get more lumens.

    Modern led bike light is a little bit more complicated. There are various led out in the market. Each has their own rating in terms of maxium lumens. However you cannot just simply swap led that are different type. For example, you cannot take a bike light that has a Cree XP-G and swaps it to a higher maxium rated lumen led like the Cree XML. The die size is different and so will be the reflector. The opening of the Cree xpg reflector will not fit around the XML. Beside that, you most likely will not get the proper beam shape. Another issue with swapping different model led is the driver circuit. The bike light driver circuit was specifically design for the led that was chosen.

    In some cases, you may be able to use a different driver that allow you to provide higher current to the led if the original driver was under driving the led, however you may start having heat issue problem because of the original housing design of the light.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    This will probably be hard to understand but I will try anyway. Would it be possible to take the light bulb out of a bike headlight and replace it with a light of more lumens?
    You can do it. But it cost Less just to buy a new light.
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    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    The main reason for looking for a new bike headlight, is because I find myself being out in the dark due to the shorter daylight hours, and the lights I do have don't give me very much light at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    Huh?

    It could be possible but there are many considerations. Specifically, what light is it and what's the power source? What's the motivation for doing this instead of getting a new brighter light?
    http://bikehabitat.com/product/giant...ht-44824-1.htm

    That is the main(I have three) headlight I have. The problem with it is, while it says that it is halogen, it has never been bright enough, and is practically dead despite changing batteries. Also The other two are the:

    http://www.blackburndesign.com/en_us...2-0-front.html; While a lot of the reviews on the Blackburn website say it is good. The brightness on this light does me no good, since it doesn't illuminate very much of the ground surface ahead of my bike.

    and the

    http://hudsontrail.com/viewItem/10/515/11677/; The same brightness problem and customers saying it is great when it doesn't light up very much.

    The headlight I am interested in, is the NiteRider MiNewt 700 Dual(http://www.rei.com/product/808467/ni...ual-bike-light)

    Quote Originally Posted by colleen c View Post
    Depends on the type of bulb on your light.

    If you have an older light using standard filament bulb, then you can swap it out with a higher current bulb or changing it to a halogen, krypton, or xenon bulb. Most modern bike light does not use these.

    In a halogen light, it will probably be easier to over voltage it to get more lumens.

    Modern led bike light is a little bit more complicated. There are various led out in the market. Each has their own rating in terms of maxium lumens. However you cannot just simply swap led that are different type. For example, you cannot take a bike light that has a Cree XP-G and swaps it to a higher maxium rated lumen led like the Cree XML. The die size is different and so will be the reflector. The opening of the Cree xpg reflector will not fit around the XML. Beside that, you most likely will not get the proper beam shape. Another issue with swapping different model led is the driver circuit. The bike light driver circuit was specifically design for the led that was chosen.

    In some cases, you may be able to use a different driver that allow you to provide higher current to the led if the original driver was under driving the led, however you may start having heat issue problem because of the original housing design of the light.
    The main headlight I have(look at the link above), is described as being halogen on the company website. But the headlight is a piece of junk. That is why, I am looking for a new headlight. After seeing the prices of some of the headlights that are barely adequate when lighting a path in the dark, I started to wonder about replacing the bulb in my halogen light. Because I had replaced the batteries a number of times.

    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    You can do it. But it cost Less just to buy a new light.
    That keeps crossing my mind. I have been thinking that I will have to buy a high-end headlight, just to get the barely adequate lighting I want, without having to jimmy-rig a car headlight or, a headlight from a motorcycle.

    Quote Originally Posted by davidad View Post
    I looked at the lights from several different directions. They aren't bright enough.
    Last edited by Chris516; 02-24-12 at 02:48 PM.

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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Simply replacing the bulb in a cheap simple light isn't going to do it for you. At a minimum consider a Planet Bike blaze 1W LED headlight which can be found for around $40 and puts out ~100 lm. These have an LED and associated regulation circuitry and run on 2 standard AA batteries. This is going to be much better and probably cheaper in the end than anything you can do with the cheesy little lights you have.

    Next up, and really worth it IMO, is a Lezyne Super Drive light which has a rechargeable Li Ion battery and puts out 500 lm. These can be found for ~$95.

  8. #8
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    Simply replacing the bulb in a cheap simple light isn't going to do it for you. At a minimum consider a Planet Bike blaze 1W LED headlight which can be found for around $40 and puts out ~100 lm. These have an LED and associated regulation circuitry and run on 2 standard AA batteries. This is going to be much better and probably cheaper in the end than anything you can do with the cheesy little lights you have.

    Next up, and really worth it IMO, is a Lezyne Super Drive light which has a rechargeable Li Ion battery and puts out 500 lm. These can be found for ~$95.
    I will take another look at the Lezyne Super Drive. Otherwise, I am focused on the Niterider 700 dual.

    Edit: The Lezyne isn't bright enough. It doesn't have a wide enough arc.
    Last edited by Chris516; 02-25-12 at 03:16 AM.

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    Motorcycle RoadRacer cehowardGS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    I looked at the lights from several different directions. They aren't bright enough.
    Hey Chris, this is $20 bucks to my door, that is just one of them. You can't look at them straight up..

    Torch flashlight..


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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    I will take another look at the Lezyne Super Drive. Otherwise, I am focused on the Niterider 700 dual.

    Edit: The Lezyne isn't bright enough. It doesn't have a wide enough arc.
    So, compared to your cheesy headlight that you want to replace the bulb in the Lezyne isn't bright enough? You're right, this is hard to understand.

    However, as long as your considering significantly better lighting, check out the following reviews:

    http://reviews.mtbr.com/2011-bike-lights-shootout

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    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Chris the lights you're looking at are pretty nice and I think the beam is focusable which is a big plus since you want to be able to control how the road is lit up in front of you.

    If you're prepared to drop that kind of money than it sounds like you know what you want and have pretty much decided. Otherwise the flashlights that cehoward GS has posted look like real killers.

    Just a word about output though - light intensity varies with the square of the distance so it takes some serious power to punch a wide beam any distance. Narrower beams need less power but depending on your driving needs, may be less practical. Check out the beamshots at the reviews and make sure you end up with the coverage you'll be happy with.
    Last edited by Burton; 02-25-12 at 08:46 PM.

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    http://reviews.mtbr.com/2012-bike-lights-shootout

    No, not the 2011 shootout, the 2012 shootout. This year's lights are more affordable and brighter! There are beam shots on trail and backyard for a lot of lights across a wide price range.
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    Motorcycle RoadRacer cehowardGS's Avatar
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    Well, now I am running double Ke-5s up front, plus my Planet Bike SuperFlash Turbo, and its $2.50 rival on my helmet. With this setup I am running $43.00 up front, and that includes two 1300 lum rated torch flash lights. In the rear a $25 PB Superflash Turbo, and amazing $2.50 light that rivals and some say out performs the $25 PB SF. Anyway, you can see them both in these pics..

    Total expense, including mounts for the torches, $70.50.. I could subtract $19.50 for one torch, I really only need one, and ditch the $25 PBSF for another $2.50 rear light, and that would cut my light outlay to roughly around $28, and still have some awesome lighting.


    IMO, the flashlights don't take away from the clean smooth lines of the bike. Speaking only for myself, don't want those battery packs, and not too cool looking lights either. BTW, those mounts, fit the those torches perfectly. I have ran over bumps, at speed and they don't budge. Plus, I can take them out on a snap. However, if I go with anything with a bigger diameter, I am getting different mounts. That is already in the works..

    Plus, I am thinking about putting a torch on my helmet too.

    Since I have been running this rig, I have personally seen a 90% increase in cars knowing I am there. It is uncanny the way that act since I am running ample lighting. They allow me to pass, almost give me as much respect as a car.

    This is a learning curve for me, don't see how I could have ever been on the street with out ample lights. Better late then never..

    Didn't mean to run it, but you can see my total outlay is small, and could go down to under $30 and still have AMPLE LIGHTS..


    Notice the wide area of the flood. Also, on this picture, I aimed the lights upward to show the affect of their brightness. On riding, they are aimed downward.





    and here is what I call the "cool factor" LOOKS..





    Here is the $2.50 what I call wonder light.. It rivals my $25 PB Superflash Turbo, it has RED in the blinking too.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-12-LED-T...item43a573ef0b
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    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    So, compared to your cheesy headlight that you want to replace the bulb in the Lezyne isn't bright enough? You're right, this is hard to understand.

    However, as long as your considering significantly better lighting, check out the following reviews:

    http://reviews.mtbr.com/2011-bike-lights-shootout
    The Lezyne isn't much better than, if I were to replace the bulb in my cheesy light. As for the review you mentioned, I had gone through that review entirely, before finding a light I was pleased with. The problem with the headlight is the cost.

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    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    Chris the lights you're looking at are pretty nice and I think the beam is focusable which is a big plus since you want to be able to control how the road is lit up in front of you.

    If you're prepared to drop that kind of money than it sounds like you know what you want and have pretty much decided. Otherwise the flashlights that cehoward GS has posted look like real killers.

    Just a word about output though - light intensity varies with the square of the distance so it takes some serious power to punch a wide beam any distance. Narrower beams need less power but depending on your driving needs, may be less practical. Check out the beamshots at the reviews and make sure you end up with the coverage you'll be happy with.
    The flashlight setup that he posted, is similar to the NiteRider 700 Dual that had the best beam and arc of all the ones' on the website that was mentioned. While a straight beam may go a long distance, my concern would be, to also be able to see the whole area(side-to-side) on the road or path. Where I have been caught in the dark, I generally know the terrain and know where the bad spots are. But suddenly coming upon over-hanging branches is unnerving.

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    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a1penguin View Post
    http://reviews.mtbr.com/2012-bike-lights-shootout

    No, not the 2011 shootout, the 2012 shootout. This year's lights are more affordable and brighter! There are beam shots on trail and backyard for a lot of lights across a wide price range.
    From those tested for 2012, the Philips SafeRide has the brightest 'Backyard Beam Pattern'. The 'Exposure Lights Six Pack', has the best 'Trail Beam Pattern'.

    The NiteRider 700 Dual does both. But again, cost is an issue.

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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a1penguin View Post
    http://reviews.mtbr.com/2012-bike-lights-shootout

    No, not the 2011 shootout, the 2012 shootout. This year's lights are more affordable and brighter! There are beam shots on trail and backyard for a lot of lights across a wide price range.
    My link is to both. Yours is only to the 2012. Check it: http://reviews.mtbr.com/2011-bike-lights-shootout

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    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    I found another hassle to deal with on the light issue. I am not trying to be nit-picky. I have an eye-hand coordination problem. While I was able to make model airplanes, cars, and trucks, as a kid, if something broke, it wasn't the end of the world. But if something breaks on the lights housing because of my medical problem, I will not only, still have to replace the batteries. I would have to replace the entire light. Of the three headlights I have, the only one working(which is only good for letting motorists' know a cyclist is on the road. Not for seeing the ground in front of my front tire.), is this one: http://hudsontrail.com/viewItem/10/515/11677/. That and the halogen light are easy for changing the batteries. But the Mars 2.0(http://www.blackburndesign.com/en_us...2-0-front.html) has an extremely difficult screw that needs to be taking out, before the housing can slide off. The one working headlight(also the worst of the three when it comes to how bright it is), has a large screw that makes it easy to open.
    Last edited by Chris516; 02-26-12 at 09:35 PM.

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    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cehowardGS View Post
    Well, now I am running double Ke-5s up front, plus my Planet Bike SuperFlash Turbo, and its $2.50 rival on my helmet. With this setup I am running $43.00 up front, and that includes two 1300 lum rated torch flash lights. In the rear a $25 PB Superflash Turbo, and amazing $2.50 light that rivals and some say out performs the $25 PB SF. Anyway, you can see them both in these pics..

    Total expense, including mounts for the torches, $70.50.. I could subtract $19.50 for one torch, I really only need one, and ditch the $25 PBSF for another $2.50 rear light, and that would cut my light outlay to roughly around $28, and still have some awesome lighting.


    IMO, the flashlights don't take away from the clean smooth lines of the bike. Speaking only for myself, don't want those battery packs, and not too cool looking lights either. BTW, those mounts, fit the those torches perfectly. I have ran over bumps, at speed and they don't budge. Plus, I can take them out on a snap. However, if I go with anything with a bigger diameter, I am getting different mounts. That is already in the works..

    Plus, I am thinking about putting a torch on my helmet too.

    Since I have been running this rig, I have personally seen a 90% increase in cars knowing I am there. It is uncanny the way that act since I am running ample lighting. They allow me to pass, almost give me as much respect as a car.

    This is a learning curve for me, don't see how I could have ever been on the street with out ample lights. Better late then never..

    Didn't mean to run it, but you can see my total outlay is small, and could go down to under $30 and still have AMPLE LIGHTS..


    Notice the wide area of the flood. Also, on this picture, I aimed the lights upward to show the affect of their brightness. On riding, they are aimed downward.





    and here is what I call the "cool factor" LOOKS..





    Here is the $2.50 what I call wonder light.. It rivals my $25 PB Superflash Turbo, it has RED in the blinking too.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-12-LED-T...item43a573ef0b
    Presuming I were to go with two Ke-5's, instead of the NiteRider 700 Dual, where did you get the mounting brackets?

  20. #20
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    I don't exactly what your needs are or your budget. Is this going to be for strictly road or are you going to be hitting trails as well? Since the Nite Rider you linked to (which is currently unavailable from REI) has an external battery pack, I take it QR isn't a huge consideration.

    You might want to give the Saferide a closer look- search for it on Youtube. It has a decent throw, but also has enough spill to go shoulder to shoulder on a two lane road. It takes 4 AA, which can be recharged via USB in the light itself.
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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    The Lezyne isn't much better than, if I were to replace the bulb in my cheesy light. As for the review you mentioned, I had gone through that review entirely, before finding a light I was pleased with. The problem with the headlight is the cost.
    Yep. You were correct in your original post, "This is probably going to be difficult to understand."

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    Motorcycle RoadRacer cehowardGS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    Presuming I were to go with two Ke-5's, instead of the NiteRider 700 Dual, where did you get the mounting brackets?
    This is what I and "betweenrides" are using our flashlights of C8 clone-size.. They cost $1.80

    http://www.dealextreme.com/p/univers...cle-mount-8274

    And here is the $2.50 wonder Rear Light.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-12-LED-T...item43a573ef0b

    The Keygos Ke-5 and/or the Ke-1 can be had for about $19.50 to $22 shipped off Ebay.

    You run a single, you can always go back and get another one, run a single, and two of the $2.50 rear lights with the mount for the single Keygos, you under $30!

    Then you can see first hand, do you have enough or don't have enough lights.. Running two up front does have it advantages. First, it has balance in looks, second, if one goes out, you still got the other one, third, it doubles your lighting up front, forth, you can one run blinking and the other one beam/flood.

    In addition, on the mounts. I have seen some comments of concern about those mounts because they work in a clamping style. No matter, that is why I like CHOICE. You can go with these mounts about the same price, but clamp all around the light.

    http://www.dealextreme.com/p/univers...diameter-31871

    I ordered about 5 of these for my bigger dia flashlight...

    Hope this helps,
    Last edited by cehowardGS; 02-27-12 at 08:55 AM.
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    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cehowardGS View Post
    This is what I and "betweenrides" are using our flashlights of C8 clone-size.. They cost $1.80

    http://www.dealextreme.com/p/univers...cle-mount-8274

    And here is the $2.50 wonder Rear Light.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-12-LED-T...item43a573ef0b

    The Keygos Ke-5 and/or the Ke-1 can be had for about $19.50 to $22 shipped off Ebay.

    You run a single, you can always go back and get another one, run a single, and two of the $2.50 rear lights with the mount for the single Keygos, you under $30!

    Then you can see first hand, do you have enough or don't have enough lights.. Running two up front does have it advantages. First, it has balance in looks, second, if one goes out, you still got the other one, third, it doubles your lighting up front, forth, you can one run blinking and the other one beam/flood.

    In addition, on the mounts. I have seen some comments of concern about those mounts because they work in a clamping style. No matter, that is why I like CHOICE. You can go with these mounts about the same price, but clamp all around the light.

    http://www.dealextreme.com/p/univers...diameter-31871

    I ordered about 5 of these for my bigger dia flashlight...

    Hope this helps,


    LOL OK - looks like between your obvious enthusiasm and those screen shots you posted .... ya talked me into checking one out! If nothing else - I end up with a really cool flashlight!I'll let you know what I think! Where did you end up buying batteries?
    Last edited by Burton; 02-27-12 at 04:00 PM.

  24. #24
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cehowardGS View Post
    This is what I and "betweenrides" are using our flashlights of C8 clone-size.. They cost $1.80

    http://www.dealextreme.com/p/univers...cle-mount-8274

    And here is the $2.50 wonder Rear Light.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-12-LED-T...item43a573ef0b

    The Keygos Ke-5 and/or the Ke-1 can be had for about $19.50 to $22 shipped off Ebay.

    You run a single, you can always go back and get another one, run a single, and two of the $2.50 rear lights with the mount for the single Keygos, you under $30!

    Then you can see first hand, do you have enough or don't have enough lights.. Running two up front does have it advantages. First, it has balance in looks, second, if one goes out, you still got the other one, third, it doubles your lighting up front, forth, you can one run blinking and the other one beam/flood.

    In addition, on the mounts. I have seen some comments of concern about those mounts because they work in a clamping style. No matter, that is why I like CHOICE. You can go with these mounts about the same price, but clamp all around the light.

    http://www.dealextreme.com/p/univers...diameter-31871

    I ordered about 5 of these for my bigger dia flashlight...

    Hope this helps,
    The info at the second link was removed.

  25. #25
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Seems like you've had an issue with every suggestion made so far, the lights you picked yourself are unavailable, and even if they were in stock - you apparently wouldn't want to pay for them. I think we're at a bit of an impasse.

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