I went to the LBS to see if they had any decent lighting systems that cost less than my bike and they were all unsuitable for night trail riding. I decided to put together my own LED lighting system with six 1W LEDs and a bunch of 5AH C-cell NiMH batteries with tabs.
Here are the LEDs:
and here are the batteries:
I plan to assemble a pack of shrink-wrapped batteries inside the frame/seat post. That way, they won't fall off or interfere with other things and I'll still have my bottle holder open. I don't know how many will fit, but I'll include as many as will fit. Based on that, I'll decide how to arrange the LEDs in the circuit. If I can fit 10 batteries in the frame, I'll have 60WH to work with which will mean about 10 hours of run-time with all 6 LEDs on. I'll build a custom car charger so the bike can charge up as I rest or as I'm transporting it.
Does anyone have experience with high-wattage LEDs? The only one I've seen is the 3 watt luxeon my dad has in his flashlight. It's pretty decent, but I'd like more for trail riding at night. I guess if 6w is not enough, I could always order six more for a 12w LED array.