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Bike headlight matching car headlight wattage

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Bike headlight matching car headlight wattage

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Old 08-02-18, 09:35 AM
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Bike headlight matching car headlight wattage

Hi everyone!
New here
So I'd like a car headlight on my bike. I've come across the Night Sun Bicycle Light Headlight. I think it's 30 watts. I've read online car headlights are around 55 watts. And I'm seeing typical bike lights at 2-8 watts. So, any recommendations for a super bright headlight?
Next question is a taillight. Again, I'd like something similar to the car.
Cheers!
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Old 08-02-18, 09:44 AM
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Old 08-02-18, 10:03 AM
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Watts is a measure of how much energy a light uses and tells us little about light output. Lumens is a measure of light output.

A halogen car light is about 700 lumens low beam and 1200 high beam but some go up to the thousands. Keep in mind that cars have two.

The main reason to go higher brightness is because brighter lights typically have longer runtime on a lower setting.

My opinion is that 900 to 1000 lumens is very bright for a bike. My bike light is an Exposure Strada 1200 lumens which is about as bright as any car light but again, the only reason I went that high is because it will run 6 hours at 600 lumens. I also have a 900 lumen Light & Motion Urban which has a beautiful beam pattern and seems brighter than the 1200 lumen light, but it does not have as much runtime.

It is easy to make a bright light but the problem is runtime. How much runtime do you want?

If all you want is "super bright" then there are 5000 lumen lights on Amazon and Alibaba for dirt cheap. Or you can get a Lupine for $1000 and have the best and brightest bike light made.


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Old 08-02-18, 02:26 PM
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Thanks for responses! I would like something that is about as visible as a car's headlight. Pretty much the idea is to looking like a slow-moving motorcycle coming down the street.
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Old 08-02-18, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by there View Post
Thanks for responses! I would like something that is about as visible as a car's headlight. Pretty much the idea is to looking like a slow-moving motorcycle coming down the street.

I don't think I'd want that much glass hanging off of my handlebars. There are plaenty of bright headlights that are more size appropriate.
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Old 08-02-18, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by there View Post
Hi everyone!
New here
So I'd like a car headlight on my bike. I've come across the Night Sun Bicycle Light Headlight. I think it's 30 watts. I've read online car headlights are around 55 watts. And I'm seeing typical bike lights at 2-8 watts. So, any recommendations for a super bright headlight?
Next question is a taillight. Again, I'd like something similar to the car.
Cheers!
Wow, a Nightsun? Those things are OLD.
I know, I have one. The 30w rating was with both beams on, and IIRC, the battery lasted ~45 minutes on HI. That battery pack was also a low-output NiCad setup, that weighed about 3 lbs and took up a water bottle cage.

Some of them have been upgraded, over the years, mine included, to MR-16 LED bulbs, and Lithium Ion batteries, usually re-purposed from 12v power tools.
If you already have a set (which you don't yet) and some 12v battery packs, and like to tinker, it can be a neat conversion, but if you're starting from scratch, it'll be far less expensive and more effective to get a modern unit.

As above, it's not watts, it's Lumens that determine the 'brightness' of a light. 350-500 is more than enough for you to see by, especially if you're operating in an area that has other light sources (streetlights) Unless you're running a 5" lens reflector, oncoming traffic will never mistake you for a motorcycle, no matter how bright your light is.

WRT tail lights, I wouldn't pattern mine off of a motorcycle tail light. Stock motorcycle tail lights are notoriously small and low powered to begin with. You also don't want to try to look like a motorcycle from the rear, and invite traffic to come up behind you at speed.
For a bicycle, you want something to call attention to yourself, that you're not a motor vehicle; Blinking tail lights will alert overtaking traffic that you're a bicycle as soon as they see you, long before you're in range of their headlights. Most good tail lights have pulse or strobe settings along with a steady hi and lo.
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Old 08-02-18, 03:04 PM
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TimothyH summed it up nicely. Just fyi: there is a forum around here for electronics - lighting and such. You might find some useful info there.
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Old 08-02-18, 03:23 PM
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Thanks for responses! Very informative.
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Old 08-02-18, 03:49 PM
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I went on a night social ride, and see people with super bright headlights that are poorly designed...problem is it puts out allot of light into a small spot, which is useless in a riding environment. These lights are dangerous to other road users and should be banned.
I turned my head to look back, and I was blinded for a few seconds by the ridiculously bright lights.

Good head lights will illuminate a wide area so you can see little left, right, close up, and even far ahead.
My 3-watt German headlight is low power, but it throws out alot of light wide and evenly. And don't blind people.

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Old 08-02-18, 03:53 PM
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If the idea is to mimic a motor vehicle or to make people think you operating a motorcycle or automobile then you are likely going to be on your own in terms of products, mounting and wiring. I don't think it practical to have a five or six inch glass bulb on a bicycle. Maybe Nightsun or some other manufacturer makes something - I really don't know and could very well be wrong.

Modern LED lighting won't mimic a motor vehicle but they are really bright, as bright or brighter than a car. A motorist would have to be dead to not see you. I recommend looking at the Light & Motion Urban series. Others have favorites and the guys in the electronics forum will not be shy about telling you about their lights.





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Old 08-02-18, 04:01 PM
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@TimothyH German bicycle lights have mirrors, and like those in cars.
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Old 08-02-18, 04:09 PM
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I don't understand. I mentioned large glass bulbs like automotive lights but I said nothing about mirrors.

My Light & Motion Urban 900 LED light has a highly developed, shot peened mirror behind the LED.

The high beam on my Exposure Strada 1200 above has a parabolic mirror on one of the LEDs to focus the light.

It seems like the OP is trying to mimic the appearance of a motor vehicle and that's what I'm talking about. A large glass bulb isn't practical.
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Old 08-02-18, 04:36 PM
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i have a lupine wilma. its 3200 lumen. its like 1 side of a carlight. you need 2 to have the same power as a car on full blast.
i run it on max on downhills in the dark winter nights. all levels are adjustable. number of steps adjustable. its quite expensive.
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Old 08-02-18, 04:44 PM
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a good rear is the niteflux redzone8, and old discontinued designshine.
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Old 08-02-18, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
I went on a night social ride, and see people with super bright headlights that are poorly designed...problem is it puts out allot of light into a small spot, which is useless in a riding environment. These lights are dangerous to other road users and should be banned.
I turned my head to look back, and I was blinded for a few seconds by the ridiculously bright lights.

Good head lights will illuminate a wide area so you can see little left, right, close up, and even far ahead.
My 3-watt German headlight is low power, but it throws out alot of light wide and evenly. And don't blind people.
Yes, I'm thinking more along the lines of diffracted light.
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Old 08-02-18, 07:38 PM
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A lesser-bright strip of flashing LED’s is more ‘visible’ than a brighter halogen designed to help you see.

What kind of light do you want? One that helps you see, or one that helps you BE seen?
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Old 08-02-18, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by carlos danger View Post
i have a lupine wilma. its 3200 lumen. its like 1 side of a carlight. you need 2 to have the same power as a car on full blast.
i run it on max on downhills in the dark winter nights. all levels are adjustable. number of steps adjustable. its quite expensive.
I've lusted after a Lupine for a long time.

Do you use it on the road or trail?


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Old 08-03-18, 12:17 AM
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bikepath next to road and road. I dont use it at 3200 on the road with oncoming cars. but if I'm alone i do.
cars and pedestrians get blinded at around 1000lm i'd say.
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Old 08-03-18, 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
Wow, a Nightsun? Those things are OLD.
I know, I have one. The 30w rating was with both beams on, and IIRC, the battery lasted ~45 minutes on HI. That battery pack was also a low-output NiCad setup, that weighed about 3 lbs and took up a water bottle cage.
Oh, you had the DELUXE version.

I got the Lead Acid model. The battery weighed at least 5 pounds.

I used to commute at least an hour or so with it without problems. But, it was beastly heavy.

I looked at the company a couple of years ago, and it appeared as if they never upgraded, and were still using incandescent bulbs. I have no idea why they hadn't adopted LEDs.

==========

For the OP:

Go with LED. Then you will use a lot lower watts than the car incandescent bulbs.

However, I'm not sure your goal should be the same power as a car. Yes, that sounds good, but one issue is that many bike bulbs are less than 1" in diameter. Auto bulbs have a reflector of say 6" or larger.

So, if you want reflected light, it must be bright. But, for looking directly at the bulb, I think the tiny bulb looks much brighter. Thus, you really need dimming to avoid blinding oncoming traffic.

I tend to just tip my light down, and back up.

Some of the lights do have a shaped beam, but those are only the most expensive lights.

For example, the Specialized Flux Expert.

https://www.specialized.com/ca/en/fl...light/p/132989

Unfortunately, they are not cheap.

Likewise with bike taillights. There are some really bright daylight taillights. And, they are good in the daylight.

However, what you do not want to do is blind someone coming up from behind you.

Lately I've started using an older Fly6 on the rear. Camera + pretty descent taillight. A few brightness modes. I usually turn it down a bit after dark.
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Old 08-03-18, 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by there View Post
Hi everyone!
New here
So I'd like a car headlight on my bike. I've come across the Night Sun Bicycle Light Headlight. I think it's 30 watts. I've read online car headlights are around 55 watts. And I'm seeing typical bike lights at 2-8 watts. So, any recommendations for a super bright headlight?
Next question is a taillight. Again, I'd like something similar to the car.
Cheers!
You are never going to do 70 mph in the dark, that is why you do not need such a thing.
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Old 08-03-18, 04:58 AM
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I am commuting with a cygolite Metro 650 on the front and a Cygolite hotshot 150 on the rear on wa-wa and an old Black Diamond battery powered on a steady on the rear as well plus reflective clothing and reflectors. I have a couple of miles on 55mph highway. I have had comments about how bright that headlight is. I have about 4 hours runtime on medium setting on the headlight. They make brighter, but I am pretty good with the 650.
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Old 08-03-18, 05:06 AM
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Thread moved from General Cycling to Electronics.
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Old 08-03-18, 10:52 AM
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Have you tried automotive or motorcycle accessory stores or internet outlets?
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Old 08-03-18, 10:53 AM
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i know some of you are skeptical to multi-1000 lumen lights. but i can tell you one thing. I can ride as fast in the winter nights in complete darkness as i can on a summer day with the lupine. its practically daylight in front of the bike.
I have also ran 1 gemini olympia shooting slightly downwards and one gloworm xs shooting forward. and this is even better. but it requires 2 battery packs and 2 lights. i'd say 1 lupine is 85% as good as dual badass lights.
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Old 08-03-18, 11:58 AM
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If you are pushing a huge amount of light and the beam doesn't have a sharp cutoff on the top, I think you're inconsiderate and dangerous. I think there aren't many occasions when you need such light power.

I suggest you take a look at what your local bike shop has. And be sure to aim your light so it doesn't go in people's eyes. It doesn't have to be in their eyes to be visible. They are likely to have something that is bright enough for riding a bike.
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