Anyone still make their own lights?

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  • Anyone still make their own lights?
  • snaps
    Member

    I’m still building the odd few, just done a pair of Lumi halogen to quad LED conversions for a workmate.

    I prefer 35mm MR11 pattern hosts as there’s more choice.

    Hope Hid to quad XPG3 conversion from my commuter.

    Trailtech Hid to 7up XPG2 on my XC bike.

    Dual triple 35mm XML 6000 lumen monster I made at Easter.

    Try here for loaded 20mm boards
    23mm boards listed here

    forzafkawi
    Member

    I’ve got a design for a focussed road light that I have been developing for a couple of years that doesn’t blind oncoming drivers. I’ve built a couple of iterations that achieve that end but and not quite what I am looking for from the beam in terms of pattern on the road. I’ve sort of lost incentive to do it though over the Summer but may build the next version now that the dark nights are almost upon us.

    I wouldn’t bother with off-road lights now though. Too many decent, affordable alternatives available from China now.

    Trailtech Hid to 7up XPG2 on my XC bike.

    What configuration are the LED’s?

    I’ve got a BT70 which is according to MTBR 7x XP-G2 in parallel, with a 7A driver but the on/off/mode switch is annoying me so I was thinking of hacking about with it to change it to on/off (where on is the full 7A). But can’t find a driver that will do that?

    Mowgli
    Member

    I realise that with the massive drop in price in recent years there’s less need for folk to tinker away in sheds to get half decent lights for a bargain price. I quite enjoy it though, but recently struggled to find LEDs like I used to – in particular it used to be quite common to get 3 CREE LEDs on a 20mm star PCB with an optic to suit, but they’re virtually impossible to find these days. Is it just because more recent LEDs put out more heat and power and so need to be spaced apart a bit more? If anyone has a stash of old LEDs or optics knocking about I’d be interested!
    Cheers,

    snaps
    Member

    The 7up board is this one. LEDs are wired in series.

    Driver is a Maxflex3 set to bi mode 3100 lumen main beam 850 dipped (output is 1400mA main, 350mA dipped) with a remote switch mounted near my righthand shifter.

    Premier Icon Del
    Subscriber

    😯 8)
    Pace of led tech change has slowed, so even the established players are up to speed.

    tjagain
    Member

    cutter electronics in Aus used to be the go to for hobby builders – guess it still is

    Sonor
    Member

    Watching thread with interest. I converted my Lumicycle halogen and HID to LED a few years back:

    Halogen to LED

    HID to LED

    Still using them with the Original Lumicycle NIMH batteries, would like to upgrade them.

    Goldigger
    Member

    What configuration are the LED’s?

    I’ve got a BT70 which is according to MTBR 7x XP-G2 in parallel, with a 7A driver but the on/off/mode switch is annoying me so I was thinking of hacking about with it to change it to on/off (where on is the full 7A). But can’t find a driver that will do that?

    6.6amp close enough?
    http://www.taskled.com/h6flex.shtml

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Subscriber

    Watching thread with interest. I converted my Lumicycle halogen and HID to LED a few years back:

    Me too, must be 7 or 8 years ago, also replaced battery with a smaller pack from mtb batteries. Still going strong.

    Premier Icon uphillcursing
    Subscriber

    Bookmarked.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    tjagain – Member
    cutter electronics in Aus used to be the go to for hobby builders – guess it still is

    Can anyone recommend a local supplier in the UK?

    Premier Icon mikey-simmo
    Subscriber

    Snaps can I ask how you turned the hid stem mount battery round by 90 degrees? That’s perfect for shot stems.

    snaps
    Member

    Snaps can I ask how you turned the hid stem mount battery round by 90 degrees? That’s perfect for shot stems.

    When short stems became popular Hope started making ‘sideways’ batteries for HID lights but the phased out HID in favour of LED Vision 2&4 also discontinuing hardpack batteries – they were only made for a short time & are very rare.

    Always fancied one of these beautifully made but his lead times vary eratically from months to years.

    Premier Icon mikey-simmo
    Subscriber

    Wow. Short stem is the issue. I like the solid mount and the hard pack battery. Just not very practical.

    Premier Icon Rusty Mac
    Subscriber

    Any of you know if it is still possible to get hold of the black cat tech buck driver boards?

    I have a few of the lumicycle halogen conversions but am interested in upping a couple of the drivers to closer to 1A

    pdw
    Member

    Don’t think they’re still available, but with no thermal cut out, the 960mA ones (or whatever they were) had a distinctly limited lifespan.

    I’ve got a b2flex driver in one of mine, which is a real squeeze, but it’s a much more sophisticated driver, and you can safely go much higher than 1A.

    Speaking of drivers… this thread has got me interested in some more tinkering. I’m looking at the XHP70 LEDs which have a forward voltage of 6V or 12V. I’ve got 4 cell series batteries (14.8V). Allowing for voltage sag under load, I’m not sure that this is enough to get the 1V headroom needed to keep the b2flex / h6flex drivers in regulation once the battery is more than half used.

    Anyone got any experience of using these LEDs? If so what batteries/drivers are you using?

    Premier Icon stevied
    Subscriber

    Yep, I’m still playing with them now and then.
    Currently running a 2 x XPH70 bar light, about 8000 lumens, and a modified Chinese light with 4 x XPL-Hi LED’s with around 4000 lumens. I know, I know, it’s not all about the amount of lumens but as I’m making them myself I may as well make it as bright as possible.
    I also made the mount for the bar one:

    Modified Chinese light:

    And currently have this box of half done ones and loads of optics etc:

    Premier Icon stevied
    Subscriber

    Anyone got any experience of using these LEDs? If so what batteries/drivers are you using?

    In my bar light I have 2 x XHP70 6V in series running at 5a with a taskLED H6Flex driver and an MTB 15v battery.
    I only do short (1.5 – 2 hours) rides and 90% is slow stuff so battery life is OK. Full power is only for a couple of minutes at a time on the fast DH stuff I have thought of getting a bigger battery but haven’t had the need yet.

    Premier Icon stevied
    Subscriber

    If anyone has a stash of old LEDs or optics knocking about I’d be interested!

    I’ve got a fair few optics and couple of LED’s in a box..can see what’s in there if you’re interested?

    pdw
    Member

    That bar light is awesome – wish I had the ability to produce something like that! Have just ordered an h6flex. I think I may end up running a single 6V LED from an 11V (3s2p) battery.

    What optics are you using? They look bigger than the usual 35mm.

    Premier Icon stevied
    Subscriber

    Thanks 🙂
    It’s a Ledil Iris optic, 38mm diameter. I might have a spare in the box of bits..

    Premier Icon Rusty Mac
    Subscriber

    I’ve just been having a cruise round the interwebs and see that four4th have a number of bits from driver boards, led boards and lenses advertised at keen prices that may be source that could be explored.

    pdw
    Member

    38mm is going to be a bit big for the housing I’ve got in mind, but looks like the Minnie might work. What angle is the one you’ve got and how do you find it?

    Premier Icon stevied
    Subscriber

    It’s 12 degrees but quite floody in reality. Great on the bars. The boom reflector for the MCE is supposed to be good with the XHP

    scrumfled
    Member

    Stevie, did you buy those bodies or make them? they look great.

    Premier Icon stevied
    Subscriber

    I made the double led bar light, modified an old Chinese unit for the helmet one 😀

    pdw
    Member

    This thread has inspired me to build a new light, and seeing as building a new light meant ordering a new driver from TaskLED, I took the opportunity to also upgrade the driver in my Lumicycle Frankenlight, now in it’s 4th incarnation (halogen, XPG + black cat driver, XM-L + b2flex, now XM-L + b3flex).

    The light has been running perfectly at the b2flex max current of 1500mA, but the LEDs are rated to 3A, so I’ve always wondered how it’d cope with a bit more power.

    Now I can find out – b3flex installed:

    Whilst I was in there, I also added a status LED, so i’ve got some idea of battery level. I also swapped all the wires for silicon wires which makes the whole thing go together much more easily as they’re more flexible.

    Really impressed by these drivers, and George from TaskLED has been incredibly helpful after I butchered one of the solder joints and needed info on the PCB in order to repair it.

    Still waiting on a couple of parts before I can start building the other light.

    stumpy01
    Member

    Blimey! I’m impressed you can fit a Taskled driver & all the gubbins into a Lumi can with room to spare for some heatsinking!

    Maybe I need to revisit this!

    I’m probably being a numpty, but where’s the switch?

    pdw
    Member

    It’s *very* tight. You need to bend the connectors on the power socket, and the switch is one of the things that has to go. It’s possible that you may be able to find a shallower switch. Maybe something like this, which mounts from the rear and which could be padded out with washers to make it shallower if need be.

    In my case, the flying lead is a connector for a remote switch. My commuting bike has a little switch hacked into the STI lever, and a socket wrapped under the end of the handlebar tape. For other bikes I’ve got a little remote switch with velcro straps.

    stumpy01
    Member

    Ah, I did wonder whether the switch was remote.

    It’s a good solution to be honest. Presumably, the can could be used to just house the LEDs and heatsink with a lead coming out while the driver and switch are housed elsewhere…

    pdw
    Member

    Actually, you ideally want the driver and LEDs sitting on the same heatsink as the TaskLED drivers have thermal protection that’s intended to monitor the LED temperature. The b3flex has the option of a handy little aluminium shim which you bond to the back of the board, and then onto the heatsink.

    pdw
    Member

    Little parcel from Singapore finally arrived so I now have this:

    Easy2led housing, Cree XHP70.2, h6flex driver and Ledil Minnie optic. 6V LED at 5A should be good for about 4000 lumens.

    Housing is a neat design with screw in pill for the driver and LED. One side of the pill is a flat surface, intended to take the LED, and the other is recessed for the driver, to maximise surface area in contact with the casing. The only issue is that the h6flex is too big to fit in the recessed side, so you have to run the pill backwards with the LED in the recessed side. This probably rules out triple LED setups.

    I ordered reflectors with a plastic holder, but it turns out that the recess on the pill is just slightly too deep to clear the lip on the plastic holder, so that got butchered so that only the base remained (the black plastic bit in the photo), and further butchered to clear the wires on the PCB.

    The h6flex still needs some gentle filing to clear the wires going through the pill (thanks to this MTBR thread for figuring out that this was possible.

    Not had a chance to try it in anger, but initial impressions are very good. I went for a 4000K LED rather than the pure/cold white LEDs in my other lights. It was warmer than I was expecting, but I think it might work well in practice.

    Obviously cooling is an issue. The casing is significantly larger and more solid than a lumicycle can, and has a much greater surface area in contact between the heatsink pill and the casing, which is always going to be the weak point with a removable pill.

    At room temperature in still air it lasts 2m15s before the thermal protection kicks in set at 70 degrees, which seems OK (5A => 30W). The lumicycle light manages 1m40s running at 22.5W.

    stumpy01
    Member

    Nice! Where was all that from? Do you mind posting a link?

    pdw
    Member

    Sure. It was a truly international effort: Drivers are direct from TaskLED in the US. Housing is from Easy2LED in Russia. LED from FastTech in Singapore.

    Reflectors (CA12881 MINNIE-M), power connector and button are all from RS.

    Due to minimum order quantities, I’ve got three spare reflectors which I’ll happily part with for £5 each.

    Sourcing the LEDs is a bit of a minefield. Apparently fake Crees are now common place and whilst FastTech certainly have form for selling torches claiming to have Cree LEDs when they’re not, I’ve not found any suggestion that the individual LEDs aren’t legit. It certainly seems to put out about the right amount of light.

    stumpy01
    Member

    Cheers. I’ve got some old Taskled drivers. The original bflex or perhaps b2flex…can’t remember.
    I normally use Cutter for LEDs.

    Not heard of easy2led before. Gonna go and investigate!

    5thElefant
    Member

    I’be always used led-tech.de. Got a pile of bits for my next build from them recently.

    stumpy01
    Member

    Ooooh. Not heard of LED-Tech.de either.

    The housings on easy2led look good.

    Premier Icon stevied
    Subscriber

    Due to minimum order quantities, I’ve got three spare reflectors which I’ll happily part with for £5 each

    What are the dimensions?

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