MiNewt Bicycle Light Mod (Outdoor Beamshots Added)

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NeutralFan
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MiNewt Bicycle Light Mod (Outdoor Beamshots Added)

I purchased a NiteRider MiNewt.X2 back in 2007 for $150. When I first got it, I thought it was one of the brightest bicycle lights I’ve seen (rated at 150 lumens).

But now compared to my flashlights, the MiNewt has shown its age. It’s not that bright and the CCT is very cool blue. Apparently the LED is a Seoul P4.

So I thought it was worth trying to update, but I had to take it apart first. I removed the 4 screws from the head and put it in a vice. I found a long bolt that fit into the mounting hole and was able to twist the rear of the head back and forth. Eventually I was able to loosen it up. It was just pressed tightly into place (thankfully no glue).

It has an interesting design. The LED is pressed against a small section of the back of the head for heat dispersion. White thermal compound was also used.

I thought a Samsung LH351D 4000K 90+ CRI LED would be a good replacement, but I needed to somehow incorporate the head to dissipate the heat. I used a piece of aluminum to make a shelf. I countersunk the holes and sanded down the top of the new screws to make them lower than the top of the shelf.

The reflector didn’t fit well over the new LED so I used a spare I had from a cheapo flashlight. I also had to create a spacer due to the new design and luckily the same piece of aluminum was the perfect thickness.

I re-soldered the wires from the battery pack since there was some bare wire and stuck Kapton tape between the wires and LED. When I screwed it back together, the reflector was pressed up tightly against the very thick “Borofloat” lens and the silicone gasket in the head got compressed.

Wow what a difference in brightness! I would estimate that it’s easily twice as bright. And the hotspot is much wider which is nice too. The heat produced remains reasonable since I can run it on high without it getting too hot and on my bike it will be even less. The 4000K 90+ CRI seems a little wasted on the gray and black roads and paved biking trails, but nonetheless I’m very happy with how it turned out.

Here are some outdoor beamshots.

Edited to include outdoor beamshots.

I’d rather use my flashlight around the house than turn on the lights.

Edited by: NeutralFan on 05/17/2020 - 20:16
CRX
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Nice Thumbs Up

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NeutralFan
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Thanks CRX, and thanks again for the Kapton tape. Smile

I’d rather use my flashlight around the house than turn on the lights.

djmcconn
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Very well done! Thanks for sharing

EasyB
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Nice mod! That looked like a challenge compared to lights nowadays where it’s usually a simple swap. It’s funny how 150 lumens was considered bright. Big Smile Are you thinking of doing a driver mod or are you satisfied with the brightness now?

NeutralFan
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I’m very happy with the brightness now and I don’t plan on modding it anymore. Also, the driver is in the battery pack which is glued together so that would be another challenge.

In 2010 I sent the light to NiteRider since it stopped charging. They replace the battery pack with a newer version which increased the lumens to 200. It was a noticeable increase and the new driver quickly ramps between the 2 levels.

Depending on how dark it is, the highest level can be too bright when others are walking or biking towards me. Cool

I’d rather use my flashlight around the house than turn on the lights.

devryd
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Great light
Could you take a few beamshots?

NeutralFan
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I added some beamshots to the original post. It was a beautiful night for a bike ride!

I’d rather use my flashlight around the house than turn on the lights.

mattthemuppet
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very neat! I did some similar mods to several MiNewts some years ago as the bike shop I rode with was a big seller, so all the staff had MiNewts. The modded ones do put out a nice amount of light, perfectly adequate for moderate trails and the form factor is awesome.