Complete newb - MTB Headlight

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iH8usrnames
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Complete newb - MTB Headlight

I recently completed a project using ORV LED lights for my mountain bike.
The light produces roughly 600-700 lumen.
Power via 11.1v 2200mAh LiPo battery.
Runtime of 3.75 hours.
This will be used on narrow single track trails.

While I’m pleased with it overall, I think I can do better.
It could definitely be lighter weight, current light assembly without battery is over 10oz.

The design goals:

  • Wide beam with emphasis toward the center (a bit wide center beam than above)
    I assume this means a 3-up configuration?
  • Ability to continue using 11.1v 2200mAh battery
    The battery will be mounted to the bicycle frame with wire leading to the light.
  • Minimum runtime of 2 hours, preferably up to 3 hours
  • 1000+ lumen output
    Runtime is more important than brightness
  • 6500k color temp, unless there is a compelling reason to go to something different.

Extra:

  • I would also like a very small helmet mounted light producing 600+ lumen medium spot beam
  • Helmet light would also run from external battery pack, size to be determined by need

I appreciate your assistance.
I am completely brand new to all of this. The light I made above is my first foray into LED based lighting, aside from indicator lights on small DIY projects.
Very specific parts, links, etc, would be greatly appreciated.

Lightbringer
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You can have 2 emitters with TIR lenses. One “spot” for the center track, and an elliptical (got what looks like stripes on the lens) for a wider swath.

6500K? Eww. Lots of glare if hazy/foggy, likely horrible color rendition (is that a branch or a crack in the sidewalk?), and just visually jarring. Something more neutral like 4500K would be perfect if you don’t like warmer.

The Lumintop B01 is self-contained, but has a rather nice precise beam with sharp upper cutoff, blessed by St Vizo, the patron saint of bicycles. Would make a nice aux light.

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Forsythe P. Jones
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Helmet lights scare me, and anything tiny producing 600+ lumens for any amount of time is going to get hot. I agree with Lightbringer about color temp. 4500k is really nice. There is not much difference between 600 lumens and 1000, so if 600 is not enough for you then aim for 2000+. That is crazy bright though: a car or motorcycle headlamp was traditionally around 500 lumens, as I like to remind myself.

MoreLumens
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I been using Nitecore HC30 attached to helmet and Fenix BC30 as main biking light.
HC30W is better if you can find it somewhere. Warmer led. I have sliced XHP50.2 in my.

ArturoSC1
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Hi, you can look at the Astrolux BL02, it is very complete and I think it meets your needs, it is also ridiculously cheap

iH8usrnames
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Color temps:
I am colorblind so I may not be as sensitive to the color temp issue as others.
6500k is a bit blue.
5500k is daylight.
3200k is close to 60w tungsten bulb.

I would have thought 5500k would be the one to go with but noticed in my feeble attempt to learn some of this stuff that 6500k seems to be the most common temp I see.

More power:
correct me if I am wrong
Its about how those lumens are projected, right?
600 lumen spot light is crazy bright compared to a 1000 lumen flood, correct?
I would like to have 5-10’ of light on either side of the trail, ideally an elliptical beam as I do not care what is 20’ above my head.

Helmet light:
Light would not rest on the helmet itself, it would be connected to gopro style mount.
Because the helmet light is 20-30” above the headlight, it will fill in the shadows cast by the headlight providing more detail.
The helmet light will also be incredibly beneficial when it comes to tight corners.

Lumintop B01
Looks very interesting though I would like a wider beam than shown in images.
Just looked at the video on Amazon, this would make for a very good helmet light. Definitely want a wider beam on bar mount light.

I am not opposed to assembling component parts but need serious hand holding when selecting parts.

MoreLumens
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Colder color temps sure give few more lumens, but that’s the only thing they do better.
Warmer temps, better in fog/rain, easier to spot bumps etc.

I mostly use 400 lumens from Nitecore HC30, turbo if I need longer range.

freeme
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Warmer beam is pleasing especially when you are cycling alone in poorly lid park at late night.

However, white beam gives better contrast than warmer LED in reality. This will aid riders to identify potholes much earlier imo. I did not believe initially when one flashlight enthusiast told brought it up about 5-6 years ago. cool

Cycling path definitely looked much smoother with floody warm beam. You can tell that the ground between the gravel path and grass (red arrow) is slightly lower with bottom pic.  

 

MoreLumens wrote:
Colder color temps sure give few more lumens, but that's the only thing they do better. Warmer temps, better in fog/rain, easier to spot bumps etc. I mostly use 400 lumens from Nitecore HC30, turbo if I need longer range.

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MoreLumens
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Yeah maybe 4000k starts to feel too warm when biking so maybe 5000k is best. Haven’t really used anything below that on my bike, but at winter time 4000k could be better because it gives less glare.

ArturoSC1
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+1 for sure

question465
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MoreLumens wrote:
Yeah maybe 4000k starts to feel too warm when biking so maybe 5000k is best. Haven’t really used anything below that on my bike, but at winter time 4000k could be better because it gives less glare.

My bike headlamp is a Lumintop B01. It’s the newer version with 4000K. To my mind, this color temperature is just perfect.

question465
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Lightbringer wrote:
The Lumintop B01 is self-contained, but has a rather nice precise beam with sharp upper cutoff, blessed by St Vizo, the patron saint of bicycles. Would make a nice aux light.

I use a Lumintop B01 as bike headlamp and I love it. I live in Germany, so I know about the StVZO (Straßenverkehrs-Zulassungs-Ordnung). The B01 would never ever meet the requirements to get a so called “K-number”.
The advertisement for the B01 states: “Designed according to the StVZO standard”. But it’s just marketing. Would a german police officer stop me at night while using the B01, I would face a minimum fine of 20 Euros and would be forced to walk back home. I use the flashlight anyway, because it’s great. Furthermore, I use it in remote areas. I can cycle for 2 hours in the dark without encountering other people. It delivers the biggest bang for the bug. It’s build quality is unmatched in this price range.

iH8usrnames
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Thanks for the info.
I am not a fan of the yellower light but was not sure if that is a colorblind thing or not.
I much prefer 5500k to 6500k for task lighting – and this is task is mountain biking on narrow, winding single track trail.

Bike Radar has a review of lights, I want a pattern similar to these.
only referring to width of the beam, not color
both of these are much brighter than I am attempting

Exposure MaxX D Mk13
$473

MagicShine Monteer 8000s Galaxy
$400
way brighter than I need, more expensive, etc

Correllux
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When I was doing a bunch of night riding, fast tight twisty singletrack with some fun thrown in, I much preferred a headlamp only vs. bar only or running both.  Having the light lower on the bar is usually preferred by most because you can use those low shadows to help read the terrain better...light up high reduces or eliminates the shadows, washes things out.  Since I knew my trails like the back of my hand I didn't mind missing the shadows and felt comfortable enough to take the jumps and rocky areas at the same speed I did in daylight, and having the light on the head definitely was a benefit with turns and switchbacks (as well as looking over to see who's eyes were glowing or skittering away...). 

Interesting with the color blindness....red-green for you?  I never thought much about that until I had a friend (red-green) and we discussed colors of flowers and dirt and even the sky and stuff.  Pondering that and light temperature vs. trail dirt....I would suppose that 6500K wouldn't be any advantage or disadvantage to you, all things considered?  When I ran incandescent and later HID lights, they were usually fine but on dirt that was more orange/red/light brown there was a loss of contrast and that made for a little eye strain plus mental strain trying to stay on top of things.  The HID was surely around the 4500K range, not positive though.  Currently using Dinotte headlamps and they're worth a look (not to buy, in your case, but idea for design maybe).  Mine most recent is a few years old and they were putting XML2 in them, nice tint around 5000K, three in an optic with a prismatic lens...has a very nice smooth beam with just the right angle and throw.  I haven't had it apart but I think they must run them parallel and the battery pack is 4x18650.  No idea how that's wired or what kind of driver they are using.

And that last part is my question for you.  11v battery....are you running your emitters in series?  What type of driver did you use?  I guess there are a few ways to go about this but I suppose running in parallel with a buck driver would be the most efficient setup with that battery (question mark). 

Honestly many of the typical china lights/brands I'm not sure I would want to trust on the trail but I know they've come a long way and there are some gems out there now.  Contrasting with the old original versions of the Magicshine which were bright but crappy and failure prone.  Tootling along on a smooth-ish trail when a light dies is alarming and a hassle but if you're going fast or rough it can be bad. 

Correllux
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Also, somewhere in the 1200-1500 lumens range is good....can run that for a couple hours-ish or drop down to somewhere around 800 and double that.  Less light....ok for slow travel or easy trails only (or pavement riding when not at club-racer speeds). 

iH8usrnames
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The lights I am using are “Safego” from Amazon.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01DPGRZDA/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_...

My decision to use these were purely due to weight, supposed brightness, and price.
Single LED
They have drivers built into the board with the LED.
Voltage range is 10-30v; I chose 11.1v 2200mAh battery to get me 3.75 hour run time.
I have had one running for three hours with zero issues or excessive heat.

I cut off the factory mount, tapped the bottom for screws and connected them to a knockoff aluminum Garmin mount.
image is without the internals, just the main shell

One complete (Light+Mount+Battery) unit is a bit under 1lb.

I wish I had found this site and had more time to learn and research, I may have come up with a better solution. The main drive to get these done this week is my friend is doing an all night race in a few days. I have sending him off with two lights and two batteries so he has a backup if something goes wrong.

I’ve tried to find different optics to fit these housings with ZERO luck.

I believe I will ultimately replace these with something I build from parts because A, it would be fun and B, I’m sure it would be much lighter. I would like to stay with this battery, however.

Red/Green colorblind.
I would like a light on the helmet but not bright enough to eliminate shadows, just enough to lighten them a bit.

Correllux
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Been thinking about this and honestly I don't know how I'd approach it.  That's kinda weird how it's basically a mule with a diffuser in front of it.  Single emitter...would suppose it's a typical 3v emitter and that's a buck driver to handle the excess voltage but that seems like a big waste if so?  I'm thinking even if a reflector or optic could be found to fit, it looks like fitting a driver would be a real challenge since most that we use for flashlights are double sided (at least a few things on the back side anyway, even if a spring/post could be removed).  There are some smart folks here who can probably look at the customer photos in the amazon reviews and maybe tell what sort of circuit is being used, maybe if it could be modified to do something more suitable with extra emitters or a different emitter (several good 6v and 12v ones available these days).  Maybe taking electrical measurements and planning from there.  That seems like the first hurdle to understand, but in the meantime if you wanted to, take some measurements of the driver shelf/driver and the width and depth of the housing, and you can look around on Kaidomain and the LHT Flashlight Store on aliexpress to see if any of the reflectors they have might work (don't think they'd have optics but possibly).  Sorry...not much help here from me. 

All nighters are fun.  They kind of fell out of favor around here but used to have a few good ones, and then everything became team relay instead.  Great fun to hop over a rattlesnake or two in the middle of the night or surprise a skunk!

iH8usrnames
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I appreciate your thoughts; fear you put in too much.

While I have these fixtures I am not wildly concerned about continuing them use them when Rev 2.0 comes along.

My process was going to be:
- find new optics seems impossible for these lights.
- get new emitters for this fixture seems like a bad idea given the optics issue.

Now my process is:
- find a good 1-up or 3-up board with leds installed.
- find proper driver.
- hope the setup delivers a minimum of 2 to 2-1/2 hour runtime on an 11.1v 2200mAh battery.
- find proper optic to deliver an elliptical beam with emphasis on center.
- find a host to hold all the components (Battery will be strapped to the bike).
- minimum of 1000 lumen but prefer a bit brighter – 1500-1750.

Basically, I want to ditch everything I have minus the battery and make something.

Seems what I want to do is very doable but I’m unsure what host I would use, and the emitter/driver combo.