What's a good e bike headlight?

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
mclark999
100 W
100 W
Posts: 114
Joined: Jun 12, 2014 5:53 pm
Location: Denver, CO, USA

Re: What's a good e bike headlight?

Post by mclark999 » Mar 17, 2015 10:50 am

bionx 1954 wrote:I have the same as Tench It is excellent, super bright, comes with aluminium clamp that is very easy to mount in different locations, and as mentioned it is 12-85 v. I got mine shipped free and less than 15.00 us.
I have this same light and love it for city streets. I use it as a high beam and then switch to a 3 watt headlight for bike trails.
-------------------------------------
Sikk Bikes cruiser with 66cc China girl
Trek FX 7.2 with Bafang BBS02 750W 20A
Trek 5500 with human power
Giant Trance with human power

mclark999
100 W
100 W
Posts: 114
Joined: Jun 12, 2014 5:53 pm
Location: Denver, CO, USA

Re: What's a good e bike headlight?

Post by mclark999 » Mar 17, 2015 10:52 am

Modbikemax wrote:I just bought one of these
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/231204828453 ... 1439.l2649

It is light weight, ideal for bicycles, and has a nice retro look and the light is pretty good too and works up to 80volts all for $7.19 delivered.
The finish is a bit tinny but what do you want for $7. :?
I have this same light as my low beam and one of the 20 watt lights as my high beam. The low beam is fine for bike trails but not really bright enough on city streets when cars headlights are in my eyes.
-------------------------------------
Sikk Bikes cruiser with 66cc China girl
Trek FX 7.2 with Bafang BBS02 750W 20A
Trek 5500 with human power
Giant Trance with human power

Raged
1 kW
1 kW
Posts: 384
Joined: Jan 02, 2014 12:15 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: What's a good e bike headlight?

Post by Raged » Mar 18, 2015 11:12 pm

Modbikemax wrote:I have been selling this one in my shop for a month, http://www.techbrands.com/store/product/st3467.aspx
It has a 4 cell lithium battery pack in a small bag which attaches to the frame with Velcro straps, 7.2v. The light attaches with rubber o rings as straps.
I sold one to a guy who wanted more light on his moto cross bike. It's pretty impressive.

Before you show a link to an ebay one that looks the same at 1/3 rd the price I have it on good authority that the ebay ones don't have the same run time as this one. I have tested it on the bench for 3 hours on the low setting before it cut out.
I am told the ebay one will give you 30 minutes. Cheap batteries no doubt.

If you live on Oz its available from Jaycar stores.
You're right about the batteries. Most of the cheap ones that come with batteries use fake batteries (usually 1000mAh even though it's labelled 2000mAh). That said, there's nothing stopping you from buying the cheap kit and then purchasing real 18650 batteries yourself. They're about $5-10 each for legit ones which make up a large portion of the cost.
Focus Black Forest 29er - MAC10T 14S Lipo - 50km/h, 50km range. (dead)https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... 91&start=0
Cube Reaction 29er Cyclocross BBS02 https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... =6&t=70549

User avatar
Modbikemax
1 kW
1 kW
Posts: 482
Joined: Jul 16, 2014 1:38 am
Location: Perth Western Australia
Contact:

Re: What's a good e bike headlight?

Post by Modbikemax » Mar 19, 2015 6:38 pm

If you live in Australia the Techbrands light is sold by Jaycar. stores. It is about half the price of an equivalent sold in a bike shop and twice the price of an Ebay similar one with shit batteries. I think it is pretty good value.
http://www.techbrands.com/store/product/st3467.aspx

User avatar
Modbikemax
1 kW
1 kW
Posts: 482
Joined: Jul 16, 2014 1:38 am
Location: Perth Western Australia
Contact:

Re: What's a good e bike headlight?

Post by Modbikemax » Mar 19, 2015 6:58 pm

cwah wrote:
Modbikemax wrote:Finished fitting some of my DIY lights that disguise themselves as reflectors. They have a nice retro look about them.
How did you make it?
The LEDA reflectors are an Ebay item sold by many suppliers, here's one:
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/2x-Red-24LED ... 35e18f855a

I just used 9 volt battery and a flasher circuit. The flasher is optional. You could use a 12v voltage reducer if running off your ebike battery.

User avatar
alpharalpha
100 W
100 W
Posts: 222
Joined: Sep 06, 2013 9:34 am
Location: Florida

Re: What's a good e bike headlight?

Post by alpharalpha » Jun 08, 2015 8:36 am

I ended up going with a Cree U3 for the front (very very bright) and a 3w red Cree for the rear--also ridiculously bright, have to angle it downwards. I'll post a better pic whenever I'm out riding at night, but with my blackout curtains and oak trees it's pretty dark in here with the lights off.
IMG_3512.JPG
IMG_3512.JPG (21.31 KiB) Viewed 1248 times
CREE U3.jpg
CREE U3.jpg (4.54 KiB) Viewed 1248 times
CREE 3W.jpg
CREE 3W.jpg (5.42 KiB) Viewed 1248 times

User avatar
The fingers
100 GW
100 GW
Posts: 5847
Joined: Mar 11, 2012 11:22 pm
Location: Desert Pacific Cali USA

Re: What's a good e bike headlight?

Post by The fingers » Jun 15, 2015 10:18 am

Black Schwinn High Sierra
Blue Schwinn Cruiser 5
Blue Schwinn High Plains
Black Fiore Cruzer 5: Amped Warp Drive 26" Front DD/SLA kit
http://ghostbikes.org/
http://www.rideofsilence.org/main.php
Hebrews 9:27

User avatar
Alan B
100 GW
100 GW
Posts: 7022
Joined: Sep 11, 2010 7:43 am
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, USA
Contact:

Re: What's a good e bike headlight?

Post by Alan B » Jun 15, 2015 11:47 am

I've been testing a dual-LED bicycle headlight that is doing the best-yet job for my (occasionally) very dark commute route. It has 5 output levels (100/200/500/800/1200 lumens (BT30R)) and a separate control pressure switch that attaches to the handgrip and when depressed raises the output to 1800 lumens whether the light is on or off, so it is useful day or night for signaling as well as for inspecting road conditions farther ahead than the normally selected beam.

Riding with this light allows me to select a lower power beam, and then raise the brightness briefly when I need to, which has resulted in much longer battery life as well as being much kinder to oncoming drivers.

The optics in all these lights have fresnel lensing to cut off the upward part of the light pattern that would blind oncoming drivers and bend it down to fill in the dark pool below the main beam and show road hazards directly in front of the bike. The pattern is much safer than most bright bicycle lights with wide beams that put too much light into the oncoming driver's eyes as well as too much light on the ground in close that reflects light back to the rider and reduces his (or her) night vision. I had four LED headlights on my Greyborg when I first mounted one of these, after awhile I found that I didn't need the other lights and removed all but this one.

This light is available in a couple of formats and is part of a family of LED headlights with similar beams, one with a pair of rechargeable lithium 18650's (or four non rechargeable CR123As) that go in the light housing (BC30), the other type is smaller with a separate rechargeable pack that straps to the bike and plugs in (BT30R). This model can be run from an 8V regulated source. The features on these lights vary such as the number and brightness of the levels.

Fenix BT30R, BC30
http://www.amazon.com/Fenix-rechargeabl ... 00VKQQF66/

The BC30R is a dual LED 1600 lumen USB rechargeable model.

Other members of this LED headlight family include single LED versions with similar capability (at 750-800 lumen output) such as the Fenix BTR20. The BT20 is similar but does not have the high beam pushbutton. These single LED lights use the same 7-8.4V remote battery packs, one of which has two removable 18650 cells and the other is a rechargeable lithium pack with a plug in charger. The 18650 removable pack is larger and has a somewhat bulky nylon case to mount it on the bike, I find the smaller rechargeable pack to be a better setup.

I've tested three different models from this family so far (BT20, BTR20, BT30R) and have had good results with all of them, however the pressure switch does significantly improve the useability and power efficiency of the light. I like the capability of changing the 18650's but not the bulk of the nylon pouch for the battery. The smaller rechargeable pack is easier to mount and has a 4 level charge status indicator triggered by a pushbutton on the battery. This pack does require a separate charger which is supplied. Because I can run the light at a lower level and punch it up high when I need to the average power use is lower and the interval between charging can be much longer than other lights which much be run at higher power level all the time.

I buy my Fenix lights from Fenix-Store and Amazon.

User avatar
amberwolf
100 GW
100 GW
Posts: 23903
Joined: Aug 17, 2009 6:43 am
Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth, Sol, Local Bubble, Orion Arm, Milky Way, Local Group
Contact:

Re: What's a good e bike headlight?

Post by amberwolf » Jun 15, 2015 2:02 pm

I'm sure it's nowhere near as bright as the picture shows (they always overexpose these things to make them look better than reality):
Ding Bike Light.jpeg
Ding Bike Light.jpeg (30.15 KiB) Viewed 1229 times
But that's what my bikes really do look like with the downlighting on the downtube/toptube/etc. ;)

User avatar
Alan B
100 GW
100 GW
Posts: 7022
Joined: Sep 11, 2010 7:43 am
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, USA
Contact:

Re: What's a good e bike headlight?

Post by Alan B » Jun 16, 2015 8:46 am

The light downrange is definitely too low and not cut sharply enough or properly gradated for ebike speeds. You need less light in close, more out further and a sharp cutoff below the horizon. The downlight probably should not be white either, side lights are never white on vehicles. There are rules about light colors in different directions of a vehicle.

The UV energized glowing rim tape make a very impressive side view at night, as do the tires that have glow rings on them. Two big glowing rings say bicycle quite clearly.

The pedals that light up when turning are quite striking at night too.

Lots of solutions for night visibility.

User avatar
alsmith
100 kW
100 kW
Posts: 1179
Joined: Dec 03, 2010 7:25 pm
Location: Northumberland, UK

Re: What's a good e bike headlight?

Post by alsmith » Jun 16, 2015 8:00 pm

What would be useful with these lights is a two way switch (or two switches ) so you can go up or down in brightness as needed rather than have to cycle through all of the levels in one direction until you get to the one you want .

User avatar
The fingers
100 GW
100 GW
Posts: 5847
Joined: Mar 11, 2012 11:22 pm
Location: Desert Pacific Cali USA

Re: What's a good e bike headlight?

Post by The fingers » Jun 16, 2015 8:36 pm

I use a bright red flashing downlight aimed at where the white paint line for the bike lane is for visibility. The county just repaved the 60 mph zone and put down double white lines about a foot apart with diagonal white stripes abour every 30 feet or so to separate bikes from traffic. Now the road edge is straight and wide, and the softball-sized chunks of asphalt dislodged from all the potholes are gone. :D
Black Schwinn High Sierra
Blue Schwinn Cruiser 5
Blue Schwinn High Plains
Black Fiore Cruzer 5: Amped Warp Drive 26" Front DD/SLA kit
http://ghostbikes.org/
http://www.rideofsilence.org/main.php
Hebrews 9:27

User avatar
Alan B
100 GW
100 GW
Posts: 7022
Joined: Sep 11, 2010 7:43 am
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, USA
Contact:

Re: What's a good e bike headlight?

Post by Alan B » Jun 17, 2015 1:49 pm

alsmith wrote:What would be useful with these lights is a two way switch (or two switches ) so you can go up or down in brightness as needed rather than have to cycle through all of the levels in one direction until you get to the one you want .
Most of the Fenix lights have a momentary button that changes the light to the highest brightness level for as long as it is depressed. Not exactly what you are looking for, but it does the job fairly well. Keep the light set at the low level needed, and depress button to get the high level. Since this button is on the grip it can be held depressed for awhile if needed. Usually a quick look is enough for awhile, and conserves battery power.

User avatar
alsmith
100 kW
100 kW
Posts: 1179
Joined: Dec 03, 2010 7:25 pm
Location: Northumberland, UK

Re: What's a good e bike headlight?

Post by alsmith » Jun 17, 2015 5:16 pm

Thanks .
It's like the designers don't use the lights , don't cycle , and don't ask cyclists what they want .

User avatar
ridethelightning
1 MW
1 MW
Posts: 1771
Joined: Jul 21, 2013 9:48 pm

Re: What's a good e bike headlight?

Post by ridethelightning » Jun 17, 2015 5:42 pm

i have to say these have been a great aquisition for me-
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... 00#p927970

took a fair bit of stuffing round with the yoybuy site to get them, but they were well worth it!

i generally have them angled low for when round town/in traffic.... im considering instaling a kill switch for them, and having a smaller light as backup for low beam.

these are quite heavy so i would only recommend it for a heavier high power type setup.

oh, and iv ridden with them in drenching rain with no issues :D

User avatar
Alan B
100 GW
100 GW
Posts: 7022
Joined: Sep 11, 2010 7:43 am
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, USA
Contact:

Re: What's a good e bike headlight?

Post by Alan B » Jun 17, 2015 7:06 pm

I suspect the vast majority of night cycling is done with street lighting, so they don't depend on the lights for seeing. Most little bicycle lights can't light up very far. Also pedalists usually travel at pretty low speed, ebike pilots needs are different.

User avatar
izeman
10 GW
10 GW
Posts: 4495
Joined: Jun 21, 2011 8:25 am
Location: vienna, austria
Contact:

What's a good e bike headlight?

Post by izeman » Aug 02, 2015 4:06 am

I now ordered two more led lights. One with 5x and one with 7x cree t6 leds. Even if they aren't fed with full 3a each that is a lot of heat and power for a small lamp.
I haven't received them yet but want to prepare a power source for it. Supplied by the the main battery (50v). Point is: i can't find a suitable solution. Using wall warts won't work. They are not powerfull enough. I would need a 9v 6a version which imho doesn't exist.
Space for the converter is limited too.

So has anyone got any ideas?

How would i find out what the maximum supply voltage for the led driver is? The webpage doesn't say it and only mentions that it doesn't come with a battery showing a picture of those 2s2p 18650 packs (which could be 4s as well of course)

User avatar
ridethelightning
1 MW
1 MW
Posts: 1771
Joined: Jul 21, 2013 9:48 pm

Re: What's a good e bike headlight?

Post by ridethelightning » Aug 02, 2015 7:54 am

try a 9v ac switchmode rectifier, like for laptop or some other common houshold item.
https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=i&rct= ... 8092487155
they will run hapilly on dc,but you have to get the polarity right on the input., are smallish ,fairly light.

iv been using them regularly for months now for those type of lights with no issues.

you may also find that a slightly higher voltage like 12v will work just fine too. iv found depending on the lights, the driver might regulate the voltage to the leds, otherwise they will just burn a little brighter.

hope this helps.
RTL

User avatar
Alan B
100 GW
100 GW
Posts: 7022
Joined: Sep 11, 2010 7:43 am
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, USA
Contact:

Re: What's a good e bike headlight?

Post by Alan B » Aug 02, 2015 8:44 am

9V at 6A is a lot of current and power, not easy to supply for long nighttime rides. A 2S 5000 lipo can do it, but for less than an hour. The standard 2S2P 18650 pack is about the same, though some would go a bit longer.

But the real question I have - is that the right direction to go? I'm finding that more light is not the correct answer, we need the right amount of light in the right place and at the right time. One thing I've learned is that a few hundred properly patterned lumens, with a pushbutton that takes it up to near 2000 lumens works very efficiently yet allows long range and signalling when needed. I'm running a separate light powerpack at the moment, and now that I have these two levels at my fingertip the battery lasts a lot longer and doesn't have to be as big. It only takes 2 emitters to make this level of light, and each one needs to have its own lens to pattern the light properly. The resulting light is smaller and not such a major component on the bike. I used to run a 2S2P 18650 pack, now I'm running just a 2S 18650 pack, only half the size and getting much longer run times because the average power consumption is much lower.

One key to this is not using the usual high beam strategy of leaving the high beam on all the time, but using a momentary high beam. Low beam is enough to see for a moderate distance, the high beam is only needed for looking far ahead which is not wanted when cars are oncoming, or needed when cars or other illumination gives an adequate long view. Even when it is needed a short high beam burst of a couple of seconds is enough to see what is ahead and then drop back to the more power saving low beam level.

One power supply approach is to use a 2S lipo and a 2S lipo charger that operates from the main pack. If the 2S charger exceeds the low beam current draw and the high beam is used intermittently this can be sufficient.

markz
10 GW
10 GW
Posts: 4725
Joined: Jan 09, 2014 11:38 pm
Location: Alberta Canada

Re: What's a good e bike headlight?

Post by markz » Aug 02, 2015 12:55 pm


User avatar
izeman
10 GW
10 GW
Posts: 4495
Joined: Jun 21, 2011 8:25 am
Location: vienna, austria
Contact:

What's a good e bike headlight?

Post by izeman » Aug 02, 2015 1:36 pm

Thanks. Yes they are. And you know what: they've never seen the night. I've never used them in the dark. They have been replaced by two magicshine clones which, you guess it, have never been used in the dark yet.
They both work very well and are nice. But i don't really like the look of the two lamps. And i like shopping in china ;). And i like building stuff and solving problems that i don't really have even more. ;).
So any response helping me to find the ideal light is very welcome and much appreciated but may not stop me asking about the power supply.
I haven't found those on ebay. Maybe my search term was wrong.
Upping the input voltage will help for sure as 12v 5a is easy to find and up to the task. 18v 3a would be even better. But i have no idea how to find the upper limit of the led driver but using an adjustable ps and turn the voltage up until it starts to smoke. *ggg*

User avatar
alpharalpha
100 W
100 W
Posts: 222
Joined: Sep 06, 2013 9:34 am
Location: Florida

Re: What's a good e bike headlight?

Post by alpharalpha » Feb 09, 2016 6:20 am

I finally used the cree u3 in nighttime conditions and WOW, I'm talking movie projector brightness, it comes out as a fairly directed square beam so it's not all over the place and completely pierces the night. The light doesn't glare off the road like one poster had thought, it's perfect. They're only $20 off that auction site coming from China. I may be more visible at night than in the daytime, if you know what I mean. I'll take a picture next time I'm out. I don't go out at night very often, fortunately our library is open until 9pm and I wanted to pick some stuff up before this little cold front moved in--yeah I'm in FL but I'd rather go out when it's 75 than 60.

ccmdr
100 W
100 W
Posts: 205
Joined: Jul 05, 2015 2:52 am
Location: East or South UK, depends

Re: What's a good e bike headlight?

Post by ccmdr » Feb 09, 2016 1:15 pm

For both vector frames I use one of each:

x2 18W Cree Spot Light

and

x2 F1 style 12LED rear flasher mounted up side down to the image

Both are linked to a 30-90v DC-DC.

If you drill a 6mm hole through your handlebar stem with the supplied mounts the headlight is a direct fix to the underside of the handlebar. The F1 Light bracket supplied can be slightly trimmed down on the sides with tin snips and riveted direct to the lower bar of the vector seat spar. With dual crown forks the headlight is very tucked away although the single crown doesn't look too shabby either if I do say so myself :).
Evidence backs up solid ideas, otherwise your thoughts are a figment of your imagination or a lesson learnt :D


ccmdr
100 W
100 W
Posts: 205
Joined: Jul 05, 2015 2:52 am
Location: East or South UK, depends

Re: What's a good e bike headlight?

Post by ccmdr » Feb 09, 2016 1:45 pm

Just a quick pic to explain.
Attachments
Rear.jpg
Rear.jpg (249.57 KiB) Viewed 54 times
DSC00650.JPG
DSC00650.JPG (241.64 KiB) Viewed 54 times
Evidence backs up solid ideas, otherwise your thoughts are a figment of your imagination or a lesson learnt :D

Post Reply