Best Lights

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
georgefromvt   1 kW

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Best Lights

Post by georgefromvt » Jul 02 2010 4:57am

I do a lot of evening biking and looking for the brightest bicycle lights. Any suggestions? Thinking of purchasing the Dual Halogen Lights with anderson taps from Cycle Analyst. I think they plug right into the battery? Are they brighter than the cheap LED lights powered by AAA batteries you can get from Wallmart? Anyone out there try them? Thanks. http://www.ebikes.ca/store/store_accessories.php
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icecube57   1 GW

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Re: Best Lights

Post by icecube57 » Jul 02 2010 7:45am

For the price I would get them. It blows any department store aftermarket bike/led light out of the water. It runs off your pack voltage with the DC/DC. Check the review thread. Ypedal has a review on this light. http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... =4&t=18176

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geetarboy   100 W

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Re: Best Lights

Post by geetarboy » Jul 02 2010 4:50pm

Hey George, I just got a NiteRider MiNewt Mini-USB. It's a major difference from the AA leds. It's nice to see the potholes before you feel them @ 35mph :D
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Evoforce   10 kW

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Re: Best Lights

Post by Evoforce » Jul 03 2010 10:19am

I really like the magicshine 1400 lumin setup. It costs less and it is super bright. I personally like the separate battery that comes with it, because I ride long distances in the dark, and it doesn't lower my riding milage.
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drewdiller   100 W

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Re: Best Lights

Post by drewdiller » Jul 03 2010 12:22pm

I ride with two MagicShine 900 lights. Love em, and the price is awesome. I can see further than my wife's car, which is kind of scary considering that she drives on the highway...

ktronik   100 W

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Re: Best Lights

Post by ktronik » Jul 04 2010 5:33am

Currently LED lights are the most efficient & well worth a look...easy to make you self these days as well...

this is a good site for DIY lights...

http://forums.mtbr.com/forumdisplay.php?f=124

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Re: Best Lights

Post by imrealymad » Jul 05 2010 1:14pm

Just got my magic shine. After 1 ride I am loving it. It is probably brighter than the light on my harley.

LI-ghtcycle   1.21 GW

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Re: Best Lights

Post by LI-ghtcycle » Jul 05 2010 7:51pm

+1 on the Magic Shine, but I think it's going to come down to what works best for you.

LED lights have a more white light that has it's advantages, but the more yellow light of the halogen lights seem to have a better diffusion, but maybe that is just the difference in the reflectors in the lights.

I think anything that ebikes.ca sells is very well made and you can't really go wrong with, and it's nice that they have it all set-up to add to your battery.

I like to tinker and build my own stuff, so I just bought the MS light with out a battery pack and then bought a DC to DC converter since I planned on running blinkers and a tail light too, and I've probably paid more than $100 in the long run, but it's hard to say since I have a custom set-up blinkers & a electronic horn too.

I have been over-volting my MS light at 12V, so my experience might not be typical, but I have only worried that I might blind some on-coming car driver at night, but I have had no doubt at all that my light is bright enough, it lights up the entire road, and as long as I aim it right, I think it shouldn't bother anyone. :)
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ktronik   100 W

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Re: Best Lights

Post by ktronik » Jul 05 2010 10:24pm

Dude, you can't overvolt a led driver un-less it is
made for that higher voltage, normaly it won't give you anymore output, as output is regulated no matter the input voltage, it just stress the driver more, and those ms drivers a pretty poor at the best of times...

Hope this helps

Ktronik

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Whiplash   100 MW

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Re: Best Lights

Post by Whiplash » Jul 05 2010 10:46pm

Hey Ktronic, VERY nice light. The nicest I have seen to be honest. Hope sales are doing well!
Power is a fascinating thing, the more you have, the more you want, but the real power is having the restraint not to use it all at once...............Um...Yeah..

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Re: Best Lights

Post by amberwolf » Jul 05 2010 11:23pm

Most likely the diffusion difference between halogen and LED you see is caused by the light source itself, along with the optics.

With a filament bulb of any type, a parabolic reflector will capture light from all sides of the filament and focus it into a beam, with some of the diffusion based on the shape of the parabola and some on the focal length (where the filament is placed along the depth of the reflector).

With an LED, in general all the light is being fed forward of the base LED itself, and most of it will be within a certain arc, typically 30 to 60 degrees (depending on the casing design of the LED). So a simple parabolic reflector doesn't do the same job it would with a filament. It needs a partial parabolic to catch the side-emitted light and reflect it forward, and a lens assembly of a certain width in front of the LED within a certain distance of it (dependent on the LED's emission/diffusion cone) to focus the main portion of the light.

If the optics are standard lenses, they will not really give a lot of normal diffusion to the sides, the way a filament and parabolic reflector generally will. You'd need a different shape to the lens and/or the side-emission reflector, to make that out-of-beam diffusion more even. Some lights have this, some don't. Some specifically avoid doing this, depending on their purpose.


Other lights that have very large emissive areas, CFLs and the like, are very difficult (in a small form factor) to make a beam from at all but have excellent diffusion. :)

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veloman   1 GW

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Re: Best Lights

Post by veloman » Jul 06 2010 12:15am

LOL I hit a speed bump while taking a short cut on my way home tonight in the dark. Luckily I was only going 12mph and I didn't bite my tongue or anything. Ran straight into it with locked arms on the roadie. That's what I get for using a AA battery powered 3 LED flasher. lol

I have an old Night Rider trail rat that I use to think was awesome. It still works decent in comparison to above, but I think the new lights blow it away.

I love riding at night, it's sooo peaceful and quiet, so few cars. I feel like I am more visible at night. Got to use that Planet Bike Beacon rear flasher - that's one of the best rear flashers you can get.
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LI-ghtcycle   1.21 GW

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Re: Best Lights

Post by LI-ghtcycle » Jul 06 2010 1:40am

Oh, well all I know is I was told others have successfully ran their MS lights at 12V, I believe they are designed for just over 9V, I have 12V and 3.3V on my DC to DC converter, I should have looked longer since there are some out there that have more options, but so far so good.

I'm not any kind of expert, just a back-yard mechanic at best. :)
Thank you Justin_Le for your selfless act of kindness! We all are in your debt.
Back on track E-Bronco! Now with Cro Motor Mid-Drive Goodness!
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 28&t=44997

Vision R40 w/3000w MXUS as mid-drive, NuVinci N171B rear wheel as transmission, Silent yet powerful, running 72v 11.6 ah (20s 18650 Li-Ion) to climb hills, tow trailer with zero pedaling when needed!

https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 28&t=75247[/size]

ktronik   100 W

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Re: Best Lights

Post by ktronik » Jul 08 2010 2:53am

LI-ghtcycle wrote:Oh, well all I know is I was told others have successfully ran their MS lights at 12V, I believe they are designed for just over 9V, I have 12V and 3.3V on my DC to DC converter, I should have looked longer since there are some out there that have more options, but so far so good.

I'm not any kind of expert, just a back-yard mechanic at best. :)
ok so others are using 12v...no worries...see how you go...

The P7 LED in the MS light is a 3.6-4v led, that drives 4 parallel 'dies' to a total of 2.8A...

the losses involved in driving this LED from a high voltage, through 2 converters could be a bit much... say you step down from 48-60v to 12v, then again in the MS to 3.6-4v...each driver would be at best 85-90% eff...

with LEDs & a buck driver, the closer you can get your Vf LED string to the input voltage (- overhead voltage), the more eff use of power, so series wired strings of high power LEDs driven from one HV LED driver direct from 48-60v would be a better option...if you wanted to keep the losses to a min & build a more simple, reliable system.

hope this helps

Ktronik

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Whiplash   100 MW

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Re: Best Lights

Post by Whiplash » Jul 08 2010 9:30am

Really? So if I just wired my LED's together in series, if I get them to say 60V capacity, I could just use my main pack to power them? Cool! I did not know you could do that!
Power is a fascinating thing, the more you have, the more you want, but the real power is having the restraint not to use it all at once...............Um...Yeah..

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Re: Best Lights

Post by amberwolf » Jul 08 2010 3:42pm

Yes; just make sure that you limit the current thru the whole string, or you lose the whole string at once when they start to fail from overcurrent. ;)

Also, if your pack varies in voltage greatly from LVC to HVC, you'll need to ensure that the LED string voltage is not much (if any) above the LVC if you expect the lights to still work brightly at low pack voltage conditions. Then you need to also ensure your buck regulator / current limiter properly limits the current thru the string at the HVC pack level, and that the regulator can take that full pack voltage (and the charging voltage if it is ever to be left connected even accidentally while the pack charges).

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Whiplash   100 MW

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Re: Best Lights

Post by Whiplash » Jul 08 2010 4:08pm

What would be "greatly" for the voltage sweep? It starts about 58V and ends around 50 at the lowest I let it go usually...
Power is a fascinating thing, the more you have, the more you want, but the real power is having the restraint not to use it all at once...............Um...Yeah..

The harder you work.....The luckier you get!!

"People who say it can't be done are often interrupted by those that have already figured out how to do it!"

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Re: Best Lights

Post by amberwolf » Jul 08 2010 5:29pm

That's not too much, at only 8V difference. As long as the buck regulator of whatever type you choose can handle the range fine, and still limit the current correctly, it should be fine.

ktronik   100 W

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Re: Best Lights

Post by ktronik » Jul 09 2010 8:05pm

The driver I would use is a HV e-bike LED driver http://www.taskled.com/hbuck.html So its current regulated for use with LEDs.

on a 48v batt, you could drive a 9/10 LED string, while have enough 'overhead' to stay in regulation over the whole voltage range of your pack...this driver could also have a simple 'pot' or switch to adjust the current.

Easy to make a cheap housing out of alloy scraps or copper plumbers pipe...if you replaced you P7 leds with cree MCE leds, (in your MS) you could wire 2 MS head units together wiring the MCE all in series (8S1P)

you guys make your own bikes, DIY LED lights are just as fun...

below are just 'channel' bits of alloy with ends bits welded on & a cover...

cheap LEDs & optics at DX to fill you DIY housing...great results for cheap...it will make 900lm look dim... :twisted:

Image

K

PS: thanks wiplash.. :D

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Whiplash   100 MW

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Re: Best Lights

Post by Whiplash » Jul 10 2010 10:05am

Thanks for the great link! If I was not a DIY type of guy, I would be all over your lite kit! Great quality stuff!
Power is a fascinating thing, the more you have, the more you want, but the real power is having the restraint not to use it all at once...............Um...Yeah..

The harder you work.....The luckier you get!!

"People who say it can't be done are often interrupted by those that have already figured out how to do it!"

Email me @ currentcycles@gmail.com
OR check out http://www.CurrentCycles.net


georgefromvt   1 kW

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Magicshine GeoManGear

Post by georgefromvt » Jul 13 2010 10:01pm

I went with the Magicshine GeomanGear 16 W 1400 LM lights. Just arrived today, charged the battery, mounted the light on my handle bar and off I went. No comparison between these lights and the cheap little Bell Lights with the AAA batteries. These lights rock. Very happy with the product, just wished I bought two. http://www.geomangear.com/index.php?mai ... q9072nn701

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Re: Best Lights

Post by heathyoung » Jul 14 2010 1:45am

ktronik wrote:The driver I would use is a HV e-bike LED driver http://www.taskled.com/hbuck.html So its current regulated for use with LEDs.

on a 48v batt, you could drive a 9/10 LED string, while have enough 'overhead' to stay in regulation over the whole voltage range of your pack...this driver could also have a simple 'pot' or switch to adjust the current.

Easy to make a cheap housing out of alloy scraps or copper plumbers pipe...if you replaced you P7 leds with cree MCE leds, (in your MS) you could wire 2 MS head units together wiring the MCE all in series (8S1P)

you guys make your own bikes, DIY LED lights are just as fun...

below are just 'channel' bits of alloy with ends bits welded on & a cover...

cheap LEDs & optics at DX to fill you DIY housing...great results for cheap...it will make 900lm look dim... :twisted:

Image

K

PS: thanks wiplash.. :D
Dammit - I was halfway through designing one of these - although 80V may be too low for some people! Mine was specced for 170V or 350V and 3A but thats probably overkill for an ebike application (it was being designed for an outdoor lighting system). Looks like its a current-mode buck with a 50V cutout on open circuit.

For the insane (like yours truly), have a look at the IRS2541, its a 600V capable current-mode LED driver, IRPLLED1 appnote documents its use in 1.5A (max) drive current at 170V max input voltage.
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Re: Magicshine GeoManGear

Post by Horizons » Jul 14 2010 7:53am

georgefromvt wrote:I went with the Magicshine GeomanGear 16 W 1400 LM lights. Just arrived today, charged the battery, mounted the light on my handle bar and off I went. No comparison between these lights and the cheap little Bell Lights with the AAA batteries. These lights rock. Very happy with the product, just wished I bought two. http://www.geomangear.com/index.php?mai ... q9072nn701
You could have bought it some dollars cheaper from here and free ship http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.36018

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Stay away from Dealextreme!!!!!!!

Post by georgefromvt » Jul 26 2010 9:05pm

Stay away from dealextreme. Ordered another Magicshine 16 W 1400LM Bicycle Lights on July 16th and they haven't even been shipped!! My first set I bought from GeoManGear, they shipped within a day. This time I went with Dealextreme. Bad choice. According to their tracking system: " Processing - Awaiting stock". Maybe if I'm lucky, they will arive for Christmas!!!!!! Thought I would save 10 bucks for free shipping but not worth it. Our summers in Vermont are short, cold weather is right around the corner and so is the end of my biking. Boy I'm pissed!!!!!!!!!
http://www.dealextreme.com/

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Last edited by georgefromvt on Jul 27 2010 5:44am, edited 1 time in total.

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