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Thread: 3-level LED headlight (scroll for pics)

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* LukeA's Avatar
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    Default 3-level LED headlight - scroll for pics and beamshots!

    I made one. It's sweet. It's a 6*3*.75in block of aluminum bored out to fit 10 DX6090 modules and 10 8˚ optics. It's at least 1500 lm otf and draws 48W on high (but at 6V, I don't have a suitable bench 12V ps), including all converter losses. I suppose I could switch the emitters to 1000mA buckpucks someday, but part of this project is that it's built totally with off-the-shelf parts.

    The three modes are 4 modules, six modules, and high is all 10.
    Last edited by LukeA; 10-26-2008 at 06:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* TorchBoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3-level LED headlight

    Quote Originally Posted by LukeA View Post
    Pics should come tomorrow, unless cellphone pics are okay...
    The more the merrier.
    No, a torch does not always mean flames.
    Ian.
    LED Driver List - now database driven and with new search features.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 3-level LED headlight

    I would love to have the reflectors, have a few projcts going right now.
    Please shoot me a pm
    Classic comedian here

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* LukeA's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3-level LED headlight

    The front


    The back


    DRL


    Low beam


    High beam
    A little madness never hurt anybody.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 3-level LED headlight

    Beamshots?

    Sweet setup- why did you choose the 8' optics over the stock reflectors? (apart from the obvious "so I don't have to put a glass window in front").

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* LukeA's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3-level LED headlight

    Quote Originally Posted by Jarl View Post
    Beamshots?

    Sweet setup- why did you choose the 8' optics over the stock reflectors? (apart from the obvious "so I don't have to put a glass window in front").
    The optics throw better, are more efficient, and are smaller. I also like the way the scotch tape, when laid vertically, diffuses the light in a short, wide pattern. It's perfect for this purpose. I hope that either the tape (or the acrylic for that matter) can withstand the UV from constantly being outside or that I can hit the optics vertically with 220 paper for the same effect.

    Beamshots are tough for me because I don't have a tripod.
    A little madness never hurt anybody.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 3-level LED headlight

    Which optics did you use? I've looked on DX for something similar, but can't find anything.

    Thanks!

  8. #8

    Default Re: 3-level LED headlight (scroll for pics)

    How do you intend to keep the light oriented downwards, out of other drivers' eyes? Those look like standard flashlight optics, you'll need some kind of specialized optics or guards to block the upper part of the beam.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* LukeA's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3-level LED headlight

    Quote Originally Posted by Jarl View Post
    Which optics did you use? I've looked on DX for something similar, but can't find anything.

    Thanks!
    It's the 10pk from KD.

    As for orientation, the beam is pretty short, because of the tape. There's not much light above the spot.
    A little madness never hurt anybody.

  10. #10

    Default Re: 3-level LED headlight (scroll for pics)

    Is this intended to be installed in an automobile?

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* LukeA's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3-level LED headlight (scroll for pics)

    Quote Originally Posted by electromage View Post
    Is this intended to be installed in an automobile?
    Yes, eventually.
    A little madness never hurt anybody.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: 3-level LED headlight (scroll for pics)

    Looks great!!!

  13. #13

    Default Re: 3-level LED headlight (scroll for pics)

    Ddi you mount these yet?

  14. #14

    Default Re: 3-level LED headlight (scroll for pics)

    If i may ask you for some info.. How much a set up like this would cost??? Do you have a pic of the light to see how well it lights up the road in front??? The set up looks very intresting if i would mount it on a motorcycle with a mercury switch. The idea is that when i lean to a sorten deg the mercury switch would turn the light on that side to light the turn... I got no idea if that would be possible or not but your light looks awsome.

    Alex

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* LukeA's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3-level LED headlight (scroll for pics)

    Quote Originally Posted by goose View Post
    If i may ask you for some info.. How much a set up like this would cost??? Do you have a pic of the light to see how well it lights up the road in front??? The set up looks very intresting if i would mount it on a motorcycle with a mercury switch. The idea is that when i lean to a sorten deg the mercury switch would turn the light on that side to light the turn... I got no idea if that would be possible or not but your light looks awsome.

    Alex
    I spent about $140, but I also bought two drill bits and a tap.

    I don't have any beamshots because I need to build a suitable battery holder. I used two radioshack 4AA holders, but 8 Eneloops started to melt them, so I'm in the process of building something with lower resistance.

    As far as mounting something like this on a vehicle, I'm not going to use mine for street driving and neither should you. Using non-DOT-legal or non-ECE compliant lights is very dangerous and raises serious liability issues should an accident result.

  16. #16

    Default Re: 3-level LED headlight (scroll for pics)

    Could you post the place you purchesed the parts and what part # are they??? I still find it very intresting.. Thanks

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* LukeA's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3-level LED headlight (scroll for pics)

    Optics
    Dropin I used - Higher bin version of said dropin
    Aluminum I used 6 in.
    20mm drill bit - really 51/64 in. (20.24mm), but works as clearance drill, which is the intended purpose
    19mm drill bit - 3/4 in., but that's 19.05mm - close enough
    M20x1 tap

    Don't build one for your motorcycle.

  18. #18

    Default Re: 3-level LED headlight (scroll for pics)

    thanks LukeA i never build LED lights so i dont know if i could build it as of yet lol Had a guy on a MTB i showed him the set up and he loves it...

    Alex

  19. #19

    Default Re: 3-level LED headlight (scroll for pics)

    I noticed that the lights have there own reflector. Did you remove it to install the other reflector ??? I know those Q might be realy basic and something that everyone knows but i never build any LED lights so i realy dont know.. Thanks for your help.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* LukeA's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3-level LED headlight (scroll for pics)

    Quote Originally Posted by goose View Post
    I noticed that the lights have there own reflector. Did you remove it to install the other reflector ??? I know those Q might be realy basic and something that everyone knows but i never build any LED lights so i realy dont know.. Thanks for your help.
    Those are optics, and yes, I removed the stock reflectors. Each LED has its own optic because the threads that would hold the reflector on in a normal configuration are being used to hold the LED modules in the plate. The optics fit in the plate and the 8-degree optics make a nice tight beam.
    Last edited by LukeA; 07-13-2008 at 08:17 AM.

  21. #21

    Default Re: 3-level LED headlight (scroll for pics)

    thank you again LukeA. What would your opinion would be about a 12v gel cell battery On the back of the bike.. He hopes for about 2-3 hour run time.

    Alex

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* LukeA's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3-level LED headlight (scroll for pics)

    Quote Originally Posted by goose View Post
    thank you again LukeA. What would your opinion would be about a 12v gel cell battery On the back of the bike.. He hopes for about 2-3 hour run time.

    Alex
    IIRC, the efficiency is better at voltages closer to the LED Vf, but 12V will work. He needs about 13Ah for 3 hours.

    Oh, here's my CAD drawing of the part. (the annotations are all true) [Since removed - PM for it]
    Last edited by LukeA; 08-15-2008 at 08:40 PM.

  23. #23

    Default Re: 3-level LED headlight (scroll for pics)

    A friend ordered the parts going to mount it on a MTB. Im going to help me out put it togher

    Thanks LukeA

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* LukeA's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3-level LED headlight (scroll for pics - and now further for beamshots!)

    Finally got around to beamshots, as I fixed the battery holder I made for the headlight. I wired it with desoldering braid because the steel springs would get hot enough to melt through the plastic after 3 seconds of operation with the holder in stock form.

    Pardon any blur, the camera was sitting on the brick and was slightly wobbly when the shutter was pressed. It's a point and shoot camera, and I don't know how to lock settings on it. Read the captions above each pic and you'll see why that matters at the end.

    Lights in the test, headlight, 7-cree spotlight, Pelican 7060, Smartfire V-68C:


    For the most part facing the camera:


    Control, moonlight (2s, f/2.8):


    Pelican 7060 (2s, f/2.8):


    Smartfire V-68C high, MOP reflector (2s, f/2.8):


    7-Cree spotlight (~1000lm otf) (2s, f/2.8):


    10-Cree headlight, on high (the only mode that matters! - especially when 'low' is 700 lumens)(1s, f/2.8) <== I'm glad I checked the exif data; the camera bumped up the shutter speed because of the brightness:


    Same, but with pertinent distances:

    None of the lights has any trouble reaching the 180ft marking, they just weren't aimed there. The headlight has a HUGE spot (the holes aren't perfectly aligned ) and it lights up that wide swath that reaches the 180ft and the shed when aimed at the 110.

    I would offer longer range shots, but the neighbor above whose house they would be taken is an angry old codger.
    Last edited by LukeA; 08-16-2008 at 02:57 PM.

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* climberkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3-level LED headlight (scroll for pics)

    Look at you, making me start a new project and all. Awesome job you have done. Congrats.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* bshanahan14rulz's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3-level LED headlight (scroll for pics)

    if you "folded" the beam at about the center point of the hotspot, you could double the intensity of the "wings" and have the hotspot closer to the cutoff (which is ideal)

    Very cool project, and since you have it built already, I want you to try something, get a piece of mirror and hold it just above a row of lit leds to see if you can fold the beam that way?

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* LukeA's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3-level LED headlight (scroll for pics)

    Quote Originally Posted by bshanahan14rulz View Post
    if you "folded" the beam at about the center point of the hotspot, you could double the intensity of the "wings" and have the hotspot closer to the cutoff (which is ideal)

    Very cool project, and since you have it built already, I want you to try something, get a piece of mirror and hold it just above a row of lit leds to see if you can fold the beam that way?
    The light in question is out of commission for a little while until I receive the new battery to replace the one that got overdrawn in the trunk of my car, but I tried your idea with a single LED light and the bathroom mirror. It works alright. It's not exactly a doubling of brightness, but there is a larger area in the beam that gets brighter, specifically the area further than about 2˚ under the cutoff. I think It's something worth pursuing with a first-surface mirror.

  28. #28
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: 3-level LED headlight (scroll for pics)

    I just wanted to say that your work is really good.

    I didn't really realize that LEDs could throw that much light.

  29. #29

    Default Re: 3-level LED headlight (scroll for pics - and now further for beamshots!)

    So, how it's look at the car?

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* LukeA's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3-level LED headlight (scroll for pics - and now further for beamshots!)

    Quote Originally Posted by RusDyr View Post
    So, how it's look at the car?
    I've decided against on-road vehicle mounting without a legal beam pattern.

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