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Thread: Help me convert LED bike light DIY to Scooter LED DIY

  1. #1

    Default Help me convert LED bike light DIY to Scooter LED DIY

    After an accident on my scooter last year, I've been obsessed with increasing the visibility of my scooter, especially at night.

    Scooter lights are passable at best. My scooter comes with a 25w/25w front lightbulb.

    It is best described as adequately visible to other cars. When it comes to lighting the road ahead, it is dismal. I can barely see anything at night with it unless it is pitch black, and the beam, and it's pattern are so weak, that in pitch black, I easily overdrive the lights. And that's with the beam on high.

    My scooter sucks not only because it has a crappy 25w bulb, but that single hi/lo bulb sits in a housing meant to look like a dual housing. This means that a large piece of plastic blocks the light right down the middle.



    I was first inspired to think about it with this forum:


    But it looked like a complex build for a round headlight of which my housing is certainly not.


    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=197913


    Then I stumbled onto a DIY bike headlight that had a 700lm rating which looked like somthing I could do without too much complex fabricating or specalized heatsinking supplies.

    http://ledsupply.com/docs/700-Lumen-LED-Bike-Light.pdf

    This is something I can do. I'm better with hacking home depot stuff than making customized specialty heatsinks.

    In addition to the headlight, there are four 'pods' where I would like to stick accessory illumination. These lights would be the equivalent to the 'accessory' light switch that turns on all the exterior lights except the headlights. These aren't meant to light the way, but meant to make me more visible in addition to the main headlight.

    I plan to have it so that all lights are always on or always off. I'm going to hardwire this so that all lights are on when the handlebar switch is in the highbeam position and all the lights are off when the switch is in the lowbeam position.

    I plan to build a mount using aluminum angle iron, gluing emitters onto them using thermal adhesive and using aluminum reflectors (or optics with lens holders, but I don't know how to use or get them).

    I definitely plan on using a constant current driver, and using proper heatsinking of course, I've got the skills to build it, but not select the right emitters or constant current driver.

    The thing that I've noticed on these two other builds is that they all use three emitters in series.

    In this build, the goals are:

    1. More visible to other motorists.
    2. Better forward illumation of the road.
    3. Less power consumption than the present set up.
    4. Low cost and idiot proof build
    5. Idiot proof parts buying

    I'm good at building and modding, however I'm still very green at the electronics side. I know how to solder, and follow a wiring diagram, but the math completely baffles me.

    I've got a lot of questions and am hoping that you all can help design the lighting circuits for me.

    Basic Design:

    Since the headlight assembly is poorly designed for one central bulb, I'd like to have two separate forward facing emitters. I've noticed in the two previous builds I've noted that they both use emitters grouped in threes.

    There's no room for three forward emitters in my headlight assembly, so since I only have two, I'd like a bit more powerful emitters to make up for the loss of one emitter. The three seouls in the vespa build seem quite powerful at 2800ma and two would do quite fine, however the 700lm bike light build still seems quite powerful with the cree xre emitters. Even if I had 2/3 the lumens using cree emitters, it would still be much better than the stock 25w halogen bulb.


    Am I forced to use three emitters? Is this the simplest way to build a circuit?

    If I'm forced to use three, this won't be a bad thing because I would use two emitters using reflectors facing forward, then I would have the third emitter facing backwards into the stock reflector housing. The optics for the backward facing emitter would be awful, but it goal would be to light up the housing so it would be more visible to other cars.




    If I'm using a constant current driver, does the voltage of the emitters really matter anymore? I don't read anybody really worrying about the voltage. Only the current. I'm planning on using a buckpuck cc driver, or something cheaper. The input voltage needs to be within 10-16 volts of course.



    There are also the four light pods that I want to light up. The led emitters that will go in those four spots will be behind stock light diffusers, two amber and two clear. I'd like these four to be a bit simpler so I don't have to worry about heatsinking as much.

    Should I run these four pods on a separate cc driver?

    I don't know which emitters and which cc drivers I should buy. When it comes to emitters, I'd like a suitable whiteness, and the maximum illumination possible, but if there is a choice between the absolute brightest lumen/watt ratio emitter or something that will do 90% of the brightness for 60% of the cost, I'll take the cheaper emitter. However, a good beam pattern that works in an emitter is still important

    Dealextreme would be the simplest for me or a place where I can get all the things in one place to save on shipping.

    If you could recommend (aka design, and do all the math for me) I'd super appreciate it. I'd appreciate it so much that I would take tons of pics and repost.

    I'm just a dummy when it comes to electronics. As a friend said to me electronics to me run on only two things. FM and smoke.
    Last edited by fefrie; 02-20-2010 at 03:31 PM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Help me convert LED bike light DIY to Scooter LED DIY

    Really interesting project, and I subscribe to the thread to learn more!!!! (I also have a scooter that I use in the city )

  3. #3

    Default Re: Help me convert LED bike light DIY to Scooter LED DIY

    Well nobody has helped me out with this project so I went to learn a little more.

    I don't have any fancy machining tools available and my soldering skill are just basic.

    Saying that, I've found a solution that won't fit in the headlight itself, but look like a light bar, require minimal fabrication and be less than $30 for a 700 lumen headlight.

    The only issues I have to deal with are heat dissipation, waterproofness, and deciding on a proper wiring setup.

    Not sure about longevity, but for a build cost of less than $30, less than an hours worth of tinkering and a parts list of only 2 different skus and a short easy trip to Home Depot for bits and pieces, I'm going to try.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Help me convert LED bike light DIY to Scooter LED DIY

    Sounds great!! Let's hope that someone can help you with this project (I wish I could...) and we will follow it!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Help me convert LED bike light DIY to Scooter LED DIY

    Don't use an LED cycling light, the beam pattern will be atrocious, and just annoy other motorists whilst still not putting much light on the road.

    What size bulb does your scooter use? Is it a 6V electrical system? If so the best replacement you'll find is a 35/35, but you'll notice a significatn difference for not much cash.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Help me convert LED bike light DIY to Scooter LED DIY

    The bulb that is in there is a 35/35w bulb and it's crap. And the reflector it's mounted in is crap. The optics give the beam a 45 degree spread and it's dim as hell.

    So with your help and comments I'm going to do it.

    Please note, that i'm hardly an expert. I'm learning as I go along.

    Step 1: Circuit building

    I'm building in stages and first stage is designing the circuits.

    I'm using Cree R2 Drop-In 1-Mode LED Module (3.7V~18V / 26.5mm x 29mm).

    For about $8 a pop, I get an emittter, CC driver, heat sink (sort of) and a reflector. Adding a glass to the front for $1, I have a driver that I power in a multitude of different ways.

    It's got excellent optics and when I light up my neighbours house across the street, I get about a 6 foot diameter spot with the throw, and the flood is acceptable for lighting the ground in front of the scooter. I plan on tweaking the optics with aspheric lenses and 'blinds' to minimize blindness to other drivers.

    Although even without adjusting optics, the optics will still be better than those idiots who place high power leds in cars who's headlamp reflector pattern isn't designed for leds. They are blinding. I wear a dark visor on at night now because of the tons of idiot drivers with crap LED headlight systems.

    I'm assuming that there is a generic 1a cc driver in there. Someone did a profile of the driver and emitter working toghether.





    It runs in a very flexible voltage range. So far I've run them direct off a 12V battery, and in a series of 2 off the battery with no problems.

    I went to the electronics shop for some wire and a capacitor to 'smooth out the power delivery' to the drivers since I would assume that the power coming off of the alternator is very dirty.

    The guy said that if each drop in unit (I bought 3) pulls current at 1A, then with 3 units, I'm probably running at the limit of the alternator. I was a little confused, because yes, the 35w halogen bulbs at 12 volts (for argument's sake) is pulling 3A, but that's 3A @ 12V. The LEDs are 3W leds pulling 1A, but that's at 3.42 volts.

    BUT, since it's the drivers that power the LEDs, and at 12v, when fully driving the leds, the DRIVERS only pull 0.5A @ 12V. So that's only a total of 1.5A for the LED drivers vs the 3A of the 35W halogen bulb.


    Can someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that the guy was comparing apples to oranges.






    Anyways, this guy who is doing basically the same thing except with a machine shop that I don't have, seems to power his Vespa with three cree emitters with no problem and his scooter wouldn't have that much more powerful of an alternator.

    Although I"m confused with his post where he said that his bench powersource wouldn't power the halogen at 3A @13v. I think that's about the rading of my 35w halogen bulb, although the vespa may have a higher wattage bulb to start with.


    Anyhow. Moving on...

    I did some diagrams to map out possibilities for circuits. The black thing you see near the 'battery' is a capacitor to 'smooth out the power' Figures are taken from the previous chart above.

    Running 3 Driver/emitter units in a series of 3.



    Running off of 1 driver directly off of power source and 2 emitters connected to driver in parallel.



    Running 2 driver/emitter units in a series of 2



    Running 1 driver/emitter unit directly



    A variation of the above, just running 3 driver/emitter units in parallel off of the battery.



    I think that the optimum configuration right now would be to run 2 drivers in series that would have each driver running around 6volts which is the optimum voltage to drive maximum brightness to the emitter. Since the alternator will kick out 13.5V (estimated, since the scooter is in pieces at this moment and not running) , if I did a resistor drop down from 13.5v to 12v this would give each driver 6volts when the scooter is in motion.

    When the scooter is at a stop light the alternator struggles since the rpms are not very high. I"m assuming that voltage output at the alternator would drop from 13.5v to 12v (essentially battery power) and subtract 1.5v from the resistor drop that would give me 5.25 volts for each driver which only drops the emitter power only a little bit.

    I'm assuming that if I give each driver 6 volts, I'm getting maximum brightness while still taking it easy on the driver. I think that if the emitter current is the same at either 6v or 12v, it's nicer to drive the driver at a lower voltage.

    I'm still thinking of using three emitters in series, but I have to first find out what the voltage of the alternator is when the scooter is running.

    The sticky situation is that at between 4 and 4.8volts for the each driver, the emitter power rises from a dramatic 1.6w to 3.08w for each emitter.

    If run in a series of 3 then that would be a variance of (3x4v) to (3x4.8v), or 12v to 14.4v or 4.8w to 9.24w of light (that's a huge difference!)

    To run the 3x4v config, I'll need the alternator to kick out at least 13.8v. Although running at lower voltages, I wonder what the lumens would be.

    Granted at a lower voltage, the emitter will run cooler and more efficently, but what would the total lumens be. If I can get the same number of lumens with the '3x4v' circuit at a cooler, more efficient manner, then I'll do that.

    Then again, I may decide to run two '2x6v' circuits for max brightness and to light up the empty headlight housing. (more on that next time)

    Total price spent so far $24 for the cree drop in's @ $8 each, $3 for 10pk of 26.5mm glass to cover the fronts. $5 for some wire and the capacitor.

    As I said before, I don't know electronics. If my logic is flawed somewhere please let me know.
    Last edited by fefrie; 07-22-2011 at 03:50 PM. Reason: rehost images

  7. #7

    Default Re: Help me convert LED bike light DIY to Scooter LED DIY

    Quote Originally Posted by fefrie View Post
    The bulb that is in there is a 35/35w bulb and it's crap. And the reflector it's mounted in is crap. The optics give the beam a 45 degree spread and it's dim as hell.

    So with your help and comments I'm going to do it.

    Please note, that i'm hardly an expert. I'm learning as I go along.

    ..snip..
    Yet you seem to be refusing to listen?

    Whilst what you've outlined above will work from the point of view of lighting up, it absolutely will not work for lighting up the road effectively.

    A 35W halogen bulb puts out maybe 800 bulb Lumens, at best your 3*R2 drop ins will put out about 700, you then need to bear in mind that substantialy all the light out of the bulb is going somewhere useful (in side visibility if not the road) and a good portion of the light from the LEDs is going to be heading up glaring into the eyes of oncoming motorists.

    You're essentially going to wind up with 3 bright spots on the road, and no visibility elsewhere.

    To test out your set up, wire up your 3 dropins, tape them to the bike and see how well you can see.

    If you're genuinely serious about doing something with LEDs you at least need to start with something that has a chance of producing enough light. That being said, I still think its a bad idea.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Help me convert LED bike light DIY to Scooter LED DIY

    For this type of project, and any car light, wouldn't it be best to use a parabolic shaped reflector?

    You would aim it to maximize horizontal dispersion and minimize vertical output.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Help me convert LED bike light DIY to Scooter LED DIY

    Quote Originally Posted by herulach View Post
    Yet you seem to be refusing to listen?

    Whilst what you've outlined above will work from the point of view of lighting up, it absolutely will not work for lighting up the road effectively.

    A 35W halogen bulb puts out maybe 800 bulb Lumens, at best your 3*R2 drop ins will put out about 700, you then need to bear in mind that substantialy all the light out of the bulb is going somewhere useful (in side visibility if not the road) and a good portion of the light from the LEDs is going to be heading up glaring into the eyes of oncoming motorists.

    You're essentially going to wind up with 3 bright spots on the road, and no visibility elsewhere.

    To test out your set up, wire up your 3 dropins, tape them to the bike and see how well you can see.

    If you're genuinely serious about doing something with LEDs you at least need to start with something that has a chance of producing enough light. That being said, I still think its a bad idea.
    As I said I'm learning as I go along, but you don't have all the facts on the details of this build so your thoughts are just opinions

    You have no idea as to how ineffective the stock 35w bulb was and you have no idea on the reflector pattern of this drop in unit.

    If you really feel this strongly, then you also need to chime in on the other build I referenced above where the guy put LED's into his vespa and see where your comments get you.

    Yes I'm doing this on my own, but it's basically a mod of his build with drop in units instead of a custom machined build. My build is pretty basic and the only specialized tool I've needed is a soldering iron.

    You seem to want to bark in with your opinion, and choose to quote only portions that fit your argument.

    I beleive that you missed this part of my post regarding the units:

    It's got excellent optics and when I light up my neighbours house across the street, I get about a 6 foot diameter spot with the throw, and the flood is acceptable for lighting the ground in front of the scooter. I plan on tweaking the optics with aspheric lenses and 'blinds' to minimize blindness to other drivers.

    Although even without adjusting optics, the optics will still be better than those idiots who place high power leds in cars who's headlamp reflector pattern isn't designed for leds. They are blinding. I wear a dark visor on at night now because of the tons of idiot drivers with crap LED headlight systems.


    Your suggestions are appreciated, but park your attitude before you start typing and jumping six steps ahead. I was just asking for comments on the circuit building. That was the issue I had the most problems with as I am not electrical. At this point I don't need much of any technical help anymore as I can deal with the issues of mounting and beam shaping on my own.

    I would suggest you not comment untill I post pictures of the finished project. You can crap all you want after that.

    And in regards to your comment of three hotspots on the road and nothing else. The beam pattern is not ideal as a stock HID headlight where from left to right there is an even light pattern, however, the led light pattern is better than the sealed halogen units on my car which has two uneven blobs for hotspots and barely adequate sidespill.

    I've tested the two r2 units using my hands as 'mounts' and the light pattern I have down the road is excellent. Due to the nature of the reflector pattern, I have more than enough spill/flood to light up the pavement directly in front of the scooter and enough spill to light up the side of the road.

    When it comes to aiming and shaping the lights, well that's the next step.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Help me convert LED bike light DIY to Scooter LED DIY

    No Attitude whatsoever, I was merely pointing out that what you're doing is basically making your scooter illegal to drive on the road.

    The dropins look a great deal like standard p60 dropins, which I am familiar with the beam pattern of, I've also built a light with very similar output levels and beam pattern (3*R2 at 1.2A) for my bike, and I know the beam is such that I don't use it on the road as it will dazzle people.

    Anyway, to go back on topic, you'll want to consider mounting it so you have direct contact to something metal on the bodywork, or they won't last long at all packed inside a plastic housing (assuming you ride for any length of time)

    Any and all of your circuits will work, although you probably want to plan for a voltage somewhat higher than 12V to allow for the alternator. Vehicle electrical systems are usually 13-14V.



    Quote Originally Posted by fefrie View Post
    As I said I'm learning as I go along, but you don't have all the facts on the details of this build so your thoughts are just opinions

    You have no idea as to how ineffective the stock 35w bulb was and you have no idea on the reflector pattern of this drop in unit.

    If you really feel this strongly, then you also need to chime in on the other build I referenced above where the guy put LED's into his vespa and see where your comments get you.

    Yes I'm doing this on my own, but it's basically a mod of his build with drop in units instead of a custom machined build. My build is pretty basic and the only specialized tool I've needed is a soldering iron.

    You seem to want to bark in with your opinion, and choose to quote only portions that fit your argument.

    I beleive that you missed this part of my post regarding the units:

    It's got excellent optics and when I light up my neighbours house across the street, I get about a 6 foot diameter spot with the throw, and the flood is acceptable for lighting the ground in front of the scooter. I plan on tweaking the optics with aspheric lenses and 'blinds' to minimize blindness to other drivers.

    Although even without adjusting optics, the optics will still be better than those idiots who place high power leds in cars who's headlamp reflector pattern isn't designed for leds. They are blinding. I wear a dark visor on at night now because of the tons of idiot drivers with crap LED headlight systems.


    Your suggestions are appreciated, but park your attitude before you start typing and jumping six steps ahead. I was just asking for comments on the circuit building. That was the issue I had the most problems with as I am not electrical. At this point I don't need much of any technical help anymore as I can deal with the issues of mounting and beam shaping on my own.

    I would suggest you not comment untill I post pictures of the finished project. You can crap all you want after that.

    And in regards to your comment of three hotspots on the road and nothing else. The beam pattern is not ideal as a stock HID headlight where from left to right there is an even light pattern, however, the led light pattern is better than the sealed halogen units on my car which has two uneven blobs for hotspots and barely adequate sidespill.

    I've tested the two r2 units using my hands as 'mounts' and the light pattern I have down the road is excellent. Due to the nature of the reflector pattern, I have more than enough spill/flood to light up the pavement directly in front of the scooter and enough spill to light up the side of the road.

    When it comes to aiming and shaping the lights, well that's the next step.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Help me convert LED bike light DIY to Scooter LED DIY

    The build
    Goop


    Silicone release paper. Goop doesn't stick to this stuff.



    Glass for front of drop in unit. 26mm



    R2 Unit with goop smeared on edge of reflector



    R2 Unit with glass on front sealed with goop. More goop was smeared around to help water proof the front.



    I'm not really worried about waterproofing the emitter. I read in another thread of a person that used a led emitter in an aquarium without any protection and it lasted a couple of years. If this lasts a year I'd still be happy. [EDIT It's already been through a couple of rainstorms and there is the tiniest amount of haze the size of a pencil eraser head on the front glass] Still going strong though, and heat is NOT a problem.]



    On to the wiring harness. I decided to wire directly into the battery since the headlight wiring ran on AC current. I wanted the units to run with the 'cleanest' power possible so direct to the battery with a relay to switch the lights off and on was the easiest way to power the units.

    For now I've decided to run 2 units in series. In this manner, the 14 volts are split between the two units which instead get 6-7 volts. Each unit can run between 3-18 volts with 6 being the optimum brightness, so by running in series, both units are always running at maximum brightness without any drop in brightness while i'm stopped at lights.

    So, wires running directly into the battery:



    Which run to the relay, where the black wire is switched off and on by the relay.




    I've wired in 2 capacitors in parallel after the relay. This is to 'smooth' out the power to the r2 units. Does it really do that? I'm not sure, but these were extra after my side project of removing the electronics from the drop in units to reduce heat were unsuccessful.




    The terminus of the circuit from the battery. These units are hooked up in series.



    The Units are each wired into motorcycle windshied mounts. The units are plastic, but with enough wind, I don't think that they'll melt with prolonged use. The design of the mounts are such that I can adjust the beams on both the X and Y axis



    Some silicone handiwork on the backside to protect the electronics from moisture. Once mounted, I put even more on. It's a big tube. What I didn't show was the silicone that I used between the heatsink base and the reflector. I put some silicone on the threads between the two and screwed them together. Should be enough to keep water out.



    Onto the headlight switch assembly.

    I was going to originally wire the units directly into the headlight, but what I didn't realize was that the headlight is directly powered from the alternator, and the power provided to the headlight is AC power.

    Not knowing if the electronics of the units would operate on AC current, I decided to wire the lights directly into the battery. The AC circuit wasn't very good anyways as it was highly effected by engine rpms. At idle it would be 6 ACV with a very pulsey effect at the light bulb and at full throttle it would be at 12 ACV. Too much of a swing in comparison to the battery which was 12-14DCV

    However, I wanted to be able to switch on the lights using the handle bar switch.



    So I created a circuit from the handle bar which started with a diode to turn the acv into a DCV circuit.



    This connected to another capicitor connected in parallel with the headlight wiring. Again to smooth out the current which in this case is really needed.



    And again connected to the switch portion of the relay.



    When the engine is not running, off or on on the handlebar will not energize the switch circuit and close the switch on the relay to juice the light circuit. When the engine is running, the light turns on when the headlight switch is turned on. Pretty self explanatory.

    And now for some beam shots.

    Pointed down the alley.



    Sort of aimed correctly at the wall opposite.



    Parked in the street surrounded by streetlights.



    What it looks like mounted on the scooter powered.



    How it looks mounted powered off.




    I was originally going to mount them on a bar off the nose of the faring, but the lights would have been smacked by the front tire when the front suspension was compressed.

    So instead I gooped to metal bars on the inside of the fairing and mounted the windshield holders onto that. I was a little worried that it would create a hole in the middle of the road since they were seperated, but that did not turn out to be the case, and the side light that the spread helps to increase the side visibility a little bit.

    In comparison to the old halogen headlamp, the old headlamp had a very blotchy dim center focus. The led definitley have two hot spots, but the flood still is more than adequate to light up the side and immediate road in front. The leds are a definite improvement in lighting up the road while riding.

    There is the issue of glare that was brought up earlier. The beam shots were taken at night on a wet road. I haven't had experience with led emitters before, and they are bright, and they are noticeable which is exactly what I like since cars don't seem to see two wheelers very much to start with.

    I aimed the lights to what I would have them at if I were riding, and I put the scooter on the centerstand and ran around at all distances and angles to see what the glare would be like.

    If you stare directly at them, yes they are bright, they look like two hot dots in the night, but they aren't starburst inducing as I was expecting.

    Standing from a distance, these are as bright as HID lights seen on luxury cars, but not as blinding. These have a hot spot that shoots most of the light ahead. When seen from the side, they aren't as blinding as HIDs which lay a strip of light across the road, and subsequently into oncoming drivers eyes.

    So when it comes to being kind to oncoming drivers, I give it a surprising solid B. I'd go as far to say A-, but I downgraded it because although they aren't blinding and take away from night vision, they still attract alot of attention.

    For attention getting and safety, I give it an A+.

    In comparison to cars who just change the bulb in their headlight assemblies to LED bulbs which aren't made for halogen housings, my lights aren't even as close to being annoying.

    I was going to build some light 'tunnels' so that there would be no side spill to be considerate to oncoming drivers, but I'll hold off for now. I'm going to spend the next couple of days aiming the lights properly, and I'm still mulling about adding a third central light and figuring out how to mount it.

    I'm running the lights with out a housing and instead using a lot of silicone to seal it. The sealing may not be perfect and I'm not sure as to how much water I will be keeping out, but the mounting is in a slightly out of the mattter way, so I'm hoping it will be enough.

    The silicone is good to 250C and I smeared enough on to hedge my bets.

    When it comes to temperature, the lights to get hot to the touch in about a minute, but on my test drive around the block, the lights cooled down very rapidly to ambient temperature.

    The aluminum reflector housing is a very good heat sink in combination of 40mph breezes as I ride around. It was part of the reason as to why I couldn't unsolder the electronics off of the base. It was sucking all the heat off of the emitter and it's base.

    My next step is to put it all back together and ride for a couple of days to see how the system really tests out.

    Total price including the 3rd unit which I may still yet use, about $50.

    I'm pretty happy with the results.

    I'm using 9 watts instead of 35 which gives me some overhead for additional safety lighting. The light quality is much much better. I'm much more visible. The lights don't go dim when I'm at a stop and the engine is idling.
    Last edited by fefrie; 04-19-2010 at 11:52 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Help me convert LED bike light DIY to Scooter LED DIY

    Very cool stuff here.
    I am planning a build for my 47 HD may use the same lights you used for the spot lights but I think I will try to install emitters in the 7"housing aiming separate emitters to reflect off the original silver plated reflector. I will have to place them at the same focal length as the original incandescent bulb within the housing.
    My bike has a 6 VDC generator that uses a 3 rd brush and cut out relay rather than a regulator. I have the added challenge to maintain the original look. I need 6VDC tail light / brake light but has to shine from the side not end of bulb.
    fb

  13. #13
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Help me convert LED bike light DIY to Scooter LED DIY

    WOW!!! Thank you very much for the very detailed post, and for the time that you have taken with the pics/information!!

    I like that the new leds are very bright, as I have been riding scooters/motorbikes my whole life, and some of the less expensive ones have very dim lights, which is a real danger for the motorist and the other road users.

    Isn't it incredible how much light these DX inexpensive leds produce? I'm watching this thread at my job, with a tiny screen, and I am eager to get home to see it in my 22 inches monitor!!

    (Oh, and congratulations for the GREAT spelling and grammar!!! In my case, being a non-native English speaker -I'm Spanish- I really like when I read GOOD English, so that I can learn more! )

    Thanks again for the great post!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Help me convert LED bike light DIY to Scooter LED DIY

    Quote Originally Posted by fredseviltwin View Post
    Very cool stuff here.
    I am planning a build for my 47 HD may use the same lights you used for the spot lights but I think I will try to install emitters in the 7"housing aiming separate emitters to reflect off the original silver plated reflector. I will have to place them at the same focal length as the original incandescent bulb within the housing.
    My bike has a 6 VDC generator that uses a 3 rd brush and cut out relay rather than a regulator. I have the added challenge to maintain the original look. I need 6VDC tail light / brake light but has to shine from the side not end of bulb.
    fb
    Sounds like you don't need the drop in emitter units that I used, but instead can just build from emitters only with seperate CC drivers. You can probably easily find a 6vdc cc driver, or if you're lazy, you can order the same drop in unit I have and unsolder the cc unit and use that and possibly the base as a heat sink, although I don't know what you would do about heat issues.

    Maybe a cc driver that runs at .5a instead of 1. The heat produced would be considerably less, but "almost" as much light.

    If you're into the stock look I think that it would be tough to get an emitter to be focused with the reflector properly. Good luck with that.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Help me convert LED bike light DIY to Scooter LED DIY

    I was always planning to light up the side amber accessory lights. Behind the amber lenses were holes meant for lights. Probably EU standard turn signals. Since I was planning on lighting them up, I put wires into them.

    Since all my wiring connections were done with those wire connector nuts, it was pretty easy to do.

    I used silicone to glue the led lights into place. They are standard festoon lights from Dealextreme.com and this part in particular came with resistors built in, so no worries about blowing the bulbs with 12-14vdc current. They are almost as bright as the SMD festoon lights, but at 2 for $4, it's alot cheaper than $5 each for the smd's

    They wired in pretty easy.
    ac
    The camera is not good with taking pictures directly into the LED's, but it's better, you can see some of the reflectory patterns in the surroundings.

    It definitely gives more side visibility, not so much when looking from slightly behind, but it is better, and for $4 and about 5 minutes it was really easy to do. When riding, I don't see the lights from them at all so I'm not night blinded by them, but I do see the lights they reflect on the alley walls.

    I'm now maybe planning on using some leds again to light the back side of the scooter. But I'll leave that for later. Maybe









    The side light is needed. With the led headlight units, all light is shot forward. There is no side light. The light you see is all sidemarker led.



    One interesting to note with the side marker leds is that since they run on the same circuit as the LED headlights, they also share the capacitors on the same circuit, however, when the power is turned off from the circuit, although the LED headlights with the driver shuts of immediately, the festoon lights slowly dim to the point where they have a very very low glow then it dies completely. With this at least I know the capacitors are doing something...
    Last edited by DM51; 04-19-2010 at 03:44 AM. Reason: Insert line break between images

  16. #16

    Default Re: Help me convert LED bike light DIY to Scooter LED DIY

    Quote Originally Posted by fredseviltwin View Post
    Very cool stuff here.
    I am planning a build for my 47 HD may use the same lights you used for the spot lights but I think I will try to install emitters in the 7"housing aiming separate emitters to reflect off the original silver plated reflector. I will have to place them at the same focal length as the original incandescent bulb within the housing.
    My bike has a 6 VDC generator that uses a 3 rd brush and cut out relay rather than a regulator. I have the added challenge to maintain the original look. I need 6VDC tail light / brake light but has to shine from the side not end of bulb.
    fb

    I think it would be better for the drivers if you run them directly off of the battery instead of the generator. The power is not necessarily clean, but it would be a lot better than what is on the generator.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Help me convert LED bike light DIY to Scooter LED DIY

    fefrie, you'll need to read my note in your post #11 above.
    Resistance is futile...

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Help me convert LED bike light DIY to Scooter LED DIY

    Wow!!!! These side markers do a really good job, helping other drivers to see you!!

    By the way: I have been having a look at the DX web page, and I am not sure which of their festoon lights are the ones that you have used, with so good results. I was wondering if you remember the SKU number?



    This post is a very good example on how something simple could work flawlessly!! Good job, and we continue looking forward to more modifications!

  19. #19

    Default Re: Help me convert LED bike light DIY to Scooter LED DIY

    These are the ones with resistors.

    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.5726

    If you've got some cash to blow, these look like a simple upgrade.

    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.13489

    I don't know how weather proof these ones are.

    The one I installed on my scooter is in a glass tube, so somewhat weather resistant.

    My next led upgrade will be to light the back sides and then maybe the now empty headlight housing.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Help me convert LED bike light DIY to Scooter LED DIY

    Thank you very much for the information!

    Lighting the back sides of the scooter would be a very interesting mod, as it will make it more visible... I'll have a look at mine to see possible options!!!

  21. #21

    Default Re: Help me convert LED bike light DIY to Scooter LED DIY

    Half way into the 3rd season and it's still going strong.

    I had the chance to ride with someone who had an aprilia sr50, which I would consider the best and brightest headlight in the 50cc bunch and he said that my headlights were alot better at lighting the road than his.

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