While my trike is down for painting and upgrades, I've been thinking about doing some more work on my lighting system. Posted here, #127
Currently (pun intended), I am using LM317s in constant current configuration to drive the LEDs. I know this is not the most efficient way of doing it. In looking around here and on MTBR forums, I've seen reference to the AMC7135 boards. Being these are comparable in cost to the 317s with resistors, I am considering upgrading? to them.
All the LEDs I am using are 1W buttons on either stars or triple MCPCBs, driven at 320 ~ 340mA. The individual buttons are all rated to be 80 -100 lumen, and I think I got lucky with them. All seem to be very close in light output. They are from a cheap china seller (eBay, of course) who claims to sell chips from Cree, Paury, and Epistar. I'm not sure which these that I have are.
How much more efficient would this changeover be?
Since I am using a 12V8Ah SLA as my supply --I can't afford Li chemistry, and NiMH would be a constant battle to keep charged --, I am wanting to explore options to extend my run time. Right now I get about 5 hours before B+ drops below 10V from full charge. Additional note -- Weight is not much of a issue, since the trike weighs in at ~90lbs empty.
Would this changeover actually do me any good?
Yes, I will probably be adding a few more lights to the trike, for side visibility. Will be amber strobes on the front, red strobes on the rear, facing out from the sides, along with the same color steady on each side.
When I finally get the trike put back together, I'll post some beam shots of the headlights, as well as other pics to show overall lighting.
Another question regarding the headlight set:
Would adding a short hood over the front of the headlight set give me a sharp cut-off line? Or would I need to make some changes to the optics? Right now I get an incredible amount of spill upwards, and I want to kill most of that. Down and side spill I want to keep for the most part, but will need to wrap the light bar anyway, for a more finished look.
Thanks in advance for any help and/or suggestions you might have.