Anyone Used CFL's for a Rear Light?

Wurkkos

Wuss912

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Nov 18, 2009
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I threw some red foot-long CFL's from a Computer case modding kit (9.99 at microcenter) on the back of my trike last night and they are awesomely bright and visible. i actually had a bus pull up next to me and ask where i got the lights... THESE are the future of rear bike lighting....
 

Wuss912

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Do you mean cold cathode tubes rather than CFLs = compact fluorescent lights?
yep i guess that would be the more specific description.

so far i've been running the light for nearly 12 hours offo f a homebuilt 18650 3s3p battery pack i put together. I think the lights do pretty well...
no pics yet let me see if i can find some....
 

tay

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I've heard that CCFLs don't do well in cold temperatures. That might be a concern. I don't think they burn out or anything, but they're supposed to be dim in the winter.
 

BrianMc

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Depends how dim they are at how cold. Unlike auroreborealis a CPF cyclist from the Yukon, I can let -20 C or -10 F go as not worth the trouble. He can have cylcing at -40 (same both scales).

The down low glow lights are about $150 for two tubes, one battery. They seem too bright and would hurt night vision used as side markers on the forks and seat stays. If these CCFL's were dimmable in warm weather and bright enough in cold, the run times and price make them look very interesting as marker lights. The SuperFlash lights do their thing well when cold and when you factor in the AAA cells, also cheap.

Do you have brand and model number? There may be other sources to Google.
 

Wuss912

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Depends how dim they are at how cold. Unlike auroreborealis a CPF cyclist from the Yukon, I can let -20 C or -10 F go as not worth the trouble. He can have cylcing at -40 (same both scales).

The down low glow lights are about $150 for two tubes, one battery. They seem too bright and would hurt night vision used as side markers on the forks and seat stays. If these CCFL's were dimmable in warm weather and bright enough in cold, the run times and price make them look very interesting as marker lights. The SuperFlash lights do their thing well when cold and when you factor in the AAA cells, also cheap.

Do you have brand and model number? There may be other sources to Google.

yeah the down low glow is way over priced. the 2 pack i bought was cheap they are not dimmable but thats why i put them on the back...
here in CA it dosent really get cold enough for me to even start worrying about CCFL's getting too cold i think it was 40 out last night and we're in the middle of the winter :)

The other thing i like about the CCFL's is that they are more like a florescent tube so they glow instead of having a piercing light that is blinding. they GLOW! like neon...

I didn't find the ones i got on microcenters website but these guys seem to have a resonable selection. http://www.vibelights.com/coccliki.html
 

BrianMc

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Thanks for the link. At that price I can try them on the errand bike which can use any help it can get. My battery is 12 volt circa 4 A-hr and with the LED headlights I am building on expected road output, I'll have plenty of run time.
 

gentlegreen

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I used a modified 9 watt white mini-spiral very successfully as a front light for 3 years.

I considered a red one for the back, but at the time, the lowest powered red phosphor (or are they just painted ?) CFL was 15 watts. Red filter on a cool white 2D was a complete non-starter.
But to be brutal, red LEDs became the most efficient source of red light a very long time ago.

Not tried cold cathode though ....

I now have forty-eight 33 Candela 5mm red LEDs and I'm planning to fit a dimmer to protect the eyes of following cyclists. You should see the way it cuts through fog ! My 3.5 watt lamp is brighter than a brake light and probably illegal !

http://sites.google.com/site/gentlegreen/bikelighting
 

BrianMc

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Thanks gentlegreen.

Saw your lights in another thread. The page describing your path was should I say -enlightening. :rolleyes: Police here are so happy you have decent bike lights (not Ninja) they won't quibble on brightness.

I saw a trike that had a rear light with about 40 LEDs and it was pretty impressive. I followed him on the last leg of an exceedingly windy 75 mile day. I thought a decellerometer to drive increased current so the faster he slowed the brighter the light would get would have been a nice feature, but maybe I was following a bit close. :cool:

You mentioned a distaste for flashing lights on your link. They give me a headache if bounced back at me. Here, flashing lights on a bike are essential to have any right of way at all. I also run my headlight (no flash mode) in the day as a daytime running light and moved ligths on to the helmet to be more visible over cars. This has cut my close calls by inattentive drivers a lot, I'd guess it at 80-90%. Very apparent. Very good. Eternal vigilance! Flashing lights don't fix stupid. :eek:

I will be giving a version of your multiple red LED rear light some thought.
 
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