Best style LED for parabolic flashlight

VettemanSixtyOne

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Jul 14, 2020
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Our bicycle has an antique headlight with a single bulb. We're going to be switching to a 6v LED. It has the chrome, parabolic dish behind it, but it is somewhat distorted with age and will not clean up any further. I'm curious which style 6v led e10 bulb would be best for nighttime visibility in this situation; one that only projects the light forward, or one that makes use of the parabolic dish, even though it may be somewhat faded.

An example of the two choices I'm asking about are pictured below:

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Thanks,
 
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-Virgil-

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The reflector isn't (or shouldn't be) chrome, which -- at best, in perfect brand-new condition -- is only about 66% reflective. Headlamp reflectors make use of vaporize-coated aluminum, which is over 95% reflective. You can have your reflector rereflectorized by outfits like this.

Even with a reflector in perfect condition, and no matter what kind of bulb you install, this kind of primitive, minimal headlamp cannot do anything useful beyond advertising your presence. It's not capable of providing much of any light to guide your way. At best you'll get a narrow little streak/smudge of light. If you plan on riding this bike at night in poorly-lit areas with traffic, you'd be well advised to use a modern light and keep the antique for cosmetic/appearance purposes only. And ditto the tail light.

That said, the LED bulb that shines onto the reflector is going to do a whole lot more for you (within the limits of the headlamp itself) than the one that just has forward-shooting emitters. None of them will be anything like an optical match for the reflector, so buy a bunch of different bulbs and try them out til you find one that maximizes the size and brightness of the spot of light on your test wall in front of the bike/light.
 

alpg88

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Our bicycle has an antique headlight with a single bulb. We're going to be switching to a 6v LED.

those bulbs will give you pretty crappy beam, i've tried many of those in flashlights, why do you want to rebuild old outdated light? does it have some sentimental value to you? even in its best condition this light will be very far behind compared to modern bike lights. but if you insist, e10 bulbs come in different voltage, different brightness, just use brighter e10 that will work in your light as designed, with today's li ion cells you can have enough power to light up even the most powerful e10, and it will still look original outside.

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Please don't quote images in a reply, it makes it harder for some forum users to browse the forum

Alaric D
 
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lightfooted

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those bulbs will give you pretty crappy beam, i've tried many of those in flashlights, why do you want to rebuild old outdated light? does it have some sentimental value to you? even in its best condition this light will be very far behind compared to modern bike lights. but if you insist, e10 bulbs come in different voltage, different brightness, just use brighter e10 that will work in your light as designed, with today's li ion cells you can have enough power to light up even the most powerful e10, and it will still look original outside.


I agree with the others, put the antique on a shelf for display and buy a modern light to use on the bicycle. You will get better visibility and performance from a modern bike light.
 
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