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Thread: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

  1. #91

    Default Re: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

    Quote Originally Posted by pe2er View Post
    My Li-Ion cell came from the discarded battery-bin in the office
    Very green.

    Quote Originally Posted by pe2er View Post
    No, there are no specs. In the review on Dx you'll find: "Works from 7-14 volts DC. Reduced output from 7 to 4.5 volts."
    Read that too. Doesn't indicate he tried it above 14 and found it did not work. Your 16 volt figure made me wonder. Now I see it likely comes from the AC sin wave peak.

    Quote Originally Posted by pe2er View Post
    They do say it is a 12VAC light. After rectifying, this will give a peak voltage of 12*SQRT(2) = 16.97VDC. ... If you have an adjustable voltage power supply, try increasing the voltage gently and observe the current draw. ...
    Used to have access to such a power supply.

    Haven't ordered from DX yet. Can't login. Maybe a time/processing thing. Will try tomorrow (Monday their time). Live help will be up, anyway.

  2. #92
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    Default Re: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Offroad'Bent View Post
    OK, ordered the drop-in, host and rechargeable CR123As.
    I'll report back how it compares with the Superflash and Mars 4.0.
    OK, reporting back. The DX is *way* brighter than the Mars 4.0, which is brighter than the Superflash.

    Heavier, needs 4 clicks to get to flashing mode, no side visibility and has no specific bike mount, but it's a lot of rear daylight visibility for the $$.

    Now someone throw this P60 emitter in a lighter plastic waterproof case with a bike clip and a translucent cover for some side throw and a big clunky High Flash/Low flash/Off switch, and we're done.
    I don't even care if it uses AAA or CR123A.
    Triple XP-E and XM-L headlamps/ bike lights.
    XP-G Modified PT Apex and EOS
    Custom Night Lightning iBlaast II

  3. #93
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    Default Re: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Offroad'Bent View Post
    OK, reporting back. The DX is *way* brighter than the Mars 4.0, which is brighter than the Superflash.

    Heavier, needs 4 clicks to get to flashing mode, no side visibility and has no specific bike mount, but it's a lot of rear daylight visibility for the $$.

    Now someone throw this P60 emitter in a lighter plastic waterproof case with a bike clip and a translucent cover for some side throw and a big clunky High Flash/Low flash/Off switch, and we're done.
    I don't even care if it uses AAA or CR123A.
    Verdict from road test- I mounted the light flat on my helmet easily with some stretch velcro (facing backwards), and we rode in bright sunshine. Definitely good daylight visibility on rapid flash mode from a considerable distance. The weight wasn't too bad on the helmet, but the light may need to run on low power in lower light or night situations to avoid blinding other cyclists.

    I just wish it was lighter.
    Triple XP-E and XM-L headlamps/ bike lights.
    XP-G Modified PT Apex and EOS
    Custom Night Lightning iBlaast II

  4. #94

    Default Re: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

    An update.

    The red DX spotlights are ordered. I ordered the same POS light meter as Pe2er is using, while I was at it. When they will get here? Well its DX.

    The Radbot 1000's are in a larger order to save me shipping costs, but the rims for the wheels are on backorder. Not sure how long Deep Vees take when they have to come from Australia as the warehouse is out.

    So I am making sure my NiMH are fresh, the SPSF's well aimed, and trust mostly to the ANSI vest. Most of my issues with drivers lately is no that they did not see or register my presence but being impatient, passed me on a blind hill within a car lenght or two of the stop sign. No brighter red light will fix that sort of stupid impatience. Oh and they were speeding by 15-20 mph to catch me there, so could have slowed to let me crest the hill so they could pass where they could see. Probably disturbed their phone calls. Sorry, I feel better now.

  5. #95
    Flashaholic pe2er's Avatar
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    Default Re: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

    What is the status? Did the goods from HK arrive?

    For those who doubt the need for a good daylight-visible rear light, here is an example of why you need a good tail light on a French forum

  6. #96
    Flashaholic panicmechanic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

    Quote Originally Posted by pe2er View Post
    For those who doubt the need for a good daylight-visible rear light, here is an example of why you need a good tail light on a French forum
    I doubt it would have helped - the driver, aged 84, was in a hurry, visibility was good. He would have crashed into anything that was in the way.
    The driver might have to part with his license, that may be the only good outcome.

  7. #97
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    Default Re: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

    Now I have been messing with getting a decent rear light for ages.. something that is very powerful in daylight and thus really bright at night.
    I have tried various bike lights or all sorts of prices and brightness.. and for a while I thought this was bright all be it a bit ugly.. but very bright all the same..

    It has 10 leds and cost around £30 GBP..

    But then I came upon this LIGHT .. by chance. It only has 4 leds and cost about £10.GBP… Now if you have a decent front light these days, most run off a Li ion 12v – 18v system. Well this light can be fitted to a simple box and bracket and plugged into your existing front light system (mine is 14.8v) and away you go. It will work with any power between 12v-24v with no messing on your side of things… just wire and go.



    In daylight this light is good for about 250+mts in straight line. At night it offers some side on vision and is just about impossible to miss even by drivers who are not looking.. and it totally puts the above light in to the shadows as if it was not there.. the same company offer bigger options but this is a bargain and its neat and HIGHLY VISABLE in daylight, especially if its foggy.

  8. #98

    Default Re: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

    Quote Originally Posted by pe2er View Post
    What is the status? Did the goods from HK arrive?

    Sorry. Out-of-town. Shut the PC down and left early on the 10th for Canada. Just back. No PC with me.

    I am still alive. I think. My allergies have defeated the third med. So I need to fix that tomorrow so I can ride (breathe).

    Mail held, so maybe tomorrow there will be a DX delivery in the backlog of light meter and the red spot lights.

    ---Update they arrived and were waiting. Need 9 volt battery for meter. So 2 x 1 Watt Red spot.

    Rims came, wheels built, order boxed, and ships tomorrow AM. So the PDX Radbot 1000's will arrive likely on Friday. Maybe Saturday.

    ---Update scheduled for Friday delivery.

    I will be overhauling the bike, so no riding video of lights in action for a while, assuming I can breathe again.

    I found the trunk lid of my car is a good test platform for distance observations and bike seat stay substitute. I'll shoot some video and some stills and get some light readings.

    A Bientot

    Brian

    PS---Update Pe2er confirmed my guess on dissassembly of DX red spot lights. Will see if I can mod to fit Marwi MR11 housing to make a pretty paired tailight unit.
    Last edited by BrianMc; 06-17-2010 at 08:46 AM.

  9. #99

    Default Re: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

    Two 1 watt MR16 DX red spot lights modded to fit twin Marwi housings:



    These bulbs modded:

    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.5325

    Newer style Marwi in paired set :$20 plus shipping.

    http://www.hoffmanamps.com/MyStore/catalog/partsled.htm (Link replaced, thnaks, EL34)

    The front bezel/slotted faceplate of the DX LED bulb (friction fit) was removed. The bell shaped aluminum shell of the bulb was cut to just the plate and 1/8" or so and ground/cupped edge to friction fit in Marwi housing. The reflector was reused but I liberated the glass lens from the halogen MR11 bulbs, and made a spacer of 12 gauge copper wire to hold the original reflector forward enough so the bezel would tighten the lens against the reflector. The socket in the light took too much room so each was removed and the leads were soldered to the MR16 pins. The driver is polarity neutral which helps. I removed all switches as this will either be plugged in and on or not plugged in.

    Testing for continuity on assembly led to retina after images. These are BRIGHT up close. Shining across a 15 foot room the image was about 6' wide, so a lane wide at 30 feet. Maybe not Dinotte 200, but they will make an interesting comparison to the Radbot 1000's and PBSF's.
    Last edited by BrianMc; 06-18-2010 at 06:22 AM.

  10. #100
    Flashaholic pe2er's Avatar
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    Default Re: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

    Nice build! Looks like that wil be BRIGHT

    Looking forward to see action-pictures

  11. #101

    Default Re: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

    Nice Brian,
    Glad to see someone getting some use out of the NOS Marwi lights.

    Your store link is broken, this link will work better
    http://www.hoffmanamps.com/MyStore/catalog/partsled.htm

    That will take you to the Marwi- LED parts page.

    Keep up the good work
    Enjoy seeing your Marwi builds.
    Doug Hoffman

  12. #102

    Default Re: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

    Quote Originally Posted by EL34 View Post
    Nice Brian,
    Glad to see someone getting some use out of the NOS Marwi lights.
    Glad you and Pe2er both like 'em. I bought the bodies for spares as I'd knocked a button cover off the handle bar light. A suitably carved $.30 rubber plug works great when no switch is needed. Sucker's wedged in tight!

    Thanks for link. Edited original post.

    Quote Originally Posted by EL34 View Post
    Keep up the good work
    Enjoy seeing your Marwi builds.
    I will be revisiting the headlights. Not sure when. It is best done with new shells so I can use the old lights. The were prototypes after all, and I see where the can be improved and the S2's should be out soon.

    But we are discussing rear lights in this thread.

    So first the bad news:

    Only one Radbot in the order.

    The good news:

    The second one is on its way.

    My cold fusion experiments were successful! Err, no. This is the Cell Phone Camera's view of the five lights on the bike as I take a break from rebuilding it:



    Photo taken at height of Radbot 1000, about 1 foot (30 cm) to right of bike center line, not quite 9 feet (2.5 m) behind the lights, 2 m behind the rear fender. All lights on full (no flashing).

    And the lights circled so it isn't just a flaming Jackson Pollack but can be understood:



    The top two are the Marwi/Modded MR16 1 watt spots powered by a 12 volt nominal NiMH, mounted just outboard of the seat rails. The middle solo is the Radbot 1000 mounted near the top of the seat stay, and the bottom two are the PBSF's all with fresh NiMH AAA's. I was slightly off axis and the left PBSF was aimed slightly left and you can see the effect that being off axis of this narrow beam light has.

    The camera documents my first reactions well. At this distance the PBSF's don't leave much retinal after image but the others do. The Radbot seems to have a wider beam and a less than twice as bright beam compared to the PBSF's, about 1.4 or root of 2. Makes sense. The spots are well, way larger and way brighter. Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

    For a driver to see this, his/her front bumper would be only a few feet off your rear fender, so this is not a practical guide to how they would work.

    Further tests await the arrival of the second Radbot so we have some sense of the variation of each model of light. Very small sample size (2) but useful to know.
    Last edited by BrianMc; 06-18-2010 at 07:34 PM.

  13. #103
    Flashaholic pe2er's Avatar
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    Default Re: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

    Very nice and bright indeed Must not be a pleasure to drive close behind you. The Dx spotlights in the Marwi lights will lack side visibility, but I understand you intend to fill that up with the radbots.

  14. #104

    Default Re: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

    Quote Originally Posted by pe2er View Post
    Very nice and bright indeed Must not be a pleasure to drive close behind you. The Dx spotlights in the Marwi lights will lack side visibility, but I understand you intend to fill that up with the radbots.
    Haven't ridden with them yet. I don't want anyone following too close, so if this gets some space, fine.

    The spots spread with distance and if I aim them out a bit, they will help rear angle approach, but not cross traffic. aiming them down a bit to make a red patch on the road as Ktronik suggested with his triple red XP-E light, might work, too. Or maybe two more aimed to the sides.

    Pending testing, I am thinking of using the PBSF's on the front side of the seat stays aimed at the opposite side at a 45 degree angle off of full ahead. Their shorter distance visibility is not such an issue with cross traffic, which should be closer/slowing/stopped. The Radbots straight back using their side output and the built in reflectors, too.

    My impression at night is that the two headlights are grabbing a LOT of attention so side lighting is not critical, but helpful. They seem to be seen a goodly amount in the day by approaching cross traffic. The Vest in daylight is hard to beat. But a directed beam from the helmet light seems to be VERY effective on stopping too-close pull-outs by showing how much closer I am. Speed miscalcualtion seems to be a big issue.

    Test ride new wheels/drivetrain tonight. Some light experiments when the second Radbot shows up. Looks like it will be interesting.

  15. #105
    Flashaholic pe2er's Avatar
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    Default Re: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

    Good luck testriding you new hardware
    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc View Post
    ... I don't want anyone following too close, so if this gets some space, fine. ...
    Over here, it are not only cagers that can be close to you. More likely there are other bikes on the road
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-AbP...ayer_embedded#!
    (Must admit that my route is not nearly as busy as shown here)

  16. #106

    Default Re: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

    [QUOTE=pe2er;3424606]Good luck testriding your new hardware.

    Typical test ride for me. Everything fine in short loops, fine in medium, then halfway you start to find some minor adjustment issues. That's why they are test rides. The old 10 speed (2 x 5) is now a modern 10 speed (3 x 10) and living well as a friction shifting system.

    Ran the tailights, Radbot & PBSF's (rear facing) Seemed to work on the narrow shoulderless country road I rode today (80 kph driven too often at 100+).

    Quote Originally Posted by pe2er View Post
    Over here, it are not only cagers that can be close to you. More likely there are other bikes on the road (Must admit that my route is not nearly as busy as shown here)
    At least when you taped your runs it wasn't that busy. There seems to be some very close turns in front of cyclists with no signalling of intent by the person turning left. Pedestrians seem to have fun with that too. In a group ride I either need to be at the back or shut them off.

    The side output of the Radbot is very good and can be seen from the front at an angle though the sliver visible will be narrow unless the bike is almost in front of teh cross traffic. So the criss-cross 45 degree aimed PBSF's might help.

  17. #107

    Default Re: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

    A quick and dirty reading of the hotspot of the 1 W Dx light, the Radbot 1000, and a PBSF gave readings of 700+, 200, and 70 lux. But the beam width is about 4:2:1. I will see what I can come up with for a crude Integrating Sphere or Box on the cheap. Otherwise I will have to do a wall shot and read at several diameters for a crude integration. The meter isn't the best, so it is the relative output and not the accuracy of the readings to actual output that is important.

  18. #108

    Default Re: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

    I couldn't justify spending $50 to have a styrofoam sphere shipped to me to measure these lights. The local WallMart does not stock the 'Big Bobber' cooler, which at $22, I could justify as it would be usable for its original purpose. The DIY Integrated Sphere thread indicated that some used non-spherical enclosures but that beam-shape issues might distort results.

    So I opted for $1 small strofoam cooler. I mean the DX meter is no super accurate device, and we are looking for rough comparison numbers here, not precision.

    The container is a little too thin and the inner surface not as reflective as one might like, so there is some light leakage. On the 20000 scale the meter showed 000 but on the finest scale of 200, it was picking up 2 from ambient (room light off) sunlight.

    Results (these are the readings on the meter in the 20,000 range so all values are 100 X larger than reported, the headlamps were measured on the 200,000 range as 155, or 1550 on the 20,000 range, so actual readings were 100 x higher as well):



    Lower lux figures than Erwin'd Lux readings, but expectedly so with the cruder integrator. Both sets of NiMH freshly recharged. Different brands and different amounts of use/abuse (near complete discharges). I did not swap battery pairs in these, from Erwin's low battery readings, we know they are highly sensitive to amount of charge. Fairly rapid decline when on full on mode (8-10% in 10 minutes). Some of this may be heat related, but most I suspect is battery darinage rate. Unless you plan a short ride or swapping out the batteries every 30 minutes or more often, I suggest flash mode.



    One Radbot1000 was used with its original batteries about 4 hours, the other had the orignal batteries set aside for the test. Again, about a 10% loss in lux with 10 minutes of running. These were swapped between the lights. Light differences swamped by battery charge condition. About 2 X as much light as PBSF's which figures for a 1 watt versus 1/2 watt LED assuming both are run a similar amount below their rating.



    The 1 watt red spots put out over 20% of the light of the Triple XPG-R5's run at 0.5 W (4.65 W), so the reflector/glass and the 1 Watt Red Led's appear to be quite efficient. Or, much more likely, running at about 1.5 W as some users ahve reported. I was pleasantly surprised to find the 10417 + cover was the same as the Aspheric lenses with tubes and cover. The two headlamps were at room temp 25 C, at half power, and runs too briefly to heat up. The lens and cover losses are guessed to be 20%.



    At 0.5 A, an XPG-R5 puts out 1.4 X its 139 lumen rating for 350 mA, factoring in the 20% loss to lenses, three should put out 467 lumens @ 0.5 A. This provides a crude conversion from the lux readings to lumens (1550/467 = 3.31). The results are in this last table.

    The SBSF readings are close to Erwin's and since batteries are SO critical, we can't quibble over the difference. So it looks like the crude IS and conversion are providing decent numbers for comparison to Erwin's.

    The Radbot1000's do seem to put out about twice the light of the PBSF but on full-on mode they eat power from the double AAA's rapidly. Flash mode recommended or an extermal battery pack. I wonder how much overvoltage they'd take (single Li-ion)?

    The Marwi-Dx Spots produce 3-4 X as much light as the Radbot1000, and 7-8 X the PBSF's.

    So now you have numbers to back up the solar fare pictures of post 102. Enjoy! Sunny today: Daylight shots coming.
    Last edited by BrianMc; 06-24-2010 at 08:13 PM. Reason: Added meter scaling comment

  19. #109

    Default Re: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

    WORST CASE SCENARIO

    Sun at about 15 degrees above the horizon 8:00 PM EDST.

    Radbot1000,s placed on side end to end in first (fade) intermittent mode above left rear tail light on lip of trunk of 2005 Mercury Montego which is has a rock on its brake pedal and is in accessories on the ingnition switch. The two 1.5 W DX spots are between the Radbots and the center brake light in the rear window.

    Lights observed at 250, 500, and 750 feet. Cell camera pics marginal at 500 but look like what we saw at 750 feet.



    Excised piece of the 250 foot photo:



    No polarizing filter on camera so glare hides left Brake Light, Right is visible, The DX spots are brighter, and to the left of them on the lip of the trunk the Radbots add a bit of red.

    You can see car brake lights of vehicles stopped for the stop sign 1250 feet away. That is the distance the ANSI vest shows up in daylight. These DX spots go that sort of distance based on being brighter than brake lights.

    Now I need night video lit and unlit street with and without car lights. maybe tomorrow night. Maybe not.

    Report of day use:
    Rode them on a wide shoulder of a road posted at 55 mph. Both the Radbots with the spots and the Radbots alone seemed to increase driver courtesy. The spots seemed to help drivers who paid attention to deal with my presence sooner judging by my mirror.
    Last edited by BrianMc; 06-24-2010 at 06:42 PM. Reason: Riding report added.

  20. #110

    Default Re: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

    Most of the video and output evaluation of the 1 watts in day and night riding are in the second page of the Radbot thread.

    Tonight I rode some unlit highway and caught a large oval of red lighting up the pavement behind me. It peaks just behind the rear fender and arcs out so that the bright part of the beam hits the fog and center lines about 75 feet behind the bike. Once aware of it, I discovered the arc exists right under street lights though it must be looked for. It could easily be made larger and brighter but at the expense of being seen from taller vehicles when close.

    I tried to get cell phone shots of the helmet PBSF straight back and the bike lights with the bike leaning against the car, with the car's tail lights and brake lights on. My phone died. My wife's has no MMS service. Pictures but no sending. Crap.

    Well I looked at them compared to the car lights at 50 and 100 feet and photographed them in my lit driveway.

    The helmet PBSF was brighter than the brake/taillight but small at both 50 and 100 feet. Definitely visible. Definitely stands out when you are in line with it, but small in the sea of car tail lights. The weird pulsing helps there some. The side-firing PBSFs on the stays present their sides to rearward and were barely discernable by their weird flashing at 50 feet and all but invisible at 100 (some of the weird flashes make it).

    The camera fused the Radbots with the 1 watt spots in a flare of red, though they are mounted about 20 cm apart vertically, and at 100 feet, the phone's camera filtered out the car lights. With the eye, the Radbots were much brighter than the car lights, and the spots were brighter again.

    This is my first ride in heavier traffic with the Radbots and 1 watt spots at night. My impression is I am getting a lot more of the driver's attention and courtesy. I need to take the driver's perspective in a drive by evaluation of glare and visibility. I think this is enough.

  21. #111

    Default Re: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

    Since the last report, I confirmed that though the red spots are bright, and intimidate, they do not affect driver night vision (me) approaching form different offsets/heights. (The same cannot be said of the low beam, so LB V2.0 is my new project.)

    This





    shot in twilight, shows the slight walleyed effect of the spots makes the left one appear brighter. The side shooting PBSF's and Radbots are in flash mode so don't show to their best advantage for brightness.

    A similar shot further along the pond and under the trees to induce the flash to catch passive lighting.




    The vest supplies more and there are light weights like the one on the chain stay and pedal on both sides of my helmet plus the high beam and another PBSF out back (needs a pivot mount). Note the effectiveness of the side firing PBSF. I would like to rework the stock mounts so they don't hang in the wind straight out from the seat stays and catch things, but this seems an excellent use for them. One of the two Radbots is firing but we can't know whether it is a Dash or Dot, but it looks like it is almost as bright sideways as the PBSF is at this angle.

    Really off axis for the bright part of the red spot light beams. Which is good. A passing car moves through the brightest part of the beam about 80 feet back. They are aimed a bit above level and I will adjust them down to a bit below horizontal.




    Front angle with headlight eclipsed by right brake hood to allow flash to act. PBSF on this side is in the watusi mode with the 1/4 watts, and the far Radbot is in some part of its flash cycle, the near on in a quiescent part. The far PBSF shows up with reflections. The cheap Bell bag's reflective bands work quite well. as do the light weights and Scotch brand reflective tape. The gold color of the frame and aluminum shiny bits show up fairly well too, reinforcing the identification of a bike. An advantage of no carbon components of flat black paint. But then I can't hide stealth reflective tape in the day.

    Ride safe. Ride on.

    Brian
    Last edited by BrianMc; 07-09-2010 at 09:47 PM.

  22. #112

    Default Re: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

    Found this tailight on MTBR.

    Here are a couple of threads evaluating the Magicshine tailight:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=620340

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=621283

    An option for some.

  23. #113
    *Flashaholic* Illum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Offroad'Bent View Post
    So, someone going to come up with a nice, light, self-contained 3AAA or 2AA rear light with an XPG at 700ma and 200 for night, with a nice easy switch?

    Or at least instructions for dummies as to how to wire and silicone the emitter and optic on to an existing LED blinkie housing?

    I'd take a couple and throw away all my Superflashes and Mars 4.0.

    700ma? not going to happen with AAA or AAs, with Cs assuming direct drive at 700ma an energizer C cell has about 4000mah capacity, and will probably go under 700ma way before it went through half of that. I'd suggest NiMH or Li-ion for a cheaper alternative for savings down the road

    AAAs and AAs [well, maybe AAs] can't deliver 700ma [unless you series parallel two banks] consistently to get anything good out of them, they do have the advantage that the runtime will have a nice long tail to direct drive.

  24. #114

    Default Re: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

    Offroad'Bent did you mean red-orange XP-E, not white XP-G?

    We are getting more light from LED's and more power from batteries. So maybe down the road... .

  25. #115
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    Default Re: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

    How's this idea? Two SST-90 red emitters in series driven by a TaskLED hip6Flex driver powered by two or three Li-Ion cells? Should be good for about 1500 emitter lumens at full power. The great thing about the h6Flex driver is that it can be turned down and has multiple flash modes so you can turn this on constant or have it blink. This would, however, be a large tail light as the heat created by the 6.7A drive current would be excessive. Maybe drive it at a lower power level? At 3.15A the emitters are rated at about 500 lumens each. Still, I can see making this with a large heatsink and attaching it to my rack and using the rack itself as part of the heatsinking solution.

    For something this bright I would actually put a translucent diffuser over the emitters and then place a red lens over it to increase the apparent size of the light source. The two emitters would be splayed out at about a 30 degree angle to provide side coverage as well. The only problem I can see with this setup would be price and weight: components alone would add up to over $160 and the heatsink required to prevent the emitters from going into thermal runaway would be rather large.

    Thoughts?

  26. #116

    Default Re: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

    SST 90 Red LED based bike light:

    1. 100 lumens in about a 10 degree FWHM spot beam, is brighter than my car brakelights (which are regulated by NHSTA to be no brighter).

    2. 1500 lumens in a tight beam is just plain nasty. So the best use of those SST 90 beasts is to spread the joy. The 30 degree offset of a pair with a lens like this but for an SST 90 would cover 190 degrees, spreading that love in a semicircular band with the same height as my 100 lumen spots cones of light (point 1). Trouties acrylic bar lens in the Design a road beam thread may be the ticket (first page, I think).

    3. An aluminum seat post or a rear rack heatsink extension is a good idea a rear analogy for Trouties' stem cap light concept.

    4. Cost of parts is right there with the Dinotte 140. WAY more light. But a lot more DIY time and energy to do it water tight, reliably, and looking as good (or better).

    Personally, I don't need one. I don't need to stand out from a lot of other red lights. I just need to register as something different and cut through driver fog, more in the day than at night when PBSFs with fresh cells are enough. Being seen at 1/4 mile and more is enough. If you need 2-3 miles, this may be your light.

    The $160 is competitive with a Dinotte 140 the output is a few quantum levels higher.

    Duplicating my system comes to more than $160, BUT the PBSFs and their cells were bought over the years, and the Radbots before I discovered the 1 watt spots. The heat sinking of the 1 watt spots' LEDs was child's play (no major design work there), and I could use my existing battery pack as the power drain would not hurt my run times. I would need 15 of them if I wanted the same max output as a SST 90s. Fortunately I don't.

    With a clean slate, and a lot of other lights (like the Vegas strip), vying for driver's attention, then the idea has some merit.

    Also remember there is a moth effect for drunk, drugged, and sleepy drivers who are attracted to bright flashing lights like emergency vehicles. At some point we cross THAT line like painting a bull's eye on your backside with "Hit Me, PLEASE" above it, so spreading the light may be the ticket to reduce that as well.
    Last edited by BrianMc; 08-08-2010 at 04:12 PM.

  27. #117

    Default Re: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

    Brian,
    Enjoyed reading your history of tail lights here (just discovered forum). Have been down a similar road myself and am building lights that you might get a kick out of (50 to 500 RED lumens) controllable in 5 steps... 6 XP-E.

    A lot of thought went into it (especially the mount), but the end result is pretty cool.

    Links and references to your sales site deleted. If you want to advertise you need to seek an advertising subscription from Greta, the owner of CPF. You can contribute to the thread but do not advertise.

    Happy trails
    Last edited by Bullzeyebill; 04-08-2011 at 08:36 PM. Reason: Sales references deleted

  28. #118

    Default Re: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

    Glad you enjoyed it.

    Pe2er sent me an e-mail just this morning showing me the link on YouTube of the tail light. Nice work. If you don't get my message, I'd love to know what video camera you used. Mine are less than stellar though their videos still told me a lot. I need to do as well as you did.

    Ktronik had a single triple XP-E tailight which of course one could double up with one flashing, the other steady but not with the exposed lens like the Superflash and Radbot 1000 and your light have for side lighting. I got some crude video confirming that side firing Superflashes just don't show from the angles cross traffic needs to see me better, night or day. So after seeing your effort, I am rethinking reflector in my lights to clear canopied extended lenses to get that done better. The low weight sandwiched heat sink package is what is unique to your light IMHO and the mounting arm to a Cateye QR mount makes a nice nearly all-purpose mount (someone will find an exception) with a nice locking feature. Of course the Taskled driver is great and the next step for my tail lights and models are already found in my head lights.

    Also, the newer 1 watt main LED blinkies work great with more powerful tail lights. In case someone misses the Superflash Stealth review thread, the new Superflash Turbo uses a 1 watt LED and two 1/4 making it a nominal 1.5 watt blinky. It is likely driven WAY below this power consumption even in flash mode as is the Radbot 1000. Otherwise runtimes on two AAA's would be lucky to be about 2 hours. The Radbot 1000 appears to be driven at about 1/3 max. The Turbo will be interesting.

  29. #119

    Default Re: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

    Hi1 what,

    re. your 2010 post where you said:

    "It uses DX optics and 3x 1W red leds. Its mounted in acrylic tube for side visibility and the unit is waterproof with all acrylic surfaces "welded"."

    Can you please tell me which DX optic you used and how you dealt with any heatsinking issues?

    thanks,

    Sam (in Adelaide)

  30. #120

    Default Re: Designing good daytime rear commuter lights

    Both Pe2er and I have used the Dx 12V 1W LED Spotlight (Red, SKU 5325) to get 1 watt Luxeons. They come with 12 volt (not too efficient though) drivers you have to dig out of the housing for your application. If I were doing a triple like 1What's (and I am still considering it) I would use XP-E red-orange P2 or higher bin they give about 25% more light for 25% more power and use a Taskled driver to back it down (especially if I used two) and flash modes, and you can get these from Cutter's in OZ though the driver is pricey there.

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