Do it yourself LED Auxillary "Riding" Lights

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by 606XXZIP, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. 606XXZIP

    606XXZIP NAVVET

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    I have them angled down and out to the sides. I ride through some wooded areas that have alot of Deer. I want light out on the sides of the road so I can see a Deer that may jump out.

    They are only 4watts each. They are not nearly as glaring as my headlight highbeam to oncoming drivers.

    The great thing about this project is that you buy different bulbs and experiment.
    #21
  2. johnrh

    johnrh Adventurer

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    Thanks for posting:clap
    #22
  3. flatfender

    flatfender Been here awhile

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    thanks for your reply
    #23
  4. genka

    genka SUV hater

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    These will be great visibility lights.
    #24
  5. BOBaloo22

    BOBaloo22 RIP Baby Girl

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    Thanks for the info! :thumb
    #25
  6. wildeman

    wildeman n00b

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    I got 2 "Banshee" quad lights from local shop, 30.00. Had some Acherbis mounts and tapped them for the hollow stem and just used the 7/8 bar mounting. Quick connects complete the install from hi beam wire harness. 35w each, 1 spot and the other flood pattern. mr-16 standard 2 pin bulbs, with enclosed glass. The after market housings have rubber grommets, that absorb vibration and keep water out, and the front rings are threaded to the lamp housing for tight fit...

    Attached Files:

    #26
  7. 606XXZIP

    606XXZIP NAVVET

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    Cool enduro - Thanks for posting pics !

    We need more pics of DIY LED Projects that people did.
    #27
  8. jazzdrum69

    jazzdrum69 Adventurer

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    So I got all my crap in and put it together. The bulbs I got were actually deeper than the light housing. Initially they wouldnt go all the way into the housing but after I pinched the two pins on the back of the bulbs then the bulbs would fit into the housing with the front cover twisted on tight, however the two pins would protrude through the back wiring hole by about 1mm.

    So I unscrewed the base of the bulb and clipped the wires that connected to the pins from the inside (where the LED driver circuitry was), pulled out the pins with some cajoling using needle nose pliers, and then drilled out the holes in the bulb base so that I could run wiring into the cavity where the driver circuitry is, saudered some wires (the ones included with the lights...high quality switch, zip ties, and 14-ish gauge wiring) to the wiring connected to the driver circuitry, then screwewd it all back together and applied some RT silicone sealant to the holes just to keep the water tight. I also applied the same sealant to the outer front rim of each LED bulb to keep them a bit weatherproof from oncoming rain.

    I had to do this to free up room in the housing. Now the wires leave the base of the bulb and immediatly exit the housing. I used a layer of shrink wrap on each wire, and then a layer around both...this should help keep vibration from rubbing through the wires insulation...I was too much in a rush to file down the drilled out holes and I didn't have any cool grommets.

    [​IMG]
    By jazzrider at 2011-04-15



    It was a bit of a pain, but actually kind of fun. Troubleshooting and problemsolving are kind of a game to me...how can I take this cheap setup and make it work for ME?

    Anyways, I also had to drill out the back of the housing a tiny bit because the mr16 socket was held in place by a metal "cup" like piece of metal that also obstructed the bulb from fitting into the housing.

    Let's just say that its tight in there now.

    The actual units are fairly small, which I like. I got these 5 watt bulbs: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=110668293465&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT , just like the ones the OP got but with one extra LED in the middle. I got warm white, but white and cool white were available (actually several colors are available too). I haven't yet tested these out at night, but I'm guessing these might pump out close to 500 lumens or so. Even if they aren't incredibly bright, I like the look and the fact that they will increase my conspicuity/safety factor.

    I also like how my headlight chrome trim matches the extra lights.

    I was careful to ensure these do not impede my steering lock. I have about 1.5-2 inches of extra space between lights and grips at full turn.

    As the OP mentioned, higher wattage bulbs are available too.

    angle view
    [​IMG]
    By jazzrider at 2011-04-15

    from above

    [​IMG]
    By jazzrider at 2011-04-15

    straight on
    [​IMG]
    By jazzrider at 2011-04-15

    front angle
    [​IMG]
    By jazzrider at 2011-04-15

    So thanks again to the OP for putting this idea out there. I like the fact that the MR16 bulbs are small, cheap, and easily replaceable, switchable for different beam colors, projection spread, brightness, etc.
    #28
  9. 606XXZIP

    606XXZIP NAVVET

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    Very Cool ! Bravo

    You did it basically the same way I did mine. I drilled the hole a little larger in the back of the housing and installed a rubber grommet so the wires won't rub and short out on the housing. Make sure you fuse the lights on their own fuse probably 3-5 amp fuse would be fine.

    Please take some night pictures also and post them.
    #29
  10. jazzdrum69

    jazzdrum69 Adventurer

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    600zzxxxp you are right! I aint gonna lie, I actually had a couple of grommets that would have been perfect for this, but I plan on using them to tidy up my undertail/blinker setup.

    This wiring could be better but I have very little to work with...so thanx again and maybe I will later upgrade to a 7-10 watt setup when the LED tech evolves and cheapens...we will see....I would like to clean up the light housing's butthole though....

    I have a Euro Hornet whose light reflecter originally included a running light that seemed useless (is this a legal requirement?). Recently, my bike was backed into by a huge SUV and I replaced the euro headlight reflecter with a US market type...and it didn;t have the socket for the running light...which left me with a powered switched source...so I use that. no problems so far, but I have spare fuses on hand and a leatherman. worst case scenerio I clip it then run it from my fused power bloock under the seat. Yes I am a gadget whore. and yes you are the manly OP.

    :D:D:D:D:D:D:D
    #30
  11. jazzdrum69

    jazzdrum69 Adventurer

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    I finally got around to riding my bike at night...the sun goes down pretty late at this time of the year. Anyways, I paid attention to the light pattern and how well I could see the sides of the road. Here in this part of Germany, they have plenty of deer, albeit the smaller european munchkin deer variety, but also huge boar. I'm talkin ruin a truck sized boar...and they run out in the road playing frogger with motorcycles.

    I noticed that I could see the edges of the tree line near the road quite well and into the distance. I noticed that with these LED lights, the high beams didn't seem to make much of a difference.

    Of course, they don't compare to this: http://www.twistedthrottle.com/trade...view/5224/196/

    which is what I was saving for before I tried this mod out, but they are certainly "good enough" luminance wise, with a price that is right.

    Our neighborhood is well lit and I don't feel like working up a solution for taking pics on the roads, so I took some in my garage with a variety of lights so you could see at least the spread of the beam and how it mixes with the headlights.

    To manipulate the lights I simply taped a trimmed piece of cardboard over the lights.

    I considered adding a switch but couldn't justify the hassle as these are powered by a switched source within the headlight housing.

    Here are the LED lights without the headlights:

    [​IMG]
    By jazzrider at 2011-04-26



    here are the same lights only with the housings aimed a bit more spread out:

    [​IMG]
    By jazzrider at 2011-04-26



    headlight only:

    [​IMG]
    By jazzrider at 2011-04-26



    headlight and LEDs:

    [​IMG]
    By jazzrider at 2011-04-26



    headlight, highbeams, and LEDs:

    [​IMG]
    By jazzrider at 2011-04-26



    viewing the LEDs from the front:

    [​IMG]
    By jazzrider at 2011-04-26



    viewing the LEDs and headlight:

    [​IMG]
    By jazzrider at 2011-04-26

    I feel it was worth it even with the extra finagling I had to do. Of course, you could just go with the lights right of of the box without worrying about switching in LED bulbs, if you aren't concerned with keeping any headroom with the stator. Also, other LED bulbs may not be as deep as the one's I purchased (5 watt, 5 LED per light).

    I noticed tonite as I was riding around, that the mounting position I used was close enough that I could simply reach down and adjust the aim if I needed to.

    BTW, these pics were taken with a Cannon s95 set to the "flourescent" white balance setting so the colors should be somewhat accurate or at least consistent for all of them.
    #31
  12. 606XXZIP

    606XXZIP NAVVET

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    Very cool ! Thanks for trying this hack and posting pictures !

    I have mine angled outward slightly. The weather has been terrible in Chicago so I haven't even been able to take my bike out at night to take pictures of the LED auxillary lights.
    #32
  13. nakedwaterskier

    nakedwaterskier Been here awhile

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  14. 606XXZIP

    606XXZIP NAVVET

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    They will probably work but I like the mR16 that have a flat glass sealed lens so the water cant enter.

    That one looks like it doesnt have a lens
    #34
  15. beechum1

    beechum1 Grimace Soup

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    the JC whitney kit isn't available anymore. Any chance you have an updated link? or a manufacturer and part number?
    #35
  16. AbbysDaddy

    AbbysDaddy Adventurer

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    I'm going to post my results since the JC Whitney's are unavailable and folks may be interested. I used the 'Platinum Burners' from Wal-Mart and 2 watt X 4 LED bulbs from Ebay. $16 for the LEDs, $20 for the Wallys's. There is a 'socket' inside the housing that you need to snap off due to the LEDs being longer than the stock bulb.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The bulb plugged into the pigtail just fine. I drilled a hole in the back of the housing and put a grommet in. When you put it together, there was a slight wiggle, so I hot glued the bulb to the ring that holds it in place. I ride a KLR and nothing looks worse on a KLR (other than me) than chrome, so I painted the lights with Krylon Fusion. Actually my 7 year old painted the lights. It may not last, and in the future I may use the bed liner that comes in a spray can.

    I wired them to the KLR's city lights in the fairing.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Went for a cruise...

    [​IMG]

    I went for another ride after it got dark, but the screw holding the left light came loose and the light wouldnt stay where I aimed it. I pointed them out to the side a bit to light up the side of the road a little better. They work...ok. I was hoping for more, but they didnt cost $300 either and I could use a heated vest or grips if I wanted. I like them. My camera doesn't do the light output justice. I'll take some pics tomorrow night and see if they come out better. The light doesnt travel that far - these had a 45 degree pattern, more of a floodlight - but they do make an improvement by lighting up the spots my headlight missed, and spreading it around more.
    #36
  17. award900

    award900 Been here awhile

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    Lurk.

    Sent from my LG-P999 using Tapatalk 2
    #37
  18. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b

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    I really like the lights you folks are assembling.

    I just want to warn you to look at the specifications for the specific MR-16 LEDs that you choose. Some MR-16 LEDs will handle up to 16V, but other MR-16 LEDs are designed for a maximum of 14V. (The original MR-16 standard was a halogen bulb that would burn out with only 13V.)

    My bikes generate voltages that may burn out some MR-16 LEDs.
    #38
  19. HaChayalBoded

    HaChayalBoded Brooklyn Bored

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    any updates on this? Have you guys found any bulbs that may be better? I'm thinking either a 12 or 20 degree spot.

    I have the same lights, and with the stock bulbs I feel they put out a massive amount of light for the money.

    I also have 2 sets of FF50 lights, and went through a couple pairs of PIAA lights as well as a set of LED lights (same thing ADVmonster sells). Compared to those, for the price, you just can't beat those walmart lights.

    Anyway, on the new ride I'm going to want to cut down on the wattage so I'll be upgrading the bulbs to LED.
    #39