Instructables
Picture of 1000+ lumen MTB Light - Drill / Miter Saw
1_Light Front.jpg
2_Back.jpg
3_Side.jpg
FIRST POST!! Last year I set out to create a MTB light (Helmet and Bar) for trail riding without breaking the bank and with reasonable tooling and parts sourcing.  Everything here was sourced from Fastenal, Newark Electronics, Battery Space and LED Supply.com  To say the least, I'm very happy with the results and have even sold MANY of these.  The only power tools used were a miter saw (with non-ferous blade), drill press, dremel tool and sander (for finish work.)  hand tools and a soldering iron as needed.  I had a calibration lab measure the lumen output for this item over a period of time and the average output was around 1125lum per setup.  I'm driving these MC-E LED's at 700mA each (separate driver for each one) which would equate to 1400lum but once you figure in heat, optics, etc, you have a bit of loss.  Batteries are 14.8V 4.4AHr Li-Ion which are great and I'm running one spot and one flood lens on each setup (run time has been full power for >3 hours without noticing any loss in light output).  Mount was from a $3 flashlight from eBay.  Driving the LED's separatly has a couple advantages, main one for me is if one goes out,... you're not in the dark :-)
 
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Step 1: Brief Instructions

Picture of Brief Instructions
5_First Cut Setup 2.jpg
6_First Cut After.jpg
The first and most critical cut is slicing the main aluminum box - the cut is made the exact thickness of the LED's plus the lens and housing to hold them tight (no glue for the lens so you can change later if needed.  I used 80/20 Inc extrusion to hold the work while cutting

Step 2: Heat Sink

Picture of Heat Sink
8_Heat Sink After First Cut.jpg
10_Heat Sink Fins.jpg
9_Heat Sink Bevel.jpg
Second most critical part - the heat sink.  YES, if you stop pedaling with these lights (since you're driving them at 700mA each) they WILL heat up and get dimmer - pedal faster ;-)  The heat sink is simply aluminum bar stock with slits cut - i used spacers in the holder to align them equaly.  Bevel the edges afterwards.  Sand with 220 to get a smooth finish for later mounting the LED's
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faitouri1 year ago
can i buy this from you? how much would it cost?
mtbgrinder (author)  faitouri9 months ago
Yes, it has taken a while to get the CNC machining up and running, the new designs completed etc but in short, yes these will be for sale. I will also be selling a very inexpensive kit of the machined case for the DIY crowd too :-) basically, add an LED, driver, switch and battery and you're up and running with one of these. To date, I'm still running my original pair and they are still the brightest thing on the trails and roads!
mtbgrinder (author)  faitouri1 year ago
Hang tight... Revision 2 is coming soon :-) I may be offering a CNC milled version where you pick/choose your own parts! I'll post when it's ready. Thank you so much for asking!

How much would the cost be? If its in my range, I'd love one for my mountain bike.

Count me in, too. "Bright" idea! :)
You indicate that you sold many of these - how much and can I buy one? Thanks,

Alastair
misobrilliant@gmail.com
mtbgrinder (author)  misobrilliant2 years ago
Emailed Separatly - There was not much margin in it after teh parts and time but yes, I would make them again. My turn around is long right now - Santa's workshop is in full swing ;-)
I would be interested in one also if your still building them?

Please email me the details @
fireballbob@Hotmail.com

Thank You
i would like to have one also.

please email me the details @
bilalbinsiraj@hotmail.com
Understood. I'm in no rush. If you make another, I'd like to buy it! Thanks!

misobrilliant@gmail.com
Nice ible
just below i saw Doonular asking if fan could be added to the design. can be done difficult but not impossible.

i have another one.
add a sensor that detect the wheel movement or speed and if below a certain speed range the MAIN LED's would turn off (save it from over heating) and a secondary small led would turn on (so that you can see your way and not invisible to others in the dark).
mtbgrinder (author)  Bilal Bin Siraj2 years ago
Good idea - how about this: the drivers have an input that can be a resistance, dc level or PWM. I could use a 2 wire RTD mounted in the heats sink to measure the temperature. This would be fed to a comparator with a trim pot on the other leg. The result would be when the RTD reaches "x" temperature, the comparator puts a determined dc level on the LED drivers causing them to dim. Once the heats sink cools, the dc level would drop and the LED's would be at full power. I like it! To be clear though, I've never had a problem with overheating using this big heat sink (really, the whole case draws heat away too.) my comment about heat was only precautionary. Thanks
sounds good enough.
i come to think of it overheating wont occur as LED's will be operating at night time and after sunset temperatures drop significantly, in case you are riding downwind or coasting behind a large vehicle the heat-sink wont get enough wind over it hence over heating :) .
tvignos2 years ago
Sorry for such a newbie question, what is the aluminum stock. And where did you source? I am a woodworker who is willing to tinker in metal.
mtbgrinder (author)  tvignos2 years ago
I hear you - I've used this stuff for many of my woodworking tools and the accuracy improvements alone are worth it. 80/20inc.com is my source - mostly from their web store on ebay and through Fastenal. There are many other brands and sizes other than 80/20. Do a search for 80/20 on lumberjocks.com and you'll find a bunch of ideas.
Phaero2 years ago
Would be cool to set this up so that it uses a reCycle, or something similar, to recharge the batteries while riding. http://www.igreenspot.com/charge-your-battery-while-biking-with-recycle/
bobble2932 years ago
Your light is excellent!

I noticed your reference to drilling and tapping for fasteners in the past, and that you now source long skinny screws. The red anodised extrusions (and probably the silver ones) usually have provision for "roll tapping" with fluteless taps, or with thread forming screws. This provision is not always a full circle, often only 270 degrees, but makes life easier. "Tri-Lobular" screws are among the suitable types. Establish the correct size fastener by measuring the hole with a vernier, or a digital caliper, then search for a screw whose "effective" diameter matches that measurement. Note that, because no cutting of threads occurs, the diameter of the hole is larger than the normal tapping size. I usually use fluteless taps in my battery drill on low speed, taking care to align the tap accurately with the hole.
mtbgrinder (author)  bobble2932 years ago
I should clear this point up - the long and skinny screws are to hold the whole "sandwiched" part together (covers, front, hearsink and back.) These screws fit nice an nsnug without forcing them into the setup. The screws I tapped are for attaching the mount to the underside. Although it hit me last night that in the furure, I'll probably just rivet the mount to the underside or made a 3D print that clips onto the side of the red case.
FYI, the LED can be had for cheaper here:

http://dx.com/p/cree-xlamp-mc-e-k0-wg-370-700-lumen-led-emitter-on-20mm-star-board-mce-wg-k0-16145

They also sell drivers, lenses, lithium batteries and misc flashlight parts. I've built a few flashlights from parts there. Since it is shipping from Hong Kong though, expect deliver to take 1-2 months.
mtbgrinder (author)  NitroRustlerDriver2 years ago
Fantastic - thanks!! Now if I could just drive down the cost of the Li-Ion battery packs!
Be careful with DealExtreme they have a history of taking forever to ship things out. Or at least that's how they were a year or so ago, not sure now. Do a little research before you buy if you don't like to wait on parts!
Like I said, expect delivery to take 1-2 months. It's not that they take a long time to ship from their warehouse, it's that it has to travel half way around the world.
i have had items shipped from different parts of china including shanghai and shipping has only taken around a week to UK so there is no reason to have to wait for 1-2 months unless they use the lowest cost shipper they can get hold of, dead mule etc.
I ordered a couple of things there. It takes a very long time some times.
I don't think it's the shipping time, that takes that long. But rather their limited warehouse, so they need to backorder most of the items.
mhdesign2 years ago
Wow, this is great. What's the battery set up like?
steve0002 years ago
Fantastic Guide!

On a side note, for the batteries I use flightmax batteries for everything, You can get a 5amp hard case for around $22 and up to 8amp soft case for $50
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=15521
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=16226
Doonular2 years ago
Nice job mtbgrinder, it looks like a really nice light. As for it heating up when you're not moving fast enough... to help avoid damaging the LED's, have you considered adding a small fan to your design, like one from a laptop, that would be triggered by a temperature sensor and help cool it if there wasn't enough airflow? It would use a small amount of battery power, but would probably be a very worthy precaution for such a nice light.
mtbgrinder (author)  Doonular2 years ago
Fan is an idea I had not considered but would work and may be a good addition. For the time being I had not seen any decrease in light with lower airflow... Just more of a precaution as OEM lights will say the same thing if you stop for a while. Maybe just to conserve power but I'm sure it helps keep them cool too. I had considered "air-scoops" to draw in more cool air but when these were tested they stayed consistiantly cool so I never changed the design. Ascetics were really important for this project... I had made other designs for alot less in the past but the clean design won. Thanks for the idea!
Good job. Love the BOM.
NealH2 years ago
a bill of material and schematic would be nice
mtbgrinder (author)  NealH2 years ago
I have now added an overall parts source to the last step - Thanks.
Love the ible! Could you provide a more detailed parts list to include part numbers or links to the specific items? I can't seem to figure out which LED, drivers and size of battery packs you used and they would really be helpful in recreating your light for the rest of us.

Thanks for the great inspiration.  Since the days are getting shorter and night rides are becoming more often, a light like this would be very useful!
mtbgrinder (author)  sdgenxr2 years ago
I updated the last page of the post! Thanks for the comments! Just make sure to look at the data sheet for teh LED link - it will be listed as a 430lum or 350mA LED but you can drive them much higher according to the specs.
gtoal2 years ago
My solution is a bit less high tech than yours and not perhaps as much fun to make, but I suspect a lot cheaper :-) http://www.instructables.com/id/1000-lumen-bike-light-from-7-flashlights/ At the moment I'm having a lot of fun with my bike and some Christmas lights made from controllable LED strips. I may follow up with an 'ible after I've checked to see if anyone has done it already.
frapedia2 years ago
Nice, love it!
well done!
mtbgrinder (author)  frapedia2 years ago
Thanks!!
keng2 years ago
SWEET FANCY MOSES!! THAT'S A HEAT SINK!!!
mtbgrinder (author)  keng2 years ago
Right!!! Keeps em' cool!
ak088202 years ago
This will be more complete if total cost, part numbers and prices of the parts are provided.
mtbgrinder (author)  ak088202 years ago
Yep, all better now. I should have done this initially. -Thanks for looking!
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