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They say that necessity is the mother of all invention.......
Well its winter daylight hours now and I need to keep fit and for me that's cycling in the dark.

I need new bike lights to illuminate the path ahead as I cycle on a lot of unlit and badly maintained cycle paths and I also need to increase my visibility on the open road. After some thought I  decided a pair of large diameter spotlamps is the only solution. Only they must be cheap and bright.

Several weeks of going to the carboot sales got me a matching pair of krypton bulb powered torches for 50p each and a trip to the local hardware store got me the rest of what I needed

The result is a pair of awesome bicycle spotlamps.

Step 1: Things You'll Need.

You'll  need a few things.

Two matching torches, the sort that take the big 6V batteries with the springs.
Two pipe clips.
Two nuts and bolts.
Some wire
Battery clip.

And a few tools

Hacksaw.
Glue.
Drill.
Soldering iron
Blow lamp. (Not essential)

The pair of torches I used were branded UNI-LITE UK200 and were fitted with 3W 6V krypton bulbs. My calculations are that 4 AA Ni-Mh batteries will last for about 3 hours. Experience tells me not to expect more than 1 1/2 hours per set of batteries when both lamps are on.


Cost

£1.00 ---- Two torches from a car boot sale at 50p each.
£0.99 ---- Two jubilee hose clamps.
£1.32 ---- Power connectors x 2.
£0.40 ---- Battery holder.
£5.00 ---- New NiMh AA 2000mAh Batteries x 4

Bits from the bits box: (FREE)

Nuts and bolts. Inner tube rubber. innertube etc


Total cost £8.71

Real cost £3.71 (I already have many rechargeable AA batteries)



Step 2: Shortening the Torch.

Carefully measure out where to make two cuts on the torch so that when you take the cut off end bit it matches the hole at the other cut.

I could have made them shorter but would have needed an external switch. Being lasy I choose to use the switches in each torch. They are also a bit waterproof so I wont have to worry about rain in the switch.

After cutting the middle out the end is simply glued into place to make a pair of awesome looking bike lights.

Not photographed is the wires soldered to the battery clips o the back of the reflector shell. These were common to both lamps and a trailing lead went to one of the bicycle front panniers where it connected to a 4 cell AA battery holder.

Step 3: Making the Handle Bar Clip

To make the handle bar clip I brazed the M5 screw onto the pipe clamp.

I brazed them together as I have the equipment. Looking back on the project I could have saved some time and hassle by drilling through the pipe clamp so the threaded screw can bolt the clamp and torch body together.

The screw can then be bolted to the torch body. Not to tight as you'll crack the plastic but no so loose it will rattle loose after a few miles. If you get it just right some adjustment is possible when on the road.

Step 4: On the Bike

The lights are held on the bike with the pipe clips. Be careful to put a piece of inner-tube between the clamp and the handle bar. This will give more grip and stop them from drooping down on rough paths. It will also prevent the bars from getting scratched if that sort of thing bothers you.

In use
The light from them is awesome and lights up the road ahead with no trouble at all. They are easily as bright as a set of spots my friend bought for about £100 and mine last a bit longer than his.

Because they are individually adjustable you can angle them to match your riding. In country cycle paths I tend to have them angled a bit closer and just a bit to either side to light up the edges of the path and spot out any bits of tree or bush that might be a hazard. On the open road I tend to have them angled to shine straight forward and give me greater visibility to motorised road users rather than light the road. Especially as  I have to get across the town centre that is very busy and has zero cycle path provision.


The advantage of keeping both switches on the torch bodies is that one lamp can be switched off to preserve battery life if you get stuck out longer than anticipated.

Although the maths suggest a set of 4 AA 2000mAh batteries will last for about 3 hours experience tells me to not expect more than 1 1/2 hours. Anyway I always cycle at night with a set of fresh batteries just in-case.
Nicely done !  I have a stretched 3wheeler Ive been looking for a neat set of lights for and theres lots to chose from on here but then I saw an ad on craigslist for 2 Bell light sets, one new in package and one slightly used for $5us. Each set has a headlamp with 4 settings including strobe and the taillights have 6 functions, steady and 5 different flashing patterns. Once I figure how how to mount them I'll show them off
Nice trike! What brand is it? it looks sweet! I have a vintage &quot;BRIKE&quot; recumbent trike.&nbsp;<br /> <br />
i did something similar with two led garden spotlights, under-slung so they weren't in the way. they normally take 12v ac but if you open them up there is, at least in the model i brought, a bridge rectifier between the power source and the light. i just bypassed the rectifier and run two of them in series off a 24v battery. they look surprisingly tidy and professional whats more they are only 4 watts between them so from a 24v 10ah battery they should give something in the region of 60 hours light! <br />
There's an instructable that is lie a universal bike light battery or something, it has a bunch of C batteries, rechargeable, in a peanut butter jar or something like that. That would be perfect for this.<br />
Yeah, like or something like that and such as.<br />
Like this and like that and this.<br />
Very nice, but why not just mount the &quot;torches&quot; as they were built?&nbsp; they would last longer with the bigger batteries.<br />
Nicely done, now people should know your coming up the road with no problem.<br /> <br /> &nbsp;I would think a rack somewhere on the bike would do the job of holding the batteries (and I am referring to the original ones). Reason for the smaller body is because the weight of the torch with the battery would rotate the torch backwards or forwards depending where the center of gravity is. So if he were to constantly go on bumpy roads, the lights would end up pointing down or something and not forward.<br /> <br /> And I would think the torch would take a lot more power than the standard AA batteries can hold but thats just me.<br /> <br /> <br />
Love it.<br /> As we are two peoples separated by a common language, I have just one question:<br /> <br /> British English&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; American English<br /> TORCH&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; FLASHLIGHT<br /> SPANNER&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; WRENCH<br /> BRAZED&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; ??&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; WELDED&nbsp;&nbsp; ???&nbsp; SOLDERED?<br /> <br /> Well done.<br />
brazing is brazing.&nbsp; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazing<br /> <br /> And the mount.&nbsp; Plumbing shops sell <span id="ctl00_c_ContentWindow_ccProductData_ccDesc">&quot;Cushioned Pipe Clamps&quot;</span> which are just the thing for this.<br /> <br /> http://www.grainger.com/1/3/superfix-cushioned-pipe-clamp<br /> <br /> <br />
I&nbsp;use dual 3w LED flashlights held on with TwoFish handlebar mounts.&nbsp; Lights up the road about as well as a single headlight on my car (more or less).&nbsp; Weighs less, and I&nbsp;can detach either one and use as a normal flashlight in an emergency.<br />

About This Instructable

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Bio: I'm a keen motorcyclist with a collection of post-apocalyptic looking bikes and sidecars. I enjoy touring about for my holidays with my dog who ... More »
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