Introduction: DIY Full LED 600+ Lumens LED Headlight.

Picture of DIY Full LED 600+ Lumens LED Headlight.

The lighting system in my cousin's bike was very dim. He requested me to build a full LED headlight. After a lot of research that I did about LEDs on the net, I finally came up with a master piece the "TRIDENT". The TRIDENT is the name that I have given my headlight because of the three High Power LEDs that is used. The one thing that I really like about this LED headlight is that it combines power and good looks. It gives the contemporary dot like LED look. The LED headlight gives me good range too.

The LED Headlights can be mounted on a motorcycle or on a bicycle. The headlights can be mounted on the bicycle that you ride to school. It would be a head turner and would attract a lot of attention.

I would like to thank Dipankar, Captain Slug, phephq, Artificial Intelligence, bhvm and many other instructable members who introduced me to this concept and helped me in solving my doubts.

The High Power LEDs are very powerful and causes sort of a flash blind. Do not stare into the LEDs. LED headlights are not DOT approved, so use it at your own risk.

Step 1: Parts Needed:

Picture of Parts Needed:

For making this headlight you need the following parts :

  Supplies :
135pcs of  white 5mm LEDs( 10000mcd or higher )
2. 15cms x 10cms PCB
3.  3pcs of 1watt high power LEDs
4.  Aluminium heatsink
5.  Thermal compound
6.  45pcs of Resistors(1/2 watt 120ohms resistors)
7.  Capacitor( 100ufd / 50v)
8. 4pcs of  Diode IN4007
9.  Connectors
11. Silicon Sealent

  Tools :
1. Hacksaw
2. Drill
3. Soldering iron
4. Solder
5. Soldering wax.

Step 2: Place the LEDs and Glue Them in Place

Picture of Place the LEDs and Glue Them in Place

Place the 5mm LEDs on the PCB and glue them to the board. I used fevicol since it is cheap, and it dries to become transparent. Remember to leave some area in the centre of the circuit board to mount the heatsink and the high power LEDs. Once you have glued the LEDs on the circuit board, then you should have something that looks like the second image given below.   

Step 3: The Circuit :

Picture of The Circuit :

Now gently bend the leads of the LEDs and using the schematic circuit diagram given below begin to solder......... Once you finish soldering, it should look something like the second image. You should only get two wires coming from the LED panel. One for the positive and another for the negative. 

Step 4: Now for the 'TRIDENT':

Picture of Now for the 'TRIDENT':

Afraid hearing the word 'TRIDENT'? Do not be afraid. Its only three high power LEDs. Solder the three high power LEDs in series as shown in the second image. Apply some thermal compound on the back of the LEDs and using the silicon sealent stick them on the heatsink. 
I preferred using a round heatsink for the high power LEDs. Now you can place the lens over the emitters of the LEDs. you can also apply some silicon around the lens to make them completely WEATHER PROOF.

Step 5: Mounting the 'TRIDENT':

Picture of Mounting the 'TRIDENT':

Once you have finished constructing the 'TRIDENT', its time to mount it on the LED panel. Note that there is a wooden piece below the heatsink. This wooden piece gives the high power LEDs an upwards angle which acts as the upper beam of light. For mounting it on the panel I used nails that fixes the heatsink rigidly to the LED panel. After you have finished mounting, you are done with most of the work.

Step 6: Decoration:

Picture of Decoration:

Now you need to construct a box inorder to protect your circuit. I constructed a water proof box using sunmica. I really loved the wooden finish on it which gives it a classy look. Finally you have to use the connectors just to make it presentable. And there you have it.... you have your very own full LED headlight !!!!! 

Step 7: The Rectifier:

Picture of The Rectifier:

The bike generates AC electricity. But your LED headlight requires DC. So to solve this problem a rectifier is used. It converts AC to DC current. Solder the four diodes and the capacitor as given in the circuit. And the rectifier is ready.

Step 8: Results of the LED Headlight:

Picture of Results of the LED Headlight:

The headlight is very bright and it illuminates a lot of the road. In the last two images they do not appear too bright but actually they are very bright. Here are a few pictures of the headlight. For driving the high power LEDs you can use an LED driver, but I am using Artificial Intelligence's Super simple high power LED driver. If you have any difficulties in constructing it, please feel free to ask me.



alexanderl35 (author)2016-09-23

Just replace all of the 5mm LED's with Cree XHP-70's, then you will have a truly functional head light :-)

swagatam.majumdar (author)2015-05-10

using 5mm LEDs for making car headlight or any automobile headlight is not possible because automobile headlight require huge illumination capability, which is not possible using 5mm LEDs, you might try the same using many 1 watt LEDs or piranha LEDs, as explained in the following posts:

partha_roy (author)2014-11-17

hello sir, can i use only one 1 watt led in this circuit.

MikeJ5 (author)2014-10-02

Thanks - By looking at this tutorial and a few others on the web, l I made a headlight for my motorcycle. The LED's do not seem to throw light nearly as far as an H4 bulb. I used ~100 ( 17,000 mcd ) LED's. Just a warning in case others are attempting to replace a headlight with this homemade system. -It is ok for me though, as I will keep my (somewhat dim) H4 bulb and include the LED plate I just made to augment my headlight -

Ace Frahm (author)2010-08-30

Your headline failed to specify this is meant for a motorcycle, not a bicycle. Why is there an array of ordinary LEDs if you are also making 3 superbrights? Clear as mud. Please rewrite.

The reason I did not specify it is because you can use the Headlight either for a bicycle or for a motorcycle. If you are using it for a bicycle, then you would have to supply DC voltage from a battery, and also use a switch for it. I have used the 5mm LEDs to give it a contemporary LED look. The headlight is an eye catcher with the dot like appearence of the 5mm LEDs. Even a lay man will say that this motorcycle is unique as it has LED HEADLIGHTS. As you know that some high end cars use high intensity LEDs which is a breakthrough in the headlights industry, yet at first look no person will be able to distinguish it from other headlights, and it will just look like some xenon or halogen headlight. Also the 5mm LEDs have a wider beam angle and hence I am using them as LOW beam.

But if someone is going to use your circuit with a DC voltage then there is no need for the Bridge Rectifier. Bridge Rectifiers convert AC voltage to DC. I'm wondering what will happen when you input DC voltage where AC is suppose to be the input? Never done this will input DC to a Bridge Rectifer and see what it outputs :) I'm still learning!

MerlinTheGreat (author)FlipFlop2013-03-10

The rectifier also ensures the correct polarity of the current going through the LEDs.
If using the rectifier, it doesn't matter how the DC current source is connected, the rectifier always puts it right.
But theoretically you're right. If using DC current, the rectifier isn't needed.
And, like the author wrote; there is a voltage drop over the diodes.

If using DC current, then there is no need of using the Bridge Rectifiers. If DC current is passed through a bridge rectifier, then I think that you must get the same Dc current as output minus the voltage drop caused by the diodes.

drgoodfunk (author)2013-01-05

you also failed to specify what voltage is needed to power this. 12V or 6V? older bikes which have "bad lighting" tend to run 6V. which is what I have. which is why i might need this walkthrough.

Tim Observant (author)2012-01-21

You did a fine job at building a nice working prototype model here. Personally, if it were me, I would be lazy and just mount a 15 watt Truck 60 degree LED spotlight array with a dimmer switch on my bike (where the deer at? The important thing is you had fun building one yourself. Kudos.

aamerkhans2002 (author)2011-10-09

Hi Jayvis, This is awesome. Can i have ur email id? I wanna know some thing about Led which you might help. My id is Will wait for your response. Thanks

Dipankar (author)2010-09-28

My heartiest congratulation to you for winning a prize.
Keep up the good work........................

mary candy (author)2010-09-21

cool thing..!
I 'm going ask one to my boyfriend.
He is an electrical engineer :D

tawade.amol (author)2010-09-21

awesome work done... congrats & i expect you to win the first prize.....

Nachoman (author)2010-09-03

Forgot to weatherproof your 5mm LED array. Do so, or cry later.

Yup, I have mentioned that I have used fevicol( a waterproof glue) to stick the 5mm LEDs. This glue spreads evenly and also blocks all the holes of the circuit board. The only part exposed is the glass lens of the 5mm LEDs which is resistant to water and somewhat resistant to mechanical shocks. So it is weather proof. Trust me I have tested it : )

Are the terminals behind also waterproof? My own LED headlight experiments (one of them published here in Instructables) have shown that even just humidity will rust them, and eventually make the 3 affected LED's fail. I'm adding 3 photos from a recent 3*30LED@12V array, which I did to replace a dentist's work light. It is weatherproof in the sense that it can take 100% humidity without rusting (I lacquered it), but, by my experience, it isn't waterproof enough to take rain. If I had wanted to make it waterproof (which I define as "does not bubble or rust after working a full day fully submerged in sea water") I would have made it less dense (although not as loose as your own array) and would have added two or more layers of polyester resin. Image 4 is a photo of a light I did for the undercarriage of my car. See that slight reddish colour? One layer of polyester, and the thing still didn't pass the test. Image 5 is a light I did specifically to work fully submerged. Can't work in the air, though: is fully sealed, so it tends to overheat. Well, take care. Good luck with the monsoon. Here in Cancun, I'm hoping for a class 1 hurricane to cool down things.

No, the terminals do not have to be waterproof because the LEDs are enclosed within a WATERPROOF box(see images in step 6). Only the heads of the LEDs stick out of the box.

Well, hope you sealed the box real good. Open it and check as soon as monsoon season is over, though: a few years back, I tried to do box flashlights. That's when I began lacquering my work.

heavensguy (author)2010-09-05

Amazing Job !!! U got the talent pal .......... U got the potential to be a great inventor for the new world !!! Hey fratello ... Spero che avete intenzione di aiutarmi a costruire un presepe di natale 3D. Comunque sia benedetto sempre

Thanks for your encouragement : ) Some people only know how to pick holes in other's work.

bhvm (author)2010-08-27

Vinit, There are a few things we need to clear up. 1>Who says Bike electrical system is AC? Of course its electrically 'dirty' and has lots of Ripple,Noise, But its DC after all. You could've gotten far better results using a beefy capacitor rather than Full wave bridge rectifier. Also, At idle the bike battery measures 13.2~13.6v but while charging it goes up till 14.4. If you made your calculation thinking that 13.5v is max, your LEDs will have a premature death. 2>Why have you used 5mm LEDs besides Luxeons? Are they for LOW beam + HIGH beam combination? If so Highlight the point. 3> What degree lenses are you using for the leds? or Are you using a mixture of various angle lenses for better coverage and longer throw?

1>The bike that I measured gave me AC output and within the range of 12v to ALMOST 14v.Most modern day bikes like the YAMAHAs and the BAJAJs produce DC current. 2> As I have mentioned I have used the 5mm LEDs to give it a contemporary LED look. The headlight is an eye catcher with the dot like appearence of the 5mm LEDs. Even a lay man will say that this motorcycle is unique as it has LED HEADLIGHTS. As you know that some high end cars use high intensity LEDs which is a breakthrough in the headlights industry, yet at first look no person will be able to distinguish it from other headlights, and it will just look like some xenon or halogen headlight. By the way there are two sets of wires emerging from the headlights. One is from the 5mm LEDs and the other is from the high power LEDs.I am using the 5mm LEDs as LOW BEAM. But it depends on the maker on which must be used as LOW beam, HIGH beam or a combination of both. 3> By the way I am using 2x15degree lens and 1x30degree lens. But it depends on the maker, one can experiment with different combinations of lens.

Good one, 1>However, be informed that LOW and HIGH beam is just not about the brightness at all. It majorly revolves around Angle and sharp cut-off lines to prevent glare for incoming traffic. . 2> Please edit your instructable and run everything through a spell-checker. That'll better prepare it for contest. 3> Any trouble with the Petu Policeman yet? 4> How bright is it compared to regular Motorcycle headlight? Why don't you post any beam-shots? 5> My calculations show that your setup gives about 240~350 Lumens Which is very risky. What are you using to claim 600 lumen?

Smartbro (author)bhvm2010-08-27

Hey bro u need'nt be that harsh. Just chill.

technodude92 (author)Smartbro2010-08-30

Agreed guys. Make your constructive criticism a little more constructive and a little less UR DOING IT WRONG YOU SHOULD REWRITE YOUR INSTRUCTABLE AND RETAKE YOUR PICTURES AND USE SPELLCHECK...

You get a really good angle with the 5mm LEDs. The cut off actually depends on the angle in which the LED Headlight is mounted on the bike. The beam is very powerful, it is more powerful than any other headlight out there and is equivalent to Pulsar 220's headlight. You have done your calculations based on the appearance of the headlight, I have calculated it based on the statistics of the LEDs that I have used. By the way my cousin has so far not faced any problem with the policemen.

12 VAC rectified will give approx. 18 VDC.

AC is defined as swinging above and below 0v. i.e Mains in the UK swings between +240 to -240(ish) at 50hz, so the electrons flow in one direction, then reverse into the other. Despite the voltage changing if it stays above (or below) 0V then it is defined as DC, noisy but DC all the same as the electrons are constantly flowing in the same direction. The advantage of using a full wave bridge rectifier in your circuit is that now it doesn't matter which way you connect positive and negative to the battery (or light switch). Adds a certain amount of protection to the leds. Having made a rear LED lamp for my old motorbike, can I suggest that rather then use simple resistors (as you pointed out, bike voltage isn't constant), you use a constant current source. I used this 'ible: worked really well and helps to protect your LEDs from all but the biggest spike. No more efficient as a resistor but will ensure that you only have the mA's you want through the LEDs regardless of the voltage :)

Dipankar (author)2010-08-27

Hi Vinit, Excellent job. I am proud of you. Hope you win. Your photographs need to be edited for Brightness. Best wishes, Dipankar........

Thanks for your encouragement, I agree that some photos are dark coz my handicam has no flash. : )

I agree, wonderful job on the instructable here, but your photos being so dark are not going to help you win the LED contest. You don't need a flash if you light up the subject. Either use sunlight or rig up some extra LEDs and point them at your subject matter. If you adjust the automatic settings on your Handycam, you should be able to get better photos of the lights, even when they are on. I would encourage you to retake the photographs in an attempt to make them look better.

ElvenChild (author)2010-08-29

this is a great instructable but I believe that it is diode not doide in step 1

THE_GEEK2007 (author)ElvenChild2010-08-29

No, those are diodes. Just not of the light emitting variety.

Jayvis Vineet Gonsalves (author)2010-08-27


Rainh2o (author)2010-08-26

Great instructible...Where did you get the 10000mcd LEDs?

I live in Mumbai, and I have bought the LEDs from Lamington Road. THere are a wide selection of LEDs there.

And yes, This site always messes up my formatting. Neat, Point wise writing are compressed into a single, garbled-up paragraph of some illegible text.

pansartax (author)2010-08-26

I would probably add a voltage regulator to this, to avoid burning out the LEDs when going too fast.. I guess from the resistor values that you count on the bike delivering 5V, in that case just add a 7805 5V voltage regulator. you probably wont even need a heatsink as it seems your voltage is pretty friendly

No the bike generates about 12v when running at normal speed and about 13.5v at higher rpm(revolutions per minute). I too do not feel that the high power LEDs heat up too much, but during long runs it will heat up so I have used the heatsink.

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