Introduction: Easy-peasy Bolt-on Halogen Bike Light
I got the idea for this from reading all the numerous instructables using interior fixtures. Aesthetics were a concern on my old Schwinn Collegiate and, taking a chance on these auto fog lights I found, I was pleased to find that....damned if it didn't bolt right on there, and work to boot. -Seriously, the hardware was the same as my brakes. I just switched the nuts. Another improvement, I think, is the battery. While it weighs more than a cordless drill battery, it's much less than one for a motorcycle, and costs less than either (I think?).
Ain't she handsome?
Step 1: Buy the Lights
First step, I guess: I went and bought these from the Wal-Mart. They're 55w "driving lights." For the two, with hardware, some wiring, and a switch, they run $15.
Step 2: Aaand the Battery....
Here's how the Cabela's website has it pictured. With the charger, it runs something like $29.95. The charger's some "universal" deal, so if you've already got a 12v battery charger, knock $10 off the total. Bass Pro has the exact same battery, I'm pretty sure, but tacks on $5 for their sticker.
Step 3: Battery Mounting
I picked up this tool bag at the Harbor Freight -$4 (God blessem). With the help of some velcro (lots and lots of velcro), also purchased there, I fashioned it so's to strap on to my rack. Then I sprayed some silicone waterproofing stuff on it, hopefully, for to protect the battery. The tool bag was just the right width, by the way, with a decent chunk of cardboard in the bottom to help it keep its shape.
Step 4: Inside There
I put the battery towards the front of the bag (and peeled that Cabela's sticker off. Listed is more details about the battery). Again, luck would have it that the thing fits in nigh-on perfectly (just slightly wider, but the bag gives enough where you don't notice). On the bottom and backside of the battery, I attached some big fat "industrial strength" (so it was certainly billed) Velcro. To get all this hook-and-loop to affix to the bag, btw, I used a goodly amount of Gorilla Glue (I'm not much of a seamster).
Step 5: The Total Package
Did I tell ya easy-peasy? All I'm leaving out is the wiring, I guess. I used an old printer power cable with some clips attached and ran it under the bike, attaching with zip ties. The switch, I used another zip tie to attach it to my brake grip.
Step 6: Ta Da
Here she is, all lit up. Don't look too long, it'll leave a purple spot.
Step 7: Another Sample
Did this with the garage door closed, almost total blackness, from about 15 ft back from Mr. Selleck. A better showing would be somewhere out on the trail, I know...Trust me though, works like a champ.
As for battery life, it's yet to be seen. I don't wanna let the thing run completely out for fear of breaking it. I do know that I've made several trips right around the 40 minute mark, and the thing's yet to dim.
For a grand reckoning:
Waterproofing spray: $5
All the velcro: ~$6
...yow. First time I added that up, actually. A bit more than I figured. Still, $37 for the light and battery and charger ain't bad (yes, I halved the light cost...I'll find a use for that other one yet). I may mount it on my other Schwinn, rotate the battery/bag between them.