Step 2: Cut and prep parts

Picture of Cut and prep parts
The copper housings for these motorcycle headlights are going to be built nearly the same as the bicycle lights I detailed previously .  The difference is that the housing for the motorcycle lights will be made with 1-1/4" fittings rather than 3/4" fittings.  Also, the coupling is used full length to give the housing enough room to hold the BuckBlock and the pipe cap to hold the LED is cut taller and includes an internal section of 1-1/4" pipe to increase the thermal mass and make a better fit for the 26.5mm lens and holder. Also, the mounting style is different and uses a threaded rod rather than a bent wire cleat.

Holes for the wires to the LEDs also need to be drilled at 7/64" or so, holes for the threaded rods need to be drilled at 5/16" or so, holes for the wire between the headlights need to be drilled at 7/64" or so, and a hole in the end cap of the headlight that will house the BuckBlock needs to be drilled for cable gland at 1/2" or so.  See pictures for more clarification.

The threaded rod is bent to allow soldering to the inside of the housing and to give the lights the correct aim when installed on the bike.  You'll need to take some measurements of the bike and come up with the proper angle.  Depending on the bike, you may opt for a different mounting scheme altogether.  We considered using clamps around the fork tubes but eventually stuck with the stock headlight mounting holes.  Bending the threaded rod will require the use of a vise to hold the rod while you carefully bend to the appropriate angle.  Once bent, cut to length and dress any threads damaged during bending and cutting.  To help the bronze rod stick to the solder, grind the threads that will touch the housing flat to clean any patina and to increase surface area.  You will have to file out the hole in the copper housing to allow the threaded rod to sit properly as well.
crazypj1 year ago

got a couple of the lenses for the 100w LED, they don't concentrate the
light enough, plus, as you mention, there is no cut off.. I was hoping
it would be closer to a projector light as used on modern cars.

play with lens position, move it forwards and back until I get beam I
want. Going to step up to 2-1/2" copper pipe which is big enough to
mount a 12 v fan inside, radial holes for airflow and make heatpipes
from 1/4" copper tube. The weirder looking the better for a steampunk

'Frenching' the lens inside pipe should cut down unwanted beam?

jmengel (author)  crazypj1 year ago

Curious to see a pic of the lenses you got for the 100W LED. Frenching, or recessing the lens and LED will change the spill of the LED, but you may need something like black-out headlight covers from WWII.

crazypj1 year ago

Thanks for Instructable, I can make stuff and adapt idea's but not so good at coming up with stuff :)

I like the idea of copper pipe, going to use it on my 'steampunk' XS650 but will use 32~36v-100w LED and a step up transformer plus 2-1/4" pipe (LED is little over 2-1/8")

Copper has much better heat transfer so can act as the heatsink but I may add a couple of 12v computer fans as well.

jmengel (author)  crazypj1 year ago

100W LED? Hmmm. Get ready to be ticketed. Good luck!

I put a light together to test, the beam patter is completely wrong. If I can find some way to control the light direction I'm going to make it Going to need some sort of 'standard' lens over the LED 'bulb' which will cut down efficiency somewhat :)

jmengel (author)  crazypj1 year ago

You aren't using a lens at all right now I imagine. Certainly not the lens I specified. The lens I specified cuts down somewhat on the glare to oncoming traffic by concentrating the light but still lacks the "cut off" of a true DOT approved headlight. Without a lens you are basically spreading all 100W of LED illumination everywhere with likely a half intensity angle of 120 degrees. Which makes for a blinding but ineffective headlight. You can try and fit a standard motorcycle housing over the LED but it will impact your cooling negatively (and thus LED lifetime) and the differences in source light from the halogen bulb and the planar LED COB (chip on board) array will make the housing lens (sort of Fresnel-esque) essentially useless.

Also, I don't think your 2-1/4" pipe is up to the task of cooling a 100W LED unless it is also about 48" long. So I'd be careful about running the LED while standing still. Will work better at 100mph or with fans as you mention. Still I'd expect your die junction temperatures are quite high and will lead to rapid failure.

Getting a lens for a large COB LED array is going to be difficult. You will not find anything off the shelf unless this COB is used on a production automobile. Designing you own is a difficult, solitary but satisfying option. Good luck.