The 50 Watt HIGH BEAM for Bicycles.




Introduction: The 50 Watt HIGH BEAM for Bicycles.

This is an insanely bright lamp that, (excepting the battery), costs one English Pound and takes about an hour to make.

It can be used like the high beam when the main led light needs an extra boost.

But the fun is using it at night as a silent photon bell ...

On cycle paths just dab the switch at people with their back to you by the time the they look around the light will have faded and you can politely wave as they step aside.

( The photograph next to the main picture shows high beam that has been on my bike for about three years; I'm now making one for my other bike. )

Step 1: Paprika and Parts.

You will need a container for your bulb.

Anything with a round opening makes things easy; I used a smoked paprika tin.

The bulb is a 12 volt, 50w halogen; I got two for a pound from the market.

A bracket of some sort is needed; the one I used is off an old rack but anything that makes a long "u" shape will do. In fact, the tin could be attached on one side only, although I have not tried this.

A strong battery ; I used an old drill battery. It is rated at 18volts . . .If I knew anything about electronics I would have hesitated to use it on a 12 volt bulb but it seems to work very well.

I must stress that I have only used this light for 30 second bursts, that's why it has a push and hold switch.
It may be fine to use it longer but maybe it will get too hot and burn out; I don't know but used as I say, just for a high beam when needed, it has lasted me years ( the first one that I made, that is).

So . . .
container, bulb, bracket, long bolt and nut , washers/spacers, wire, four self tapping screws, bit of inner tube, small length of pipe, drill battery.

Step 2: Tools.

Hacksaw, Awl, Soldering iron, Spanner or Pliers.

You can manage without a drill but its preferable to use one.

Step 3: Drill the Tin.

Cut a pipe so that it is a snug fit when positioned width ways in the back of your tin.

Drill a hole through the tin and pipe.

Step 4: Attach Bracket.

Push the bolt through the tin and pipe.
I had to use some wheel nuts as spacers.
I used some inner tube washers so that the whole lot stays tight.

Step 5: Solder Things.

Cut Two lengths of wire.
One only has to reach from your front wheel to your handle bar.
The other has to reach from the front wheel to the back rack (or water cage bottle,depending on where you will put your battery.)

Punch two holes in the back of the tin and push a wire though each.

Strip the ends of the wire.
Solder one wire to one terminal and one wire to the other terminal.

Step 6: Add the Bulb.

Pull the wires back through and sit the bulb nicely in the opening of the tin.

Punch a small hole in each corner, almost under the rim of the bulb.

Screw a self tapper, with a washer on it, into each hole.
Do this gently going from screw to screw until the bulb is tight.
It is made of glass so don't go crazy but it must be secure.

Step 7: Attach Bell to the Bike.

I'm attaching the bell to the front fork where the reflector is at present.
One bolt holds it on.

Step 8: Add the Switch.

A push-to-go switch would look great but I prefer to use what I have to hand; which is a peg and some drawing pins.

Wrap the end of the short wire around the pin and push it into the inner bottom surface of the peg.
Take a new wire from your rack to your handlebar and pin it to the upper inner surface of the peg.

Cable tie the peg to the handlebar securely.

Step 9: Big Fat Battery

Use a bungee cord or large zipties to secure the battery to the rack.
Tape each of the two wires to a different terminal.

Step 10: Turn It On.

The camera cannot really do the high beam justice but to just dab the switch and then experience the gentle orange glow as the filament cools is a rather pleasing sensation.

Happy riding.

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    1024 Web Solutions
    1024 Web Solutions

    6 years ago

    why not just use 1 to 4 smd50xx? 12v @1.2'ish watts each. appx luminous of 50. I pick them up in singles for under $9 and 4 for $22 retail store... I would guess with the power source your using, probably looking 3 to 30 hrs of run time on one charge.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Brilliant !

    I had an old large torch that used the 6v Lantern batteries, And used one of those 12v Halogen lights you used in that with a drill battery. Never thought of using it on my bike.


    8 years ago on Step 10

    how and how often do you recharge the battery?


    9 years ago on Step 9

    i really want to know, what kind of battery that you used. because i'm on my project for making a lamp, for filming, for skateboarding


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Hello Andyoaryoga,

    The basic info about the battery is in step 1; all I  can add is that it is from a very, very cheap Einhill rechargeable drill. (see photos)
    It is 18 volt but I guess that a 14v or 12 v will do .. . um .. . it's not lithium or anything special ( which would be better ) . . . .I mean , I think you could even make your own pack from 10 rechargeable AA batteries.  ( these are £1 a pair at my local Poundland shop . . . I don't actually know anything about electronics . . . I just keep it simple and see if it works.

    As I have stated elsewhere, I only use this for limited amounts of time; you may get away with using it for longer you may not: Let me know.

    You could just get something like this and use rechargeable battery:

    It's only £12.

    Good luck with the filming.


    Photo 1.jpgPhoto 2.jpg

    9 years ago on Introduction

    Gotta hand it to you, while this may not be the most attractive light going, you did an amazing job of KISS; Keep It Simple, Stupid ( not you, just the saying!! :-)), as well as just using things you had on hand. I do believe that I'll try this for my own bike as I ride to work every day and things are pretty dark first thing in the morning.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Dear Spacesaver,

    Thanks for the comments.

    As I have replied to Jackh94

    I must stress that I have never used it for more than 30 seconds at a time; it is just for an extra bit of help; that's why it's only a push and hold switch. ( I will add this sentiment to the Instructable).

    Maybe it's fine for longer periods but maybe it gets too hot and burns out . . . .I don't know; let me know if you try it for longer.

    . . . but it is useful especially when I just need to see just that bit further ahead or for letting car drivers  know that they have forgotten to dip their headlights.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Am I right in assuming that the bulb is of a british 240v type and the drill battery is somewhere between 12v and 18v.
    I was wondering how you've made this work? or am I asking a silly question?


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    It's not a silly question . . . I should have made it clear. ( I will edit that bit.)

    I've just checked and it's a 12v 50 watt Halogen bulb; the type that people use for spotlights in their houses.

    I did use an 18 volt drill battery . . . If I knew anything about electronics I probably wouldn't have but it has lasted.

    I got mine off a junk stall but I think IKEA might be a cheap place to try.

    If I would only have had a 240v 50 watt bulb at the time I would have tried that also . . . maybe it will work ?

    I must stress that I have never used it for more than 30 seconds at a time; it is just for an extra bit of help; that's why it's only a push and hold switch.

    Maybe it's fine for longer periods but maybe it gets too hot and burns out . . . .I don't know; let me know if you try it longer.

    Good luck.