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. )
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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.
Participated in the
Light Up the Night! Contest