Converted Maglite for Rear Light

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by domd1979, 12 Dec 2007.

  1. domd1979

    domd1979 New Member

    Location:
    Staffordshire
    Have recently added a second rear light to me bike to go along with a Cateye TL1000....

    Manufactured the rear light from an AA Maglite, which I then converted to a red LED with one of these. Its attached to the rear carrying rack with some Maglite brackets. A tailcap switch like this one can be installed to so that it can be used in flashing mode (although this particular switch auto powers off after 14mins!!).

    Costs were: Maglite £12.99, new LED £21.95, brackets £5.39, switch (not really necessary) £8.39, metal plates to attach brackets to rack approx £1.20 (from Wilkos).

    It is pretty bright - some photos here, here, and here alongside the Cateye. Found it difficult to get the settings on the camera right to get a decent comparison to show the differences in how the two appear. I've focussed the Maglite to a spot, and is fairly impressive on the illumination front (well I think so anyway!!). Ought to be visible from quite a distance I'd think - idea is to use the Maglite as a steady light and leave the Cateye on flashing.

    An alternative to the Maglite is this LED Lenser effort which is manufactured with a red LED so no need to convert, although there's no way of changing how the beam is focussed. I've got a similar LED Lenser torch and it is bloody bright!
     
  2. There have always been some good front lights of which I would have liked to convert to rear light over the years.

    It does look impressive though.
     
  3. Joe24

    Joe24 More serious cyclist than Bonj

    Location:
    Nottingham
    I take it that th LED sits behind the plastic filter at the front of the maglight.
    Would it not have been more versatile if you got a white LED, and changed the colour of the filter to red, so when you want a white light you can?
    It looks very good though. You can see the difference between the Cateye and the Maglight
     
  4. OP
    OP
    domd1979

    domd1979 New Member

    Location:
    Staffordshire
    Mine kept doing that, but I've solved it by stretching the spring out a little bit!

     
  5. OP
    OP
    domd1979

    domd1979 New Member

    Location:
    Staffordshire
    Yep, it directly replaces the bulb.


    Tis certainly an option - you can get coloured filters that attach to the outside. Unsure how it compares brightness wise though!
     
  6. Joe24

    Joe24 More serious cyclist than Bonj

    Location:
    Nottingham
    I a red filter on mine when i did work experience at Millets, and it was pretty good, only dimmed it down abit. If you carry one with a white light and need it to have a red light then a babybell wrapper works aswell, just needs an elastic band tightly around it to keep it on, and it works very good.
     
  7. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Location:
    Salford, UK

    Just what I needed! An excuse to carry a bag of Babybels round with me....;)
     
  8. A red LED only emits red light. A white LED emits a spectrum of frequencies, and if you fit a red filter, you're filtering out (and wasting the energy of) all of them except the red bit. So a red LED would be more efficient than a filter.

    Another point is that if you have the MagLite focussed to a spot, it will be very bright - to anyone whose eye is along the axis of that spot beam. Any eyes off this axis may not see anything like such a bright light.

    Now, ignored and discredited though they may be, it's my understanding that the BS and European standards for rear bike lights include requirments of being equally bright over quite a wide angle - for the good reason that the people who need to be able to see your light won't necessarily be directly behind you.

    Your Cateye will meet this requirement; the MagLite on spot beam probably doesn't.

    That's not to say you shouldn't use it. Used with the CatEye, it might be an excellent set up for part of my daily journey, on a fast single-carriageway road with few junctions, vehicles overtaking every two or three seconds at anything up to 60mph...
     
  9. This is brilliant.It beats BentMikey's airzound modification.Almost.;)
     
  10. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Location:
    Auld Reekie
    I experimented with using a Maglite for front light, back in my student days, but found that it burned through batteries at a frightening rate.
     
  11. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    Location:
    South London

    Oooh, fankooo very much!! :blush::blush:
     
  12. No, it isn't.

    The colour of light emitted by an LED depends on the combination of semiconductors the junction is made of. Red and green LEDs have been around for decades. But it's taken a good while for white LEDs to come along, and they're still quite a bit more expensive than red, green etc. A manufacturer would be stupid to fit a white LED and a filter to a light when they could fit a red LED for a tenth of the price. And you'll find that if you remove the red lens from most LED rear bike lights and switch them on, the LEDs themselves still produce red light, not white.

    If you don't believe me, look it up.

    However, it's a trivial and pedantic point. An LED is so much more efficient than an incandescent bulb in the first place, I don't know why I mentioned it.
     
  13. Shall we call this one a draw, User?
     
  14. OP
    OP
    domd1979

    domd1979 New Member

    Location:
    Staffordshire
    The LED I've bunged in the maglite is clear plastic. As far as I can tell, its mostly cheapo LEDs used as indicator lights on appliances and that sort of thing that are red plastic.
     
  15. Bleurch!!!

    A simple, manly handshake would have sufficed.
     
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