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Improve your headlight!

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My Felt came with a dynohub-powered headlight. In its stock form it was less than useful - not particularly bright. After a few attempts I found something that seems to work...

HOWTO Convert Your Headlight To Xenon

The biggest issue with Xenon bulbs is they have a special socket - I'm sure you can find an electronics store out there somewhere that has the sockets but I didn't have time for that. Instead I checked out what I could find at local stores that had useful parts. What I ended up with is a "Black Diamond" brand Lunar Headlamp.

http://vancruisers.ca/Members/bhughes/photo-album/xenon-headlight-upgrade/headlight.jpg/image_preview

This is one of those goofy things you're supposed to strap to your head when you're camping or whatever. It was $18 all together - I'm sure I'll figure out something someday to do with a bunch of elastic straps and the various other bits it came with.

I popped open the light and discovered it had a PERFECT little socket already mounted up to a little circuit board. The socket is ALMOST the same size as the bulb mounts in most of the stock battery/dyno bike headlights. The finished result:

http://vancruisers.ca/Members/bhughes/photo-album/xenon-headlight-upgrade/outside-view.jpg/image_preview

Looks like it came that way!

I didn't want to do any modification to my headlight body itself as I wanted to be able to put it back the way it was if it didn't work out.

I had another light kicking around so I grabbed the reflector from it and made the hole in the middle just a TAD wider so the socket fit through. Then I just used my hot glue gun to secure everything in place.

http://vancruisers.ca/Members/bhughes/photo-album/xenon-headlight-upgrade/connections.jpg/image_preview

Perfect! The stock bulb uses the reflector clip as one of its contacts so I decided to do the same. Soldering this on would be a good move although it works fine without.

For the other contact I just used an alligator clip - simple and doesn't damage anything.

http://vancruisers.ca/Members/bhughes/photo-album/xenon-headlight-upgrade/connections2.jpg/image_preview

The stock bulb presses up against that contact to make one of its connections - no good with my setup since it would short out the connections on the back of the board. A little tape takes care of that.

The light is WAY brighter this way and the bulbs are pretty easy to get - Co-op has them as does Radio Shack (I mean 'The Source'). I'm using 4.5V bulbs - the dyno hub can supposedly put out 6V but you have to be going about 35 km/h for it to actually do that. I think the Xenon bulb probably uses enough current that it won't be able to go over-voltage - the hub will only put out 2.4W which seems about perfect. We'll see how long the bulb actually lasts but so far so good!

UPDATE

Went out on Friday - the light works GREAT! It's way way brighter than just about any other light on the ride. And no batteries to change ever!!!!

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