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Commuter Lights

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    I always carry 2 Niteriders. The spare is either on the bars or the helmet and ready for immediate use. The Niterider offroad lights make a lot of light and have good run time because they usually get the job done on a lower setting. But the clear glass lens means you need to aim them down so you don't blind oncoming traffic. I like the Swift but I wish it had a bigger battery. I think they made too big a tradeoff to make it pocket sized, and it's light weight plastic instead of metal. With the Swift the 2nd light isn't just a backup. You really will need to use it. Which puts you in the one light zone.


      I saw that with a splitter cable at the speed sensor my TSDZ2 bike can have front and rear light that run off of the controller. But the front light that comes with it is a 6V. "look at me" light and not a real headlight that provides illumination of the road. It says it supports up to 48v light. It doesn't say how to obtain this. Does anyone know of a real headlight that can be run with this setup. I'm afraid these may not have the daytime strobe settings and not be useful due to that. So far I see this as not good enough, but I thought I'd see if others have a different idea. If I could power my Niterider off of the bike battery that would be awesome.


      • tklop
        tklop commented
        Editing a comment
        Simple, Retro. Hub-dynamo in the center of your front-wheel. Use off-the-shelf LED bike-lights. The dynamo will power them more efficiently (in terms of battery-drain) than wired-in lights. You will save a ton of dough, or you can spend a reasonable sum--but end up with ten times the quality of e-bike lights. And guess what? They work whether or not your battery does, because your e-bike's battery is uninvolved.

        If you were talking about a hub-motor project, you'd have no choice. But gosh--you're talking about a mid-motor! I really see no better option available.

        That's what I've got on my city-bike with the TSDZ2--and my lighting is beautifully simple, self-contained, battery-and-chemical-free, and quite reliable (I've described my Luxos U headlamp and "brake-tek" taillight elsewhere before).

        Best of luck, whatever you decide to do.
        Last edited by tklop; 05-03-2019, 12:23 PM.

      If I were to do that I would add in a rim upgrade from the original Trek parts. That means a whole wheelset build front and rear. Not very cost effective I;m afraid.
      2- Rims,
      72-new spokes
      Dynamo Hub.
      New kight kit.
      Labor to build wheels.
      Also I would lose interchangeability between my 3 bikes for lighting.
      If I build a wheelset I will probably add a Dynamo Hub to it. For instance if the 7 speed IGH fails and I upgrade to 8 speed. But as a stand alone solution I don't see it as right for me.
      I will need to research the lights available since much of my riding is not on well lit city streets.
      I doubt that a Dynamo hub is more efficient than using the battery. It takes power from the E bike battery to drive the hub itself with inefficiency at the motor and the hub. No free lunch there I'm afraid.
      I think taking 2 mechanical elements out of the circuit is the right thing to do.
      Could you link to the light you're using? I'd like to see if it's something I could use for this.


      • tklop
        tklop commented
        Editing a comment
        No free lunch at all, no. But the dynamo delivers an alternating-current signal, and the rolling-resistance caused to create this signal, is less than the amperage lost powering DC lights off your battery power. You can experiment for yourself--many lights can be used by both systems. The difference in range was dramatic. Same thing for charging my phone via the USB port on the TSDZ2's display, versus powering it off the hub-dynamo (via my headlight). Less energy was needed, and I had greater range with the hub dynamo.

        The difference was enough to be obvious, so I didn't bother doing any math, any proofs. The proof was in the range. Now--admittedly--even though the zero-load resistance of a hub-dynamo is almost zero, I do realize that it is in fact not zero. So, whatever miniscule resistance offered by the non-loaded hub-dynamo when running the lights off the battery--was therefore decreasing the apparent battery-powered efficiency by some tiny miniscule amount (which would be far less significant that a tire-pressure adjustment of two or three psi).

        Furthermore--when it comes to the costs of conversion--in your situation--those costs are real, and no laughing matter. I get that.

        My bike came this way. All I had to do was add the mid-drive. So it's a totally different situation for me. I'd already invested in upgrading to the lights I wanted--back when the city-bike was purely "me-powered"...

        So, I do totally understand your points, and agree with them.

        I guess for me, it's also different when it comes to building wheels... I've done a few by myself. It's not impossible, but it's not much fun either. And I won't say I made them so much "well" as just "well enough". I may choose to have my next wheels built. I got a shop. It's not really that much cost in the long-run (at least not here in The Netherlands it isn't). I like to have assembled wheels--ready to swap--just like a car--for when winter comes, etc.

        I've also considered adding a front-wheel hub-motor to the city-bike. And that'd mean going with the "system lights" that you're talking about here, so believe me--I am paying attention! ;) If--and let's face it--it's probably a matter of when--I experiment with making my city-bike 2WD, I'm gonna be right there with you!

        I got lots of battery to work with on the city-bike (went for a 48V 20AHLiFePO4 beast with a 45A BMS) so one of those 350W hub-drives might run without overloading things...

        Anyways... Again, Retro--best of luck! I'll be following along.

        [edit] In response to the lights I'm talking about, I've got the Busch & Muller Luxos U headlamp:

        It's horrifyingly expensive. On the other hand, using this lamp allows me to see broken glass on dark roads in the rain--in time to avoid it--if you want an idea of the illumination. Plus, the design is such, that a nice pool of light dips down into your turning-path, as soon as you begin to lean into a turn. No more turning into darkness--as your headlight shines where you just were facing a second-ago! The beam's intensity adjusts automatically with your speed (and the adjustment-range is also adjustable). As I said, it allows you to charge something via a USB outlet as well. Though of course you can turn it all off if you want to, the headlight has a "daytime running-light" type function for high-visibility. During daytime, whether the light's in "daytime running-light" mode or just off, the control button--if pressed momentarily--will flash both the headlight and tailight once--as a signal (think passing-signal, whatever). In night-mode, this instead activates an "intense-flood" mode; sort-of like a high-beam on a car. I don't find this really helps me see a whole lot, but if someone flashes their brights at you, you can flash back--to let them know you're on low-beam after-all... Same as you probably ought not to do in a car... There's also an indicator to let you know if your taillight is functioning as it's supposed to--or not. Handy.

        The taillight I've got is called Toplight View--Brake Plus. It's from the same company.

        Yeah. Sticker-shock--and no mistake. But I've spent as much on crappier lights and batteries and chargers over the years too. Two-years--all weather--and not a single issue with these lights; nor a single battery!

        What I like about the B & M headlights, is that their beam isn't wasted where it isn't needed. It's a clean-cut beam, from the level of the lamp down to the road--not up, not blinding other drivers. They've worked hard to get the most our of their beam-patterns, and this remains true also for their much more reasonably-priced models.

        This is also a very good headlight--still has "stand-light"--where it'll keep glowing while you're stopped at a light, or trying to nagivate your dark back-gate, etc.; and it too will monitor your taillight's status--but it doesn't do USB charging:


        [end edit]
        Last edited by tklop; 05-09-2019, 03:13 AM. Reason: To answer Retro's question--including links to the lights I've got--since I forgot to do that first-time-around

      The Dynamo Hub is very intriguing. But I dont think its for me. $300+ for the hub to fit my fatbike. Perhaps a consideration if I was going to do long term bike packing or touring and lack ability to find recharge points.

      have an Anker PowerCore 20100 and that thing rocks. I can plug in my Galaxy S5 and run it non stop for 3 days and just barely get the charge drop to half on the battery pack. The Anker only cost me $40. I ran the USB lights off one for a long time. now I'm not saying that it would power a set of lights for days on end because honestly I dont know I havent needed my lights for more than a few hours to get home. I will say with the added wires of the ebike I really didnt care for the wired set up I had. I got the NR Lumina Micro 850 in this week. I will say I'm very pleased with those. I still carry my Anker with me so if I really had to I could charge one of the lights with that while I run one. I much prefer running both on the lower setting. Actually I may have mentioned I have 2 of the Ankers so if I was planning a trip I'm sure Id be covered for well over a week and a small usb battery charger allows me to recharge AAA that I use in my rear lights.

      I will say I really like the idea of the Dynamo however for my circumstance its a point of diminishing returns on investment. I do see the plus side that youd never have to buy batteries and youd always have that power source on your bike. Maybe... I'm running out of things to buy for my bike, lol


        The B&M IQx-e looks pretty great, from same site tklop linked. Ebike specific, up to 60V. Bit less expensive, too. Fabulous looking pattern. Needs external switch if you want to turn it off. I'm seriously considering one.

        Thanks for getting me back onto their site, tklop! Or I wouldn't have seen it...
        Fabrication is fun! Build something today. Show someone. Let them help. Inspire and share. Spread the desire.


        • tklop
          tklop commented
          Editing a comment
          Each of their lights do seem to have their own beam-patterns.

          I kind-of wish I'd been able to be out there testing with your group! It's hard to really get a solid grasp, I suppose, with words alone.

          I think eventually I'll try to get video of my Luxos U in varying conditions of weather and terrain, and stick it up on YouTube to show what that model does.

          Thanks for the reply, JPLabs

        • JPLabs
          JPLabs commented
          Editing a comment
          My B&M IQx-e has died already. Lasted about 30 rides. Sheesh. It did run hot. Adding polarizers on the front, as I did, reduces cooling to some extent, so I'll take the blame, but it was cool weather, too. I'm not impressed.

        • tklop
          tklop commented
          Editing a comment
          Dang. At the price, I'd have expected a lot more. Sorry to hear that, JPLabs.

        The low power draw of modern LED lights may make the fficiency question more or less moot between battery power, and Dynamo hub.


          My bike has a X1 Stvzo and I'm very pleased with its performance.
          Trek Roscoe w/ BBS02, mt wheels, conti 700c tyres