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Lights - remotely controllable?

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Lights - remotely controllable?

Old 10-28-19, 10:49 AM
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KC8QVO
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Lights - remotely controllable?

I find a lot of my rides I do a fair amount of trail riding, and some more trails than roads. I only use the lights when I am on roads during the day time, and really don't need the tail light at night time on trails - just the head light.

I have rechargeable lights (cygolite - metro and hotshot I think is what they are) and they seem to work OK, but I have to dismount to turn on/off the tail light. Since the lights are rechargeable (IE - internal batteries) I like to save the energy when they are not needed by turning them off. That way I don't risk them going dead.

There seem to be a lot of dynamo powered lighting systems out there that alleviate the "running out of juice from internal batteries" syndrome. I am not sure that is what I'd want.

I do use a 12v battery on my bike to keep electronics charged. Earlier this year I switched over to a 12Ah Lithium battery. It is on ride 3 or 4 on the same charge now, trying to see how long I can go on it. So with that power available already - maybe running lights off of it would be the best choice for now (I realize bike lighting systems are generally 6v, though, not 12v, but it wouldn't be hard to convert down to 6v for the purpose).

By "remotely controllable" I envision not just on/off, but mode selection also (flash pattern, intensity, etc).

And last idea also - does anyone have experience with any kind of turn signal/blinker/turn indicator lights? This would be ideal in heavy traffic so I can keep both hands on the bar instead of trying to hang my arm out to try to make a left turn across traffic....
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Old 10-28-19, 11:37 AM
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Bontrager has an ANT+ lighting capability with remote. Cateye has their Sync Core lights. Garmin Lights are ANT+ and a remote is available. All of these are lights with their own built in battery.
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Old 10-28-19, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Secret Squirrel View Post
Bontrager has an ANT+ lighting capability with remote. Cateye has their Sync Core lights. Garmin Lights are ANT+ and a remote is available. All of these are lights with their own built in battery.
Built-in batteries mean they are rechargeable or replaceable. I'd like to find something that uses an external power source so I don't have to worry about the charge level of the batteries in the lights themselves.
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Old 10-28-19, 01:43 PM
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I have used external battery headlights with a wired remote. I like the remote so that I can jump between High beam to low beam.

I wanted the same capability for my helmet light. I moved toward a system the has a front headlight, Helmet light, rear helmet light, and a tail light. All of which is controlled with a wireless remote on the bars. I use the high beam on dark corners and the helmet light to "look" down side streets and alley ways. I still get the surprised driver look when they "almost" don't see me.
Running low beam gives me more run times and less down time when charging.
I really like the fact that all of these lights shut down with one button. Ant+ lets me add other lights from different manufacturers.
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Old 10-28-19, 02:08 PM
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I follow the KISS principle and install a rocker toggle switch in the battery cable to turn the headlight off. It also prevents that pointless battery drain from the button glow.

For mode selection you'd need a momentary-on switch in parallel with the button, which may take some painstaking work. To me it's worthwhile just to turn the light off when I want, and I'd probably wire a taillight into the same battery through the same switch if I wanted to control them both.
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Old 10-28-19, 05:59 PM
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Mount the taillight on your helmet and it will always be in reach.
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Old 10-29-19, 01:42 AM
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You could always keep a charger on the bike and use USB cables to charge the devices when necessary. Not sure how clean that would look, but then you'd only have 1 thing to take off the bike and make sure it remained charged. I actually have the Bontrager Elite (as they call it) cycling computer and RT lights, but haven't tried using it since I got a Garmin. They say the RT lights are compatible with the Garmin, so maybe I'll try it out! The Bontrager computer on the other hand is definitely something I'd part with...if interested.
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Old 11-01-19, 09:01 AM
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I'm a big dynamo hub fan, have you given that any thought?

It more expensive than rechargeable lights, but I never really turn my lights off either (I have a light that has automatic Daytime/Nighttime modes).
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Old 11-05-19, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by wsgts View Post
I'm a big dynamo hub fan, have you given that any thought?

It more expensive than rechargeable lights, but I never really turn my lights off either (I have a light that has automatic Daytime/Nighttime modes).
Thanks for the thoughts. Yeah, I have thought about a dynamo system. However, I am using a 12v battery to power my electronics so since I already have that power available making use of it for lights, also, seems like a good idea.

I experimented with some portable trailer lights I have that are LED. They draw around 50mA in running light mode so that is acceptable. I wanted a wider lit profile for my trip so mounting these lights on the bar worked. Yea, its bulky but it was what I had and for the experiment it worked.

I'm thinking of looking in to some smaller LED trailer lights - they are all 12v. The trick is how to control them. I will look up some control circuits and see what I can find. Who knows, maybe I can make my own. If I can get by with a couple toggle switches by the bar somewhere to control them that would be great. As to headlights - no idea on that yet. Maybe dynamo headlights would work - they are wired so I could run power from a switch. Though, I am not sure on available "modes" - brightness level and flash pattern - or if they even can exist in the form I am envisioning.

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Old 11-09-19, 08:05 AM
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That is quite a rig you got there!
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