[updated] Bicycle Light: The edScope...in pictures

Edison 6w LED MR16 bulb (neutral white - 5000kelvin). Comprises 3 2W LEDs...just arrived by post this morning

using a velcro adjustable bicycle handlebar mount made for conventional hand-held torches

My aim was to come up with the simplest, cheapest, DIY design that required no soldering, no drilling, and takes about 5 minutes to assemble by anyone, and requiring just about no electrical knowledge.  I also wanted it to be easily taken apart and put in another housing if one just felt like a change in housing colour to match one's mood;), or if the housing got damaged in anyway.  The housing-change takes less time as it is just a matter of unscrewing the cap, pulling everything out as one piece, and sticking it in another housing.

One of the reasons why i opted for this open-ended (the other end of the housing is open) curved design was for ventilation purposes as bulb-life can be compromised by all-round enclosure.   Additionally, the bottom-side being open enabled me to stick a switch just inside the enclosure, thus taking away the need to drill a hole for it, and it shelters the switch from downpours as well.

As for ventilation of the bulb, the bulb has holes in it in the front, so the airflow through the bulb whilst cycling will mean that the cold air will rush in from the front, and the heat will be pushed out the bottom end.

The downside of this design is that if it rains, the water can get in  through these holes as well.  This, however, can easily be addressed to a significant extent by cutting out a transparent transparency and sticking it on the front over the bulb before screwing the cap on. When you choose a bulb, try to get those whose holes do now allow water to get in directly into the bulb itself.  I'm currently using a bulb which has holes on the outer edge of the bulb for the purpose of cooling the bulb's exterior. To increase its water resistance, all i have to do is to seal off the upper half of the bulb.  If water gets in through the lower half of the bulb, it will just flow down the pipe and out the other end. 

The total cost, excluding the bulb and batteries amounts to £8.50, which includes 20% VAT (tax).  You might be able to get the parts cheaper elsewhere.

With the 'edscope', amongst other homemade bike lights out there, it is no more about the torch.  It's about the bulb.  It's not going to be a case of losing the whole torch if the bulb blows, or buying another torch because it is brighter than the one you have.   When you think about it, and do research on LED light bulbs and parts, you're going to realise that when you fork out a few hundred bucks or quid for a 'wow! so bright!' bike light, you're actually paying about a tenner for the light, and $290 for the housing.  Ripoff ain't it.  Ignorance maketh the fool.  People are going to get the impression that you have to pay more for quality without realising that the false association between 'quality' and 'high price' just means that you're playing into the hands of the profit-greedy out there.  That just make the high-priced brands that you proudly sport, not only a free advertisement for the company, but of your own ignorance.

With these DIY bike lights, as stated, it is all about the bulb.  Find a better bulb, just do a switch.  All this, 'my torch is better than yours' only serves to enrich those profit-greedy 'branded' bike light manufacturers out there, and pits us against each other.  I'm into collaboration.  Not competition - hence my socialist/communist approach toward life.  I could easily make this light more complex so that i can sell it.  But i chose to simplify it to the point that people can say, 'why would i want to buy it from ed when i can make it myself?'  Exactly. 

That's it.  The 'edScope' is done.  Just need to stick the battery pack into a 'tri bag' on the top frame.  I'll do a pictorial and video tutorial on the construction of it soon.



  1. Wow! It's beautiful and stylish. I love it. Never have I seen any DIY bikelight that looks great and easy to assemble.

  2. "Unfortunately, the housing was too small for the bulb, or the bulb was too big for the housing;) Had to send it back. I've just put up some pics of the completed bike light. I'm using a 320lumens light now. But i'll still be shopping around. I'll probably stick up the video/pictorial tutorial in about a month. It should take anyone about 5 minutes or so to assemble. No drilling or soldering. Just a screwdriver, and a little velcro. I suppose if i made it more complicated, i'd be able to sell it. But that would defeat the main purpose of making it easy for anyone to put together. That's the socialist in me talking." - From Ed's fb wall post.The benefits of sending it back to the company in the UK is that no postage fee is not to be incurred by the people who use the royal mail for the first time delivery of the purchased product. Anyway, have you found a more suitable bulb for the bicycle light? Yeah in this case I have to agree with you that it'd be prudent to allow air ventilation since the operating temperature of the MR-16 bulb is significantly higher as compared to other lighting. Now I see why a pair of gloves is worn when assembling these things. I believe the main thing is to prevent contamination of the MR-16 bulb, which is susceptible to oil and salts found in the fingerprints according to the Wikipedia? Was also wondering whether it would be a bit inconvenient to cycle while the thing might be left dangling around slightly. Hope it isn't the case.And with regards to the last few statements, a quote from Robert Browning, who wrote Fra Lippo Lippi would be relevant - "If you get simple beauty and nought else, you get about the best thing God invents". Though this may seem to look simple, its intrinsic value comes from creativity, which is the building block to serving the mankind. I guess anything goes so long as the main function works well, which may work even better than overpriced products coming from companies whose priority is to earn profit and the need to service the humankind is taken to the back seat instead :( .

  3. Hello Mark,

    I suppose Ed wore the the gloves for fun when he was assembling the bike light as the bulb was not lighted and it will not be hot as it’s LED :) When cycling with his bike light securely fastened by the twofish lockblock bikelight mount, it does not dangle at all.
    Have fun assembling one.


  4. Hey Mark,

    I think V's sort of said it all.  But just to elaborate a bit.  Yup.  The gloves were won for fun, and not because of the heat, which it has little of. 

    I think you're referring to MR16 Halogen lights which get really hot.  I did mess about with a few at the beginning just for testing purposes - as i had yet to get my hands on an LED one....very difficult to get it in the UK, and especially white bulbs....the brits like to be stoned out with their 'warm whites' after work....not good that - and i'd say that the amount of heat produced by it in a minute is more that i've felt i've with the LED bulb i'm currently using even after 15 minutes of use. 

    Hence, the point is, because of the heat in Halogen bulbs, a lot of the energy of the batteries is used up to produce heat instead of light.  The little heat produced by LED bulbs is easily dissipated, especially when used with an open-ended design like mine that allows the air to flow through the bulb from the front, and out through the other end - don't know why the other DIYers using plumbing pipes didn't think of this.  I think their design choice is being dictated by existing designs by the big corporations.

    As for the 'dangling', i suppose you're talking about the light moving about whilst i'm cycling.  No.  It doesn't.  The light is fitted tightly to my handlebar and doesn't move about.  If it does, that would be a flawed design. 

    I think the success of my design lies in its being just about the easiest to put together and take apart compared to all the other DIY bike lights i've seen on the net. 

  5. Hey Ed,

    Oh ya I've realised that you'd wear gloves whenever you take videos on introduction to various stuff and upload those on youtube.Thanks for pointing out the difference between the Halogen and LED light bulb. Due to the difference in the mechanisms of Halogen and LED lights, the energy efficiency of the Halogen lights is much less than that of LED lights. If the halogen lights are often used in the UK, I believe the some of the energy costs in the utility bill per household is wasted on heat that are dissipated into the surrounding. But it might be because they prefer halogen lights to keep themselves warm in relatively colder climate. What do you think? Anyway, for the "warm white" part, do you mean the colour of the light, or the halogen white bulbs accompanied with dissipated heat?I think the twofish blocklock flashlight holder is the velcro version of the flashlight holder as indicated in the link below, which I saw before when I was young.http://farm1.static.flickr.com/70/202396034_4a4cdc6422.jpgI believe the one shown in the photo is secure enough. Good choice on the flashlight holder btw. :)Anyway glad to hear that yours is one of the easiest to assemble the bike lights as compared to others. I'm looking forward to your pictorial and video tutorial on the edScope. That's provided the big corporations will not be going to ban your youtube video in the name of that so called "copyright infringement act" aka SOPA? Just kidding. =pOn a side note, I gather that the weather in Harlow is ranging between -1 degree Celsius and 4 degree Celsius, which  is one of the coldest period of the year? Take care of yourselves there, Ed and Vanes.

  6. Seems like the format posted is not exactly like the one that I wrote, hence looking quite distorted.

    Anyway, the website is http://farm1.static.flickr.com/70/202396034_4a4cdc6422.jpg

  7. Hey thanks for the reply. :)


  8. Good one....linking the energy costs per household to their use of Halogen lights.  I don't think that many are sticking to it because of the heat - as the cost for that might be better spent on direct heat from fan-heaters. 

    Whilst people are very progressive in the UK in quite a few significant arenas - unlike singapore - in technological aspects, amongst a few others, they are quite backward.  Hence, Halogens are more common than LEDs.  I've checked around in quite a few stores (Wilkinson, Tesco, Asda, BnQ (major DIY store), Maplin) and couldn't find LEDs - except for BnQ which had too small a selection.  I think an 'Ah Beng' store in Balestier would have a far better selection.  I think people might consider LEDs and white lights, but given that you can hardly find them, that might explain why people stick to 'warm white' - which is actually a dull yellow colour. Conspiracy theorists might suggest that this is a conspiracy to contribute to the dumbing down of the British population;)

    As for 'warm white' halogens at home.  I don't fancy getting stoned at home by such lighting.  It's bad for the eyes, tires you, and dumbs you down.  I could only get white lights from Amazon.co.uk.  Maybe i should start my own 'ah beng store' in Harlow selling such bulbs and 'teh siew tai'.

    Yes.  I've seen a few DIYers on the net using the 'holder' in the picture you provided - thanks for the pic.  I think it is actually used for plumbing or something.  The reason why i didn't opt for that holder is that it might scratch the handlebar, and aesthetically speaking, doesn't look all that nice.  You can get the 'two fish block lock' for $2.39usd from 'Dealextreme' - http://www.dealextreme.com/p/universal-adjustable-bicycle-mount-for-flashlights-2cm-4cm-diameter-31871 

    I'm quite ok now with 4ยบ weather.  I've cycled when it was about there quite a few times - 1 thin thermal top and soft jacket on top and two thin thermal tights.  The coldest is supposed to be now and next month.  But i'm not really feeling it given that i'm typing this out at on my macbook at my coffeeshop.  But thanks for the concern mate:)


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