So, at the time the new commercial LED lights were still darn expensive...$250.00 or so...so I built my own set of bar/helmet at a cost of $130.00 all in. Yes, they were not as slick as the store bought ones, but they were bright and simple with a high/low bar mount that put out 400 lumens on high and maybe 30% of that on low...good for climbing...and a helmet light that was a one-button clicky 200 lumens deal. Both were built from those little 5 dollar flashlights you see on the counter at the auto parts store, gutted, and then stuffed with high power LEDs, drivers, and wires. The batt pack was 10 AA rechargeable cells.
But LED technology has moved on fast and even the batteries have taken huge leaps in size and capacity. So the new lights will be at least twice as many lumens and will be half the weight. The new Cree XML LEDs are more efficient (less Vf) AND put out more lumens per mA then the ones of a year ago. The batts will be half the size and just as powerful. Sweet.
So why should I build? Well, it kinda is like building your own bike from parts rather than buying it whole. You typically spend more in a custom build unless you really get some bro-buddy or eBay deals/steals. I get this light to be just the way I want it within my own limits of construction, at least. No lathes or mills in my garage, so I am using square alu tubing and scrap I had around the garage. Some work with a cut off saw and file, JB weld, some Lexan from the scrap pile, and wire scavenged from work from the toss-it bin, then add in some store bought components and hopefully I will be in the light zone with a new torch set that I made for myself.
And really, that is the real issue here. I made it myself and for some reason, that appeals to me, even if it does not make practical sense.
Now, if I only would get an answer to that ad on Craig's List for a laboratory assistant. I thought folks were looking for work?
Wanted: Laboratory assistant needed for a local Mad Scientist. No prior experience needed, but must be shorter than I am and have the inability to look me in the eye when I speak to him. Groveling may be required. Hunchback optional, but is a plus as is being bi-lingual in Hungarian.
Apply here with qualifications and any references. Address reply to 'Master'.