Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Squirrel Burning Power

Recently I was discussing bike lighting with His Steamy Eminence, Jake von Slatt. He believed that the best bike light would be capable of scorching a squirrel at 20 yards, give or take. Now, granted, he bikes with significantly less wattage than that, but we here at Bostodelphia do not believe in half measures.

A fairly recent entry to the halogen lighting market is the IR reflecting MR16 bulb. Instead of radiating heat in all directions, it reflects the infrared light forward to further heat the filament, increasing efficiency. A 20w MR16 is about equivalent to a 35w MR16.

Therefore, we propose to use such a high efficiency bulb, while overvoltaging it to 14.4V instead of the usual 12V. According to the lumens/watt table from this page, if these are really equivalent to a 35w bulb a pair of IR reflecting 20w MR16 bulbs will deliver a total of 4575 lumens, at a power draw of 49.6 watts and a system cost in the $75 range with NiMH batteries. This may actually achieve the squirrel scorching capability that so excites Jake. The highest output LED bike light on the market, incidentally, is the Lupine Betty 12, at 1500 lumens for $1175.

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