After much debate and discussion I built my first set of bike lights (The AMPPuller 2000 ).

The decision to build rather than buy, was due to my need for a 'really good beam' to get me home during winter commutes (see the 70kph story) from North Ryde to Palm Beach. Commercial sets didn't seem to offer either enough light or sufficient power at a price point I could afford. Hence my choice to brew my own set.

My components criteria was based on price, parts availablilty, and the need for apporx 2hr of light to get me home after work, including several secions of highspeed unlit road sections, where I compete with cars for road space, and am travelling fast enough that I need to see "a log way" in front of me, often through the glare of on-comming cars on high beam.

To this end I have opted for a 12v system powering one of two Halogen globes. (20W 36 degree and a 50W 12 degree spot). A 7Ah 12v SLA battery mounted on a sturdy rack and power and selection switches housed up front, and wired so that only one globe shall be lit at any time.

The results have spoken for themselves. Over the past winter, these lights have served me well, not only on my commute but on numerouse night trail adventures as well. Touch wood, I have had no problems with the setup what-so-ever to date !.

The Pros for this systems are:

Costs (Approx).
7Ah 12V SLA battery $40Dick Smith Electronics
charger $30Jaycar
lamp housings $14 eaBunnings
globes $6 eaBunnings
switches and mounting hardware $10Dick Smith Electronics
bike rack $20Big W
total approx $140 ....
This may seem expensive compared to comercial systems, but take note!
I have 50W of lighting... not some wimpy combination of 5W, 12W or 15W !!!
I also need (read, demand) a minimum of 2hrs. (It takes me about 1:45 to get home)

Cons ...

Battery and Rack


As mentioned before, I have had absolutley 0, none, Zip, zero, nada, failurs with my system to date. I put this down to : One thing to watch out for though is that the housings are not desgned for vibration or knocks. In normal (houshold) use, the globe is held in place by a spring clip. For use on the bike however, I drilled a small hole in each corner of the face, and screwed a 'locking' washer in place with a small self tapping screw. The locking washers are just normal washers, which I bent the rim over to keep the spring clip in place. These work a treat !
Another hint.
All the systems I've seen where joins have been made using solder, have failed at some point. For my system I adopted using fairly heavy duty cabling (after all I am pumping 5A) and good solid crimp type connectors wherever possible. The only solder joints in the system are to the switches themselves. (This will be remedied with suitable spade sockets soon).


After running these lights for a while now, I am considering a MkII version. Pretty much the same with following major changes. Stay tuned for the MkII version !
Who needs a MkII version !!!
Nearing the end of 2005 and the MkI is still going strong ...
I have however, done away with the rack, and simply ride now with the battery in my backpack.