Need a switch suggestion

Sparx_MacGyver

Registered Member
Hopefully I got the right part of the forum this time. Anywho, I need a switch for a prototype we're setting up. More as a test to see how well it works.

I'm thinking of something like this switch here. Would that suffice for running, say, 4 surface mount lights? It doesn't need to be fancy, since we'll set the pattern and just leave it as an on/off switch - unless you folks have a suggestion for one that is waterproof?
 

wilsonbr90

Wilson LED
what kind of switch? just a switch? like a toggle switch? very open ended question here
 

Jarred J.

Archive Expert
Silver Supporter
what is the application..
 
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Sparx_MacGyver

Registered Member
Sorry, I should have been more specific. I've been given a budget to build "patrol bikes" using bicycles. We're trying to build a mock-up of one to show the client who requested it, and I've got the luck be the one who puts it all together and makes it happen.

Supposedly we "need to have multiple lights, upwards of 12-16 per bike". For now, I'm just trying to get 4 mounted and working.
 

FEVER

Platinum Supporter
if you are going to need multiple switches and need it all to be waterproof honestly the Feniex Mini 4200 is probably your best bet
 

Jarred J.

Archive Expert
Silver Supporter
poor guys on the bikes.. all that extra weight.. sheesh
 
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Sparx_MacGyver

Registered Member
if you are going to need multiple switches and need it all to be waterproof honestly the Feniex Mini 4200 is probably your best bet
Thanks. It's going to be these kinds of lights: Surface Mount Light. The general problem I'm facing is power draw vs battery capacity. Or, that problem, but fitting it within the budget.

poor guys on the bikes.. all that extra weight.. sheesh
Yeah, I'm trying to cut it down some. The lights don't weigh much, but the more lights we have, the more heavy the battery with be (or batteries, as the case is looking to be).
 

Jarred J.

Archive Expert
Silver Supporter
might as well throw a small solar panel on LOL
 

FEVER

Platinum Supporter
using speed tech... what will burn up first? the battery or the lights? lol jk

Most of the led surface mounts draw less than half an amp. How long are they expecting to run these?
 

Smoked

Registered Member
Dude you might wanna check the specs it could be 12-16 LEDS rather than lightheads ,because 2 lightheads front and rear of say TIR 3 would be 12 LEDS, if its 12-16 lightheads you got bigger problems as your building a prototype Christmas tree and your budget is going to have a huge hole in it , so double check if that is LEDS or Lightheads , there are existing police package light and siren bicycle packages out there .and a friend of mine just upfit two "dirt bike" off road motor cycles for a department and used 2 F 2 R & 1 on either side . The whelen Micron is the smallest six diode light i know of ( there little fire breathers ) it also matters if they want like a dual color light because a dual color light has 12 LEDS 6 in each color , and for waterproof your only choices for switches is Feneix 4200 mini or the Whelen Harley Davidson 3 switch made to mount on HD handlebars (read king or Electra glide) STL makes lousy products and are not good about warranty, you are better off with a basic Feneix or strobes n more light , if you went STL trust me the client will be pissed when they turn into fish bowls or straight up fail , go with a better light the industry standard is 5 years warranty ,anything goes wrong they fix or replace . So find out the details of the request before you spend your money on garbage. It takes more than money to build a decent warning package ,it takes planning ,like where your going to mount and how your going to mount ,you might want to go to Whelen engineering website under catalogs and down load the Motorcycle systems catalog ( they are the only ones I know that have them ,other wise I would give you other sites ) they show what they have and the mounts they make to put lights on a motorcycle ( i won't lie I get there motorcycle mounts and use em on all kinds of applications ,never used them on any actual motorcycle.)
 
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Sparx_MacGyver

Registered Member
Dude you might wanna check the specs it could be 12-16 LEDS rather than lightheads ,because 2 lightheads front and rear of say TIR 3 would be 12 LEDS, if its 12-16 lightheads you got bigger problems as your building a prototype Christmas tree and your budget is going to have a huge hole in it , so double check if that is LEDS or Lightheads , there are existing police package light and siren bicycle packages out there .
The specs I was given is "12-16 lightheads, of which half shall be green, half shall be amber. All should be powered via a rechargeable battery." The rest of it doesn't have anything to do with the light heads aspect (hi-vis vest, helmet, bright flashlight, rear cargo rack and a trunk bag). Actually, the last two do apply here, as the batteries can be strpped in there and the lights can be mounted to the rack.

I've seen the bike package, even in the required amber/green, but the bosses aren't willing to drop that kind of money on it. At least not as a mock-up/prototype that the client may not actually want after we set it up. It wouldn't be the first time, probably wouldn't be the last, I'm sure.

and a friend of mine just upfit two "dirt bike" off road motor cycles for a department and used 2 F 2 R & 1 on either side . The whelen Micron is the smallest six diode light i know of ( there little fire breathers ) it also matters if they want like a dual color light because a dual color light has 12 LEDS 6 in each color ,
Really? I assumed i could get away with like a 4 led single light head of green/amber, so two leds per color.

and for waterproof your only choices for switches is Feneix 4200 mini or the Whelen Harley Davidson 3 switch made to mount on HD handlebars (read king or Electra glide)
This was my idea, as I assumed the lights would be water proof, and OK if they get caught in the rain. I wanted a switch that would OK as well. Water resistant is fine, too. I don't expect anyone to ride in pouring rain, but wanted the controls to be OK until the riders could get to one of the 3 areas where the bikes would stored at when not in use. If we're gonna buy and install the parts, I'd rather not be replacing them every time it rains, or more likely, gets wet from the sprinklers.

STL makes lousy products and are not good about warranty, you are better off with a basic Feneix or strobes n more light , if you went STL trust me the client will be pissed when they turn into fish bowls or straight up fail , go with a better light the industry standard is 5 years warranty ,anything goes wrong they fix or replace . So find out the details of the request before you spend your money on garbage. It takes more than money to build a decent warning package ,it takes planning ,like where your going to mount and how your going to mount ,you might want to go to Whelen engineering website under catalogs and down load the Motorcycle systems catalog ( they are the only ones I know that have them ,other wise I would give you other sites ) they show what they have and the mounts they make to put lights on a motorcycle ( i won't lie I get there motorcycle mounts and use em on all kinds of applications ,never used them on any actual motorcycle.)
I've gathered that STL isn't a well liked around here, and fair enough if they aren't quality equipment. I appreciate that kinda stuff pointed out. Downloaded the catalog, I see what you mean about mounting options.
 
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Sparx_MacGyver

Registered Member
might as well throw a small solar panel on LOL
if we go this route, why not toss on a wind generator, too? haha

using speed tech... what will burn up first? the battery or the lights? lol jk

Most of the led surface mounts draw less than half an amp. How long are they expecting to run these?
I don't really know who picked them, that's just from the email from my Regional Manager. I can post the full specs of what the email says we're supposed to do, if that will make all of this easier. I'd imagine a motorcycle of some sort would make this easier than a bicycle with them running off a battery.

12 to 16 STL on a bike???
Shhnikey!!
I've gathered the bike might spontaneously combust just looking at it with STL lights installed.
 
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Sparx_MacGyver

Registered Member
@FEVER I just noticed I didn't answer your question. About 4 hours, ball park figure. The bikes are to be used 4 hours day and 4 hours night, but they only want the lights on at night.
 

Smoked

Registered Member
If you Re going to be doing red/ amber you can get trio light for some red/amber/with white override for illumination I know sound Off makes on and there are like 2 others that you special order but a trio production light in those colors Sound off would be your choice , you could call Erik a at Tri state PSE IN Ohio he deals alot in those colors and the knockoff import stuff ,I wanna say axistech milky make a knock off , even if you did two of each F,R that would give you both your colors plus illumination , they rest could easily be single color stl type modules ,there are companies that make batteries that fit in water bottle cages , as well as magic ship that makes batteries you can strap to the frame .

All is not lost ,if the customer doesnt buy it ,if you were to buy 2 or 4 decent trios for all colors , there are communities on Facebook that people are always looking for red/amber/ white to outfitters vehicles for security , so any decent lights you buy you can flip and resell to recoup some of the money ? ( i havent seen a big security guard element here but you can try here as well) .
 

EMT-BLS

Member
I'm going to echo and clarify some points mentioned already...12-16 lightheads is a EXTREMELY overload for a bike set up. Assuming 2 per side, you're looking at a realistic max of 8 lightheads. Additionally, if you have the option to choose, please don't use STL. With very few exceptions, their products are trash, and the warranty is hit-or-miss. If they have the money to spend on 12-16 modules, re-do the build with higher quality, lower quantity.
 

emtpals

Junior Member
I would eco what the other members wrote above. I operated one of our Rescue Squad Bicycles with a full response package (mostly used for parades and summer events). We had a very effective package on the bikes, and they were divided into two areas with two different batteries.

1) Standard lighting- rechargeable battery that went to a head light mounted on the handlebars with high and low beam, and a flashing/steady burn tail light mounted to a rack behind the seat.

2) Emergency lights/Siren- Had its own rechargeable battery (not sure of run time, but always lasted us an 8 hour shift with moderate responses). 20-40 watt siren (I can't remember off hand and will ask next time I'm in), 1 Red/Blue dual head light on the handlebars with wide angle lenses, and 3 dual head lights on the back rack behind the seat. One facing rear, and the other two facing either side. The rack itself contained bags that could either fold up to a very compact size, or expand out to carry our trauma bags, AED's, and O2 supplies.

With these 4 dual head lights, we were able to clear traffic effectively in town and at events. At night I wish we could dim the rear lights down, as they were almost too bright, especially once we were dismounted.
 

Smoked

Registered Member
For siren it was probably a 30 watt Whelen has current model WSSC30 or WSSCPA30 (Adds pa function ) but its been around as different models for years , i rode an EMS 3 wheeler back in the day ( yup i said 3 , they were state of the art back then, now there outlawed to history),recently Feniex came out with the Titan ,it's $10 bucks cheaper , for $10 bucks i am those are it unless you get you get one of the going with the industry leader and not a copy cat .product. In decent full function sirens
With less than 100 watts unless you get one of the junky Piezo electric things ,they sound like bad bug zappers to me .
 
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Sparx_MacGyver

Registered Member
If you Re going to be doing red/ amber you can get trio light for some red/amber/with white override for illumination I know sound Off makes on and there are like 2 others that you special order but a trio production light in those colors Sound off would be your choice , you could call Erik a at Tri state PSE IN Ohio he deals alot in those colors and the knockoff import stuff ,I wanna say axistech milky make a knock off , even if you did two of each F,R that would give you both your colors plus illumination , they rest could easily be single color stl type modules ,there are companies that make batteries that fit in water bottle cages , as well as magic ship that makes batteries you can strap to the frame .

All is not lost ,if the customer doesnt buy it ,if you were to buy 2 or 4 decent trios for all colors , there are communities on Facebook that people are always looking for red/amber/ white to outfitters vehicles for security , so any decent lights you buy you can flip and resell to recoup some of the money ? ( i havent seen a big security guard element here but you can try here as well) .
I'll keep this in mind if we go this route. If nothing else, I figure the light heads can be re-purposed to one or two of our fleet vehicles on construction sites.

I'm going to echo and clarify some points mentioned already...12-16 lightheads is a EXTREMELY overload for a bike set up. Assuming 2 per side, you're looking at a realistic max of 8 lightheads. Additionally, if you have the option to choose, please don't use STL. With very few exceptions, their products are trash, and the warranty is hit-or-miss. If they have the money to spend on 12-16 modules, re-do the build with higher quality, lower quantity.
I've assumed the client simply wanted us to be ultra visible. Right now, I'm just focusing on getting a max of 4 lights going, with the total package of head/tail light, vest, etc. If they need more lighting than 4 lightheads plus head/tail light, then we can discuss from there. I am going to get different lights. Given what you folks have said, STL seems to be on the same level as those $30 grill lights from ebay - the ones where you get like 8 light heads plus a cheap controller. I'll steer clear.

I would eco what the other members wrote above. I operated one of our Rescue Squad Bicycles with a full response package (mostly used for parades and summer events). We had a very effective package on the bikes, and they were divided into two areas with two different batteries.

1) Standard lighting- rechargeable battery that went to a head light mounted on the handlebars with high and low beam, and a flashing/steady burn tail light mounted to a rack behind the seat.

2) Emergency lights/Siren- Had its own rechargeable battery (not sure of run time, but always lasted us an 8 hour shift with moderate responses). 20-40 watt siren (I can't remember off hand and will ask next time I'm in), 1 Red/Blue dual head light on the handlebars with wide angle lenses, and 3 dual head lights on the back rack behind the seat. One facing rear, and the other two facing either side. The rack itself contained bags that could either fold up to a very compact size, or expand out to carry our trauma bags, AED's, and O2 supplies.

With these 4 dual head lights, we were able to clear traffic effectively in town and at events. At night I wish we could dim the rear lights down, as they were almost too bright, especially once we were dismounted.
I think we can ignore the siren, as this is more for HOA parking enforcement, but it sounds like the overall lighting package is what we're shooting for right now. Would you be able to obtain any other info about the setup?

For our rack bag, I assumed to be putting the battery (or batteries, as the case may be) in there, and holding some citation books, and a few odd ends (tire kit, spare tube, pump, etc. maybe a first aid kit).

For siren it was probably a 30 watt Whelen has current model WSSC30 or WSSCPA30 (Adds pa function ) but its been around as different models for years , i rode an EMS 3 wheeler back in the day ( yup i said 3 , they were state of the art back then, now there outlawed to history),recently Feniex came out with the Titan ,it's $10 bucks cheaper , for $10 bucks i am those are it unless you get you get one of the going with the industry leader and not a copy cat .product. In decent full function sirens
With less than 100 watts unless you get one of the junky Piezo electric things ,they sound like bad bug zappers to me .
I don't think we need a siren. I really don't need these guys going code 3 on me, or giving them a loud speaker. I know they would do something that would cause me no end of grief. But that's cool to know, thanks.
 
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Sparx_MacGyver

Registered Member
So, this weekend, I sat down the RM (regional manager) and we hammered out what the client wants in this setup. I brought up several points you've all made regarding this, and here is the new way he wants to do it.

STL is off the table. We discussed the issues you've pointed out and found a few others. While browsing, we found an alternative that seemed like it would suffice (including possibly up-fitting our fleet vehicles as well), with Lamphus , which altogether seemed like it might work OK. But, taking what you folks said regarding warranties and quality into mind, we kept looking and kept it as a back burner option if nothing else fit the budget. As a small bonus, their location is only about 25 minutes from where I live.

Then we found Strobes N' More and interestingly, they seem to have a light that combines Linear/TIR into one. The price is more than what I'd like, but there is a 5 year warranty, and while there is no amber/green right now (or green at all) they did say they were adding them soon.

I have no affiliation with either, just what I see from the websites, respectively. A final observation is that Lamphus looks like a possible clone/knock off Strobes N' More, but I'm probably wrong. Just very similar looks.

Just wanted to update.
 

Smoked

Registered Member
Lamphus I'd generaly an Amazon quality light,, like X sprite, Wolo in daylight a Zippo is brighter at night they work , but lamphus has major QC issues you can buy two of the same item connect them and one will burn up the other will work for a year or two ,no rhyme or reason other than QC . Something we didnt go into on intial post for a "budget build" luis has some great products and unlike an amazon build he can fully support what he sells ,break a lens you can get it replaced ,burn up a flasher ,your lights become fishbowls (filled with water,not likely on bicycle but on cars its happened) public service agencies and fleets usually maintain a shelf with lenses lightheads etc in reserve ,so nothing has to be removed from service due to non routine maintenance , honestly the lowest cost products that are ordinarily reccomended are Feneix or Strobes n more both companies are bringing out an enhanced line of green and amber products ,amber has always been around but green for security patrols has become a big thing, so companies are ramping up production because there is a want need for green products.
 

emtpals

Junior Member
I can certainly check back when I get back from vacation in a week. I would highly recommend mounting the battery for the lights just below the main cross bar between the seat and handlebars. This leads for the best balance and shortest wiring run.
 

BigWil

Veteran
I'd seriously consider using Sound Off Signal Intersectors for that project. They are available in amber/green, and have 180 degree visibility. They are expensive, but mount one on the front, one on the back, and have full 360 coverage. If you want to go fancy, get one in amber/green/white for the front, and one in amber/green/red for the tail, and use them as the bicycle lights. 2 light heads, everything is covered, so power draw is reasonable.
 
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Sparx_MacGyver

Registered Member
OK folks. I thought I'd come update you on this project. After many emails and a few in persons chats about this, I've been informed we have a winner! The parts should have been ordered today and I'm to go ahead with the install. The winning choice: Speedtech Lights!

Apparently, somebody in management doesn't want to wait to either, a) give us more funding for higher quality, and/or b) doesn't want to wait for SnM to have green. o_O

Oh well. I'm not the guy who makes the decisions with company money. But, for my personal use, SnM looks to fit my wants/needs.
 

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