Quote:
Originally Posted by Finfan
I've been pondering this idea myself and I think you will probably need a voltage regulator on the white wire to prevent overcharging and possibly a diode to keep the battery from feeding back into the magneto. Hopefully Norman will see this. He has done some work using the white wire to power a light. It might be easier to use a motorcycle battery to run a regular bicycle light system directly then just charge the battery at home periodically.

divide the dropped voltage by the LED current to get the value of the dropping resistor. If you divide volts by amps, you get the resistor value in ohms. If you divide volts by milliamps, you get the resistor value in kiloohms or k.
Example: 6 volt supply, 3.4 volt LED, 12 milliamps. Divide 2.6 by .012. This gives 217 ohms. The nearest standard resistor value is 220 ohms.
If you want to operate the 3.4 volt LED from a 6 volt power supply at the LED's "typical" current of 20 ma, then 2.6 divided by .02 yields a resistor value of 130 ohms. The next higher popular standard value is 150 ohms.
If you want to run a typical 3.4 volt LED from a 6 volt supply at its maximum rated current of 30 ma, then divide 2.6 by .03. This indicates 87 ohms. The next higher popular standard resistor value is 100 ohms. Please beware that I consider the 30 ma rating for 3.43.5 volt LEDs to be optimistic.
One more thing to do is to check the resistor wattage. Multiply the dropped voltage by the LED current to get the wattage being dissipated in the resistor. Example: 2.6 volts times .03 amp (30 milliamps) is .078 watt. For good reliability, I recommend not exceeding 60 percent of the wattage rating of the resistor. A 1/4 watt resistor can easily handle .078 watt. In case you need a more powerful resistor, there are 1/2 watt resistors widely available in the popular values.
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L.E.D Basics; gaining an understanding of how to work with L.E.D.s