Spanninga 36V front light for electric bicycles, suitable for use on eZeebikes, Wisper Bikes, eZeebike conversion kits and pretty much any 36V electric bike that has a fused 36V output. The output of this light is similar to a 1W LED battery powered front light except that this one will always be at full brightness thanks to the e-bike battery. If you want a very bright light, check out the L700, a 36V 700 lumen headlight by eZeebike.
Spanninga is a Dutch company that specialises in embedded lights for bicycle and e-bike applications. They have set the standard for lighting on e-bikes for many years and their inclusion on an e-bike is a mark of quality. Just another item that puts our electric bicycles in a class above others.
The eZeebikes use the front light with the switch on top of the unit. The Wisper bikes use the light sensor model instead of the switched unit. We're still not sure which is the better way to go but we're leaning towards the switched ones. Light sensitive is great because it means fewer switches and you don't have to remember to turn your lights on. However, there are some annoying little downsides:
- when we set up an e-bike we can't straight away test whether they are working, we have to cover the light and see if it turns on
- there has been some variability in the sensitivity of the lights with some coming on after dusk, which is no good
- you might want to have your lights on during the day and finally:
- you might want to turn your lights off a few hundred metres before arriving home or at work to attract less attention to your beautiful and enviable electric bicycles, lest temptation gets the better of your less mobile neighbours..
Ordering: This light comes on its own, without any wire because the eZeebike battery gauge comes with wire hanging out for the light. The rear light is ordered separately and it does come with wire because it is connected directly to the front light on eZeebikes..
Installing onto kits:
If you are installing onto an eZeebike kit, the light wires are coming out of the battery gauge. Cut them to a size that isn't so long it will get caught everywhere but isn't so short that turning the handlebar will strain the wires and cause them to wear. Then you can solder the wire onto the tabs on the light
Installing and fault-finding on eZeebikes:
On an eZeebike, the front light is powered by a pair of wires from the 36V inside the bettery gauge. The rear light is then powered by the front light via another pair of wires. For a short segment both pairs of wires are all together inside some heat shrink, for a total of 4 wires.
If your lights aren't working, you need to find out why before ordering this product. It's not necessarily the lights and is often the wiring. First verify that the power is working okay by riding the bike with the motor. All good - then turn the light switch on, which is on the side of the battery gauge. At this point the rear light should turn on. Then press the switch on the top of the front light, which should turn the front light on. If that didn't happen, then follow these steps:
- If the rear light turned on, but the front light did not, you need a few front light and should order and install this product.
- If the front light turned on and the rear did not, you need to check the voltage on the terminals of the rear light, while the front light is on. If it's at around 40V (battery voltage), then you need to order and install the rear light. If it is at 0V or something flickering around in the mV range, then you have a problem in the wiring between the front light and the rear light. Check that the wiring is connected to two the terminals on the rear light and to all four terminals on the front light. If there is nothing obvious going on, then the task has just become a lot more difficult and you probably want to get a dealer to look at it unless you enjoy soldering. You need to rip out all the wiring from the rear light to the front and replace it with new wiring.
- If neither light turned on then you either have a broken front light or a problem with the wiring between the battery gauge and the front light. Use a multimeter on the front light's terminals. If you read ~40V (battery voltage) and all wires are properly connected to the terminals then the front light is the problem and needs to be replaced. Which terminals? Just try all combinations. If you never read 40V then the problem is the wiring between the battery gauge and the front light. To fix that you need to replace the wiring. Exactly how you do that depends where the problem lies. Again, this is not an easy task, only proceed if you're enjoying yourself. Keep following these steps:
- Turn off the e-bike, remove cable ties and twirly cable wrapping between the battery gauge and the front light. Cut the light wires off near the battery gauge. Separate the two wires and strip them.
- Make sure the exposed conductors are not touching and then turn the e-bike back on. If you read ~40V on those wires with your multimeter with the light switch on, then that's good news. It means you only need to replace the wire from where you cut it down to somewhere close to the front light. Snip off the heat shrink covering the wires going to the front light and cut the wires off somewhere close to the front light. Not so close that you can't work on it easily but close enough so that it's unlikely that the problem was between where you choose to cut and the light itself. Now get another length of twin wire and strip it and temporarily connect between the two cuts. The lights are polarity sensitive. If, like most mortals, you didn't check which was going where, don't worry. Just try both ways and choose the one where the light turns on, you won't hurt anything by testing it that way. When you've got it temporarily connected and the lights are on, turn everything off and connect it properly with solder and then heat shrink. Note: if you are good with multimeters and testing continuity of wires and carefully cutting and stripping, then you don't need to cut off both wires in the pair. You can start with one and see if that is all that is needed and save yourself some soldering and heat shrinking.
- If, during the above step, you did not read battery voltage on the wires coming out of the battery gauge then curse us for selling you this bike. It means you have two choices. Replace the whole battery gauge or open up the battery gauge and keep investigating. If you've chosen the latter, the first thing to check is the continuity of the switch. If that's the problem then I'm sorry to say you're still going to have to change the battery gauge because I don't keep spares of that switch. If that's not the problem then see if the parts where the light wires are soldered to the PCB are receiving ~40V. There may be a soldering problem. If it's not obvious how to fix it, then you can replace the battery gauge. Another option of course, is to just use battery lights until someone can fix all of this for you.