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Author Topic: Retro Red Inspection Light  (Read 3627 times)

Offline BlueBee

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Retro Red Inspection Light
« on: April 25, 2011, 10:39:42 PM »
In case anybody wants to inspect their bees at night, here’s one way to make a light that the bees can’t see.  We’re told that bees don’t see well down in the red spectrum and red LEDs are a great way to make pure red light.  Unfortunately red LED flashlights are not all that common.

My solution was to find a nice white LED flashlight that I liked and then retro fit it with red LEDs to turn it from a white flash light to a red one.  I used a harbor freight flashlight in this case. 



For more photos of the retro work, see my photos here.

http://s1082.photobucket.com/albums/j365/MichiganBee/Red%20LED%20flashlight/

My purpose for this light actually isn’t for honeybees.  I’m going to use it to watch some bumble bees.  My bumble bees pay no attention to red light so I’m guessing they don’t see red either.  It’s kind of strange looking in on the bumbles and them not having any clue you’re watching.

Offline jmblakeney

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Re: Retro Red Inspection Light
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2011, 11:11:29 PM »
Very nice,  where did you get your replacement LED'S?

James
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Offline BlueBee

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Re: Retro Red Inspection Light
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2011, 11:52:20 PM »
I was in a bind since I just caught my BB queens yesterday and they don’t take kindly to white light.  So I used whatever red LEDs I could find in my parts drawer.  That Harbor Freight light holds 24 LEDs.  I happened to have about 30 old so called ‘blinding output’ T 1 ¾ LEDs from the electronic goldmine.  I ended up using them.  They didn’t have a MCD rating, but my guess is they output 500 to 1000 mcd.  Anything low cost that is 1000mcd or better will give you a lot of light. 

Here’s some LEDs that sound similar to the old ones I used:
http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G13713
The Goldmine has plenty of others that would work too.  They are a electronics surplus type of store.

If you want to buy LEDs with precisely known specifications, then I would go with Digikey.com


Offline bud1

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Re: Retro Red Inspection Light
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2011, 07:50:36 AM »
a coupla buddies and i use a headlite from walmart that has the red leads and a good white lite for other stuff; it is always in my truck
to bee or not to bee

Offline Haddon

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Re: Retro Red Inspection Light
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2011, 06:14:10 PM »
I like it but how often do you check on the hives at night and what do you check on.

Reason I ask is I am always time constrained.
I might need to get my blood light out for the hives.

Offline JP

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Re: Retro Red Inspection Light
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2011, 01:22:43 AM »
I often check hives and shake bees at night. I recently purchased a baseball cap light from Academy Sports that is just perfect for night time inspections, shakes, cut outs & of course its a red light.

If your red light is too bright, bees will go to it albeit not of course as many with any white light.


...JP
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Offline hankdog1

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Re: Retro Red Inspection Light
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2011, 08:34:15 AM »
Works great if you can stand the bees crawling up your pants etc.  They may not fly with a red light but they sure can crawl.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2011, 06:37:19 PM by hankdog1 »
Take me to the land of milk and honey!!!

Offline JP

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Offline BlueBee

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Re: Retro Red Inspection Light
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2011, 11:23:12 PM »
I was at a local department store tonight and happened to see they had some cap lights like JP had mentioned.  This store only carried the Energizer brand and I decided to pick one up for biking and general use.  It looks like a lot of cap lights and head lights DO have red LEDs built into them too.  Learn something new every day….  

For grins I decided to compare the light output of the Energizer to my modified HF red LED flashlight.  Here is the result:



I did put new batteries in my modified HF unit and those red LEDs are sure bright now!  I don’t inspect honey bees at night and that wasn’t my real purpose for buying the Energizer cap light.  However the cap unit looks bright enough to me to inspect bees if you wanted to.  

As a general purpose white cap light, I am very pleased with this Energizer unit.  It puts out a LOT of white light when switched to that mode of operation.  The white light from the 3 white LEDs on the Energizer unit is MUCH brighter than the total white light from the 24 LEDs in the Harbor freight unit.  When dealing with LEDs it comes down to the quality vs quantity in most cases.  The other thing I liked about the Energizer unit; it runs off 2 AAA batteries.    

Offline ORoedel

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Re: Retro Red Inspection Light
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2012, 06:43:46 AM »
You saved my (bees) live!
Cause of the african bees i would like to work at night with my european bees. The only way don´t suffer robbery and invasion, which means loss the queen!
I bought a yellow lamp (insect light) but now i read you topic it's true, must be red!

Know i will work in peace at night with my bees! That's great!

Offline Intheswamp

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Re: Retro Red Inspection Light
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2012, 09:27:52 AM »
In a pinch a layer or two of a clear red cellophane/plastic over the lens of a white flashlight will work, also.

Ed
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Offline BlueBee

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Re: Retro Red Inspection Light
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2012, 07:38:23 PM »
The advantage of using Red LEDs is the light generated by them is a very narrow bandwidth of pure red light (photons).  If you put a “red lens” over a white light source, the odds are there will be parts of the white light spectrum that get through the filter that is not truly red light (photons) .



Interestingly the native silk moths of the Eastern US seem to see pretty well in red light.  I’ve had them dive bomb my head before when wearing my red LED cap light at night.  Wax moths also seem to be able to see Red light.

Offline GoodWeather

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Re: Retro Red Inspection Light
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2012, 11:41:47 PM »
I used the energizer on red light to swap out feeders at night just because I was working all day and what not. Depending on the time of the season and the hive the bees would stick to me in different degrees. Is there a solution to getting the bees off of you when that situation occurs? I would go to my deck lights and the bees would fly to them sometimes or use a bee brush but I was wondering if there is an oldschool beekeeping trick to getting night bees off of oneself. I tend to shy away from doing things at night unless I have to but even as the sunsets sometimes this can come up.  Good Weather

Offline BlueBee

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Re: Retro Red Inspection Light
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2012, 02:00:54 AM »
Usually they fly off me when I go back into the lighted house, but not always.  Had one hitchhiker sting me on my big toe as I was trying to go to sleep one night.  Anymore I don’t inspect big hives at night.  If needed, I’ll take a peak in a nuc, but the big hives have to wait until daylight. 

Don’t know of any good tricks myself to avoid crawling bees.  Good question.

Offline nietssemaj

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Re: Retro Red Inspection Light
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2012, 02:42:19 PM »
How about a very powerful fan? Or would that just make them cling harder?

Offline Diana A

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Re: Retro Red Inspection Light
« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2013, 05:33:21 PM »
In a pinch a layer or two of a clear red cellophane/plastic over the lens of a white flashlight will work, also.

Ed

Yes it works in many ways.

Offline Better.to.Bee.than.not

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Re: Retro Red Inspection Light
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2013, 07:39:48 PM »
luxeon star makes a 5 watt led that is about as bright as it gets.


http://www.luxeonstar.com/default.asp