$2 Adjustable Fork-mounted Supplementary Bike Lights





Introduction: $2 Adjustable Fork-mounted Supplementary Bike Lights

About: I'm a husband and a father and I make stuff.

I was looking for an inexpensive way to add supplementary lighting to the dynamo powered headlight on my new bike. After a very dark ride down the local Multi-use Path I knew I needed to add some more lights but I didn't want to clutter the handlebars with heavy and often expensive bicycle specific lights. The solution I came up with uses LED clip lights from the Dollar Tree and some stuff that you probably have laying around the house already.

I know there are already LOTS of home made bike lights on Instructables but this one is a little different. If nothing else, a light like this could add a certain 'bling' factor to your ride.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

For this project you'll need:

1 or more Dollar Tree 'LED Clip-On Spot Lights
Old bicycle innertube
2 zip ties per light

Nipper Pliers (or Dremel w/ rotary cutter)
Lighter (optional)

Step 2: Make It

We'll start by taking the clip section of the light appart.

You'll find that the pin holding both halves of the clip together can be pushed or pulled out by hand and you will have 5 parts:
1)The light
2)The socket half of the clip
3)The spring
4)The pin
5)The other half of the clip

you can discard #3-5 becasue they are not needed for the rest of the project.

Next we need to use the nippers or dremel tool to remove the plastic tabs that held the pin from the back of the socket half of the clip. When you are finnished clipping or cutting away at the tabs they should be basically flush with the plastic backing.

I used a lighter to lightly melt the plastic where i had been nipping to smooth over any rough or sharp edges left by this crude cutting technique.

Step 3: Protect Your Paint

The light could be mounted as-is from step 2 but I just paid a lot of money for a shiny new bike and I don't want that rough plastic rubbing up on my paint like Michael Jackson at a cub scout meeting.

To prevent paint dammage I cut sections of an old bike innertube to make a gasket between the light and the paint job. I cut mine to size because I was able to use an existing screw to mount my light but if you will be using zip ties (that would be 99% of you) I recomend using a bigger rectangle of innertube wrapped completely around the fork leg.

Finally, wrap the zip ties around the mounting bracket, rubber gasket, and fork leg and make sure you tighten them down pretty good. Trim off the tail of the zip tie. Pop in the lights and use the ball joint to adjust them to shine wherever you want. I think it would be cool to mount 3-4 pairs of these up both sides of the fork.

Step 4: Show Off!

Find someplace to go show off your sweet new lights. Bling-tastic!



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    The only shortcoming I see here is their fragility. They are going to get knocked-off. This fact has the advantage of preserving the fork thread insert from being pulled out. However a practical light at this location would have to not stick out so far, have a low profile and be shaped so as to glance-off harmlessly during any impacts.

    This is cool Ryan. I didn't know you used a Dynamo. Are these supplementary lights dynamo or battery powered? Also be sure to check out my Dynamo Light project.

    LOVE this idea. I am going to get a couple and put a red cellophane or other plastic filter on them and use them as rear lights to go on the rear uprights of my xtracycle... yay!

    Only ONE thing I could add to this Instructable... Pop the lights out of the black "cups" and drill small holes into the side of the sockets for set screws... (I ride on some rough roads sometimes). I was mulling around today and saw these lights at Family Dollar (a dollar each - JUST like you said)! They look great, but I wish I had the same screws in the forks you do! :( Great idea though - they look sharp! Thanks!

    1 reply

    If you figure out a different/better mounting method get some pics and I'll gladly post them here and give you credit. Good luck and happy pedaling.

    u should use this with the Magnetic Induction Bike Lights (Mod) for ovious reasands

    Dollars stores are a fantastic source for cheap flashlights. The one close to me has 1W flashlights for a dollar, battery included!

    3 replies

    Maybe so, but you can be sure that the battery is a cheap brand that no has ever heard of, and it wont last long.

    Well, it was a AA battery in this case, which are dirt cheap. It's the emitter that I was really after.

    true, true...

    I got some of these little lights. One thing may I suggest is once you have your lights installed on your bike put a dab of SUPERGLUE on the ball part of the light to stop them coming off I have already LOST two on my lights (maybe going over bumps?). Tom

    The dynamo hub came on this bicycle from the factory. I believe Harric Cyclery (you can find them via Google) ships dynamo hubs or any local bike shop should be able to get one for you.

    hey, that looks like an interesting bike; what'd you be riding there?

    1 reply

    The bike is my 2008 Raleigh Detour Deluxe. The Cadillac of Greenway bicycles.


    i had some clip on lights just like the ones above. the only problem i had with was : 1- the batteries were very expensive to replace and 2- if the light were to get a good shock (like dropping it or hitting something) the thing would pop out of the socket/and fall to the floor/road

    I made a bikelight using a $10 Maglite flashlight from this site and mounted it to the handlebars. I bought a cyclometer and had no place to mount it. If I remove the light and mont it to the fork, it solves my problem.

    1 reply

    the fork can be a great place to mount all sorts of gadgets but remember that if you crash, the fork and anything strapped to it will in all likelihood hit the pavement. These lights are $1 a piece so if i destroy them in a crash it is not a big deal to replace them. just something to think about. Good luck, I'd love to see pictures if it works out for you. nedfunnel- I'm not sure how long the batteries will last, mine only have about 7 hours of run time on them so far. I'm going to investigate using the A123 cell battery trick i learned about here on instructables to get cheap replacement batteries.

    How long do those little button cells last? Are you planning to mod them to run from the dynamo?