Instructables

$2 Adjustable Fork-mounted Supplementary Bike Lights

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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.
 
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Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools
C:\Documents and Settings\rcooper\Desktop\bike light\E LightAssembled.JPG
C:\Documents and Settings\rcooper\Desktop\bike light\B LightPackage.JPG
For this project you'll need:

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

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

Step 2: Make it

Picture of Make it
C:\Documents and Settings\rcooper\Desktop\bike light\E LightAssembled.JPG
C:\Documents and Settings\rcooper\Desktop\bike light\H SocketHalf.JPG
C:\Documents and Settings\rcooper\Desktop\bike light\F PullPin.JPG
C:\Documents and Settings\rcooper\Desktop\bike light\I AfterNippers.JPG
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.
sgomes33 years ago
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.
Cheers,
Sonnet.
jet_ski4 years ago
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!
Handsome-Ryan (author)  theguyfromplt5 years ago
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
jeff-o6 years ago
Dollars stores are a fantastic source for cheap flashlights. The one close to me has 1W flashlights for a dollar, battery included!
Notbob jeff-o6 years ago
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.
jeff-o Notbob6 years ago
Well, it was a AA battery in this case, which are dirt cheap. It's the emitter that I was really after.
Notbob jeff-o6 years ago
true, true...
TopCatTC6 years ago
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
thepaul936 years ago
where do you get the dynamos
Handsome-Ryan (author)  thepaul936 years ago
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.
ok, thanks
Nkevin906 years ago
hey, that looks like an interesting bike; what'd you be riding there?
Handsome-Ryan (author)  Nkevin906 years ago
The bike is my 2008 Raleigh Detour Deluxe. The Cadillac of Greenway bicycles.

Details.
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
Phoghat7 years ago
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.
Handsome-Ryan (author)  Phoghat7 years ago
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.
nedfunnell7 years ago
How long do those little button cells last? Are you planning to mod them to run from the dynamo?
ve2vfd7 years ago
Nice addition! Are those tiny lights bright enough to light your way?
Handsome-Ryan (author)  ve2vfd7 years ago
Unfortunately they are not suitable for use as a primary light source. I call them "supplementary" lights because they would be great in addition to other lights but lacking as a lone source of light on a dark road or trail. You could use them for dusk/dawn riding where the purpose of a headlight is being seen more-so than being able to see. I like them because they light the trail right in front of me while the headlight is adjusted to see further up the trail. They also look ridiculously cool. The LED's really do give that blue/purple light like high end car headlights.