Introduction: Bicycle Brake Lights

Highly visible to others when brakes are applied.



TimothyA16 (author)2016-04-08

see: Sigma $10 auto bicycle brake led

It's daytime bright, keeps hands on bars, light weight, cheap and keeps you from being run over in a race or trail ride. Works good for peripheral vision while sight seeing when riding. Blinking it & stop lights caution car drivers to watch and slow down for you. Last ~ 2-3 months: every day commuter, and ~ 1 year casual rural rider.

elwhaferry (author)2015-10-15

What type of wiring did you use?

bobcat1947 (author)elwhaferry2015-11-17

Hey, sorry I did not see your question before now. The wiring i used was actually some leftover telephone wire that had four elements to it. I realize it would've been much more helpful if I had done a tutorial, whereby each step was made clear. I was flying by the seat of my pants, and didn't think of making a post to instructor bowls until after the project was done. Thanks again.

deeppu (author)2014-09-18

Hey, which type of switch you use? can tell me the name and type of that switch ?

Anurupjalota (author)deeppu2014-11-15

Momentary switch

U can Google it.

bobcat1947 (author)deeppu2014-09-19

Deeppu, it's a 'push on' type, bought at Radio Shack. Here's a close-up of an extra switch I have of the same type. Double click on the image and you'll be able to see the numbers on the body of the switch. Let me know if this helps.

cameron.mccormick.923 (author)2014-10-20

That is genuinely the best idea for bicycle lights I have seen here so far! But add indicators too and you have one great piece of kit!

Thanks, Cameron. I'm still enjoying the setup, and at one time I entertained the thought of turn signals but decided it was not for me. Flashing lights could be good, but I never was able to locate one inexpensive enough for my taste. Tried using a old style car flasher but it dragged the batteries down too quickly.

mjupiter1 (author)2013-10-26

dont know if this has been said. but you can easily run those lights off a 9v battery. i've done this with multiple strands of the same led strips. this way your battery pack will be tiny. plus you can buy rechargable 9vs now.

bobcat1947 (author)mjupiter12014-09-19

Thanks for the heads up on using a 9V. When I first saw your suggestion, my mind couldn't go to those small 9V, like for a smoke detector, but I'm ready to try that; and you're right, they have rechargeables now. Thank you again.

mjupiter1 (author)bobcat19472014-09-19

I've upgraded to 9.6v rc batteries now.

Adambowker98 (author)2012-06-23

Howe long does it last on your wife's bike, without brake activation?

bobcat1947 (author)Adambowker982012-06-23

I think it would be safe to say "hours". Although we have since upgraded her bike to a newer model,, and she didn't want any extraneous stuff on her new one yet, the old one was very dependable. Since we're old guys, we'er not out at night a lot. The most I had the old setup turned on (her bike) was probably 30 to 40 minutes; but even without re-charging, it was good to go for 2 more times as I recall. What DID drain the batteries, on my ride, was the installation of a mechanical type 3-prong flasher for cars. This was before I put in the brake switch, and just had static lights. I wanted them to flash. What would work better is a flasher just for LED's. One day I think I'll put one of those motorcycle types on it that flash 3 times real fast, then holds, when you apply the brakes.

Adambowker98 (author)bobcat19472012-06-23

Ok, thanks! And I've got one more question: how did you connect the two LED strips?

bobcat1947 (author)Adambowker982012-06-24

The strips were pre-wired with color coded red +, black -.
The brake switch is a push-on; you could run either the ground or the positive through the switch with the same result, singe the ground comes from the batteries, not the bike frame. In my case, I did positive. So one side goes into the switch from the positive battery terminal and the other side allows current out, and to the light strips, when the switch is depressed.

Adambowker98 (author)bobcat19472012-06-24

I already know how to wire them up with a switch and batteries, but what I don't know is how you used two different light strips.

bobcat1947 (author)Adambowker982012-06-24

I soldered the positive leads together (one from each light strip) and the negative leads together.

Adambowker98 (author)bobcat19472012-06-24

Ok thanks!

pussiedoctor (author)2012-01-09

I found the video very interesting, I was wondering how and where the switch was positioned. Very innovative idea using the reflector bracket to mount the switch. I am going to try and make one of these at the weekend. Keep up the good work.

bobcat1947 (author)pussiedoctor2012-01-09

hey doc,
I'm going to take some still shots and post them, in hopes it will clarify where the bracket is on the bike, and how the switch is positioned on the bracket. . Regarding the reflector bracket, I don't think all types would do. You'll see from the still pictures just what type of bracket I used. I hope to get the pics up tonight.

djzadjza (author)2011-11-11

this is SO cool. i love the idea. instead of a string of LEDs do you thing i could use an LED type glowstick?

bobcat1947 (author)djzadjza2011-11-12

Hey, djzadjza,
The glowsticks I've seen could probably be used, but I question whether they would be bright enough to be a real safety improvement.

djzadjza (author)bobcat19472011-11-13

Ok. I recently found an ible that makes a glowstick out of a hot glue stick and and an led in each end. Might that work instead of the commercial kind. :-)

mr.incredible (author)2011-11-06

That is brilliant. You could re-design it so that the lights are dim until the brakes come on. That would give better night time visibility. You could also create turn signals.

scoochmaroo (author)2011-11-06

Would love to see a tutorial on this, including where to get the parts and make the switch!

About This Instructable




Bio: Married, retired, kids, grandkids, like all kinds of music. Graduated Everett High School 1965, studied at Knoxville Business College, Tennessee College of Automation
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