Instructables
video Bicycle Brake Lights

Highly visible to others when brakes are applied.

 

mjupiter111 months ago
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)  mjupiter112 days ago

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.

I've upgraded to 9.6v rc batteries now.
deeppu12 days ago

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

bobcat1947 (author)  deeppu12 days ago

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.

IMG_2121.JPG
Howe long does it last on your wife's bike, without brake activation?
bobcat1947 (author)  Adambowker982 years ago
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.
Ok, thanks! And I've got one more question: how did you connect the two LED strips?
bobcat1947 (author)  Adambowker982 years ago
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.
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)  Adambowker982 years ago
I soldered the positive leads together (one from each light strip) and the negative leads together.
Ok thanks!
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)  pussiedoctor2 years ago
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.
djzadjza2 years ago
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)  djzadjza2 years ago
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.
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. :-)
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.
scoochmaroo2 years ago
Would love to see a tutorial on this, including where to get the parts and make the switch!