Here's a look at the lights in motion:
Here how it looks when using the bike:
Step 1: Investigate
LED Rope Light
4 3-Battery Holders
12 AAA Batteries
4 10 Ohm Resistors
Rubber Bands made from old bicycle tubes
Hot Glue Gun
Needle Nose Pliers
Step 2: A New Plan
At this point I was stuck and considered giving up. I slowly realized I had to rewire the whole thing to make it work with batteries. I thought about using a 9V or 2 AAA batteries, but decided on using 3 AAA batteries to power the rope. By using a battery pack on opposite sides of the wheel it should balance out.
I decided to place the LEDs in a parallel circuit without a resistor on each LED. It's generally good practice to place a resistor on each LED when used in parallel, but it would be just too much work soldering all those resistors. So instead I used one resistor on the whole thing. I'm not sure if using using only one defeats the purpose of having a resistor in the first place, but lets just go with it.
I used an online resistor calculator and entered 4.5V (3 x 1.5V) as the source voltage, 2.8V for the LED voltage, and 178 mA (13 LEDs x 13.7mA) for the total current. It recommended a 10 Ohm resistor.
To double check I use Ohm's Law which I remember as V.I.R. or Voltage = Current x Resistance. (Current is always an 'I', I don't know why.)
|So if I have:||V = I x R|
|Then:||R = V / I|
|Insert numbers:||R = (4.5V – 2.8V) / 0.178 A|
|and I get :||R = 9.5 Ohms|
Step 3: Strip
Once I removed the inner section I began cutting the insulation off every 2.5 in. Having the LEDs close together looks cool, but it's more work. Every 2.5 in. seemed good enough. Removing the insulation was harder than I expected. I used wire stripper, a razor blade, and needle nose pliers.
Step 4: Solder and Glue
I used hot glue to insulate and attach the wire to the battery pack. I also injected hot glue into the rope where the soldering was done to insulate the wire and help keep it all together.
Step 5: Finish
Once all four sections were complete, I weaved the rope into place, and wrapped the rubber band around a spoke to secure the batteries. It's turns out to be really easy to add and remove the lights.