If you own a bicycle repair shop and would like to diversify your portfolio of services then lighting may be an opportunity to do good business: this reused bike rim LED chandelier can be produced at low cost and quite quickly.

Material required:

 - An old bike wheel (absolute minimum: a rim and seven spokes)
 - A matching worn-out tire (new tires might smell)
 - An LED garland, either 230 V or battery powered (the LEDs should fit into the spoke openings)

The LEDs in the chandelier design highlight the regular pattern of the spokes in a wheel, resulting in a circle of lights. At least three spoke-openings are used to suspend the rim with a hanger from spokes. These openings are thus unavailable for an LED, as a result of which the circle of LEDs is interrupted at three locations.

The use of scrapped bicycle parts together with the low electricity consumption of the LED garland qualifies the lamp as green design. The power rating of the LEDs is 1.3 W, resulting in a maximum annual electricity consumption of 11.4 kWh (assuming that the lamp is switched on during all hours in a year). Based on electricity price ranges for household consumers in the European Union the corresponding maximum annual electricity costs vary between 1.10 and 3.50 euro (source: Eurostat). Likewise for the United States, based on the range in retail price of electricity to ultimate customers in the residential sector by state the corresponding maximum annual electricity costs vary between 0.90 and 4.20 US$ (source: U.S. EIA).

The chandelier gives enough light to read in the evening, but don't expect to light an entire room. At night the shadows of the three spokes result in a regular pattern on the ceiling.

The use of a battery instead of connecting the lamp to the mains makes it safer to operate the lamp. Also, avoid using a conventional light bulb garland, see step 1 on safety issues for more background.

The circular shape and the considerable amount of lights makes this lamp excellently suited for controlling the LEDs with an Arduino, which offers plenty of new possibilities. This however has not been documented in this instructable.

Previously, openproducts has released two other lamp instructables: the Giant Ceiling Light with Multiple Functionality a.k.a. the UFO (CC-BY, September 13th 2012) and the Double Function Rail for combined hanging of paintings and indirect lighting (CC-BY, January 7th 2013).

Step 1: Safety

The design in this instructable is based on a 230 V LED garland. As the rim is an excellent conductor and sharp edges from the spoke openings may damage the rope there is a risk of short-circuiting and electrocution. Be sure to provide proper earthing and strain relief, see step 3. Avoid building a switch in the rim when using 230 V.

For safety reasons it is better to use battery power instead of 230 V. An additional advantage is that the lamp can be hung everywhere (no power outlet or power point needed), and that it is safer to integrate a switch into the rim (the valve opening is excellently suited for this purpose).

The lamp is intended for indoor use only, mainly because of the electrical wiring. If you have a weather-proof LED rope then outside use can be considered, but this requires additional caution to be paid to wiring and draining.

It is strongly discouraged to use a garland of conventional lamps with an incandescent filament: the glass bulbs are too weak to bear the stress from the rim opening corners and they will break. This will result in failure of the light garland, short-circuiting and as a result there is a risk of electrocution.

The tire is functional as it covers the wiring of the LED garland and the electricity connection. Consider insulating the 230 V connector (not shown here).

The next step discusses the geometry and the design of the bike rim chandelier.
<p>It looks good, but I think it would look better if you drilled three holes into the rim and used those to suspend it from the spokes so that all of the rim holes had a led in them. You could also use three lengths of single core wire to hang it up from instead of the spokes and then use two of them to take the power down, which would also make the power wire effectively disappear.</p>
Such a cool idea, thank so much!

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Bio: Openproducts' focus is on design of new products and on innovative approaches towards improving existing products. Also, quick fixes and on-the-fly repairs are documented here ... More »
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