Introduction: Blue LED Bike Wheel

Picture of Blue LED Bike Wheel

Hi everyone!

In this ible i'll show you how to build a funny and cool LED project.

I'll basically secure 6 blue LEDs to the spokes of the wheel.

The result will be fabulous! And it's also a useful project because these LEDs, while cycling, will make a perfect bright circle that will help car drivers to notice you in the dark.

Thanks for your support I won the "Squeeze More Out of Summer Contest"!

So..let's go to see materials and tools!!

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools

MATERIALS:

- 6 blue LEDs

- heatshrink tubing

- 3x 100 ohm resistors

- ON/ON switch

- 9V battery snap connector

- 9V battery

TOOLS:

- soldering iron

- solder

- scissors

- cable ties

- nippers

Step 2: LEDs and Resistors

Picture of LEDs and Resistors

As you can see in photo#1, we need to connect 3 couples of LEDs in parallel being careful to follow the right polarity.

I decided that 6 LEDs would have done enough light, and as I initially thought, the result is fantastic!
I suggest you to put 6/8 LEDs depending on the size of your wheel ;)

I wanted to make the result as clear as possible so I soldered two LEDs with a resistor, leaving the wires long as the wheel spokes (24cm) at the sides, and the double (48cm) in the middle. (this because the middle wire will connect two LEDs fixed on two different spokes, so it will have to go from one LED, down the spoke till the wheel hub and again up on the other spoke till the second LED)

Before attaching the LEDs to the spokes, I suggest you to check if all works correctly and if your LEDs are bright as they should be.

After you have soldered, tested and insulated all the three couples, you can go to the next step.

Step 3: Switch and Battery Snap Connector

Picture of Switch and Battery Snap Connector

In this step we will simply solder a switch to the 9V snap connector.

Step 4: Attach LEDs and Cables to the Spokes

Picture of Attach LEDs and Cables to the Spokes

Now comes the wearisome step! :P

In order to make an almost perfect circle when the LEDs are working and the wheel is spinning, I decided to secure them at 3,5cm from the bicycle's rim.

I have 18 spokes so I secured them with cable ties at the same distance spacing them 2 spokes. (I mean: 1spoke with LED, 2 free spokes, 1spoke with LED, 2 free spokes, etc)

Now you should have something that looks like photo#3.

Then it's time to secure the longer cables on the spokes with other cable ties. I suggest you to use a lot of them to be sure that the cables will not move around, but not too many otherwhise you will not end with a clean look like mine.

At the end of this step you should have secured all except for the 3 negative wires, and the 3 positive ones.

Step 5: Attach Battery and Switch to the Hub

Picture of Attach Battery and Switch to the Hub

Now it's time to plug the 9V battery to the snap connector, and to set the switch to OFF.

As you can see in the photo, I glued the switch directly to the battery with SuperAttack to keep it in place. (I know that I could have found a better idea to secure it like attach on the spokes, but this was just a quick solution.. I could not wait any longer ahahaha)

So I secured the 9V battery to the wheel hub with two cable ties, and I finally soldered the 3negative wires to the negative wire that comes from the battery, and the 3positive wires to the positive wire obviously.

At the end, I tested the whole project by playing with the switch and I insulated the two last connections.

Step 6: Finish!! Have Fun in Your Nighttime Bicycle Rides.

Picture of Finish!! Have Fun in Your Nighttime Bicycle Rides.

I ended with a very cool and clean job.

I tested them the night after the building on the road and I was impressed! I still don't believe how much they illuminate also the street! :D

I'll surely make another one for the back wheel as soon as the other blue LEDs I ordered will arrive.

Thank you for reading my Instructable. ;)
Feel free to comment and ask if you need to know something!

manuelmasc

Comments

Mase13 (author)2015-07-10

i have tried it with two rings instead of one and was great thanks for the great idea. now my little brother wants it and i am going play with some other ideas as well

manuelmasc (author)Mase132015-07-11

Great idea man!! Thanks for sharing your result!! :)

vmadrianto made it! (author)2015-05-19

I made it. I combined blue & white LED alternately. The result is awesome.
Thanks a lot.

manuelmasc (author)vmadrianto2015-05-19

AMAZIIING! :D what a wonderful result!! i'm happy that my ible has been helpful to you!! well done

THANKS FOR SHARING THE PHOTO!

P.S. They surely are wonderful in the darkness of the night

Beepart made it! (author)2015-02-07

Fun project.

manuelmasc (author)Beepart2015-02-18

woo that's amazing! what a wonderful result!! i'm happy that you followed my ible to get this result!!

THANKS FOR SHARING THE PHOTO!

andrea biffi (author)2014-07-27

Hi Manuel, very detailed project, good done!

manuelmasc (author)andrea biffi2014-07-27

grazie andrea ;)

secuest (author)2016-03-27

cool! look this advanced ones http://www.geekled.com/led-wheel-lights

GEEKLEDs (author)2015-12-19

looks great! if it shows up gif image, it would be much cooler!! geekleds.com/wheel-led-light

manuelmasc (author)GEEKLEDs2015-12-20

thank you ;)

jmiller0311 (author)2014-08-02

How does this compare price wise to the led light sets that you can buy for a few dollars that just clip on the spokes?

manuelmasc (author)jmiller03112014-08-25

this project will surely win! ;)

- with just 1.50 dollar you have 6 LEDs, while with 1/3 dollars you can buy a singular light.

- and just one of those LEDs brights a lot more than the buyable ones ;)

Mase13 (author)manuelmasc2015-07-10

i was able to get 30 LEDs for 5 bucks on amazon. about 16 cents for one.

john.grimoldy (author)2014-07-25

I was wondering how you managed to reliably get power to a spinning wheel. Brilliant idea of just cable-tying the battery to the wheel's hub!

manuelmasc (author)john.grimoldy2015-05-06

thanks ;)

manuelmasc (author)john.grimoldy2014-07-25

thanks john!

dalmasetto (author)2015-02-17

Great project. I plan on doing the same but using 8 x LEDs. I'm newish to electronics and was wondering about what resistors to use if I was to use these LEDs - > http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/271491337768?_trksid=p2...

manuelmasc (author)dalmasetto2015-02-18

2 more LEDs per wheel...this will be awesome!! anyway I'm newish too with electronics! don't worry.

In order to calculate easily your resistors, I suggest you to use websites like ledcalc.com in which you just need to enter your parameters, and it calculate you the right resistor! ;)

dalmasetto (author)manuelmasc2015-02-18

Was there any reason you used a resistor on each pair? Would one resistor on the live wire have the same effect? Thank you in advance for any assistance.

andrea biffi (author)2014-09-22

congrats for winning!!

manuelmasc (author)andrea biffi2014-09-28

thanks andrea!! ;)

Madmarx (author)2014-07-26

I've been wanting to figure out a way to add LED's to my tires too, thanks to your ible i'm definitely going to give it a try, however, I have a 555 timer i was thinking I might try throwing in to make a blinking circuit. :D If I figure out how, I'll definitely give a click on the ole "i made it" for ya. :) GREAT JOB

manuelmasc (author)Madmarx2014-09-27

thanks @Madmarx ;)

and yeah!! it's a fantastic idea!! it will result a more awesome project!!! please upload here your results!

manuelmasc (author)Madmarx2014-07-27

oh that's a fantastic idea!! i'll wait your "I Made It!" photos

VentureScout (author)2014-07-31

voted

manuelmasc (author)VentureScout2014-08-25

thanks!!! :D

jhanson11 (author)2014-08-17

Where did you put the resistors? I can't seem to see them in the pictures..

manuelmasc (author)jhanson112014-08-25

look photo#2 step 2 ;) the resistor is under the black heatshrink tube.

Tater Zoid (author)2014-08-18

Hi, I've decided to use your Instructable for the REMIX contest. I'll link to your project when I post it. Thank you for the great idea.

manuelmasc (author)Tater Zoid2014-08-25

you are welcome ;)

hardlydavidson (author)2014-07-27

really nice work senor. if I can get my head around all this wiring I just might try thus out. thanks man for this illuminating ible :) good luck.

Thanks for the support and for the congratulations ;)you surely have to try this out! It's way way simpler than you think

gattler (author)2014-07-27

how do you join the wires to the battery? i didn't get that...

manuelmasc (author)gattler2014-07-27

look the first photo of the second step ;) since the 3 couples of two LEDs are connected in parallel, I joined the 3positive wires together, and I joined them to the positive wire that comes from the battery, and obviously I repeated the process with the negative wires.

do you understand now? :)

gattler (author)manuelmasc2014-07-27

Thanks...I'll try to make it soon...

manuelmasc (author)gattler2014-07-27

You are welcome ;)

noob_for_life (author)2014-07-26

I LOVE this. Thank you for sharing it. My son just upgraded his bike and this is the kind of thing we would really like to to for more enhancements!

One question -- and please forgive me if I'm missing the obvious -- is there anything you need to do to protect it from rain? It's likely there will be times when he will find himself biking when it's wet.

Thanks again!!!

manuelmasc (author)noob_for_life2014-07-27

thanks! if you will make them, please upload your "I Made It!" photos.

anyway I don't know :( since in winter I have a lot of university exams, I have never time to go out with my mtb... LEDs, switch and resistors are well insulated, so I think that if you remove the battery when it's raining your project will be safe! maybe you could have just to add a little piece of insulated tape around the battery snap connector ;)

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)2014-07-26

This is very cool and easy. Thank you so much for sharing :)

you are welcome;) thanks for compliments

bwsandman (author)2014-07-26

Great job, I just bought my son one of these from a store. Guess I could have made one.

manuelmasc (author)bwsandman2014-07-27

oh I didn't know that they sell these things ;) anyway thanks!!

桃机智 (author)2014-07-26

good!

manuelmasc (author)桃机智2014-07-27

thanks!

Tater Zoid (author)2014-07-25

If I do make these (which I probably will), I will be sure to click the "I Made It" button.

manuelmasc (author)Tater Zoid2014-07-26

yeah!! ahaha I can't wait for it!! ahahha i'm dying because of waiting new LEDs ahahhaha here in italy there is not a shop like radioshack so i have to order them from cina :P ahahha

primosanch (author)2014-07-25

Nice. Thanks for sharing.

manuelmasc (author)primosanch2014-07-26

thanks for the support ;)

akshat21045 (author)2014-07-26

This is so awesome! Voted :D!

About This Instructable

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Bio: Italian maker, law student, DIY enthusiast. I make lots of projects, I fix lot of stuff and I like to save and reuse materials taken ... More »
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