Instructables

Commuting and Trail Riding Bicycle Helmet Lighting Solution...

I am an Alaskan, all weather, year round bicycle commuter. I ride approximately 29 miles per day, round trip. My commute consists of approximately 6 miles of semi lighted Bicycle/Sidewalk on a thoroughfare, 6 miles of sparsely lit Bike lane roadway riding, 10 miles of intermittently lighted paved bike trail riding, and 7 miles of unlit offroad trail riding. I ride a 2001 Specialized FSRXC mountain bike with Nokian Hakka aluminum/carbide studs in the winter, and the same bike with Specialized Armadillo Fast Track tires in the summer. In Alaska, my lighting demands are harsh with my riding temperatures fluctuating between -20 degrees Fahrenheit (my personal riding cuttoff threshold), and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. In the winter, my ride is 100% darkness, and in the summer it is the opposite. Rain, snow, sleet, humidity, and just plain freaking cold air are all elements that myself and my lighting system have to endure. For the past two years, I have utilized two Nightrider K2 commercial bike lights mounted to a custom fiberglass overshell on my helmet for my front lighting solution, a Pelican 1-Watt flashlight for my rear flasher. During my hour each way commutes, I determined additional capabilities and desires that I wanted for my lighting solution.

For me Helmet lighting over bike lighting was the only way to go. When I can look at cars with my light, they know I am there. I have had zero close calls during my winter commutes due, I think to this choice of Helmet mounted lighting.

The following Instructable helped me achieve these goals. I needed lighter weight than most commercial offerings, Brighter spotlight capability(to aid with wildlife encounters etc.), Rear and Side!!! flashers, and selectable front flasher/direct beam capability. I did not need 37 modes of flashing, solid steel or aluminum enclosures, or a name brand system. Oh yeah, I wanted to use some batteries I already possessed to save some $$$. May I present my answer to seeing and being seen in the Harsh Alaskan urban and wilderness expanse...
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up
alinvanc2 years ago
Wow, what an original and fantastic design !
I'm a total electronics neophyte and just learning.
I'm going to make a front and rear light system for my bike so I'd like to modify your design for bike mounting
Where are your fuses and what sizes are they ?
What about cap's and resistors ? I saw on the flasher boards (you have one for the front andone for the rear, correct?) you have some electronics on them.
Did you use the 3023 buck drivers ?
Since some of my wiring runs will be a little longer, up to 30", should I put the cap's across the battery leads as Luxdrive recommends ?

How did you waterproof the lights ? All I saw was the front light clear plateTRV sealant. Does RTV sealant curing vapors effect the reflector or lens clarity during the curing process ?

Again, what a great lighting system and thank you for sharing !
I was wondering about the macbook pro batterie. What is the possitive pin, negatice, and what are the other four for?
 Freaking GENIUS! 
ampeyro4 years ago
it's great, i'm trying to make something like this but for all the bike and with cheaper or recycled materials, is any mroblem if i copy some small pars of your's?, i'l probably do an instructable
Wow! That is amazing! I want to build one now
shwntbd5 years ago
Well done, you've inspired me to build a new lighting system for my evening rides. Good job on the year round commuting.
This was a great instructable! You seem to have taken a lot of time in crafting this lighting system and putting together the steps. It was very descriptive and helpful. Keep them coming!
callmesuperman (author)  chelseaharsh5 years ago
Thanks Chelseaharsh for being the first positive comment on my first Instructable.
Great Instructable! Looks very well done! Thanks, Joe
callmesuperman (author)  joejoerowley5 years ago
Thanks Joe. More projects to come, but I appreciate the positive comments on my very first.
geetz5 years ago
Fantastic instructable. And kudos to you for your extreme dedication to bicycle commuting. Editing note: Your URLs in the first step contain extraneous punctuation at the end and do not work (at least on my machine).
callmesuperman (author)  geetz5 years ago
Thanks for the editing note. I believe I addressed the URL issue. Thanks for the positive feedback.
Pro

Get More Out of Instructables

Already have an Account?

close

PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

Upgrade to Pro today!