This instructable is a simpler version of the Ladyada SpokePOV and the Monkeylectric Monkey Light. Unfortunatly, this version cannot spell words of pictures. It can however, make your bike stand out in the dark. This can be built in less than a day with less than $3.00 worth of parts (less if you have a bunch of LEDs laying around).

I have entered this into the "Get the LED Out" contest so please vote for me and rate my Instructable. This project is great for those people who do not win the Monkey Lights, but still want to have a cool looking bike at night.

*****You can see more of my projects and updates to my current projects on my website:*****

***For Support on this Project, Please use the forum on my website. Just go to and click the forum link on the side bar.***

Step 1: Parts & Tools Required

The parts needed for this build are very simple. They are:
-LED's ~ I used four, but you can choose how many, and what colors
-Resistors ~(if needed) Choose resistors that fit your leds and battery (I used 2 100ohm resistors with my 2 volt red LEDs and my 4.5 volt battery
-Batteries~ I used 3 AA batteries to make 4.5volts
-a Switch ~ To turn it on and off
-Zip Ties ~ To attach it to your spokes
-a Straw ~to hold and diffuse the leds

The tools are also very simple:
-basic soldering tools
-hot glue gun

That's it.

Step 2: The Schematic

The schematic is very simple too. All it is is 3 batteries connected in series to form 4.5 volts, then the LED's with their resistors connected to the battery. Their is also a switch on the negative wire between the batteries and the LEDs. I have attached the schematic below.
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fersidhe11 months ago
I love the simplicity and the low budget on this! Thanks for this. The item I would change on this is I would use a waterproof 3 x AA battery holder so I could use rechargeable batteries on this. adafruit has one for 4 bucks or so. I am going to try this and maybe use vinyl tubing as well instead of the drinking straw.
naic982 years ago
If you are going to post, you might want to check your answer, eg resistors must be on the positive side, that's silly.. If you want to use fewer resistors take the battery voltage and subtract the voltage drop for each LED eg. 0.7volts. Use ohms law r = e/i, if you leds use 15 ma each, then the "extra" juice you need to get rid of is 1.7 volts so r the resistor needed is 1.7 volts/ 0.015 amps, requires a 120 ohm resistor. You gain less power use if you use a series circuit, however if one burns out they all will go dark.
legendx4 years ago
what happens if there was no resistor ?
If there was no resistor the LED would be drawing to much power and depending on the voltage in sense "burn out"
calexbg4 years ago
Would it matter if you were to reverse that schematic by placing the resistors and switch on the positive lead?
it doesnt matter as far as the switch goes but the resistors have to be on the positive side
santy224 years ago
I'm really happy you remembered to put the batteries as close to the center as possible. Else that project woudn't have lasted long.
this project is really nice, but is there a way to dont place the battery on the wheel?
Unless you want to use a bunch of magnets and inductors, no.
pyrotech454 years ago
 if you put the leds in a series you wont need resistors
not necessarily. If you put them in series is the first one will get the most power, the next will get less, then the next will get even less, and so on and so forth. This will lead to the first one being brighter, but also potentially burning out faster.
tl;dr: dont wire LED's in series.

If you wire them in parallel with individual resistors, they all get the same power and all should have the same brightness, and all last the same amount of time before burning out.
a918bmxr5 years ago
just so u know you can also buy battery packs at radio shack so you don't have to re glue your batteries together all o' the time.
you might want to put the battery pack on the hub (more balanced that way) :{)
minhocaloka5 years ago
ahwehawhe, realy coll, but, that's going to apear a little ugly whith the one white/red spoke!=P

but the idea is realy cool, nhumm whit a rgb led is goig to be awesome!=P