Introduction: DIY LED Police Bike Lights

Picture of DIY LED Police Bike Lights

In this tutorial I will show you how to make cheap and custom LED police bike lights. NOTE: I made these lights before, so the tutorial may not be very descriptive. If you have questions message me!

DISCLAIMER: I WILL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACTIONS OR CONSEQUENCES REGARDING THIS TUTORIAL. USE WITH CAUTION, IT IS A STATE AND FEDERAL CRIME TO IMPERSONATE A POLICE OFFICER.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

First gather your materials. You will need...

perfboard (the size depends on how many LEDs your lights will have)
LEDs (mine are red and blue high intensity LEDs)
Wire (any gauge is fine. I would recommend 20-24)
Resistors (Use a calculator to determine the amount of ohms)
Heat shrink tubing (I used a variety of sizes)
Connectors (optional)
Switches (both toggle and momentary on)
Switch housing (I used a PVC T-connector)
12v battery source (I used an eight slot AA battery pack, but I will be installing a rechargeable battery)
Switch Flasher (SHO-ME EMERGENCY LED STROBE FLASHER 11.1005SF)
Mini zip ties (for attaching the lights to your bike/vehicle)
foam (optional)
Solder

Tools:
Soldering Iron
Drill
Pliers
Lighter
Knife
Wire stripper

Step 2: Building the Lights

Picture of Building the Lights

First lay out your LED design or pattern. I did two rectangles with a total of 12 LEDs for the handlebar lights and two rectangles with 6 LEDs for the rear lights. If you are doing two rows of LEDs per light, then make sure that your LEDs polarity is in the right direction on the perfboard.
Remember to measure the correct length of wire and give plenty of "wiggle room". Also remember to heat shrink the soldered connections between wires to ensure protection.

EXAMPLE:
+ is the positive side of the LED (long side)
- is the negative side of the LED (short side)
~| is a piece of connection metal (I use the clipped of LED legs)
-+-+-+-+-> is the positive wire (red)


#470# is the resistor (make sure you are using the correct resistor for the LED and for 12 Volts)



-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-> + + + + + + ~|

- - - - - - |
+ + + + + + ~|



Step 3: Wiring the Lights and Controller

Picture of Wiring the Lights and Controller

After you have built the desired number of LED lights, proceed to wire them up to the battery and controller (switch flasher). If you bought the sho-me switch flasher then the instructions should be included. Just in case here is the instructions:

O---- Switch ------------> +12V
| | /
| F | ----- Red Wire -----/
| L |
| A | ----- Blue Wire ---------------> Left LED
| S | ----- Yellow Wire ------------> Right LED
| H |
| E | ----- Black Wire -----------------------------------> -12V
| R |
| | ----- White Wire ------O--- Momentary Switch ---> +12V
||

Step 4: Setting Up the Switches

Picture of Setting Up the Switches

After completing the connections to the battery and the controller, begin to connect the switches. The switches are marked out in the last step.

Next test your lights, and if this tutorial has been thorough enough then they should be flashing now. If they are then proceed to the next and final step. If they are not flashing check your wiring and connections.

Step 5: FINAL STEP

Now your lights should be complete. Put a thin piece of foam behind each light to protect the bikes paint and to protect the solder joints. Next zip tie the lights to the desired place (i.e. Handlebar, rear rack, frame etc). Find a safe place to put the battery and controller (I made a case out of duct tape to protect the battery and controller from puddles and dust). Now, find a good place to put the switch box where it wont get bumped or moved. Finally use zip ties to organize the wires and make sure that the wires wont get broken or caught on your legs or in the gears.

Here is a vid of the final product. If you have questions or comments feel free to message me. HOPE THIS TUTORIAL (my first) WAS COMPLETE AND DESCRIPTIVE! ENJOY YOUR LIGHTS!

Comments

DominicF18 (author)2017-01-26

The legality of blue lights differs by jurisdiction. In Australia I'm pretty sure blue lights are allowed on, emergency vehicles, planes, human powered vehicles. So the restriction applies only to motor vehicles that aren't an emergency vehicle and not a plane.

Blue bicycle lights are even sold at K-Mart
http://www.kmart.com.au/product/bike-light-and-sound/722885

bsharat120 (author)2015-04-07

jwarn123 (author)2012-05-07

how many resistors did you use. and did you put one between every led. and where is the diagram?

C7mb (author)jwarn1232012-05-10

I used one resistor per light bar, with the lights wired in parallel. The diagram didnt really work out the way I had planned. If you need me to send you a new one I would be happy to via pm.

smkent (author)2011-11-17

This looks like a really cool project. A friend and I are going to build custom LED lighting systems for our bikes. Did you end up swapping out the AAs to a 12 volt battery? If so, what kind of battery did you use? Also, are the LEDs bright enough to be easily visible outside in the daylight?

C7mb (author)smkent2011-11-20

Thanks! No I never bought a 12 volt battery but now know where I can get a good sized and slim battery If I ever want to. And the since the LEDs are just 5mm, they are not super bright in the daytime, but very bright at night. If you want them visible during the day then I would suggest 1 watt or 4 chip superflux LEDs.

smkent (author)C7mb2011-11-20

OK cool, thanks for the info. My friend and I want to build brake lights/turn signals for our bikes, so we want them to be visible during the day (like car lights). Where would you look for a good 12 volt battery? I'll have to do some research ...

C7mb (author)smkent2011-11-21

Ah ok cool. Just keep in mind that the switcher flasher is for emergency lighting and will not suit a turn signal application. As for batteries, the ones I would suggest are hobby batteries. The only downside is cost (upwards of $60). But if you can afford it, I would recommend Intellect batteries. You could also try a lower voltage battery and not use resistors (calculate it first though) which will save you money. Hope this helps!

smkent (author)C7mb2011-11-21

My friend and I plan to program an Arduino to control the lights, at this point I'm just concerned with the overall power source. If I get a battery with enough power I should be able to make it work. I'll have to look at Intellect batteries -- I'm willing to spend $60 on a good battery if it's rechargeable and will last for a long time.

C7mb (author)smkent2011-11-21

Ah ok good. You can easily put program a signal light program using an Arduino. And yes the Intellect batteries are durable, rechargeable, and long lasting. Just make sure you charge them correctly or they will be destroyed.

DJNASHA (author)2011-09-13

diagram please big thanks

C7mb (author)DJNASHA2011-09-23

There is a diagram in the instructable. If you need more assistance please feel free to comment again! Thanks!

DJNASHA (author)C7mb2011-09-25

THANKS MAN I WISH I HAD THE SHOW ME FLASER ALL I GOT IS VELLEMAN MK 180 Two-Channel Hi-Power LED Flasher

C7mb (author)DJNASHA2011-09-25

Yeah no problem! Yes that is a great kit but is not as robust as the Sho Me Flasher. Good luck!

sgomes3 (author)2011-09-06

Great instructions. I would like to give this a try. And if anyone is interested to know where you can find a SH-ME LED Flasher, can find it here:

http://www.swps.com/11-1005sf.html

C7mb (author)sgomes32011-09-08

Thanks for the comment! Lemme know how it goes!

sgomes3 (author)C7mb2011-09-08

Hey...i am curious..is it legal to ride with this light....i can see how no cars will ever mess with me...but I hope i dont get a ticket by the cops. Either ways...this is just too good man! I will build one for the heck of it :)). Thanks for sharing such awesomeness!!

sgomes3 (author)sgomes32011-09-08

Ah...never mind...i read the disclaimer. I think i will change the colors of LEDs to Red and Orange or some other colors. No biggie.

C7mb (author)sgomes32011-09-08

Haha yeah! I just have to legally protect my self, ya know? And I ride with em and have even pulled someone over while on my bike (go figure). However the police department knows I have it and just think im some stupid kid. They dont really care as long as I dont harass other people etc. I only use em on Halloween or when I ride at night.

TimNg26 (author)2011-06-22

Hey! May I know where did you buy your SHO-ME EMERGENCY LED STROBE FLASHER 11.1005SF?

polmic96 (author)2010-11-21

How did you wire the rear lights to the SHO-ME EMERGENCY LED STROBE FLASHER 11.1005SF?

C7mb (author)polmic962010-11-21

Wired them the same as the front to the same wires.

polmic96 (author)2010-11-20

How many resistors per light did you use?

C7mb (author)polmic962010-11-20

1 per unit but i would recommend wiring it in parallel not series.

jetersaurous (author)2009-10-29

ok, that oznium website is awesome, but what resistors would i need for blue LEDs and what one for red LEDs. what resistors did you use?

C7mb (author)jetersaurous2009-10-30

Yes they are a great site. The owner has been a great help and they have wonderful customer service. On the page where you buy the LEDs, if you scroll down, there is another section where you can buy the resistors. There is also a note that tells you which resistors are for what color LED. PM me for more info or help. Enjoy!

Supremacy (author)2009-07-24

Great guide. Planning on making a similar one for myself using yellow LED's. Also planning to document my steps.

C7mb (author)Supremacy2009-07-24

Yeah sorry about the documenting. I tend to do things quickly and not think.

sensoryhouse (author)2009-05-21

Not the most detailed instructions but great idea and project! Thanks for sharing.

C7mb (author)sensoryhouse2009-05-21

Thanks! Any tips on making it better?

dchall8 (author)2009-05-21

Where did you get your LEDs and what power rating are they?

C7mb (author)dchall82009-05-21

The LEDs were bought from Oznium.com. Do you mean brightness for power rating? If so then... Color : Blue 4000 mcd Red 8000 mcd

lemonie (author)2009-05-19

Do people respect your authori-ty? L

C7mb (author)lemonie2009-05-19

Not sure... Ive only used them a couple of times with friends (I like to go night riding). Dont want to get arrested though...

lemonie (author)C7mb2009-05-19

I was referring to Eric Cartman, when he was deputised. You are wise to be aware of annoying the Police in your area - you've put the thought into this. L

C7mb (author)lemonie2009-05-20

Yes I know you were referring to Eric but I also thought you were serious.

lemonie (author)C7mb2009-05-20

Er, no. (warped sense-of humour).
I omitted to say that this is a good and well-presented build and that I rate it as such

L

sorry

NachoMahma (author)lemonie2009-05-19

PKM (author)2009-05-19
Hi C7mb,

Welcome to the site. This looks like a cool project (and not at all something I'd like to abuse :P). Just one tip- your ASCII art is a bit mangled because being converted to HTML removes multiple spaces. Drawn diagrams are ideal, simple line drawings in MS Paint are fine as long as they are readable, but if you want to do ASCII art then you can enclose text in curly braces to make it monospaced. Putting {{{ on a separate line before the text and }}} on a separate line after the text turn it into

monospaced text---------- ----where you can              have multiple spacesand draw diagrams+---+|   |+---+     \      \       \        like this one

To do that I typed
{{{ASCII     TEXT
}}}

Also, beware of the text parser turning more than four hypens in a row into a horizontal rule.
C7mb (author)PKM2009-05-19

Thanks! That helped, this is my first tutorial and I didnt want to take a picture of a diagram.

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