In this instructable I will show how I installed LED lighting in the rim of my bicycle. If you are into bikes and or hacks, you may have seen other bike lighting hacks. If not, check them out. Below is a summary with links and my own comments regarding the designs.
Glo bike with phosphoresent paint from Glo Nation - http://www.instructables.com/id/Night-Bike/
If you garage your bike during the day, the paint wont charge well when it comes to time to ride at night. Also if you are riding in a major city it is likely that there will be so much light polution that you, and everyone else wont see you glow percivebly more brightly.
Project Aurara - http://vimeo.com/23544972
POV - http://www.instructables.com/id/SpokePOV%3A-LED-Bike-Wheel-Images/
My lights are installed into the rim. Not stuck to the spokes. I believe that this conserves the astetices of the bike during the day (system is almost un-noticable during normal lighting conditions). Also the chance of accidentily getting something caught in the system and ripping it off are considerable reduced.
Batteries are on the hubs (no power for the lighting comes from the frame). This eliminates complex, high tollerance and low cycle contacts featured in other designs. A dowside is that each hub has its on supply making recharging more of a involved task. The major upside is system isolation so that the wheel can be swapped to any other bike.
Expandability. This first instructable covers basic on/off lights. I plan to build on this instructable with more interactivity using the same components with minor modifications.
This is an instructable, I will share all my experience and failures so that you dont repeat them and get a near or better result easier than I did. Please share any design/ construction technique inovations. Share alike!
If you follow my instructable you will be drilling many holes in your rims. Use older rims if you have doubts. I dont believe the perforations will significantly weaken the rims. The valve hole for the tyre is much bigger than the 5mm hole we are going to make. If the rim is going to fail it will be there. That said I did this hack on my old crappy rims so I wont be too upset if they fail.
You will also be required to seperate the rim from the spokes and hub. And of course, if you want to ride the bike again, and not just look at a pretty ring of ligts, you will have to put it back together. Wheel building is not covered here. I will refer you to some resources when appropriate. Give it a go! its not too hard and you will get another life skill badge.
This is a labour intensive hack. Plan, make the jigs, and modularise your work to save time and be prepared to put in some hours!