Light Cycle: Programmable RGB LED Strips on Bike Frame

Picture of Light Cycle: Programmable RGB LED Strips on Bike Frame
I have already been working on similar projects, this one really is the next step of an earlier project. See:

And before we get started, we should have a demonstration of the finished effect (the video is when the bike wasn't yet covered).


I have seen many different attempts to “pimp the ride” by decorating a bicycle with LEDs. Some are better than others. I hope mine falls in on the right side of the scale.

Important considerations:
-Programmable: this is based on an Arduino and the WS2118 Chipset. There are an endless number of possibilities that can be implemented.
-Water RESISTANT: The LEDs are covered providing a certain level of weather protection.
-Discrete: The same covering hides a lot of what is going on and from a distance, the bike looks to be unmodified.
-Expandable: Adding sensors (eg: accelerometers, Bluetooth, hall effect sensor) allow to expand the capabilities.
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Step 1: Costs

Before we begin I would like to break down some of the principal costs.

The donor bike was a $30 road bike I bought for the wheelset for my girlfriends bike.

The LED strip came from Alibaba which offered a 4m strip for around $40

The Arduino clone was $11 from China on Ebay.

Covering material $17 from eBay

The saddle bag also came from eBay for $2.50

Double sided tape was around $5

All up around $120 bucks or so.

Step 2: Planning the strip layout

Picture of Planning the strip layout
I didn't want to lay the strip out in one continuous run because most LED strips recommend having the power connected at 1 meter intervals. I suppose that is suggested to try to limit the amount of current running through the strip at any one point. It would also be impossible to run the lines in one continuous strip due to the form of a bicycle.
we did the programmable rgb LED bike thing this or a show earlier this year....almost identical in fact...

cstewart000 (author)  cursorvisuals28 days ago

good for you!

Do you want to link it in??

SaraWest1 month ago

better Option to get

RushFan2 years ago
Great project, I am going to build one. I like the accelerometer idea for braking. Do you know of any sources?
cstewart000 (author)  RushFan1 year ago

I have bought accelerometer breakouts from Adafruit and Sparkfun.

mjones752 years ago
You said you soldered on a 4xAAA battery pack. Can you explain how you did that? I love this idea btw! trying to do this to my party bike!!
This seems really cool! Your videos are set to private :(
cstewart000 (author)  audreyobscura2 years ago
I fixed it :D