Introduction: Light Hacking for Beginners

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This one is to all the cyclists out there who need to ride their bicycle in the darker hours of the day.

Yesterday I got tired of buying new batteries every other week for my bicycle lamp.
It's one with a conventional light bulb, hence it literally sucks the life out of batteries.

I didn't really want to spend more money and buy myself a new LED light since I already have one. So I took matters in my own hand and decided to hack my existing light by upgrading it with three LEDs.

Step 1: Materials Used

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I hacked the light in the picture, but I believe any other model would work just as well.
The theoretical considerations are the same for all types bicycle lights.

In addition I used three white LEDs to replace the built-in bulb.

For soldering purposes you'll also need a soldering iron (basic soldering skills should suffice).

Step 2: Under the Hood

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Opening the light unveiled the battery compartment, a small PCB, a lightbulb, and the reflector/glass compartment.

In my case, dismantling was a breeze: once the battery compartment was opened, the other parts were easily accessible. Nothing was screwed or glued to the reflector.

I took everything apart, until I had all the pieces lined up. Once I could see the PCB, I started working on the LEDs.

Step 3: Putting Everything Together

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Next I soldered the three LEDs onto the PCB (beware of the polarity).

As a final step I assembled everything back together and fired it up :-)

As a further improvement, I'm thinkimg about building an induction dynamo circuit to completely get rid of batteries ...

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Bio: I'm a passionate tinker, which has turned into my biggest hobby. My interest ranges from fixing electronic devices to prototyping with Arduino to programming ... More »
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