Introduction: Neon Glow Bike With EL Wire Kits

Picture of Neon Glow Bike With EL Wire Kits

Imagine your bicycle as a vivid, neon-silhouette, contrasted from the crowd and clutter of the night (much like the image/video above). It's what we're going to do to your bicycle. We're going to make it into a glow bike - and we're going to use EL (electroluminescent) wire to do.

What is EL wire?
Essentially, EL wire is a flexible string/tube/rope of light, ranging from 2-5mm in diameter, that emits a uniform glow when a current is passed through it. Because of it's flexibility, it's perfect to fit to any sized or shaped bike.

What you'll need...

  1. 3m of EL Wire (in a colour of your choice)
  2. EL wire inverter (the battery/control box)
  3. Velcro belt
  4. Invisible waterproof sticky tape
  5. Cable ties

Alternatively, all-in-one kits available fromwww.hikari.bike


Time Needed: 30 minutes

Let's go to Step 1!

Step 1: Attachment to Bicycle Frame

Items Needed:

  • 3m of EL wire (in colour of your choice)
  • Waterproof invisible sticky tape

Watch the 3 minute video above. We're going to be doing the exact same to your bicycle. You'll stick the EL wire to your bike frame at intervals of approximately 4 inches. Make sure to have the EL wire facing upward to maximise viewing angles.

Start sticking below the seat where it junctions with the rest of the frame, and begin with the section of the EL wire where the coloured part meets the black coating, as shown in the video.

Top Rung

Stick along the top rung, making sure to pull the wire tight before every stick. When you reach the junction with the handlebars, thread the wire around the front to meet the lower rung of the frame.

Lower Rung

Repeat the process with the lower rung. Some of you may encounter water bottle holders; this is no problem. You're just going to to make a small detour.

Vertical Rung

When you reach the junction with near the pedals, make a bend in the wire and repeat the process going up the upward back toward the starting point.

Upper Back Rung

When back at the junction with the seat, thread the wire over the top of the frame to meet the upper back rung, dodging and brake or gear cables in the way. Repeat sticking heading toward the lower back rung.

Lower Back Rung

Here you're going to make another bend in the EL wire and begin sticking it to the lower back rung. On the way back to your final destination (near the pedals). If you find you still have wire leftover, simply double up one of the existing tracks.

Congratulations - you made it! Now, let's make sure the wire is safe and secure...

Step 2: Safety Ties

Items Needed:

  • Safety Ties

"But what if by some miracle the waterproof invisible tape comes off - won't the EL wire just be left dangling?", we hear you say. "Safety ties", we answer.

By attaching safety ties to each junction of your bike frame you can be 110% sure the EL wire will remain securely attached. When done cut, off the remainder of the safety ties. You want everything to look neat.


Watch the 1 minute video above - it's pretty self-explanatory.

Step 3: Battery/Control Pack

Items Needed:

  • Battery/Control Box
  • Velcro belt

Watch the 30 second video.

The battery/control box will sit snuggly under most seats. Thread the velcro belt through the clip on the back of the battery/control box, then strap underneath the seat.

Take the two connectors (one at the end of the EL wire, the other coming of the battery/control box) and clip them together.

That's it - you're all done!

Now turn on your battery/control box, turn off your main lights, and step back and marvel at your work.

When your done marvelling the battery/control box can be easily removed, if you so desire.

Find everything you need to complete this project in affordable, all-in-one glow bike attachment kits, available from www.hikari.bike ("Hikari" is Japanese for "light")

Much love to all you cyclists, makers, and night-riders!

NOTE: We do not recommend you use these bike lights in exclusion of conventional front and rear lights. They should be used to complement front and rear lights.

Comments

Chris__W made it! (author)2016-07-04

I had a go with EL wire using a 12v inverter, because I already had a lot of 12v power on it driving lots of LEDs. I eventually took the EL kit off it, because I kept on burning out the inverters.

One thing that you can do with EL wire which you can't do with LEDs is thread it through 5mm foamboard to make glowing words or pictures. This is really cool. In the picture the EL wire is used for the design on the guards covering the back wheel. When I get a Round Tuit I will fit a 3v inverter to light up the designs once more/

mesmerize (author)2016-03-16

I used to have this setup but I made the mistake of getting the smaller thin gauge EL wire and it simply wasn't bright enough. Definitely for those wanting to do this make sure you don't cheap out like I did so make sure to get the same EL wire mentioned by Jack.

I've gone 1 step further using flexible waterproof RGB LED strips. They have a controller with lots of options to change colours, make them flash, make them fade to different colours. I've setup 3 different circuits (Front forks, Main frame and rear frame) so I can have them all on different settings or match them to be the same.

Great project Jack looks great and the video's are brilliant!

JackB99 (author)mesmerize2016-03-16

Thanks for your comment, mesmerize. I definitely agree with what you say about cheap EL wire - it's not bright enough and is liable to break!

OctavioB (author)2016-02-23

hi bro i own a bike repair shop and i have been asked a few times about something like this. where else does one get that EL wire and such, congratulations this is way cool !

JackB99 (author)OctavioB2016-02-24

Hi OctavioB

All-in-one kits + installation manual (everything you'd need to do this project) you can get from www.hikari.bike/shop

May I ask what exactly people ask for, is it just 'bike frame lights', or something more specific?

wold630 (author)2016-02-22

This is fabulous!!

JackB99 (author)wold6302016-02-22

So glad to hear it!

It really was a fantastic feeling - like a mini-accomplishment - seeing my bike light up for the first time.

Keep getting comments about it too!

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