Instructables

Simple, bright, CHEAP bicycle lighting system

As a bicycle commuter, I sometimes find myself riding in the dark.  Even in a city, many streets are so poorly lit that cracks, potholes, unpainted speed bumps, and debris are serious hazards at night.  LED lights are useful for alerting others of my presence, but they are much too dim to help me see.  Serious bike headlights cost hundreds of dollars.  I am not willing to spend so much, especially on something that can be broken or stolen.  Fortunately, an effective lighting system can be made for under $100.

This instructable covers a very simple lighting system based on information from http://bicyclelighting.com by Steven M. Scharf.  For simplicity, many details are left out of this instructable.  For such details, including charts for selecting lights and batteries, more complicated circuitry, and product recommendations, see http://bicyclelighting.com.

The total cost of the particular system shown here, including Altoids gum, window wipes, and battery charger, is about $60.  The battery charger can be used for other things, and some of the materials will have leftovers for other projects.  This means that two complete lighting systems like the one shown here can be made for under $100.

WARNING: This project involves electricity and heat.  Do be careful now.

 
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lemonie4 years ago
W/ref that site - I find the pictures of naked women pouring water over themselves while propped on bicycles rather odd in a not-good way. Still the lamp seems to be effective.

L
sennomo (author)  lemonie4 years ago
His sites are indeed eclectic.  Sometimes his jokes are hard to understand, too.
lemonie sennomo4 years ago
(The directory listing for the images folder has not been disabled)
It's nice to see other people's stuff, and it's nice to see a bright but power-hungry system on a pedal bike. Most people go for LEDs.

L

sennomo (author)  lemonie4 years ago
Nighttime mountain bikers tend to use high-power lights, but they are seriously expensive.  From my experience, most commuters rely on streetlights to see the road, which I consider risky.  I think it's only a matter of time before light technology (probably LEDs) and mass production evolve to provide something as bright as my light, without so much weight, for less than $100.
lemonie sennomo4 years ago
Yes indeed.
On a side-note, I made a 12V halogen headlight on a helmet - ran it off the Honda Caren Scooter's supply. Problem was that the scooter supply wasn't regulated, the bulb died at full revs, while I was speeding down a field in the dark....

L

(fortunately it was a big field)
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