Picture of Vintage bike lights to LED conversion
Mein NSU 01.JPG
In early summer 2013 I bought this beat down bicycle, made by NSU (germany). According to the frame number it was built around 1952. The idea was (and still is) to create a bike worthy and capable of towing my red kids-trailer.

This instructable is only about the lights of this bike. There will come some more ibles about other parts of the (still ongoing) project.

The idea here was to fit battery powered LED's into the existing lamps at a low budget. Because when towing a trailer I don't want to spend energy on creating electricity for my lights!

If you're interested head over to step 1 for parts...

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Step 1: Parts and Tools

Picture of Parts and Tools

I had two cheap LED-lensers lying around on one side and the bikes old lights, dynamo and a toolbag on the other side. I had no more use for the dynamo, so I sold it on ebay and the toolbag was to beat down (torn straps) so I put it aside.

The lensers were taken apart to get the LED's, the leftovers tossed.

Not pictured: two-wire cable, switch

As tools I used mostly standard equipment. Nothing special here apart from a soldering station and terminal cables: pliers, screwdrivers, side cutters, pen and paper, knife, ...

Step 2: Tail light

Picture of Tail light

First I did the tail light. To build in the LED's I had to open it first. I did this by bending open the metal ring which was holding the glass with a small screwdriver. Be careful to avoid to much damage here.

I was lucky, the circuit board with the LED's was a perfect fit. So I soldered on the wires (the clear glue is just to add extra protection and to reduce strain on the soldering points) and glued the circuit board into the housing. After that I put glass and metal ring back on place and bent the ring back (again with a screwdriver).

The hole in the back of the housing I closed with some foam, covered with black taped. Not that beautiful, but it works.

Fikjast Scott9 months ago

Nicely done

This is a fantastic project, thanks for posting and sharing

GarlicCharge8 months ago

I've have an old bike light set and dynamo that I was planning on doing an 'ible for, for ages. Damn, you've beaten me to it!
Good job though!

I'm using a smaller CREE LEDs for mine and powering it from some rechargeable 3.7v batteries. I'll post some pics when I'm done!

brmarcum9 months ago
very cool use for some classic lamp enclosures
Ghost Wolf9 months ago

It would be cool to make or get a circuit to flash the rear light at least. It could save on power consumption.

krummrey9 months ago

Too bad I don't have an old bike in the garage... Makes me want to build a light right away.

Darthorso9 months ago

I'm restoring a 70 years old bike in these days. It was used by my girlfriend's granny when she was 15! :D

I think that a mod like this one can be really useful! Thanks for sharing! :D

Nice, I like that you can keep the look of the vintage lights, but with the modern conveneince of LEDs. Nice job!

amekdala9 months ago

good work,

what about the dynamo?

u could still use dynamo instead of 9V battery

Dynamo is not stable, it could burn the leds.

uersel (author)  rimar20009 months ago

there are special led's out there for use with a dynamo, but the cost around 7 or 8 € a piece....