Instructables
Picture of umbrella light
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Ever been walking home on a dark rainy night only to have a car or cyclist almost run into you?
*wooosh!*
Pesky cyclists. How did he not see me there?!

An intersection later...
*vrrrooooomm!*
Pesky motorists! I was almost flattened!


After a hard day at work many of us are on a mission to get home and relax, sometimes forgetting to pay attention to the buzz of traffic around us. It's kinda ironic that we are all in such a rush to get home and relax.

Anyways, aside from being more vigilant during these long nights you can help out all the other commuters by indicating your position well before they roll up on you, by illuminating your umbrella!

Make your own by combining some common dollar store items with your existing umbrella and create your own umbrella illumination device, allowing motorists and cyclist to see you from a distance and slow down.

This instructable is entered in the Light Up the Night! Contest
Remember to vote for your favourites!


Enough talk, let's build a better umbrella!
 
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Step 1: Materials & tools

Picture of materials & tools
materials:
  • LED flashlight
  • vinyl poncho (or other translucent, light-weight plastic/nylon)
  • umbrella (cavity handle a bonus)
  • 2x CR2032 button batteries (1.5v)

I purposely chose cheap easily found materials.
I managed to obtain the flashlight and poncho at my local dollar store. On my bus-ride to the dollar store to shop for my materials I found this umbrella on an empty bus seat (thanks forgetful transit-user!).
Though I found the most expensive item, if you buy an umbrella you can expect to spend $20+.

tools:
  • glue gun
  • soldering iron
  • drill (or rotary tool)
  • needle nose pliers
  • hobby knife
  • measuring tape
  • safety goggles

Step 2: Disassemble LED flashlight

This particular LED flashlight style separated into the housing and clicker half, and the light assembly half. You're going to need everything except for the housing from both halves.

back half:
  • battery pack
  • on/off clicker
  • (-) lead from clicker to negative terminal
  • battery housing and handle
light assembly half:
  • LED array (+ terminals)
  • reflector
  • housing

canucksgirl2 years ago
Congratulations for being featured in the New York Times! That's a huge accomplishment. Well Done! ;-)
mikeasaurus (author)  canucksgirl2 years ago
Thanks! It's quite the honour to have James Dyson make a comment on my design.
canucksgirl2 years ago
Another congratulations is in order for being one of the winners! ;-)
 this is funkin' wicked! and I love your photos, they look very professional :) woo!
matsojr224 years ago
super cool, my first thought was blade runner too!
cordarounds4 years ago
 This is awesome.  Way awesome.  I imagine what it would be like to see a street full of people using these at night.  It would be beautiful.
JediLoreen5 years ago
Cool idea with the flashlight, but yikes, why would you throw away what looks like a perfectly good 3 cell battery holder, when you could use it for another project if you needed to power something with 4.5 volts?

I guess not every prop builder is a pack rat like me.  ; )
mikeasaurus (author)  JediLoreen5 years ago
It is said that many tribes the world over consume and use all parts of the animal which they hunt, the flesh, skin, even the bones! I envy anyone with enough space to keep the carcasses from made projects to use in future projects, but I'm just one man!
I try.

What is not shown in the pictures is the endless sea of crates filled with half-baked ideas, tools, and downright nonsense scratched on paper that should never see the light of day.

However, despite the lack of space, every time I start a new project my workbench is littered from the previous project. Pieces left over that I didn't have the heart to throw away. Somehow I always manage to keep more than I'm supposed to.


Hey, I was wondering if you could possible add a small linear electric generator in the handle of the umbrella so that as you walk the linear motion(up down motion that the handle experiences as you walk) would light the LED's without the need for batteries, or it recharges the batteries as you walk, whichever.

and maybe while the umbrella is not in use a small coil of nichrome wire is heated by the generator so that the handle of the umbrella is always warm when you take it out of your bag/handbag. or indeed a means of  trickle charging your Cell phone with the small amount of juice the generator would be producing while in your briefcase etc.
So what do you think? want to go into business? hey if you use this info in a commercial capacity I demand a E0.42 cent royalty on all umbrellas with this design...Please.
But in all seriousness, it's doable right?

Linear electric generators: http://www.powergeneratorinfo.com/honda-generators/linear-induction-generator.php
vikolord5 years ago
wow! very nice!! it's an excellent instrucable =)
catsnw5 years ago
You are on Hack a Day
Jujitsu-Man5 years ago
Amazing! Just as seen in "Blade Runner".

I think i'm gonna try it with a non-retractable umbrella to make it more "screen acurate".
Have you seen this one from ThinkGeek.com? Maybe it will give you some ideas for your build.

http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/travel-outdoors/9260/

Post pictures!
Wow, that was what I was thinking. I hope to start the proyect soon.

Thank you, atomiclizard!
Damn you beat me to it. I love Blade Runner. Very cool umbrella.
mikeasaurus (author)  Jujitsu-Man5 years ago
I was wondering if anyone would make that reference, something I thought of myself while brainstorming. Though i chose a collapsible version.

If you build yours post your results! It'd be cool to see your method of assembly!
Ha, I was thinking of Blade Runner as well...
Pretty sweet Instructable.  I like the functionality of making it collapsible.

How's about adding a loose spring like a small slinky to give the tube more structure?