Introduction: Longboard Lighting
In this instructable I'll be showing how I made lighting for my longboard. I made it for better visibility at night since I was barely visible. The idea was to put some el-wire (electroluminescent wire) around my longboard for a cool effect and a front and rear light on the underside of the deck just like on a bicycle. hope you enjoy!
Step 1: Materials List
First thing you need is of course a longboard.
for the other stuff
1) a small box for under your deck so you can fit all electronics inside it
2) a plastic cable tray which normaly is used for on the ceiling (small diameter)
3) for the front light: 2 led's 3W 3V, 90 degree brace, heat sink, some screws and bolts M3/M4
4) for the rear light: 3 red led's and a little piece of wood
5) el wire for around the board (see link)
6) 12V rechargable battery (see link)
7) two 68 ohm resistors and red & black wire
8) dc barrel jack adapter
9) some strong double sided tape stickers
10) silicon kit (transparant) and assemblykit (both water resistant) and wood glue
You can purchase most of the stuff in a hardware store.
other stuff comes from ebay.
Step 2: Front Light
The front light is not hard to make. First I bought the led's and the heat sinks and later the brace. I did not really looked at the measurements of the brace, as long as my led's would fit on it and it would fit under my deck. For mounting the led's and heat sinks I had to drill holes in the brace so I could screw them on it. I laid the led's on the brace just so they would fit, drew some dots where the bolts had to come and drilled the holles there. for the led's I drilled 3,5 mm holes and drilled them out with an M4 tap drill. For the heat sinks I did the same thing with a 3mm drill exept now I didn't tap the holes. The heat sinks are attached with M3 bolts and nuts and the led's with just the M4 bolts. The wires are connected just as in the last picture. Finally I put some transparant silicon kit over the led's to protect them from water and damage.
Step 3: Rear Light
Also the rear light is just something I made simple and fast. I took an old little piece of wood with a slanting side. The wood was a little bigger than the one on the pictures because I took a bit of with a saw. The slanting side is because the back of my deck bends up a bit and I wanted to keep my light straight. I then took out some wood with a chisel on the side that was going to be glued to the deck. I drilled 5mm holes from the back to the carved space for the led's to fit in (see pictures). I then connected the led's as shown above with a 68 ohm resistor. I used staples to keep the wires to the battery in place, not really the best way but it works. Before putting everything in the wood I sprayed it black.
Step 4: The El-wire
Alongside the board I made a small slot so that the el wire would lay in there a little bit. I used a dremel to do this. when te slot was ready I sticked the el-wire in it using the transparant silicon kit. The el-wire I bought was 5 meter and I had to cut it to length with just a little extra length. The begin and end of the el wire is at the carved spot of the deck near the left back side. You can't directly connect the el wire to the battery, between the battery and el-wire comes a smal 12V dc to 110V ac converter. This converter comes with the el-wire from ebay (linked at the materials).
Step 5: Under the Deck
This is where everything happens and everything combines. I glued the rear light with wood glue to the deck (can also be done with some assembly kit), the green box is attached with strong dubbelsided tapestickers, and the front light is hold in possition with strong assembly kit rigth after the front wheels (this gives the effect as if my wheels are glowing orange). The wires are going through the small cable tray, which is normally used for ceilings, to the box where everything is connected to the battery. I had to drill three small holes so the wires could enter the box from the sides. The cable tray's are also attached with dubbelsided tape which is already on there. Inside the box is the battery that connects to a plug. This plug goes with three red and three black wires to a six pin male header, so I have three red/black connections supplying 12 volts to the front/rear light and the dc to ac converter for making the el-wire work. In the pictures is good to see how I did it.
Step 6: And Now Ride It!
While I was riding the board I noticed that the box opened itself everytime I hit a little bumb, so to solve this I used some elastics from the corners over the cap. This works pretty good. I hope you enjoyed this instructable and good luck making it yourself!
Participated in the
Make It Glow! Contest
7 years ago
Won't the EL get ruined if it gets hit from something? (I've never ridden a skateboard, I don't know how it is)
Reply 7 years ago
Yes you are right. There is a possibility to protect it better but for now I'm just driving carefully :-)
7 years ago
Cool thanks for the IDEA dude! I am about to do this on my long board :)
Reply 7 years ago
Thanks man, glad you like it!