I was looking for an inexpensive way to add supplementary lighting to the dynamo powered headlight on my new bike. After a very dark ride down the local Multi-use Path I knew I needed to add some more lights but I didn't want to clutter the handlebars with heavy and often expensive bicycle specific lights. The solution I came up with uses LED clip lights from the Dollar Tree and some stuff that you probably have laying around the house already.
I know there are already LOTS of home made bike lights on Instructables but this one is a little different. If nothing else, a light like this could add a certain 'bling' factor to your ride.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
For this project you'll need:
1 or more Dollar Tree 'LED Clip-On Spot Lights
Old bicycle innertube
2 zip ties per light
Nipper Pliers (or Dremel w/ rotary cutter)
Step 2: Make It
We'll start by taking the clip section of the light appart.
You'll find that the pin holding both halves of the clip together can be pushed or pulled out by hand and you will have 5 parts:
2)The socket half of the clip
5)The other half of the clip
you can discard #3-5 becasue they are not needed for the rest of the project.
Next we need to use the nippers or dremel tool to remove the plastic tabs that held the pin from the back of the socket half of the clip. When you are finnished clipping or cutting away at the tabs they should be basically flush with the plastic backing.
I used a lighter to lightly melt the plastic where i had been nipping to smooth over any rough or sharp edges left by this crude cutting technique.
Step 3: Protect Your Paint
The light could be mounted as-is from step 2 but I just paid a lot of money for a shiny new bike and I don't want that rough plastic rubbing up on my paint like Michael Jackson at a cub scout meeting.
To prevent paint dammage I cut sections of an old bike innertube to make a gasket between the light and the paint job. I cut mine to size because I was able to use an existing screw to mount my light but if you will be using zip ties (that would be 99% of you) I recomend using a bigger rectangle of innertube wrapped completely around the fork leg.
Finally, wrap the zip ties around the mounting bracket, rubber gasket, and fork leg and make sure you tighten them down pretty good. Trim off the tail of the zip tie. Pop in the lights and use the ball joint to adjust them to shine wherever you want. I think it would be cool to mount 3-4 pairs of these up both sides of the fork.
Step 4: Show Off!
Find someplace to go show off your sweet new lights. Bling-tastic!