Blue LED Bike Wheel

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Introduction: Blue LED Bike Wheel

About: Italian maker, law student, DIY enthusiast. I make lots of projects, I fix lot of stuff and I like to save and reuse materials taken from broken stuff.

Hi everyone!

In this ible i'll show you how to build a funny and cool LED project.

I'll basically secure 6 blue LEDs to the spokes of the wheel.

The result will be fabulous! And it's also a useful project because these LEDs, while cycling, will make a perfect bright circle that will help car drivers to notice you in the dark.

Thanks for your support I won the "Squeeze More Out of Summer Contest"!

So..let's go to see materials and tools!!

Step 1: Materials and Tools

MATERIALS:

- 6 blue LEDs

- heatshrink tubing

- 3x 100 ohm resistors

- ON/ON switch

- 9V battery snap connector

- 9V battery

TOOLS:

- soldering iron

- solder

- scissors

- cable ties

- nippers

Step 2: LEDs and Resistors

As you can see in photo#1, we need to connect 3 couples of LEDs in parallel being careful to follow the right polarity.

I decided that 6 LEDs would have done enough light, and as I initially thought, the result is fantastic!
I suggest you to put 6/8 LEDs depending on the size of your wheel ;)

I wanted to make the result as clear as possible so I soldered two LEDs with a resistor, leaving the wires long as the wheel spokes (24cm) at the sides, and the double (48cm) in the middle. (this because the middle wire will connect two LEDs fixed on two different spokes, so it will have to go from one LED, down the spoke till the wheel hub and again up on the other spoke till the second LED)

Before attaching the LEDs to the spokes, I suggest you to check if all works correctly and if your LEDs are bright as they should be.

After you have soldered, tested and insulated all the three couples, you can go to the next step.

Step 3: Switch and Battery Snap Connector

In this step we will simply solder a switch to the 9V snap connector.

Step 4: Attach LEDs and Cables to the Spokes

Now comes the wearisome step! :P

In order to make an almost perfect circle when the LEDs are working and the wheel is spinning, I decided to secure them at 3,5cm from the bicycle's rim.

I have 18 spokes so I secured them with cable ties at the same distance spacing them 2 spokes. (I mean: 1spoke with LED, 2 free spokes, 1spoke with LED, 2 free spokes, etc)

Now you should have something that looks like photo#3.

Then it's time to secure the longer cables on the spokes with other cable ties. I suggest you to use a lot of them to be sure that the cables will not move around, but not too many otherwhise you will not end with a clean look like mine.

At the end of this step you should have secured all except for the 3 negative wires, and the 3 positive ones.

Step 5: Attach Battery and Switch to the Hub

Now it's time to plug the 9V battery to the snap connector, and to set the switch to OFF.

As you can see in the photo, I glued the switch directly to the battery with SuperAttack to keep it in place. (I know that I could have found a better idea to secure it like attach on the spokes, but this was just a quick solution.. I could not wait any longer ahahaha)

So I secured the 9V battery to the wheel hub with two cable ties, and I finally soldered the 3negative wires to the negative wire that comes from the battery, and the 3positive wires to the positive wire obviously.

At the end, I tested the whole project by playing with the switch and I insulated the two last connections.

Step 6: Finish!! Have Fun in Your Nighttime Bicycle Rides.

I ended with a very cool and clean job.

I tested them the night after the building on the road and I was impressed! I still don't believe how much they illuminate also the street! :D

I'll surely make another one for the back wheel as soon as the other blue LEDs I ordered will arrive.

Thank you for reading my Instructable. ;)
Feel free to comment and ask if you need to know something!

manuelmasc

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Second Prize in the
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2 People Made This Project!

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51 Discussions

0
user
Mase13

3 years ago

i have tried it with two rings instead of one and was great thanks for the great idea. now my little brother wants it and i am going play with some other ideas as well

temp_-768798882.jpg
1 reply

cool! look this advanced ones http://www.geekled.com/led-wheel-lights

looks great! if it shows up gif image, it would be much cooler!! geekleds.com/wheel-led-light

1 reply

How does this compare price wise to the led light sets that you can buy for a few dollars that just clip on the spokes?

2 replies

this project will surely win! ;)

- with just 1.50 dollar you have 6 LEDs, while with 1/3 dollars you can buy a singular light.

- and just one of those LEDs brights a lot more than the buyable ones ;)

i was able to get 30 LEDs for 5 bucks on amazon. about 16 cents for one.

I was wondering how you managed to reliably get power to a spinning wheel. Brilliant idea of just cable-tying the battery to the wheel's hub!

2 replies

2 more LEDs per wheel...this will be awesome!! anyway I'm newish too with electronics! don't worry.

In order to calculate easily your resistors, I suggest you to use websites like ledcalc.com in which you just need to enter your parameters, and it calculate you the right resistor! ;)

Was there any reason you used a resistor on each pair? Would one resistor on the live wire have the same effect? Thank you in advance for any assistance.

I've been wanting to figure out a way to add LED's to my tires too, thanks to your ible i'm definitely going to give it a try, however, I have a 555 timer i was thinking I might try throwing in to make a blinking circuit. :D If I figure out how, I'll definitely give a click on the ole "i made it" for ya. :) GREAT JOB

1 reply

thanks @Madmarx ;)

and yeah!! it's a fantastic idea!! it will result a more awesome project!!! please upload here your results!