Bicycle LED Lights

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About: I MAKE in my sleep. I MAKE for keeps. I MAKE I MAKE I MAKE creative me.
This Instructable will guide you through the process of lighting your bike with LED lights. I get these lights pretty cheap on eBay and the biggest cost is batteries. I use a 12 volt rechargeable battery, but you can use other configurations. The video posted above is a quick guide to lighting your bike and is a preview of sorts.

Step 1: Preparing Your Parts

Tools Needed:
1.
Scissors (to cut the inner tube)
2. X-Acto Knife (or a sharp knife)
3. Soldering Iron (optional, to attach alligator clips to the battery))
4. Zip Ties  (optional, to secure the LEDs to your bike)
5. Bike Bag (under the seat is best)
6. Wire Stripper(or a sharp knife)
7. Inner Tube (optional)
8. Alligator Clips (optional)
9. LED Lights (remote is optional, yet more fun) eBay Link
10. 12 Volt Battery (several options) RechargeableAA Battery Holder
11. Razor Blade
12. Safety Glasses

I am providing a detailed list of items that I used. You can do this project with much less. You might not need to strap zip ties or inner tubes to your bike to hold the LED wire, for example.

Step 2: Putting It All Together

1. Unroll your LED strip and get a rough estimate of where you will be sticking it to your bike. I ran my strip underneath the bike's lower tube and under my bike rack so it didn't blind me as I rode. It illuminates my fenders and the road nicely.
2. Test the LED strip to make sure it works, by plugging it into your battery source.
3. Peel the 3M tape backing and start sticking it to your frame starting under the seat. Leave room on the seat bar for future seat height adjustment and to reach your bike bag.
4. Use the zip ties and inner tubes to hold the strip in place so the backing has time to adhere.
5. Strap the bike bag (which holds your battery and remote) to your seat.
6. Depending on which battery configuration you use, you will need to attach the battery to the male adapter.
  RechargeableBattery
  a. Using wire strippers, remove about a 1/4 inch from all four ends of the battery wire and male plug.
  b. Solder the two alligator clips to either the battery or male adapter, it doesn't really matter which.
  c. Clip the battery to the male adapter plug and stuff it into the bike bag.
  AABattery
  a. Strip the ends to expose the wires about a 1/4 inch.
  b. You can either solder to the male plug or twist the wires and wrap with electrical tape.
  c. Removing the batteries will act as the off switch.
7. Cut the wire strip to size with your razor blade. You will need to cut is a the copper junction point, as shown in the 6th photo.
8. Stuff the components into the bike bag and you are ready to roll.

Please feel free to message me for any additional help with your project.

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18 Discussions

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Jose EribertoP

Question 4 months ago on Introduction

Since I'm into riding my mountain bike at night, I'd like to know how to connect it via usb. I'd like to use my powerbank (10,000 mah) as the power source.

1 more answer
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Jack A LopezJose EribertoP

Answer 4 months ago

Does your powerbank have a 12 VDC output? Some of them do.

If it does not, I suppose you could use a DC-to-DC converter, to convert 5 VDC to 12 VDC, as long as the power throughput is reasonably low.

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DanielM938

1 year ago

I recently took on this project to use as a light painting tool. It was way easier than I expected and works great. I also made a detailed video of the entire proces.

The whole project cost around $60 not including my bike. Great article. I hope it inspires many more to get out and build their own LED light bike.

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Rumdogoutlaw30

1 year ago

This is my bike. I spent about 800.00 all together including the price if the bike itself which was 200.00.. this bike includes a GPS system, 2 JBL Bluetooth speakers, cup holders, cell phone holder, portable charger and holder, speedomiter, equipped with stun gun, air pump, extra wide tires (almost the size of a dirt bikes tires. Includes 15 separate blue LED light strips that are ran by a 12V motorcycle battery (except for the lights on the inside of the rims) which is located on the back rack. I welded 2 racks together to form an + shape so that it can hold everything required for this bike.

IMG_20170327_012404593.jpgIMG_20170327_012312643.jpg
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Tater Zoidanthony.olegario.9

Reply 3 years ago

I bought it from Amazon as well. If you click the link I provided, The charger shows up under the battery listing.

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swimfan2489

5 years ago on Introduction

Hey, just wondering how long of an LED strip you are using, and how long it lasts with teh 12V battery? Thanks!

1 reply
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HrdWodFlor

5 years ago on Introduction

Very cool! I have always wanted to do something like this but thought it would be much harder. I love to ride my bike night this will help a lot. I do have a question, how sensitive is the LED strip to water?

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Tater ZoidHrdWodFlor

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

Thanks. While I do order the waterproof LEDs, I have yet to test them in the rain. I have splashed through puddles though and they still run. As I use them more, I will do my best to provide updates.

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lycrake

5 years ago on Introduction

Hi there. Great instructable, thinking about making something similar. Out of interest what length of LEDs did you lay, and how long do the batteries last?

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Tater Zoidlycrake

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

Hello and thank you. The LED I order are 5 meters long and the battery tends to last about 5-6 hours on blink mode.

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Nice instructable. You can also add a small bike generator and voltage regulator to recharge the battery pack. Thanks for sharing.

1 reply
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Tater Zoidgladreal

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

I used the inner tube when I put the zip ties on the frame for added protection to the paint. They are just temporary until the 3M backing sticks to the frame.