Riding at night or during storms is seemingly impossible at times due to the low visibility which can be a result of faulty illumination of the street lights or the deteriorating headlamp of the motorbike.
I checked with the lighting fixtures online and realised they were not very "pocket friendly" and thus decided to be underway with my own designs.
Step 1: Acquiring Materials
The few things needed for this project are:
- LED (A LOT !!!!)
- Toggle switch
- 2mm thick Acrylic sheet or Sunboard
- 1mm thick clear Acrylic sheet
- 8x 3mm thick Screw: Phillips/ slot combination
- 4x 3mm Nut
- 8x 3mm Washers
- 2x C Type Pipe Clamp
- Electrical tape
- Hot glue gun
Step 2: Designing the Light Base
I designed the units on paper to understand the dimensions of the unit and its fixing detail.
I checked the light details that I was getting online. I ordered the LEDs over eBay as I got them quite cheap. Here are 20 strip with 3 LEDs in each of them, all connected in parallel. The fact that they are waterproof also worked towards making my decision to buy them easier.
They have a net output wattage of 14.4 watts which means the I get something around 1100lm.
I divided the lot into two parts, i.e., 10 strips each.
Step 3: Preparing the Light Base
For the base of the lights, i.e., the 10 strips, I used a 2 mm thick sheet of Sunboard because of it's easy availability near my place, but any plastic or acrylic sheet can work. You just need to remember 2 things while choosing the materials:
- It should be sturdy and not sag at any point
- It should be water proof or should hold not water retention properties
Take the dimensions of the module you receive or make and prepare the base as per that.
I worked out the modules and added a bit of space (5mm) between the last 2 strips on each end. For strength purposes, I stuck 2 sheets of sunboard on the base.
Now repeat the same for the other 10.
Step 4: Prepare the Light Housing
Based on the dimensions of the base, prepare the housing. Remember, the Light base should fit inside the housing. Since these units were custom made, I could not buy a ready made box from the hardware stores. Here are the steps of making one housing.
For strength purposes, I gave a depth of 30mm to the housing and used spacers (made with sunboard stacking) for screw wedges. Use hot glue on the edges for added strength and for waterproofing the inside of the Housing.
The 5mm space left on the Light base between the end modules on the 2 sides are where we drill holes for the screws.
Also drill 2 holes on the back of the housing based on the dimensions of the clip and fix 2 screws there with washers. Hot glue them.
Repeat the same for the other housing.
NOTE: Be very careful while drilling holes into the base. You do not want to be harming the LEDs in anyway.
Step 5: Finishing the Light Module
Once the Light base fits inside the housing, use 2 screws and fix it there. Incase the screws are longer than the depth of the housing, then use nuts on the outside to fix them there. It will only add strength. Hot glue the extra openings once to waterproof any extra openings that made have opened up.
On the outside, use electric tape to hold the edges firmly.
On the back, drill a hole for the wires. Once the wires are through, hot glue it for waterproofing.
For the front, prepare a cap using the transparent acrylic. remove the filament on the inside and glue the edges firmly. Use hot glue if need be.
Once done, paint the entire module in the desired colour you want. Don't worry about spilling paint on the front face of the light with the acrylic. removing the filament on the front will take care of any paint that was spilt there.
Repeat the same for the other module.
Step 6: Fixing the Module to the Bike
Fix the lights with the help of the C-Type Pipe Clamp. I added a layer of foam to avoid scratching the frame. The same was repeated for the other module as well.
You may use a D-Type Silicon Retaining Clamp or even an A -Type Silicon Retaining Clamp if you can get one.
Step 7: Finish the Wiring
Fix the wires with the on-board circuit of the bike and take it through the Toggle switch.
You have a high powered night light ready.