Today I am going to show you how to turn an ordinary bike reflector into a bike reflector light so you can see at night when you are riding a bike. when you ride your bike at night just flip the switch and the lights will come on for riding at night. but during the day turn the lights off and u have a regular reflector. this is also my entry for the light up the night entry please vote for me.
Step 1: Gathering the Parts
here are the parts u will need to build this light.
2. drill/drill bits
5. 9v battery
6. 9v battery clip
7. on/off switch
8. 2 extra wood blocks
9. heat gun
10. wire cutters/strippers
11. dremel/dremel saw bit
12. bike reflector
13. resistor (optional)
14. 3 leds (I recommend using bright blue or white leds)
15. razor blade/x-acto knife
16. hot glue/super glue (hot glue gun if using hot glue.)
this way seem like a lot of stuff for something so small to build, but most of these items can be found around the house or bought for real cheap.
Step 2: The Reflector
For this step you are going to need to use the drill and take off the reflector from your bike. unless you are using a reflector that is not on a bike. then after you have your reflector you are going to need to take your razor blade or x-acto knife and separate the reflector from the black hinge part of the reflector. now in the picture you will see what I mean. after you have separated the two pieces take the reflective piece and drill three holes about the size of your leds were ever you want them to be. i chose to make a triangle shape like in the second picture below.
Step 3: Wiring the Leds
After you have drilled your three holes try and fit your three leds into them, and if they do not fit then keep making adjustments with the drill. (be careful not to drill to fast or or crooked or you will crack your reflector). After you put your leds into the holes then wire them in series. which means solder the negative lead on the middle led to the positive lead of one of the other leds and do the same for the positive lead of the middle led and the other negative lead. look at the picture below for an example.
with the other two extra leads from the leds attach about 2 inches of wire to each side like shown in the second picture.
Step 4: Wiring the Switch, Resistor and Battery Clip
Now it is time to wire the switch and the 9v battery clip (and if you have a resistor to wire in then we will do that too). so first off take your battery and make sure that you wired your leds correctly. then after you have done that take your switch and solder it to negative side of the led wires. after you have done that solder the negative side of the 9v battery clip to the other lead on your switch. now from here you have 2 choices, you can either solder the positive lead of the 9v battery clip to the positive wire of your leds, or you can solder the positive lead of the 9v clip to a resistor then to the positive wire of the leds. now just hook up the battery and flip the switch to see if it works.
Step 5: Making the Plexiglas Box
now lets take a ruler and measure all four sides of the black hinge piece that you took off in the first couple of steps. after you have that mark on the Plexiglas the same measurements you took from the black hinge piece like shown below. then cut off any extra piece using a glass cutter or a table saw or something that will cut through the glass. now you have a couple of options you could either cut along the lines you marked on your Plexiglas and then use hot glue to build your box around the black hinge, or you can bend the Plexiglas using a heat gun. if you choose to use a heat gun refer to steps 6.
Step 6: Building the Plexiglas Box Using a Heat Gun.
this step is to explain how to use a heat gun to bend the Plexiglas into the box shape in the picture below. follow the steps below to bend the Plexiglas into the the box shape.
1. remove the paper cover on the Plexiglas.
2. remark your measurements onto the piece of Plexiglas.
3. take a heat gun and evenly heat the Plexiglas between the edge and the first marker line until you hear a popping sound them quickly turn of the heat gun so you Plexiglas does not start turning white and bumpy.
4. then take the 2 extra pieces of wood and squeeze the Plexiglas until it cool. (i recommend using gloves).
5. repeat steps 3 and 4 until you have a box similar to the one below. that way you have the front and back missing so you can fit your black hinge and reflector in.
Step 7: Putting It All Together
now that you have your Plexiglas box build hot glue or super glue the black hinge to one of the hollow sides of the Plexiglas box. then use a dremel to slowly cut a hole so your switch can fit through. then slide the 9v battery into the bottom of the box and push the switch through the hole you cut. then after that hot glue or super glue the reflector on the opposite end of the black hinge with the wires pushed inside the box.
Step 8: Finishing Touches
the last thing you need to do is make sure that there are no wholes were water or anything else can get into by hot gluing/ super gluing them shut. that way there will be no short circuiting. then just screw your new led bike reflector onto your bike in its original spot. I took it to the next step and put reflective tape around the Plexiglas box to make it more reflective.