Intro: Super Cool Bicycle LED Tail Light Fiber Flair Glowing Glue Stick
The inspiration for this Instructable came from a product a friend purchased for his recumbent bicycle, the Fiber Flare. The Fiber Flare shines two LEDs down a solid tube of plastic and provides a nice glowing indicator. I wanted to see if I could make one from items around the house. I was successful and am proud to introduce this Instructable I call the Fiber Flair!
Step 1: Assemble the Materials
Parts list: 9v battery, 9v battery clip, 10 to 1000 ohm resistor, two 3mm LEDs, wire.
Before we get started, lets take a look at the Fibre Flare
If you take a close look at the 2nd picture you will notice the hunk of plastic sort of looks like a glue stick from a hot glue gun. Glue stick? What is an Instructable without a glue stick? What happens when an LED is shined into an actual glue stick? Believe it or not, it actually lights up like a glow stick! What is so cool about this is that the glue stick is a very low cost diffuser. The diffuser spreads the LED light so it is visible 360 degrees.
Step 2: Assemble the Circuit
Step 3: Prepare the Glue Stick
Now let’s wire one of these up. I noticed that the diameter of a glue stick is a bit too narrow for a 5mm LED, so I decided to use a 3mm LED. I drilled a small hole in the end of each glue stick and stuffed the 3mm LED into the hole.
I want to build this as cheaply as possible, so that limits me to using a 9v battery as the power clip runs about 25 cents off of Ebay. I also purchased a lot of 3mm blue LEDs from a Chinese seller on Ebay and a pack of resistors. The most expensive item here is the 9v battery. The wire I used was reclaimed from a discarded cat 5 networking cable
Step 4: Finish the Sick
To keep the parts count down, I wired up the two LEDs in parallel. They will share the same current limiting resistor. The value of the resistor is calculated with very simple math. All you need to do is remember E=IR where E is the voltage of the battery minus the forward voltage of the LED (approx 9-3 = 6V), I is the current we wish to run the LED at (I’m going for maximum battery life so we will use 6ma) and solve for R. Plug it the numbers into your calculator and you get a nice 1000 ohm resistor. This should give me 80 hours of riding enjoyment out of a quality 9V. Pretty cool?