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  1. #1
    Ad astra per aspera. roadnoob412's Avatar
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    LED Accent Lighting - not headlight/taillight...

    Hi all,

    Anyone have any experiences with installing LED accent lighting on a bike? I mean, not necessarily PURPOSE built lighting like headlights or tail lights, but something that you might see on a show bike or motorcycle? I have an old Worksman Trike that I recently rebuilt/repainted and was thinking this might be a fun project. My main concern is how to power a set of LED's on a bicycle - I can follow diagrams, etc... but just don't know much about this stuff.

    Any advice/recommendations would be great!
    Thanks,
    Tim

  2. #2
    ed
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    I did this for the "Moonlight Ride" locally. I used some 12v lighting for motorcycles. It had a control box that would allow the LED units to smoothly fade from R/Gr/B/Yl as well as well as flash and do all sorts of other color switching. You could also just leave it on only 1 color too. It even came with a remote control.

    I ran it for about 1hr 15min (never ran out of juice...not even close) on an 8-cell AA pack using Energizer Alkaline's and a RadioShack cell holder. Pretty easy and straight-forward.


    My Dad got two of the unit's off eBay.


    I also spent $9.99 on a T-Shirt with a graphic equilizer built in to the front. It "bounced" off a powered microphone unit that fit into a sewn pocket and you could turn up/down the intensity. I took off the EQ and mounted it to my Camelbak and set the mic. right by my PocketPC phone with music playing the whole ride. The EQ was bouncing on my back during the whole ride while my "G-Ride" down lighting was fading in and out of different colors.


    I'll dig up pic's.

  3. #3
    ed
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    Here y'go!




  4. #4
    ed
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  5. #5
    ed
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    Here's an example of the shirt:

    http://www.grabcart.com/product/appa...h-Sound-Sensor

    Just google "Graphic EQ T-Shirt" and see what there is. There's a bazillion variations.

  6. #6
    Ad astra per aspera. roadnoob412's Avatar
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    Very cool - this is EXACTLY what I was looking for. Regarding the bike LED's - you're able to power these off of regular old batteries? I know on a motorcycle you'd wire them to the battery with a switch, but I don't know much about currents, etc... Since I have a trike and plenty of room, I was thinking of using one of those big camping flashlight batteries, but I wasn't sure how to wire it up without frying the LED's. Would this be an issue?

  7. #7
    ed
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    You need 12v.

    Go buy yourself one of these:

    BH181 For (8) D Cell with Solder Lug Connection.
    BH181 For (8) D Cell with Solder Lug Connection $3.95
    http://www.action-electronics.com/batteryholders.htm





    Or...if you have a 12v charger, get a 12v lead acid battery:
    http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...LAID=107600087

  8. #8
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    Look up "LED strip lights". You can get them from a bunch of places. I have them installed under the T-top on my boat. 9 strips total, each strip is one foot.

    They need 12v, but the power consumption is sooooo low that a 12v c cell pack will last a while.

    I think superbrightled.com has the color changing strips, but you also need a controller.

    The really bright ones can be found by googling "boat led rope light"
    My ride - a 2008 Giant OCR C2

  9. #9
    Ad astra per aspera. roadnoob412's Avatar
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    Please forgive my ignorance here, but are D Cell batteries 12V? I'm guessing the type of setup you have on your bike would run for a really long time on 8 D cell batteries as opposed to the 8 AA's you said you hooked yours up to? Is it the combined 1.5V of 8 D Batteries that makes it a 12V power source?

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by roadnoob412; 04-22-10 at 10:52 AM.

  10. #10
    ed
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    Yes...I actually used 8x AA's and it still lasted forever, so you could really do 8x AA's instead of the D's...but yes, multiply the number of Alkaline cells by the 1.5v ea and you get 12v.

    If you're doing rechargeable NIMH...you need to multiply 1.2'ish. They start out around 1.4, but end up around 1.2v.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    Batteries are rated in volts (power) and amps (capacity). So a 1.5v 1500ma battery is 1.5 volts and 1500 milliamps of capacity.

    You can get any multiple of 1.5v by connecting multiple batteries together. If you wire two 1.5 D cells in series, you get a 3v battery. Three in series gives you 4.5 volts. 4 D cells in series gives you 6 volts.

    When you wire batteries in series, the voltage adds up but the capacity remains the same.

    Batteries in parallel keep the same voltage, but capacity adds up.

    Google "series parallel batteries"
    My ride - a 2008 Giant OCR C2

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    Ad astra per aspera. roadnoob412's Avatar
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    Cool beans - so the D Cell battery holder 'wires' the batteries in Series to equal 12V? Awesome! I Googled 'series parallel batteries', and after a little reading, it looks like a battery holder or any common household item that accepts multiple batteries wires them in a 'series' configuration to combine their voltages. Makes total sense - 8 D batteries at 1.5V per battery gets me 12V!!

  13. #13
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    Yea, making a 12v power supply from alkaline cells is not hard. Radio Shack sells the required battery holders. You can also go straight 12v although it will be heavier.

    Your run time will depend on the draw of the lights, and the capacity of the battery supply.

    I like to do the Critical Mass rides. The point is to "see and be seen", so I might have to trick out my bike with some cool "look at me" lights too! Why not

    Pics will follow.....
    My ride - a 2008 Giant OCR C2

  14. #14
    Ad astra per aspera. roadnoob412's Avatar
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    Awesome - completely awesome! For $120 I can get TWO sets of these LED lights and do TWO of my bikes as opposed to $218 for 4 Monkey Lights that would only do ONE bike. Granted, the effect of the Monkey Lectric lights are WAY cool, I'm thinking it's much more cost effective and a better bang for my buck to pimp out TWO bikes instead of one! Like you guys, the bikes I'm working on are for local Moonlight rides, nothing serious - one is a cruiser and the other is an old trike I redid last year.

    Thanks again!

  15. #15
    Senior Member FlatSix911's Avatar
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    Try this ...

    New ILLUMINX Waterproof 14 LED Bike Spoke Light With Over 50 Different Patterns And Designs "Happy 4th Of July"

    Do you love midnight bike rides, but are sick and tired of all your super nerdy safety reflection gear? Do you dream of shedding the reflectors on your sneakers, and unstrapping the belts from waist and chest? Would you love to be the coolest guy on the block instead of its laughingstock? Well then this is the perfect solution for you. Whether you bike's got two wheels or you're still on the trainers, this LED wheel spoke light will make your neighbors green with envy. Even turn your unicycle into the hottest ride around town! Out with the old and in with the new, if you crave the newest way to achieve bike safety, this item is definitely the right one for you!

    IlluminX Bike Spoke Light is a unique bike accessory that combines fun with safety. Easy to install the spoke light randomly displays pre-programmed messages on the spoke of your bike once you exceed five miles per hour. Lights up your ride in daylight and at night. Includes installation parts and instructions Requires 3 AAA Batteries.

    http://www.dailysteals.com/daily-dea...h-Of-July.aspx

    Last edited by FlatSix911; 08-21-10 at 01:19 AM.
    You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
    You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
    You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
    You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
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  16. #16
    Randomhead
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    I always wanted a monkeylectric for my commuter

  17. #17
    Senior Member love2pedal.com's Avatar
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    You can go crazy all you want with EL (electroluminescent) wire.

    http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trk...All-Categories


  18. #18
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    I like all these ideas, but my comment has to go with accent LEDs and safety. I think having good head and tail lights is far from enough when riding in urban areas. Too much "light pollution" from other cars, building or whatever simply make even your "good lights" effective - excepting -head on and rear approach.

    Any how, I using a Dinottee on strobe mode and banging that bad boy right off my back side with a flashback triangle.

    But i think a better answer is a four or five Planet Bike super blinkies facing off the fork - top tube - seat stays whatever.

    It would be nice if they made a "triple emitter" that would strobe in three directions without a lot battery drain. Put two amber on the forks and two red on the seat stays or rack......

  19. #19
    Senior Member FlatSix911's Avatar
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    Get this LED to be seen ...

    http://www.dailysteals.com/Daily-Dea...tic-Base-.aspx

    Product Description:
    There are many times that people find themselves in sticky situations. Even the most cautious of people may just find themselves lost in giant forests filled with monstrous man eating spiders without a way of escaping. Take Lance for example. His entire life Lance was always careful to look both ways before crossing the street and buckle his seat belt. He brushed his teeth three times a day to keep away that plaque and gum disease, and most definitely did not venture out after dark. It just so happened that Lance took to sleep walking one night and woke up in the depths of a bat infested cave. Rescue teams search for him for days, but since Lance had no way of letting them know where he was, it wasn’t until a lone spelunker stumbled across his remains, that he was found.

    Now, if only poor Lance had one of our amazing life saving, Light N’ Lifesaver Emergency Strobe Puck, maybe his destiny wouldn’t have taken such a turn for the worst. Having the super bright LED lights flashing, would have attracted any rescuer from up to 8,000 feet away. Lance could have had SOS and up to 8 other rescue signals, blinking. Even if the cave had flooded, the Emergency Strobe Puck’s amazing waterproof capabilities would have kept the deice flashing. Rescuers definitely would have found Lance before the elements got the best of him. But he didn’t.

    Don’t let your fate have the possibility to turn out like Lance’s did. This puck is recommended and used by all sorts of rescue authority, including SWAT. Even if it’s not a nasty run in with a gang of ogres kidnapping you for your wealth, the Light N’ Lifesaver Emergency Strobe Puck can assist you in any situation.


    Product Features:
    • Super bright LED light seen from 8,000 feet away
    • “one button” control
    • Water-proof and crush resistant capsule
    • Magnetic base
    • Great for cars, boats, camping, hiking, RVs, aviation, and even at home
    • Great for emergency markers
    Last edited by FlatSix911; 08-21-10 at 01:25 AM.
    You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
    You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
    You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
    You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
    You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.

  20. #20
    Senior Member trx1's Avatar
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    8aa"s +switch+ 2 or 4 car led strips=cool light setup

  21. #21
    Ad astra per aspera. roadnoob412's Avatar
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    SO does anyone know where the ILLUMINX Waterproof 14 LED Bike Spoke Light With Over 50 Different Patterns And Designs can be found? I did a few quick Google searches and couldn't find it anywhere for sale. I'm wondering on the car LED's now - the pics above are in a pitch black setting. I wonder how they look at night out on the street where it's never really that dark - there are always ambient lights - street lights, etc...

    Thoughts?

  22. #22
    Senior Member FlatSix911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadnoob412 View Post
    SO does anyone know where the ILLUMINX Waterproof 14 LED Bike Spoke Light With Over 50 Different Patterns And Designs can be found? I did a few quick Google searches and couldn't find it anywhere for sale. I'm wondering on the car LED's now - the pics above are in a pitch black setting. I wonder how they look at night out on the street where it's never really that dark - there are always ambient lights - street lights, etc...

    Thoughts?
    Just keep watching the Daily steals website ... they will offer the item again in a few weeks

    http://www.dailysteals.com/daily-dea...h-Of-July.aspx
    You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
    You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
    You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
    You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
    You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.

  23. #23
    Ad astra per aspera. roadnoob412's Avatar
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    Will do - thanks. Just bookmarked the page.

    So does anyone have any idea about the LEDs? I'm wondering how they look out on the street at night with ambient light, etc... Are they bright enough that it doesn't matter?

  24. #24
    Senior Member FlatSix911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadnoob412 View Post
    Will do - thanks. Just bookmarked the page.

    So does anyone have any idea about the LEDs? I'm wondering how they look out on the street at night with ambient light, etc... Are they bright enough that it doesn't matter?
    Take a look at the attached images ... LEDs are very visible during the day and bright at night (image 51)

    You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
    You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
    You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
    You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
    You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.

  25. #25
    Ad astra per aspera. roadnoob412's Avatar
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    Ok guys,

    So I broke down and bought a set of LED lights on eBay.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEWNX:IT

    I got them today and went and got an 8 cell 'D' battery holder. I bought some batteries, brought it all home and hooked it up. It didn't work. I even went and tried hooking it up to my car's battery and got nothing. I played around with a volt meter and was finally able to make the battery pack work! Yahoo! This eBay seller is the fastest shipper I've ever seen too! Very easy to deal with! Highly recommend. Once I get them mounted I'll try and post some pics...
    Last edited by roadnoob412; 08-28-10 at 11:03 AM.

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