Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Electronics, Lighting, & Gadgets HRM, GPS, MP3, HID. Whether it's got an acronym or not, here's where you'll find discussions on all sorts of tools, toys and gadgets.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-31-12, 08:52 PM   #1
chaadster
Thread Killer
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée
Posts: 7,963
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 275 Post(s)
Fitted some 12v LED light bar "tail lights" to my trailer.

I picked up some automobile wheel well LED light bars to add to my kids' trailer for attention-grabbing effective.

I chose these LEDGlow wheel well lights because they were flexible, waterproof, multi-color, and a simple, single power source design. I had been looking at another kit that actually used 12v for the controller, and a separate 5v supply for the LEDs...stupid.

To power these, I simply bought a couple of 8 battery cell series holders, one for Ds, another for AAs, since I didn't know what the power consumption was going to be and wanted to use the smallest batteries practicable. I've only used the D cells so far.

The light kit was straightforward; 24" light bars plug into a distribution block which itself plugs into a control box with a 2 wire power lead. The control box has power and mode control switches on it, but the whole thing is controllable from an included remote, too.

I bought a simple, 2 wire-to-5.5mm female plug for the control box leads, and that plugged directly into the male connector from the battery pack. Very simple, and it seems to work fine so far.

I threw the battery holder, the distribution block, and the control box into a small Tupperware box and put it in the back of the trailer. I routed the wires for the light bars along the frame and into the cabin and plugged them in. The light bars themselves I just used Velcro to attach to the frame for the time being; we'll see how it holds up, but I'm hopeful it will be just fine.

The shakedown ride and time spent futzing with the various settings amounted to about 30 minutes of continuous runtime, with no signs of fading or problems. I'm running alkaline D cells right now, but based on some battery test results over on the Candlepower forums, am prepared to go to NiMH rechargeables if I don't get satisfactory run time out of these. (What would satisfactory be? I dunno, but I'd be happy if I got 3-4 hours in this scenario; I rarely drag the kids around at night for more than 20 minutes at a go, with the occasional bike fest night ride of an hour or so, so 4 hours would be low, but roughly 12 typical rides, which handily covers all of the downtown summer festival movie nights.)

Here are a couple of brief video showing the general setup and some of the many, inscrutable flash modes. You can see how the LED bars wrap around from the rear to the sides, giving good visible coverage:


chaadster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-12, 06:35 AM   #2
cehowardGS
Motorcycle RoadRacer
 
cehowardGS's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 3,828
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Awesome!

It is a known fact, that you carry one of life's most precious treasures in that trailer.
cehowardGS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-12, 08:06 AM   #3
chaadster
Thread Killer
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée
Posts: 7,963
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 275 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by cehowardGS View Post
Awesome!

It is a known fact, that you carry one of life's most precious treasures in that trailer.
Thanks, CE, both for the compliment and for understanding why I might have gone a little overboard with the lighting.

Additionally, both the kid and I enjoy making people smile with our bike lights; I've got Monkeylights on the bike in video, and on her tag-along she's got Hokeyspokes, so when often get approving comments when we're out on night rides downtown.

I can't wait to capture some video of the new rig fully kitted out as it is now, with these trailer lights and the Monkeylights...it's going to be quite a spectacle, and a blast to take out on some of the nighttime bike festival rides!
chaadster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-12, 11:25 AM   #4
Richard Cranium
Senior Member
 
Richard Cranium's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Deep in the Shawnee Forest
Bikes: LeMond - Gunnar
Posts: 2,838
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Pretty neat - you can be your own parade.... Nice job on the installation - hope they do the job if they ever are "needed."

I'm afraid the ugly old red flashers may still be needed if you are in urban area with multiple lights sources competing for attention.

Maybe you can get video from a driver's perspective on one of your local streets - see how they show from a block away or so......
Richard Cranium is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-12, 06:13 PM   #5
chaadster
Thread Killer
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée
Posts: 7,963
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 275 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
Pretty neat - you can be your own parade.... Nice job on the installation - hope they do the job if they ever are "needed."

I'm afraid the ugly old red flashers may still be needed if you are in urban area with multiple lights sources competing for attention.

Maybe you can get video from a driver's perspective on one of your local streets - see how they show from a block away or so......
A block away? Hmm, hadn't thought of that metric, so maybe I will do that!

I do still have, and you can see it in the vid, a Portland Design Works Dangerzone flasher on the left side of the frame, just above the LED strip.
chaadster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-12, 09:59 PM   #6
jayr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: The O.V.
Bikes: LHT
Posts: 121
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Great idea, I'm sure with all the different colors flashing and changing that will get attention at a block even on a well lit street. If the velcro doesn't hold up you could use that automotive double sided tape designed for sticking on trim and things like that. I'm surprised it didn't come with it...
jayr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-12, 12:08 PM   #7
chaadster
Thread Killer
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée
Posts: 7,963
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 275 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayr View Post
Great idea, I'm sure with all the different colors flashing and changing that will get attention at a block even on a well lit street. If the velcro doesn't hold up you could use that automotive double sided tape designed for sticking on trim and things like that. I'm surprised it didn't come with it...
They did, in fact, include double sided tape, but I just wasn't sure what my setup would be, so I wanted something easier to remove.
chaadster is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:18 PM.