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WebFootFreak 03-09-14 12:30 PM

Rear LED Flasher.
Since my close call last Sunday, I've been thinking of amping up my rear flasher. I found a pair of 4" Red LED strips at Wally World in the automotive section. I figured I'd pick the brains of the mad scientist collective here to figure out how to power them as flashers...



davidad 03-09-14 02:55 PM

Most of my geezer group rides with Dinotte taillights. I haven't seen anything brighter including auto brake lights. They ain't cheap, but worth it.

ItsJustMe 03-10-14 07:49 AM

Buy an actual bike light. A Cygolite Hotshot or a PDW Danger Zone are both < $30 and will be more effective than the automotive thing.

You can get the automotive thing to work, but they require 12 volts and if you want them to flash you're going to have to either use some automotive flasher which will draw more power than the LEDs do, or build some circuitry. You'll wind up with a big mess of batteries and circuitry and spend more money than if you just bought a bike light in the first place.

I could provide schematics; whether you want to carry a 12 volt battery or use a boost converter is up to you, but I think any solution is going to cost more than just buying a proper light.

If your idea of bike lights is what you find at wally world, you should take a look elsewhere. Proper bike lights such as those I mentioned are very bright.

Also, do not think that just because you have a light that nobody could miss means that some idiot still won't hit you.

lopek77 03-13-14 02:19 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Mars 4.0 Rear Light - Blackburn Design Very strong and very visible in a daylight.

Mars 3.0 Rear Light - Blackburn Design Strong, usable in daylight and better visibility under different angles.

Both lights are water proof, long lasting battery life, and tested by me for the last 3 years. Winter, summer, bumpy roads and trails... Lights are always on, even on the trails, day and night. The mount is awesome and I couldn't be happier with the them.

FlatSix911 03-13-14 11:55 PM

Here is another option ... Zackees Bike gloves with built-in LED turn signals :thumb:

doctor j 03-14-14 06:21 AM

For what it's worth, I ride regularly at night. I run 4 tail lights. Two are Planet Bike Superflash, one is a Cygolite Hotshot, and the fourth is a Foxfire light. I have a Superflash on the left seat stay and one on the back of my seat bag. The Hotshot is one the seat post, and the Foxfire is just above the brake bridge. In addition to the lights, I wear a safety vest with reflective strips. When I'm really on my game, I wear reflective ankle strips. Thus far, these measures have been effective.

fietsbob 03-14-14 09:49 AM



I found a pair of 4" Red LED strips at Wally World in the automotive section...
....figure out how to power them as flashers...
DC 12v is the first guess, it being automotive ..

seems a more direct route is buy something the Chinese made that you just install, and put a couple flashlight batteries in ,
thats what others seem to suggest.

you save the receipt? DIY electronic circuit design might be in over your head.

gsa103 03-14-14 11:58 PM

The simple solution is to run them directly off a small battery pack with 4x 18650 Li-Ion batteries in series, no sophisticated circuit needed (add a switch for simplicity). Car electrical systems actually vary all over the place, so I suspect the lights won't have any trouble dealing with the slightly higher voltage. No clue what sort of battery life you'd expect. Make sure you figure out how to waterproof the connections. Getting the lights to flash will be dramatically more complicated.

That said, I'd say its probably smarter to invest in a good bike light. There's some really bright ones out there that will be simpler.

lopek77 03-16-14 01:22 AM


Originally Posted by FlatSix911 (Post 16576373)

The best part at 44 seconds...guy playing on his bmx in the middle of a street " I'm Zack, and I want you to be seen " :roflmao2:
Other than that a pretty cool idea and great safety gadget for commuters . They just need to make it strong enough.

noglider 03-18-14 12:55 PM

It might pay to use a PVC pipe and mount it across the back of your bike, effectively widening the bike. Space the flashers evenly along the pipe.

There is at least one delivery bike guy in my neighborhood who uses a very wide front basket, and he has two white flashers in front, on the edges of the basket. The setup is very effective. For some reason, it looks like he has sparklers on the bike.

lopek77 03-21-14 12:36 AM

Just bought Cygolite Hotshot 2w light. Install one and you will be all set. Extremely strong light with great light patterns.

lopek77 03-25-14 05:13 PM

Quick comparison of 2 very popular tail lights. Solid and proven Blackburn Mars 4.0 with 1 Watt LED vs. CygoLite HotShot with 2 Watt LED ( premium version with up to 500 hrs of run time, and 5 customizable modes ). Both are considered as a "day time" tail lights. ($20-$30 as of today)

Bicycle Tail Lights Cygolite HotShot 2 Watt vs. Blackburn Mars 4.0 1 Watt LED Comparison - YouTube

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