Friday, June 15, 2007

New rear light on the bike

A month or so ago, Jude treated herself to a new seat for her bike.
Pictures are here.
I needed something for my bike too. A couple of years ago we had fitted LED light bulbs to the rear of both bikes as the vibration tends to blow normal bulbs and LEDs are much brighter anyway. I had recently started playing with a soldering iron and thought that I should make myself a new rear light. I started by buying a load of red 5mm LEDs and some 630 ohm resistors to go with them. I made this up with some strip board.

This used 23 LEDs.

Here are the before and after pictures of the rear light, with LED bulb and then LED panel.

As the pictures were taken in the dark garage with flash, they do not really show how much brighter the panel is compared to the bulb.

This is the difference with the brake lights on:

The brake lights in the indicators are also LEDs that were fitted to both bikes a while ago. The pictures do not really do the new light justice, in practice it is a vast difference.
For those that are interested in trying this, for any bike, feel free to email me on the address above in my profile and I will help. I could have made this with about 36 LEDs for even more effect, but I am sure that Jude will want one with 36 for her bike, watch this space.


At 7:26 am, Blogger Tigue said...

sounds like you are on the road to recovery and thinking of taking the bikes out again? Happy to see you posting :)

At 10:51 am, Blogger madman said...

Yes all back to normal now. Have been out on the bikes a number of times, photos and videos are on Photobucket, feel free to browse.
I see you want to go to Andorra, went once myself, won't bother going back as France has more to see and is much cleaner. Try Pau for a nice place to see.

At 11:49 am, Blogger Fran├žois said...

Those lights look great! I find the BMW rear's very 'feeble' indeed and especially dangerous in bad weather (whioch we DO tend to have here from time to time).

I might want to start soldering too after the holidays! ;-)

At 12:10 pm, Blogger madman said...

Francois, when you want to start let me know and I'll pass on the wiring diagram that I came yo with and the source for the bright LEDs. I have now done Judes bike too.

At 6:35 pm, Blogger Nikos said...

Interesting post!
I found a block of 8 LEDs that flash to act as enhanced brake warning but am struggling to integrate them on my '98 R1100R - I would be interested in more details of your mod!

Many thanks, Nick

PS There is some good stuff on WbW in case you had not found it

At 7:04 pm, Blogger madman said...

Nikos, I don't think that flashing lights are legal here in Europe. Any LED can be wired strait into the brake light power wire to come on with the brake lights, but you must wire it the correct way round as LEDs are polarity sensitive and will not work if the wrong way round. It will not damage them if you do so.
My setup removes the rear bulb and had a plate with the LEDs in its place. They are all fed full voltage through a resistor each for brake operation and the whole lot go through an extra single resistor for rear light operation. They are working well ands have proved to be very durable.
Thanks for the website link.

At 8:12 pm, Blogger Nikos said...

Where do you buy the LEDs? Do you put a series resistor for each LED or group them? Questions questions!

At 8:57 pm, Blogger madman said...

Nikos, drop me an email on and I'll send you some more info.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home