How to Light Your Bike with LED Strip Lights
Summer is officially here, and you know what that means: fun, fun, and more fun! Perhaps the best part of summer is that it’s the perfect time to break out your bike. Whether you’re already an official biker or you just enjoy taking a few occasional trips around town or to the park, this is the perfect time of year to trick out your bicycle with LED tape light. All you need are a few tools to bring a little light to your bike.
Gather all your tools. You will need:
- A bicycle
- Sharp knife or scissors
- (1) 12 volt LED tape light (use high output or standard) High output LED tape lights are about 3 times brighter than the standard strip lights. Standard strip lights work as well; it just depends on how bright you want your bike to be. Depending on the size of your bicycle you may need to use more than one spool of tape light.
- 8 AA batteries
- 12V battery case with on/off switch-This will keep batteries safe from elements and also easily keep the batteries for your strip lights charged.
- Zip ties- Use this to discretely secure the ends of your tape lights to the bicycle.
- Black electrical tape-Use the electrical tape to conspicuously secure your battery pack to the bottom of your seat. You may also use zip ties with the tape for extra security.
Let’s begin by testing your lights. To test your strip lights simply remove them from their packaging. Place batteries inside of battery pack then attach the strip light to the connector with wiring. Connect the wiring to battery pack with the positive and negative terminals respectively. Lights should illuminate. If this does not work simply detach strip lights from the connector and flip over. Once connected, it should look like the picture below.
Once the lights have been tested, choose the parts of your bicycle where you would like to add your lights. We suggest the frame, seat post, seat collar, and handle bars. If you’re wanting to go with more subdued lighting, consider illuminating only the frame.
Next, measure the length of each part and section the tape light into strips of the same length (one segment for each part). Use the knife or scissors to cut the tape light closest to where the division markers are inscribed on the tape. Do not cut while power is applied.
Once you’ve cut the tape light for the appropriate areas, simply remove adhesive back of the tape lights and place on appropriate sections of the bicycle.
Now that you have everything in place, it is important to secure your connections. To do this simply secure the twist ties to the ends of each section where the strip lights have been placed.
Once strips are secure, connect the red (positive) wire from your battery case to the red wire hanging from your lights. Repeat this step with the negative (black) wires. Be certain that you have a good connection. For a better connection, you may try and solder connections.
Now that everything is secured, you will need to find someplace to put your battery case. We suggest a discrete location such as to the back of the bike, underneath the seat and seat post. Secure the battery pack underneath the seat using electrical tape. For additional security, lock the battery pack in place using zip ties.
Now it’s finally time to illuminate! Turn the battery pack switch on! Your LEDs should be fully illuminating.
Hopefully this helps you illuminate your biking experience. If you want to learn more about tape lights before committing to purchase standard or high output lights, feel free to check out our tape lighting guide. Questions or comments, leave them in the section below or drop us a line on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Pinterest or Instagram!