DIY Brake lights

kuwa Posts: 22
edited November 2008 in Workshop
I'm commuting to work everyday, and I usually catch out some half asleep car driver with the awesome stopping power :lol: of my hydrolic discs...

Whether disk or not, I thought it might be really useful do make a set of breaklights for my bike.

Anyone with experience, tips etc out there?
The most complicated part appears to be the switch!

cheers, kuwa
brakes are your lifeline


  • redvee
    redvee Posts: 11,922
    Years ago there were some that worked by clamping on the cable of the brakes but you don't have that with hydros. Car brake lights work off a switch actuated by the brake pedal. If you could get hold of oneof those from a scrapper and have a play with it you might be able to find something similar/smaller for use on a bike. Which brake lever to mount it on or on both?
    I've added a signature to prove it is still possible.
  • kuwa
    kuwa Posts: 22
    It's a Magura Clara set, I was thinking of attaching the lights to the front lever only, as there's most breaking power on the front.

    I've got a spare tactile switch for my BMW f650 motorbike knocking around, that's not really a problem. The difficulty comes in when you try to make a switch that is
    1) waterproof
    2) mechanically forgiving enough to take the entire movement range of the lever.

    I might experiment with a flexible contact inside a sleeve - (imagine two straight pieces of metal mounted in parallel inside a rubber tube)
    When you bend the tube, the contacts touch and the whole thing should be very waterproof.

    Attach one end to the break lever, the other to the break handle.

    wire into a bastardized back light.

    brakes are your lifeline
  • If you aren't trying to switch the full current to the light (i.e. are using the switch as an input to a controller or a relay) why not use a reed switch on the handlebar and a magnet on the 'inner' surface of the brake lever. You could probably even chop up an old speedometer for the bits, but it might take some tuning to get activation at the right distance...

    ETA - you should actually be able to switch 0.5 - 2 Amps with a decent reed switch, which is plenty for a rear LED.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    You could ride a motorbike - they have them ! Sorted !
  • zanes
    zanes Posts: 563
    I'm sure this will have what you want;