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Brake Light Hack (bodge)

mr_eddymr_eddy Posts: 798
edited November 2017 in Workshop
So I have been wanting a brake light on my commuting bike for a while and now the evenings are dark seemed like a perfect time - This is to complement my normal rear light.

I bought a cheap brake light kit online (essentially just for the switch as the light is garbage).

I fitted the switch to the front brake (there is a screw to secure to the brake cable) - A small blob of superglue to make sure the lower part of the switch does not move, I then extended the switch cabling by soldering in some extra wire (heat shrink over the join).

I have tried my best to neatly route the cable along the brake line then under the bike and into my frame bag where it terminates into a 9V battery box - This is then connected to a 12 cm waterproof LED strip mounted on the back of my seat post - Got this cheap from local pet store - Its designed for outside ponds etc.

I had to tweak the cable tension to get it just right but now it works like a dream - Really bright and activates with albeit the slightest pressure on the front brake lever. Should keep me that bit safer on the dark ride home.

Total cost for all the bits came to about £15-20 and took about an hour to fit.

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IMG_20171110_111446.jpg
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Posts

  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Genius!
  • mr_eddymr_eddy Posts: 798
    Thanks
  • svettysvetty Posts: 1,904
    Innovative in terms of the fitting but doesn't really meet a real world need IMO and could confuse many as a rear brake light on a bike isn't in keeping with people's experience or expectation - they just won't 'get it'.
    FFS! Harden up and grow a pair :D
  • Svetty wrote:
    Innovative in terms of the fitting but doesn't really meet a real world need IMO and could confuse many as a rear brake light on a bike isn't in keeping with people's experience or expectation - they just won't 'get it'.

    I'd say it's a real world need that just isn't commonly fulfilled :) On the plus side peoples surprise at seeing additional lighting up will probably be the desired reaction anyway (eh, whats that, lets slow down and give myself more time to see whats going on)
  • mr_eddymr_eddy Posts: 798
    Exactly - Whilst some may not expect a brake light on a bike for many drivers coming home after a long day in the dark they are going to be in 'Auto Pilot' and naturally reach for the brake pedal when they notice a the extra light. Also as my normal rear light is non flashing to a following car especially in foggy weather or from a distance it will look like a motorbike which obviously do have brake lights.

    I think it should add to the safety of my commute - It certainly won't decrease it and as reformedfatty said more light even if unexpected is better surely ?
  • mr_eddymr_eddy Posts: 798
    Yet to be seen how it stands up to the really nasty weather days but I am hoping it should be all good.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I too think drivers will just automatically accept it as a brake light. Scooters and mopeds have them, so what's the real difference? You're just another 2 wheeled commuter. And quicker away from the lights...
  • I though we all did this?

    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQWACK5qybidMioLF_98u9NbdFVHJ8jDsrDZdc7Idve5V1ZQNe1_A
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    I though we all did this?

    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQWACK5qybidMioLF_98u9NbdFVHJ8jDsrDZdc7Idve5V1ZQNe1_A


    Do that and your arm gets knocked off ...
  • mfinmfin Posts: 6,724
    Looks like a fun little project.

    I disagree with some of the above, we are all as drivers conditioned to react to brake lights, subconsciously drivers won't be able not react to it if they see it, and it looks visible.

    In fact, I doubt any driver would even think "hang on, that bike's got a brake light", it will be so normal to them.

    If wireless shifters like Sram's had a brake switch in them, lights would be easy to make that switch wirelessly. Really, other programmable switches should be made available too, for any use you like, such as dipping front light beams, horn, control of computer functions, setting off video records etc.
  • Sooooooo, you spent about 3x to make it than it is available for already online. Your ingenuity is fine, just the book keeping doesn't seem to good.

    This is the fastest google result I could find, I'm sure there's better:
    https://www.amazon.com/Sigma-Bicycle-Br ... dpSrc=srch
  • mr_eddymr_eddy Posts: 798
    edited November 2017
    Sooooooo, you spent about 3x to make it than it is available for already online. Your ingenuity is fine, just the book keeping doesn't seem to good.

    This is the fastest google result I could find, I'm sure there's better:
    https://www.amazon.com/Sigma-Bicycle-Br ... dpSrc=srch

    If you noticed I said at the start of the thread I did not like the rubbish light that comes with the kits - The light you linked to is a single LED and practically useless, This is that light in action:

    maxresdefaultb427e1f35c886c4e.jpg

    Compared to mine:

    IMG_20171110_111446.jpg

    I think you will agree mine is SIGNIFICANTLY brighter / bigger and generally better.

    You mentioned cost - Ok so £15-20 is a bit more tha £8 but surely you can see that the difference overshadows the small amount of extra money it cost
  • mr_eddymr_eddy Posts: 798
    The reason I made my own is ALL the kits online are naff and at most use a 2-4 cm wide light using very poor LED's

    My hack is about on par in terms of brightness as my car brake light (just not quite as big).
  • I've changed my mind.

    hes-got-a-point-you-know.jpg
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I'm loving the led strip. I might look into having them on the underside of my hack bike for night rides along the bike path.
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 3,014
    Quite a nice little hack - I've started chasing a See Sense Icon user on the way home, and the natural reaction is quite strong to a brake type light, independent of source!

    I've got a load of that LED strip for installation on decking - might re-purpose, although the colour changing would need to be shorted out!
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • TBf just using that strip as a rear light is a good idea imo
  • graeme_s-2graeme_s-2 Posts: 3,382
    Quite a nice little hack - I've started chasing a See Sense Icon user on the way home, and the natural reaction is quite strong to a brake type light, independent of source!
    As a See Sense user (Icon rear, original front), it's nice to hear that. I've felt like I've been noticed more with them and have had fewer close passes and people pulling out on me, but it's always hard to know for sure, and even harder to know what it looks like to other road users.
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 3,014
    Graeme_S wrote:
    Quite a nice little hack - I've started chasing a See Sense Icon user on the way home, and the natural reaction is quite strong to a brake type light, independent of source!
    As a See Sense user (Icon rear, original front), it's nice to hear that. I've felt like I've been noticed more with them and have had fewer close passes and people pulling out on me, but it's always hard to know for sure, and even harder to know what it looks like to other road users.

    Aye, the braking light works. Caught be unawares the first time I saw it as we went into a corner, and, funnily enough, I instinctively slowed down a bit more.
    Took me until a car passed & it started flashing faster that I realised what it was, and was confirmed when I caught them at a junction.
    The rest? Pass. If they don't care, they don't care.
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
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