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Last Updated: September 23, 2013

LED Signal Light Bar End (how to make)

Having a handle bar end lights is pretty cool as well as added visibility during night time riding, There are lots of aftermarket part like this and sold almost everywhere at a very reasonable price. There is only one drawback on them, all are battery operated and somehow cannot be modified to work as an additional signal lights. So why not make a customized unit that can be directly tap on your motorcycle voltage supply as well as to your signal lights path to make them flash and just lit steady when signal is deactivated.

Many article posted here actually have photos and videos showing my bar end at work, and many of you are thinking how to make one, well sorry for the late responses. This article and post will show at least an idea on how to produce your own glowing bar end lights.




MATERIALS NEEDED


ACRYLIC SHEET
All of my lighting works use ACRYLIC SHEET that are formed within the specs of my application. They can easily be formed, cut, and put led light for the effect. They also come at a variety of sizes, forms, and thickness.

LED (light emitting diode) of course, the best overall solution for the effect is to use those super bright led, the higher the mcd specification, the higher it can emit light to all surface of the acrylic sheet, regular 5mm led or those that are diffused and have colors will not work, so proper selection of led is advised.


SUPER BRIGHT LED FLAT HEAD
This is the kind of led i am using to all of my works, the degree of the light being emitted by this type are 120 degree, to which, the wider the angle of the beam, the better it will scatter the light all around the bar end, unlike those spot type or below 30 degree beam, try those kind of led to see the effect..

RESISTOR to limit the current on the led, this is critical, for example motorcycle supply voltage varies from 12 volts up to 14.4 volts and sometime goes up all the way to 16 volts. Not all led uses the same value of resistor, this depends on the forward voltage and current specification of te light emitting diode. if you know the specs of your led and to avoid failure, you need to calculate the right resistor for your led by using online led calculator, again with the voltage range of motorcycle, best to use the highest voltage range to calculate the resistor, that way you will have a worry free led failure.

TOOLS NEEDED


  1. copping saw ( or any means of cutting the acrylic without breaking)
  2. grinding disc (coarse for forming, fine for finishing)
  3. sand paper for touch up
  4. drill 
  5. metal polish and cloth
  6. defective earphone (from those cellphone...(wire will be use)
  7. pcb relay (miniature for signal light purpose)
  8. soldering iron 30 watts at least and soldering lead
  9. stainless bolt and nut
  10. rubber mounting grommet

PROCEDURE


Prepare the acrylic sheet, circle the desire diameter either using your original size metal bar end or using any circular plate.

Mark a center on the circle, and drill it later with 3.5mm drill bit.

Put it to a bench vise and start cutting edges near the circled form lines, If you have access to a door knob hole saw, it can also be used to form that circle fast, but due to the heat it generates when penetrating the acrylic sheet , bubbles and tiny cracks that will be visible when led light is place to glow the formed circle, i been there that is why i used the manual cutting type.
Shown is the result of minutes of cutting and trimming the unwanted materials. and  ready for sanding.
Put the grinding wheel, or grinding disc to your drill and start spinning to remove those curves.

when both are done with the trimming, bolt them together so that when fitted to drill they will be sanded at the same time for uniform circle.

Use 180 grit sandpaper and slowly sand the material slowly up to the line with the drill running at full speed. after the 180 grit use 400 then 1000 for the finishing.

After what hours, of sanding and polishing, material is now ready for led light placing

OOOPPSSS!!! I lost my led..keep coming back for the later part. :)

now got it!!

drill a hole to where you want to place the led on the formed acrylic and should be able to look like below..

The wire used are those from some defective earphones of cellphone, they are coated by enamel so even if you twist them together, rest assure they will not make a short circuit. Use appropriate limiting resistor for your led. know the forward voltage of it then calculate not for 12 volts since motorcycle voltage raises to 14.4 to 15 volts when rev. Typical value of the resistor is 1k ohms, but since a variation of the voltage is present in a motorcycle electricals, going to 1.2k ohms to 1.5k ohms will not be noticeable to the brightness of the led.

This is a video of my blue bar end lights i made recently.

3 comments:

Luitpold said...

Having a handle bar end lights is pretty cool as well as added visibility during night time riding, There are lots of aftermarket part like this and ... ledlightbar.blogspot.com

Rhiann Dela Cruz said...

Wow! ang ganda nyan!
Thanks for the idea, agagawa din ako niyan :)
how much kaya per sheet nung acrylic sheet?

Anmol Garg said...

event chair
chiavari chair
led bar
vintage chair