turn signal lights for bikes

dasmo

New Member
Jul 13, 2009
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canada
Hi all,
I am the founder of a small industrial design firm (CODETTA PRODUCT DESIGN) and we are developing our first product we wil be manufacturing and marketing ourselves: a signal light system for bicycles. The inspiration for the project came after building my motorized Bicycle. After riding it for a while I found I needed signal lights (and a brake light) because I was no longer riding around traffic but with it! I also had a throttle to deal with so I needed both hands on the bars! After searching online for signal light products and only finding a UK offering (that made your bike look like a space ship) or an extremely cheap and poorly designed Alibaba product, I decided to build my own lights.

We have been developing the lights over the last year and are testing our first working prototype so I feel confident in the concept.

My question to you Guys is:
1. Have you founding existing signal light products for bicycles?
2. What features would you like to see in such a product?

We are designing these for you so any help is much appreciated!

Best,

Damon

:ride:
 

Tacomancini

Member
Mar 18, 2010
163
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16
Pittsburgh
Sounds very cool. I haven't seen that many solutions out there. A rear brake light with turn signals on it would be very attractive. I would hope that it could run off the white wire with diode, my setup is white wire with a 6 volt battery setup based on Scotchmo's design linked here: http://motorbicycling.com/f50/5-light-pretty-darn-good-scotchmo-30903.html

I think its important for the system to run off the engine so you never get in a circumstance where you run out of juice because you forgot to recharge the battery or have backups.

Wow! Your design firm does some gorgeous work! I'm excited to see what you guys will come up with. In another life I was the founder of libsyn.com the podcasting company, doing UI and UX design... big fan of Dieter Rams, John Ive and iDEO stuff. I've always felt that motorbicycling was on the other side of the world from that stuff. Can't wait to see what you guys are cooking.
 
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42blue15

New Member
Sep 18, 2008
136
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St Louis metro, USA
Hi all, ...

1. Have you founding existing signal light products for bicycles?
2. What features would you like to see in such a product?
Over the last few years I have seen people on this and other bicycle forums ask about brake lights and turn signals for bikes. There's not really any good solutions out there.

...Mostly it is people who ride non-motorized bicycles in urban situations that ask for these lights.
You also see people with motorized bicycles asking for these lights, but they usually want them to be DOT-rated, for licensing purposes. That adds a whole 'nother level of expense and hassle to the product creation.

...One thing I know I have read a few times is that a lot of people want the turn signals and brake lights to be easily visible even in the daytime. It's pretty tough to do that when you're running LEDs off of AA-size batteries. I tend to suspect that using electric lights isn't effective here at all, but anyway. (since electric lamps is the ONLY way that lights can be DOT-rated, you're kinda stuck there, if you wanted to build DOT-legal lights)

...Activating brake lights on bicycles (with different kinds of brake levers and brakes) can be a problem. There was one bicycle brake light offered for a while that avoided that problem entirely by working on a different principle: it had a inertia-activated switch in it. So anytime that the bike slowed down enough, the light would turn on momentarily. The limitation with it is that it would not stay on when you were stopped, even if you were holding the brake levers,,, but it did work part of the time.



Good luck.
 

Tacomancini

Member
Mar 18, 2010
163
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Pittsburgh
Somebody on this forum had an interesting idea of using the clutch actuator to trigger the brake light. The argument being that you pull in your clutch to brake and slow down, so why not make use of that common denominator between 2 stroke kits. This also gets around the fact that people can have different braking systems. Of course this limits the target customer to china girl style two stroke folks.
 
Jul 15, 2009
620
0
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waukegan IL. U.S.A.
All good ideas sofar ,me i want a complete system head and tail w/turn the whole thing ,but being able to pick from some diff. Componets to make your own little set is what i want from a retailer. If I'm gona buy something vs make it myself I still don't want a carbon copy of what everyone else has. If you make a nice wireing harness then lett us pick from diff types of lamps and hardware ,I'd buy a few for sure .
This seem's to be the main hassle from local police as they seem to be under the impression that you have to run lights day and night here??? So that makes the white wire a must even if it just part of a "backup" system if batt goes dead or as part of charging circut.
Any way you go make sure the mounting hardware can handle the motor vibe or it's all in vain just my $0.02
 

dasmo

New Member
Jul 13, 2009
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canada
@ Taco, thanks for that. I will check that out. As it stands we do have a 6V dynamo input but making sure it works with the "6V" output from the motor is a good point. My light just gives a faint glow right now lol.
@42 Blue, Daylight visible is key and the existing prototype is visible in the sun. the running light less so to save on batteries but the brake light and signals yes. I think going for DOT rating is a good long term plan (be nice to drive legally lol). short term not. I've seen lot's of motorbikes with LED tail lights so perhaps the laws have changed?
@worksman, $400 is a little steep. I am hoping our system to land in the $80-$120 range.
@the prussian, interesting about the modular. We are exluding the headlight from the mix because there are so many great options already.
Thanks all, this is valuable feedback!
 

Allen_Wrench

Resident Mad Scientist
Feb 6, 2010
2,786
3
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Indianapolis
Somebody on this forum had an interesting idea of using the clutch actuator to trigger the brake light. The argument being that you pull in your clutch to brake and slow down, so why not make use of that common denominator between 2 stroke kits. This also gets around the fact that people can have different braking systems. Of course this limits the target customer to china girl style two stroke folks.
That might have been me, though I'm sure I'm not the first to have that idea. I figured if you're clutching, even if you're not braking you won't be moving very fast. If the guy behind you sees your brake light and thinks you're still braking, so much the better.

If you have a centrifugal clutch, you could still drill and tap one of the brake lever brackets for a small screw-in electrical switch that's "OFF" when you push the button in. That's all I did.
 

DuctTapedGoat

Active Member
Dec 20, 2010
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Nampa Idaho
Oh, forgot to mention - I was given a Wamco bicycle blinker kit, but the light's vibrated too much and shorted. A soldered LED connection would work. I still have the blinker switch setup, which is just a dual momentary lever switch that zipties to the left of the right grip.
 

Fulltimer

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Aug 13, 2010
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Saint Augustine, FL
I think a decent sized LED light for turn signal/brake lights would work fine in the sun light. My tail lights are crap but my turn signals are real bright. Yellow front and red back. I don't have brake lights and wished I did.

The idea of many options, pick what you want is the answer of pleasing most people. Some would like round lights, some rectangle and maybe some would want square lights. You provide the complete wiring harness (fused) and an assortment of lights to choose from.

Terry
 
Jul 15, 2009
620
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0
waukegan IL. U.S.A.
I made a micro switch that was triggered by clutch lever for brake light ,and turn signal flashers from an old barracade light . They all worked as planed ,however the system rattled itself to death from the vibe . That seems to be the main issue.
 

Fulltimer

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Aug 13, 2010
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Tacomancini

Member
Mar 18, 2010
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Pittsburgh
Dasmo, by using the 2 lifepo4 aa batteries trickle charged by the engine, it seems to provide a nice healthy wattage for driving the 6 volt circuit. And the batteries are nice and small but don't take long at alll to get charged up from fully drained. And amazingly the half wave rectifier diode circuit seems to have zero effect on the idle and power to the engine. I think it's a very good base to build a lighting system on. It seems to be just the right balance for what the white wire can put out. Having the always on system seems to be desirable, and this simple circuit is one way to play nice with the stock engines.
 

dasmo

New Member
Jul 13, 2009
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canada
@tacomancini
I will look at that for this next rev of boards. Right now we didn't go the charging route but rather the (NiMH) batteries work with the input to "fill in the gaps". There reasons for this but I think it's worth another look. Certainly I would like it this way!
 

worksmanFL

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May 25, 2010
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Palm Coast, FL
@tacomancini
I will look at that for this next rev of boards. Right now we didn't go the charging route but rather the (NiMH) batteries work with the input to "fill in the gaps". There reasons for this but I think it's worth another look. Certainly I would like it this way!

Hi,

Hows it going with your MB lighting design?

Anything close that is available for sale?

Thanks.

:)
 

jon.karak

New Member
Apr 7, 2011
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U.S.A.
I have been looking for the right lighting system for several years. My only conclusion is that in order to get high quality, all-weather, all-season lights is to build it yourself.

Lamps and power sources are relatively easy to come by, but by far the most difficult thing to find is the switch-gear. Nothing seems to be made to fit onto bicycle handlebars, nor is it made to last through the first rainstorm. I am making my own out of (not exaggerating) an automotive flasher relay, a mouse trap, and a rifle scope ring. So far it looks about as pretty as it sounds.

I would pay good money for a quality switch and mounting system. And I would kill (exaggerating) for a switch like this:

Credit: http://motorbicycling.com/f11/6-volt-lights-motorized-bicycles-11809-3.html