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Looking to trick out recumbent trike with lights - Pls HELP!

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Stryker48

Joined: Jul 30 2008
Posts: 76
Location: Toronto


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Post Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:34 pm

I'm looking to add lights to the underneath side of my recumbent trike :
http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2259798150099633505tYPJxb

Due to the fact the trike is VERY LOW I'm looking to be VISIBLE and add light to underneath the front boom, (also for side visibility) as well as underneath the frame and looking at either Cold Cathodes (possibly 2 sets of 12" duals - 4 tubes) or 2 strips of 20" LED PIRANHA BARS.
I'm undecided and would appreciate some advice please.

I'm assuming the cold cathodes would be much brighter but also less durable.

I'm sure making up 1 0r 2 12v portable power supplies will not be all that difficult.
Possibly using 8 AA lithium batteries to make up the 12v?

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance

Steve
Kevin_S

Joined: Jul 20 2003
Posts: 2809
Location: WV


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Post Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:39 pm

Stryker48 wrote:
either Cold Cathodes (possibly 2 sets of 12" duals - 4 tubes) or 2 strips of 20" LED PIRANHA BARS.


Piranha bars -- no contest. Personally, i would go with led flex strips but the piranha bars are nice from what I hear.

Stryker48 wrote:
I'm sure making up 1 0r 2 12v portable power supplies will not be all that difficult.
Possibly using 8 AA lithium batteries to make up the 12v?

Mount an atv battery or motorcycle battery somewhere. They're small and light. You'll go broke quick with the AA battery option.

If you're concerned about safety, consider the led strobe lights. They're not annoyingly bright but do draw attention. People will notice you and, hopefully, avoid hitting you.
Stryker48

Joined: Jul 30 2008
Posts: 76
Location: Toronto


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Post Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:48 pm

Thanks for your recommendation.
That's not a bad idea re the motorcycle battery, however, I'm looking to go even smaller than that.
This is what gave me the idea to get more visible, however I found the cost somewhat over the top: http://www.rockthebike.com/lights/downlowglow
Kevin_S

Joined: Jul 20 2003
Posts: 2809
Location: WV


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Post Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:58 pm

Ok.
How about using the rechargeable power packs that power remote controlled cars? Some (not all...never really checked) run on 12v. Rechargeable packs could keep you from wasting money and would be neat/clean/easy to install.

edit: something like this is what i'm talking about.
You can find them MUCH cheaper, though. This is simply the results of a quick google search for 12v power supply
Losing quickly

Joined: Apr 26 2005
Posts: 5706
Location: SC


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Post Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:05 pm

Maybe use the SMD bars as they are more durable and waterproof as opposed to the Piranha bars.
PwrRngr

Joined: Jul 19 2007
Posts: 4407


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Post Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:18 am

I would recommend getting a different battery than 8 AA batteries. You're using this for safety so it would be good to know that your battery pack isn't going to go out while you're on a ride.
Stryker48

Joined: Jul 30 2008
Posts: 76
Location: Toronto


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Post Thu Jul 31, 2008 4:48 am

Thanks a LOT guys for all your GREAT suggestions.

Kevin using rechargeable RC batteries is a GREAT idea! (I had no idea they ran 12v)

The only reason I mentioned using 8 x AA's , is I have a few sets of fast charges and more rechargeable AA batteries than I would care to admit to own icon_wink.gif

Anyway going the RC rechargeable battery route is the way to go. Thanks again for the GREAT tip.

Now to make the decision, which system to go with. Either the Flexible LED strips ( 1 x 38" piece for underneath + 1 x 19" piece for under the front boom) in (Blue) or the 12" cold cathode kit.(Blue) possibly 2 kits.
(I could go for the 6ft. length of flexible LED's, however the blue is not in stock and wont be shipped before the Winter.)

Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Decision, Decisions!!


Last edited by Stryker48 on Thu Jul 31, 2008 5:20 am, edited 4 times in total
PwrRngr

Joined: Jul 19 2007
Posts: 4407


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Post Thu Jul 31, 2008 5:02 am

I would go LED strips on a bike. A bike is exposed and can have a rough ride w/ many bumps sense there are not really any shocks. Plus, LEDs are waterproof and don't have a transformer (since you're looking for small no transformer would be a plus).
Stryker48

Joined: Jul 30 2008
Posts: 76
Location: Toronto


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Post Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:32 am

Thanks for your recommendation.
It looks like most people are leaning towards LED over cathodes mainly due to their durability over cathodes.

The frame of my trike is VERY LOW at a mere 3" off the ground and my concern is the LED's don't have a wide enough angle to spread the light, especially from that low height. The cathodes have a 360 degree spread which will definitely give more light spread over a wider area. It's definitely a tradeoff.
Since the lights are inexpensive I might try them both. icon_biggrin.gif
blazeredsxt

Joined: Feb 04 2008
Posts: 511
Location: Mississippi


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Post Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:37 am

That trike is sweet. If you don't mind, how much did that run you, and where did you get it?
A-Ray

Joined: May 01 2005
Posts: 4062
Location: Volunteer State


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Post Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:44 am

Cathod'es would be a big no on something that low to the ground. While the casing itslef isn't very fragile, the cathode on the inside is very fragile. I don't see it handling the roughness of roads an your trike at all.

I would go with one of the LED bars that is waterproof and shoots out light at 120 viewing angle.

If you have 38" to spare you could do a beefy strip
lbjshaq2345

Joined: Jul 11 2007
Posts: 1524
Location: Jonesborough, TN


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Post Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:56 am

You'll be a lot happier with LED strips or Piranha/SMD bars in your applications. You'd be buying new cathodes every week or so.

Stryker48 wrote:
Since the lights are inexpensive I might try them both. icon_biggrin.gif


I like your thinking ;P
Stryker48

Joined: Jul 30 2008
Posts: 76
Location: Toronto


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Post Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:20 pm

Blazer, mine is the entry level model from KMX USA in Ohio and they cost $799 USD.
Great value for an excellent recumbent trike.

Dave Faulkner is the guy at KMX and he's super to deal with. If you speak to him, tell him Steve from Toronto Canada referred you. icon_biggrin.gif
Stryker48

Joined: Jul 30 2008
Posts: 76
Location: Toronto


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Post Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:24 pm

blazeredsxt wrote:
That trike is sweet. If you don't mind, how much did that run you, and where did you get it?


KMX USA
They are in Ohio cost is a mere $799 and worth every penny and more IMHO

Dave Faulkner is the guy to speak to ... if you speak to him, please mention that Steve from Toronto Canada referred you. Thanks! icon_biggrin.gif
Stryker48

Joined: Jul 30 2008
Posts: 76
Location: Toronto


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Post Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:31 pm

A-Ray wrote:
Cathod'es would be a big no on something that low to the ground. While the casing itslef isn't very fragile, the cathode on the inside is very fragile. I don't see it handling the roughness of roads an your trike at all.

I would go with one of the LED bars that is waterproof and shoots out light at 120 viewing angle.

If you have 38" to spare you could do a beefy strip


Thanks for your thought and recommendation.
I have 28" + to spare underneath and another 20" under the front boom.
Stryker48

Joined: Jul 30 2008
Posts: 76
Location: Toronto


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Post Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:36 pm

lbjshaq2345 wrote:
You'll be a lot happier with LED strips or Piranha/SMD bars in your applications. You'd be buying new cathodes every week or so.

Stryker48 wrote:
Since the lights are inexpensive I might try them both. icon_biggrin.gif


I like your thinking ;P


Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions also.
LED's looks like the way to go.
Stryker48

Joined: Jul 30 2008
Posts: 76
Location: Toronto


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Post Fri Aug 01, 2008 5:43 am

I found this 12v NiMh rechargeable battery at a fairly reasonable price, which might do the trick:
I wanted to check with you guys first if it will be "up to the job" before purchasing .... I'm "clueless" when it comes to electric "anything"!. icon_eek.gif
Thanks in advance.
Stryker48

Joined: Jul 30 2008
Posts: 76
Location: Toronto


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Post Fri Aug 01, 2008 5:54 am

I found this 12v NiMh rechargeable battery at a fairly reasonable price:
and wanted to check with you guys if it will be "up to the job" .... )I'm a "little" clueless when it comes to electric anything. icon_eek.gif
PwrRngr

Joined: Jul 19 2007
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Post Fri Aug 01, 2008 6:13 am

That's a borderline battery(might work but not excessive). It really depends on what you choose to run, how much current it draw, and how long you plan to run it per day.

If do choose cathode kits that battery should run 2 transformers for 1 hour 15 minutes. LEDs could draw less current depending on how many you want. Also, if you're only going to run the lights for 1/2 hour it would be fine also. Do you know what you're going to try as far as lights?
thesull

Joined: Jun 06 2008
Posts: 1494


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Post Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:05 am

I say get a trickle charger and a motorcycle battery ;)
PwrRngr

Joined: Jul 19 2007
Posts: 4407


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Post Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:14 am

thesull wrote:
I say get a trickle charger and a motorcycle battery ;)


Read the second post. He already said he didn't want a motorcycle battery. He's going for something smaller ;)
Stryker48

Joined: Jul 30 2008
Posts: 76
Location: Toronto


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Post Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:18 am

For the cathodes, I'm going to run 1 set of 12" dual blue cathodes. That should give more than enough light. I'm hoping to get 2.5 to 3 hours of runtime, whatever system I'm running.

For the LED's I'm thinking of using 4 x 20"(blue) waterproof surface mounted bar = one strip under the entire frame:
https://www.oznium.com/linear-lights/smd-bar
I have no idea which will draw more current??

I was looking at the flexible LED's as well however according to the specs they only have a narrow 35 - 45 degree viewing angle which I don't think is enough .... I could be wrong of course.

PwrRngr wrote:
That's a borderline battery(might work but not excessive). It really depends on what you choose to run, how much current it draw, and how long you plan to run it per day.

If do choose cathode kits that battery should run 2 transformers for 1 hour 15 minutes. LEDs could draw less current depending on how many you want. Also, if you're only going to run the lights for 1/2 hour it would be fine also. Do you know what you're going to try as far as lights?


Last edited by Stryker48 on Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:35 am, edited 2 times in total
Stryker48

Joined: Jul 30 2008
Posts: 76
Location: Toronto


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Post Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:30 am

This setup, running dual cathodes with a smaller rechargeable battery gets 3 hours runtime, according to their claim:


I'd be happy to get that icon_biggrin.gif
A-Ray

Joined: May 01 2005
Posts: 4062
Location: Volunteer State


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Post Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:41 am

I still don't see thodes last long at all. I could be completely wrong, but the thode inside the tube itself is very fragile and I just don't think it will hold up on a bike.

IMO you should look into the waterproof ribbon LED strips or the silicone encased strip. They should provide an even glow. I will be tones more durable, plus you don't have to find places to hide transformers.

If nothing else, then buy a couple 6" V2 tubes that are incredibly bright and will change to all colors.
PwrRngr

Joined: Jul 19 2007
Posts: 4407


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Post Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:54 am

Stryker48 wrote:
For the cathodes, I'm going to run 1 set of 12" dual blue cathodes. That should give more than enough light. I'm hoping to get 2.5 to 3 hours of runtime, whatever system I'm running.

For the LED's I'm thinking of using 4 x 20"(blue) waterproof surface mounted bar = one strip under the entire frame:
https://www.oznium.com/linear-lights/smd-bar
I have no idea which will draw more current??

I was looking at the flexible LED's as well however according to the specs they only have a narrow 35 - 45 degree viewing angle which I don't think is enough .... I could be wrong of course.

PwrRngr wrote:
That's a borderline battery(might work but not excessive). It really depends on what you choose to run, how much current it draw, and how long you plan to run it per day.

If do choose cathode kits that battery should run 2 transformers for 1 hour 15 minutes. LEDs could draw less current depending on how many you want. Also, if you're only going to run the lights for 1/2 hour it would be fine also. Do you know what you're going to try as far as lights?


With that setup you'll be pulling 1.5A (0.7A for the cathode kit and 0.2 for each smd-bar). If you want to run it for three hours then you'll need a battery w/ 4.5Ahr (4.5 amp hours). The one you posted was only 1800mAhr (1800 miliamp hours = 1.8 amp hours).
Stryker48

Joined: Jul 30 2008
Posts: 76
Location: Toronto


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Post Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:20 am

I found this battery online:
http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/lin...240405&cm_ite=0036388018049a
which should do the job. The 1800 miliamp is definitely going to be too small for my application.

After lots of pondering and consideration on which LED system to go for, I think I'm going to go for these: ( I will need 8 to 9 feet for a single strip under the entire frame)
https://www.oznium.com/flexible-led-strips/silicone-encased-led-strip
Aken

Joined: Feb 12 2003
Posts: 10885


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Post Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:56 pm

You can use a ~13v DC battery also, doesn't have to be strictly 12v. Most vehicles run over 14v anyway.
A-Ray

Joined: May 01 2005
Posts: 4062
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Post Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:24 pm

If you are going for length of around 8ft and want massive durability, then def look into the beefy strips. 6 ft length is only $50! The will be the most durable (I would think) and will provide plenty of light.
Stryker48

Joined: Jul 30 2008
Posts: 76
Location: Toronto


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Post Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:24 am

Aken wrote:
You can use a ~13v DC battery also, doesn't have to be strictly 12v. Most vehicles run over 14v anyway.


Thanks, I didn't know that. I'll also check them out icon_biggrin.gif
Stryker48

Joined: Jul 30 2008
Posts: 76
Location: Toronto


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Post Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:20 am

Now that my mind is made up on the lights, I'm on the lookout for a suitable battery & charger, that's going to be able to handle all the lights and give a minimum of 3 hours runtime, for a "reasonable price".
It looks like I might have to go for a larger battery than I originally planned.

I'm looking to run 9 feet of LED waterproof flexible strips (Hopefully I can figure out how to wire it all up.) ..... I'm assuming one can join 5 separate pieces of the Flexible waterproof strips together with suitable wire of different lengths in between?

My Goal: To have a single strip of flexible waterproof LED's under the entire frame. (and if the battery can handle it possibly 2 x 4" cathodes under the seat ... for that "floating feeling" icon_biggrin.gif)
Since the frame is basically a stick man when you look at it from underneath, with a cross bar for the arms and the back of the frame which hold the back wheel are like legs, the light strips would have to be cut and joined with different lengths of wire in between in order to cover the entire frame underneath.( 1 for the neck, 1 for the arms across, one for the spine and 2 for the legs) .. does that make sense?

I'm looking to put a 22" piece under the front boom connected to another 20" piece under the cross section connecting both front wheels, connected to another 28" strip down the center underneath, connected to another 2 x 15" pieces that run on either side of the back wheel.
The wire to connect each piece will be approximately 12" in length.

Any advice before I make my purchase would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! icon_biggrin.gif
http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2239703490099633505eMRwQf
Stryker48

Joined: Jul 30 2008
Posts: 76
Location: Toronto


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Post Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:40 am

A-Ray wrote:
I still don't see thodes last long at all. I could be completely wrong, but the thode inside the tube itself is very fragile and I just don't think it will hold up on a bike.

IMO you should look into the waterproof ribbon LED strips or the silicone encased strip. They should provide an even glow. I will be tones more durable, plus you don't have to find places to hide transformers.

If nothing else, then buy a couple 6" V2 tubes that are incredibly bright and will change to all colors.


BTW ... What are 6" V2 tubes? please excuse my ignorance! icon_eek.gif
Radioflyer

Joined: Sep 25 2007
Posts: 1563


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Post Sat Aug 02, 2008 8:03 pm

You aren't stuck with AA. you could use C or D batteries as well. They operate on the 1.5V ea like the AAs.

Another option is to use the small remote 12v batteries radioshack offers.
Kevin_S

Joined: Jul 20 2003
Posts: 2809
Location: WV


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Post Sat Aug 02, 2008 8:34 pm

small remote 12v batteries are hella expensive.
ShadowBOX

Joined: Feb 26 2008
Posts: 856
Location: Fort Wayne, IN


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Post Sat Aug 02, 2008 10:47 pm

What about findings some cordless tool batteries that are 12V? Could likely pick some up at a garage sale. . .
Stryker48

Joined: Jul 30 2008
Posts: 76
Location: Toronto


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Post Sat Aug 02, 2008 10:57 pm

Radioflyer wrote:
You aren't stuck with AA. you could use C or D batteries as well. They operate on the 1.5V ea like the AAs.

Another option is to use the small remote 12v batteries radioshack offers.


Thanks, I'm aware of that option also, however it's probably not going to be enough by the looks of it.

I have finally made up my mind, and I'm going with 4 x 20" waterproof SMD bars and 2 x 4" cathodes for under the seat. So I need a powerful enough battery to run all of the above (I'm hoping) for at least 3 hours runtime.
Stryker48

Joined: Jul 30 2008
Posts: 76
Location: Toronto


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Post Sat Aug 02, 2008 11:09 pm

Kevin_S wrote:
small remote 12v batteries are hella expensive.


Kevin you have been very helpful and you seem to know what you are talking about.

I have finally made up my mind and I'm going to order 4 x 20" waterproof SMD bars, which I am going to rig up in series as follows to run under the entire frame:

piece one = 8"
piece two = 8"
piece three = 2"
piece four = 14"
piece five = 2"
piece six = 20"
piece seven = 4"
piece eight = 10"
piece nine = 2"
piece ten = 10"

Unfortunately if I want to cover the entire underside of the frame I have no option but to split the bars into 10 separate pieces.
I'm assuming connecting these together won't present too much of a problem?
Hopefully there is a thread here somewhere on cutting and connecting these bars.

Now I need to figure out what gauge of wire to use and what strength of battery to get.
Any advice and/or recommendation will be welcomed and appreciated.

Thanks again in advance for all your very kind help.

Do I need to put in a fuse as well?
purpleglow

Joined: Jun 10 2008
Posts: 38


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Post Sun Aug 03, 2008 9:34 pm

thats a **** load of lighting!


Connecting these will be no problem at all, the only hard parts are hiding wires/lights so it doesnt look horribly tacky, also, silicon on all connections is your friend and you will need fuses but some other wiring buffs' in here could help you more than me!
Stryker48

Joined: Jul 30 2008
Posts: 76
Location: Toronto


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Post Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:24 pm

purpleglow wrote:
thats a **** load of lighting!

And I thought I was "conservative" icon_wink.gif

Connecting these will be no problem at all, the only hard parts are hiding wires/lights so it doesnt look horribly tacky, also, silicon on all connections is your friend and you will need fuses but some other wiring buffs' in here could help you more than me!


Thanks, that's good to know connecting the individual pieces won't be an issue.
Thanks for the tip re the silicone.
alkatmsu

Joined: Nov 08 2005
Posts: 1560
Location: Kentucky


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Post Sun Aug 03, 2008 11:18 pm

I just skimmed the thread, have you thought of some sort of rechargeable battery that charges from the pedaling? Dunno if that's even possible...
Stryker48

Joined: Jul 30 2008
Posts: 76
Location: Toronto


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Post Mon Aug 04, 2008 7:14 pm

I found this 12v 7amp battery, which I think will do the trick, running 4 x SMD Bars for the minimum 3 hours runtime I'm looking for:


This should be OK?

I'm also not sure if I would need to install a fuse as well as I will not be adding more of anything to the system. Please advise! Thanks!

Thanks again in advance.
Stryker48

Joined: Jul 30 2008
Posts: 76
Location: Toronto


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Post Mon Aug 04, 2008 7:19 pm

alkatmsu wrote:
I just skimmed the thread, have you thought of some sort of rechargeable battery that charges from the pedaling? Dunno if that's even possible...


Actually I do think that's possible as Bionx makes electrical brushless motor systems for bicycles which use lithium Ion batteries that can be recharged to some degree when pedaling. The battery alone for that system sells for $350 ... WAY MORE than I want to pay.

It looks like I'm going to have to go for a motorcycle type battery to handle my lighting.
Stryker48

Joined: Jul 30 2008
Posts: 76
Location: Toronto


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Post Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:48 am

Found and using 12v SLA 9amp battery, and very satisfied.
Thanks to everyone who helped and advised in this thread, it's much appreciated.
Pics & Videos of install and result can be found in New Threads.

Thanks again!

icon_biggrin.gif
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