Revolight Clone

[Fabian.E] wanted to light up the rims on his bike, but didn’t want to shell out a bunch of clams to get it done. He came up with this system which uses magnets and reed switches to light up one arc or each bicycle wheel.

He calls it the lightrider and it’s based on the revolights concept. That design uses a microcontroller which is capable of animating patterns when the wheels aren’t spinning. [Fabian’s] version can’t do that, but the effect while moving is basically the same. The ring of LEDs around the rim is connected to a battery via a set of reed switches. When these switches move past a magnet on the fork it completes the circuit and switches on that segment of LEDs. The clip after the break gives a demonstration of the finished product, and includes a fast-motion video of the fabrication process.

13 thoughts on “Revolight Clone

  1. I might be wrong but the reason that the real revolight has a micro controller is to calculate the speed the bike traveling. Wouldn’t this eventually, at a fast enough speed, be flashing at the rider?

    1. At speeds approaching light speed maybe, but at anything below what is possible on a pedal powered bike; I don’t think it would ever get to that point. Basically the magnet trips each reed switch at a fixed point on the wheels rotation. In order for it to shine at the rider 1 of 3 things would need to occur, the magnet rotate 180degrees from said fixed point, the reed switches rotate 180degrees from the fixed position relative to the wheel, or the LEDs rotate 180degrees relative to the reed switches.

      1. Is it wise to use reed switches in rotating wheels? Depending on how reed switches were mounted, would there be a point where centrifugal forces start messing with the switching?

        I would have though using photointerrupters would be a much neater choice.

  2. Glad to see people working on revoclones. I was just thinking about the Revolight project between jobs yesterday, and about how awesome it would be to build my own. Maybe this is the motivation I need…

  3. Very cool project!

    I’d be concerned about using reed switches for something like this. They’re mechanical switches and they typically have a lifetime of 10,000 to million cycles. I think latched hall effect sensors might be a better choice.

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