Bike LED Flag Pole?

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Bike LED Flag Pole?

Postby Funkfish » Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:29 am

I'm looking to put a little light up flag pole off the rear of my bike so I can find mine in the sea of other bikes. I've seen this last year but I can't seem to find anything online for it. Any ideas (aside from just wrapping el wire around a pole)
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Re: Bike LED Flag Pole?

Postby BBadger » Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:47 am

Wrap wire and LEDs on a fishing pole? That's what my friend did on his, but he used EL-wire. Helped a lot with locating him.
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Re: Bike LED Flag Pole?

Postby Funkfish » Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:59 am

BBadger wrote:Wrap wire and LEDs on a fishing pole? That's what my friend did on his, but he used EL-wire. Helped a lot with locating him.


Yup that's the obvious answer and probably what I'll default too if I can't find a better solution. I remember seeing something last year that looked like a solid LED pole though that was hooked onto the back wheel. Kinda looked like this

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Re: Bike LED Flag Pole?

Postby BBadger » Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:20 am

You can buy LED swords at Extreme Glow if you want that effect. They're fragile though, and quite frankly I was not all that impressed with them even if they did look pretty good.

We also hung some of these glowing balls on my friend's fishing poles and those looked pretty cool as they lit up the ground around his bike with shards of light. I would look into putting a more permanent/long lasting LED inside them, as they last only a night on those batteries. Plus, we had some problems with the dust or something else affecting the connections.
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Re: Bike LED Flag Pole?

Postby unjonharley » Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:26 am

How about a lazersaber..
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Re: Bike LED Flag Pole?

Postby AntiM » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:02 pm

These are not my fuckos.
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Re: Bike LED Flag Pole?

Postby MikeGyver » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:51 pm

Look up "LED off road whips" http://www.safeglowhips.com/?gclid=CNTCwcX767cCFaN_QgodqSgADg is one of the things I came across. They are pretty common use on Dirtbikes and such in the desert
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Re: Bike LED Flag Pole?

Postby Funkfish » Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:48 pm

Mrpatatomoto wrote:Look up "LED off road whips" http://www.safeglowhips.com/?gclid=CNTCwcX767cCFaN_QgodqSgADg is one of the things I came across. They are pretty common use on Dirtbikes and such in the desert


BOOM that's exactly what I was talking about! Thanks so much! (might be cheaper to wrap some EL wire around a bike flag pole for this year though)
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Re: Bike LED Flag Pole?

Postby FossaFerox » Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:34 pm

I picked up some colored CCFL lights from elwirepros.com that I'm quite happy with (so far) for use on my bike. The lights are MUCH brither than EL wire and throw light a good distance. They're potentially fragile, rigid little tubes that you could easily zip tie to a pole if you wanted to fly them high, though I'm planning on mounting mine on the frame to light the bike itself and the ground around it. They come in a variety of colors and the kit costs $17 for 2 6" lights or $18 for 2 12" lights including the inverter and battery holder (takes 8 AA batteries in either case). Mounting hardware isn't included, but hot glue and zip ties should be sufficient.

Admittedly, I'm hesitant to recommend them because I've had them for all of a day, and because I also got 9 ft of "ultra bright" EL wire with an inverter from the company, and THAT inverter was dead on arrival. I'll post back with how their customer service handles the dead inverter on Monday.
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Re: Bike LED Flag Pole?

Postby MikeGyver » Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:31 pm

Funkfish wrote:
Mrpatatomoto wrote:Look up "LED off road whips" http://www.safeglowhips.com/?gclid=CNTCwcX767cCFaN_QgodqSgADg is one of the things I came across. They are pretty common use on Dirtbikes and such in the desert


BOOM that's exactly what I was talking about! Thanks so much! (might be cheaper to wrap some EL wire around a bike flag pole for this year though)


You should be able to find a Fiberglass flag pole for around 15 bucks and wrap El-Wire around that. But BBadgers friends Idea sounds even cheaper, you can probably find a fishing pole with a bad reel at a garage sale for 5 bucks.
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Re: Bike LED Flag Pole?

Postby FIGJAM » Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:23 pm

1/2" pvc works good too! 8)
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Re: Bike LED Flag Pole?

Postby BBadger » Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:32 am

FossaFerox wrote:I picked up some colored CCFL lights from elwirepros.com that I'm quite happy with (so far) for use on my bike. The lights are MUCH brither than EL wire and throw light a good distance. They're potentially fragile, rigid little tubes that you could easily zip tie to a pole if you wanted to fly them high, though I'm planning on mounting mine on the frame to light the bike itself and the ground around it. They come in a variety of colors and the kit costs $17 for 2 6" lights or $18 for 2 12" lights including the inverter and battery holder (takes 8 AA batteries in either case). Mounting hardware isn't included, but hot glue and zip ties should be sufficient.


You might want to mount that CCFL inside a tube of acrylic, ala this tutorial, so that it's protected, and if it does break it breaks inside the sealed tube. Also, those CCFLs suck down a few hundred milliwatts of power each. They'll burn through Alkaline AA batteries very quickly. Consider buying some NiMH rechargeables or a 12V sealed lead-acid battery you can strap to your bike.

I find that quoted $17 is a bit much for a CCFL kit in my opinion. I'd check out the lights at XOxide.com, where they're only $8 for a 2-cathode 12" kit. They run on 12V as well, and are encased in acrylic; though you may consider putting them in more sturdy acrylic shell in addition.
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Re: Bike LED Flag Pole?

Postby Captain Goddammit » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:35 am

It might be cool to set up a bike headlight generator to help with battery charging.
If I were using a CCFL on a bike I'd mount holders for bigger batteries or a bigger 12V battery, I think the AAs will drain pretty fast.
My suggestion is turn it on, leave it on, and see how long the batteries hold out so you know how many to bring or whether it's worth going with something bigger.
Probably the easiest thing is to bring enough batteries.

I also second the recommendation to put the CCFL inside an acrylic tube so you don't moop broken CCFL. Some of the lighting on my mutant vehicle is fluorescent and all of it is encased in tubes for that reason.
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Re: Bike LED Flag Pole?

Postby Elorrum » Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:15 am

bike flags aren't too expensive. have a mount that is bolted to the wheel axle.
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This is a new idea to me this year. Pool noodles with led chasers and flashers inside. Waterproof would probably mean dustproof too.
I'm waiting to see if they drop to clearance before the end of August.
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Re: Bike LED Flag Pole?

Postby cbringas » Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:43 am

Hmmm. Maybe you're talking about my bike? This is what I did last year. Was super easy. Just go to a metal supply shop. Buy some aluminum. Then go online and buy a roll of 5m 5050 rgb led's. Attach them to the aluminum and then jerry rig a way to attach the aluminum to your bike. There you go! Pretty simple. This year I'm using bendable aluminum and making some pretty fun designs. See you out there!
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Re: Bike LED Flag Pole?

Postby FossaFerox » Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:58 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:It might be cool to set up a bike headlight generator to help with battery charging.
If I were using a CCFL on a bike I'd mount holders for bigger batteries or a bigger 12V battery, I think the AAs will drain pretty fast.
My suggestion is turn it on, leave it on, and see how long the batteries hold out so you know how many to bring or whether it's worth going with something bigger.
Probably the easiest thing is to bring enough batteries.

I also second the recommendation to put the CCFL inside an acrylic tube so you don't moop broken CCFL. Some of the lighting on my mutant vehicle is fluorescent and all of it is encased in tubes for that reason.


I've had the 6" CCFLs lit for four hours now with no signs of dimming. They're still bright enough that my room has a blue tint in the middle of the day, and last night I was reading with the light they cast with them sitting on the opposite side of the room. I'll post back when they burn through one set of batteries. ELWirePros does encase them in acrylic, by the way. When I said they might be fragile I'm just not sure how strong the acrylic is.

As for the inverter issue for the EL wire, they're sending me a new one for free and it's already on its way. Great service and the pre-assembled stuff is extremely well done. I can solder well enough but the little details like shrink wrapping the connections in rubber make me pretty okay with the price difference, not to mention I wanted 6" not 12" and couldn't find a good kit anywhere else.

The price might be less of an issue if I'd done my homework, as well. They included a business card with the stuff they sent me which mentions "burner discounts available" so I probably could have gotten the stuff even cheaper had I asked. I'll keep that in mind for next time because I'm definitely buying from them next time I need lighting solutions.
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Re: Bike LED Flag Pole?

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Jun 24, 2013 2:05 pm

I had 2 CCFL's taped to my bike flagpole one year.

The jarring of the playa knocked them out in one evening.

Total failure! :cry:
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Re: Bike LED Flag Pole?

Postby FossaFerox » Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:27 pm

Ouch. What kind of tape were you using and what do you mean they were "knocked out"? They came loose or broke entirely? I swear Fig, you seem to have every idea I do and you've been burning a lot longer. It's awesome and humbling.

9-9.5 hours in to the test one of the two CCFL's started to dim slightly. (I wasn't checking minute to minute). Quick battery swap confirmed it's the batteries draining that caused the dimming. I'll do a more careful study on how much light I get out of them with what's left in the batteries, but overall I'm not terribly worried.

Considering I'm going to use the light for at most ~2 hours a night or so at a guess since I won't leave it on when my bike is parked I'm going to need one extra set of batteries. Of course, I'm bringing 3 back up sets because plans change and batteries are always useful.
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Re: Bike LED Flag Pole?

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:31 pm

My trike light broke and I had these two 12 volt trouble lights to use in camp.

Since my trike has a 12 volt electric assist, I gorilla taped 1 to the flagpole so that I could still ride at night.

The bumping along on the playa broke the bulb, so I switched to the other one.

After about an hour, the bouncing must of broke a connection, and that one bit it too.
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Re: Bike LED Flag Pole?

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:06 pm

They did give a nice 20' circle of light, sort of like being under a streetlight, but I don't think they were ment for the constant vibration.

These were the lights.

http://www.amazon.com/PRO-LIFT-WORK-LIGHT-volt-fluorescent/dp/B000UAQ2SY
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Re: Bike LED Flag Pole?

Postby FossaFerox » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:50 am

Mmm, the CCFLs I got are encased in acrylic and the connections are really well done. The kit was intended for use on a bike so hopefully they hold up a bit better than yours did.
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Re: Bike LED Flag Pole?

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:24 am

The bulb broke on one and the acrylic kept it from being a mess.

The other just quit.

Mine probably would have been fine on pavement, but my concern is the constant jarring of the playa.

Bring back up. 8)
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Re: Bike LED Flag Pole?

Postby Conduit » Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:24 am

Maybe I'm made my too basic? Wood dowel from hardware store $5. Battery powered LED Xmas lights $7. Wrap lights around the pole, ziptie (cause every project should have at least 1 ziptie) and then used hose claps to attach to bike. Done!
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