Making lights

Lights are good at night when riding a bicycle.

I tore this one apart and stitched it to my main backpack.

I found this “running led light” off Amazon. It was $15. It’s usb rechargeable and is good for a few hours. It came in like, 4 colors. Red spectrum, psychologically drivers are more apt to see. Than like yellow or blue. Even though, no driver would say, “I saw him and then turned into him anyways. He should really get a car.”

I went through two pairs of scissors.

Ripping stitching worked out better with nail clippers. Just FYI.

Its built really well even though the LED is pretty small. My goal was mostly to have the power ports inside my backpack for heavy downpours. Also to get the volume back inside my bag when I’m not using them. I could fit a sandwich and a Coke in the space these belts take up.

There’s the LED.

If you do take things apart. Take pictures. It helps when you put things back together.

Measuring the cloth.

My backpack is about 3 1/2 inches shorter than the light belt. So I measured and cut it down.

Tailors tape is an amazing invention.
This houses the power. You still need it because power.

It is very well built for the price.

I don’t buy pins just extra sewing needles.

I use sewing needles instead of pins so I have more sharp needles if I need them. I can’t sew with pins.

It is a bag. Outside of a bag.

The outer bag of a Brooks Cycling Bag is thicker and flexible. That was a challenge to keep the line somewhat straight even though the line will change when you fill the backpack.

Shoving the circuit board through the material.

I switched the power and the switch to the bottom mostly for when I come back at night and have to charge. Also, sideways monsoon rain seems to soak the top of my bags more than the bottom. It might be different where you live.

I reused some of the webbing to cover the slits.

The webbing is pretty strong stuff. I sewed my thumb to my bag trying to attach it. Accident. Then, I kept going.

At 25 feet

It’s still pretty visible in the light/dark environments like under an overpass or coming out of an alley. It was really a proof of concept. Brooks has made bicycle goods for 150 years. I was just merely adapting the bag to my everyday needs. I also thought since the materials are there I could up the brightness with a higher lumen LED just by aligning it with the clear plastic. We’ll see.

Links to stuff I used:

Light belt

Brooks Sparkhill 15L Cycling Backpack