The bicycle illumination project

I wanted to light the contours of my bicycle to make it stand out more visibly in the dark.  So I attached both 1m EL tapes to either side of my bicycle triangle with some adhesive tape and I used the 3m EL wire to mark the back of the bike. The EL wire and tape are provided with a 2.5mm pitch male JST connector connector that will not fit on the male JST2.0 connectors of the the Seeed Studio EL shield. Luckily they shipped 4 female JST to female JST2.0 cables with the EL shield, so connecting the strips and wire is nothing but plug-and-play, no soldering required, bummer ;-) . I plugged the shield into an Arduino UNO and loaded it with a simple sketch. The sketch blinks the two EL strips and lets the EL wire light up continuously.

I did not want to use batteries for power, so I attached the Arduino with a USB cable to my “bicycle power system”. Nothing fancy, just a watertight box that rectifies the AC coming from the front hub dynamo, a big capacitor for stabilizing and a 12VDC-to-5VDC converter. The DC-to-DC converter is nothing fancy either, its a car cigarette USB adapter, 12V in, 5V out.