How to Create an LED Light For Use As a Bicycle Turn Signal

 I started my turn signal project with this incandescent clearance light manufactured by Reese. We can't use this or any other clearance light as it is for a turn signal because clearance lights are only meant to be seen in the dark and aren't nearly bright enough to get attention in the daylight. We can make them brighter easily and cheaply. These Reese lights come in red or amber and are available in a variety of places. Just google "Reese round clearance light" on the Internet. I bought mine for $2.49 at

Open the packaging, remove the lense. The hot lead for the light is packed inside the lens and must be rounded up through the hole as shown. There is no ground wire because the light is supposed to ground electrically through one of the mounting screws. This means we can't use zip ties are other non conductive fasteners. unless we solder another wire to the grounding tab at the base of the bulb.Speaking of bulbs take this pitiful bulb and throw it away unless you have another use for it. We're going to replace the bulb with an LED unit. LED lights have all the advantages - they're smaller, brighter, and they consume far less power than other light sources.These units shown here also come with voltage control circuitry and can be run on either AC or DC power which means we don't have to worry about connecting them backwards. To find these Google all or parts of this description "12 volt g4 SMD cool white". Be sure to purchase the correct voltage for your application and be sure to order cool white. Warm white and soft white versions of the LED's aren't as bright. Did I mention these LED units are really bright? I wouldn't look at one close up when it's turned on or I should say I'll never do it again! It didn't hurt me to look but it took several seconds for my eyes to readjust back to ambien light.  Don't qote what I said about not hurting me to look at it just don't do it.

LED light wiring instructions

Ground the wire to the mounting screw and thread the hot lead out the bottom

I'm sure you've noticed by now that the LED unit looks nothing like the original bulb we removed from the light so how do we install it? Easy we insert the two pins on the LED under the bottom contacts in the socket between the contacts in the plastic socket housing as shown in this picture. No modification is required. One caution though.] The LED pins are blunt on the end and it might require little wiggle during the insertion in order to get them to slide. Don't make the mistake of bending the contacts upward to create more space. If you bend them up they won't bend back and that will make a sloppy connection. if insertion seems too difficult try inserting a point of a straight pin first to make a bit more room for LED pins.

Here's a close-up of the LED unit with the pins partially inserted into the socket. here's the LED unit fully inserted into place In this picture the hot lead is also been routed outside the house even ready to snap a lens back on before we do though take note of the orientation when the light is finally mounted for use install e with the top of the LED unit upward so gravity works in our favor hold it in place the top is opposite the point where the lead wire exits is the housing to make a long story shorter mount the light with a lead wire coming out at the bottom and that's all there is to it. 

The internal view of the ready to mount light

The instructions may sound confusing but they'll be almost self explanatory with parts in hand

I can assemble one of these units without any tools in less time than it takes to watch this video. the cost for these not counting sales tax and shipping is $3.49 each and they only weigh 1.5 ounces.  In conclusion here's a demo for the lights we just made once it's put into action, first as turn signals and then as four-way flashers. These are flashing outdoors in broad daylight so we can see the impact is more than satisfactory for getting attention.One should know getting these lights to flash requires a separate flasher unit in control and requires handlebar mounts, which in other words means there's more things to buy. An assembly is required but those separate accessories are much more readily available than these lightweight powerful LED flashers, which was my point in making the video.

This is Clarence be safe out there and thanks for dropping in.