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My context is that I have a cargo trike (Babboe Curve). Especially in the winter dark, some car drivers mis-identify it as a bicycle and pass it too close. My solution to this was to fit a string of LEDs and a combined solar panel/battery pack, which worked for a while. Over time the string of LEDs has broken part way along and so only ~half works, and the connection between the LED string and the power source has broken repeatedly.

So, in place of the IP65 LEDs I have an IP68 set which should stand up to the conditions better - but connecting them to a power source in a way which lasts is baffling me. I've tried soldering, soldering then wrapping the connection in tape, and LED connectors like this:

LED to cable connector enter image description here

LED strip in question is a 3 pin one like in the below image (just IP68 rather than IP67):

3 pin string of LEDs enter image description here I'm open to any solution which gives me

  • nice bright colourful lights all around the 'bucket' of the trike - all the same fixed colour is OK, as long as that's not red or white.
  • powered by either a solar panel or a single battery, so I'm not constantly managing one battery change after another
  • which survives rain, puddle splash, frost, and being on a moving vehicle which may go over bumps at speed

Any help appreciated.

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    Some support behind the strips, a flat bar made out of plastic, double-sided gorilla tape to keep it secure. Screw the bar into place.
    – MiNiMe
    Nov 5, 2023 at 18:22
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    Are the components of the strip exposed btw?
    – MiNiMe
    Nov 5, 2023 at 18:24
  • Incidentally, with a bike trailer, I've fitted independent rear lights on each back corner, but also a lot of retroreflective tape, so even if the lights die on a ride, you'll still reflect headlights at the full width.
    – Chris H
    Nov 6, 2023 at 12:37

1 Answer 1

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For my dynamo lighting, I've mainly used solder with heatshrink sleeving. That works well, and has done so for several years.

An important part of the job is supporting the wiring so that flexing takes place in wire, not at joints, and isn't too tight. This means strapping the wires either side of a join, to the same part of the frame. Thin cable ties are good for this. You can use heatshrink to form strain relief at connectors, though you might need a couple of layers of different sizes.

This holds for connectors as well. I've used spade connectors for rear dynamo lights, so I can remove the mudguard just by undoing a could of cable ties.

Those LED strips aren't as flexible as wire, and will eventually break, so it's good to ensure they're well-supported. Even the weight of connectors bouncing around can cause stress and lead to breakage.

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    What heatshrink tubing do you use? (or sleeving)
    – MiNiMe
    Nov 5, 2023 at 16:46
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    @MiNiMe just some I bought online. The glue-lined sort is good for waterproofing splices, but I have a wider range of sizes in non-adhesive. You can get packs with a variety of sizes and colours
    – Chris H
    Nov 5, 2023 at 17:48

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