Bike Lights

This page will serve as a resource for various persistence-of-vision bicycle wheel LED lights. There are simple ones that create patterns as the wheel spins, on up to fancy ones that can display full motion color video. If you know of any I have missed, please let me know and I will research them and add them.

  • 2015/8/12 – Added/cleaned up the descriptions a bit. According to a company representative, Yeuqi (YQ) means “riding with the moon”. They say: “Night ride more cool, more secure! This is yueqi!” :)
  • 2015/8/13 – Added Wheel Writer by Fuze.
  • 2015/12/8 – I found another four-arm unit (on e-Bay, I think) that I want to check out and add. Unlike XuanWheel or the YQ8008, this one didn’t seem to have a fixed hub size it would work with, meaning it might work with internal gear hubs (like those on my Dynamic Bicycles Runabout 8 chainless bicycle). I have also installed the YQ 2-arm that Gearbest sent me and will have some comments on that to add, too.
  • 2016/1/11 – Added Balights, the highest-resolution light I have found so far.
  • 2016/4/5 – XuanWheel app is now in the App Store. Updating links.
  • 2016/4/14 – There are two models of the XuanWheel now (but their website is not updated). The X1 is the original 4-arm version, and the S1 is a cost-reduced 2-arm model.

Here is the initial work-in-progress comparison table. Many more details will be added, and updates will be noted at the top of this page.

Bicycle wheel LED lights

ModelSidesArmsLEDs per armLEDs totalColorsProgrammablePicturesLumensMin wheel sizeMax hub sizePowerModel
Balights2447376 (!!!!)16 millionBluetooth via Appanimation26"40mmrechargeable (10-hours)Balights
Hokey Lights11-31616SingleText6Hokey Lights
Monkey Light Pro2432256RGBBluetooth (Mac, iPhone, iPad)video250026"58mmMonkey Light Pro
SpokePOV21-33060SingleYesSpokePOV
Wheel Writer11-318?18?RedNo1220"3 AAAWheel Writer
XuanWheel S1222496RGBBluetooth via Android 4.3+/iOS 7+ app26"38mm1300mah (9-20 hours)XuanWheel S1
XuanWheel X124241928 colorsBluetooth via Android 4.3+/iOS 7+ app26"40mmrechargeable (6-15 hours)XuanWheel X1
YQ8001121836RainbowNo32AA?YQ8001
YQ8002122448RainbowUSB48AA?YQ8002
YQ80032232128RGBUSB1830026"1 x 18650 rechargable (15-20 hours)YQ8003
YQ8005222496RGBSD card25 (or 13?)22020"1 x 18650 rechargable (15-20 hours)YQ8005
YQ8006222496RGBSD card100 + 50 frames of animationrechargeableYQ8006
YQ80072236144RGBSD card100 (still or animated)26"1 x 18650 rechargable (15-20 hours)YQ8007
YQ80082336216RGBSD card100 + video26"4cmrechargeableYQ8008
YQ8009NA0NANA?YQ8009
A listing of the various bicycle wheel LED lights and their features. (Updated 2/23/2016)

Here are more details about the various models listed in the table:

Balights

There was an Indiegogo campaign for this light. It seems like a higher end version of the XuanWheel. It has 336 full color LEDs and is also programmed via Bluetooth and a phone app. The Indiegogo price is $99, but says retail will be $100 more than that. Their official website has more details. On paper, this looks like the best one yet (but, it isn’t shipping, so it might not even exist). Their iOS app is already in the App Store. (NOTE: On the Amazon.com page where XuanWheel is sold, someone commented that the XuanWheel looked like a low-cost version of Monkey Light Pro or BaLights. XuanWheel responded claiming that they were first, and both copied them. They make a comment about the Indiegogo being canceled because of this. Indeed, the Balights Indiegogo page ended awhile ago, but still has order links — but they lead to page not found pages… I’ll update when I know more. Right now, they claimed November 2015 for delivery, but an update posted in December says it’s been delayed until January 2016…)

Hokey Spokes

The Hokey Spokes Company in Gary, Indiana sells low cost pattern and text displays. It appears to be a very old unit with origins back around 2001 (they even had PalmOS software for it!). Multiple units can be installed and they will synchronize via infrared. Up to three can be installed on a wheel to allow a pattern to display at much lower speeds than using only one. Simple text messages can be entered.

Monkey Light Pro

Monkey Light Pro by Monkeylectric started out as a Kickstarter campaign where they raised  $220,293 of their $180,000 goal. They sell for $995 (!) so I will not be able to offer any kind of review. Overall, this one seems to be the best of them, but is it really $927 better is it versus a $73 XuanWheel?

SpokePOV

This was the first persistence-of-vision bike display I heard about. It is a project you can build yourself. Adafruit Industries sells kits, but I do not know if you can buy one already assembled. (Anyone know?)

 Wheel Writer

The Fuze Wheel Writer 2.0 targets kids, is very similar to Hokey Spokes. It has a small row of red LEDs that can produce 12 patterns (some animated). There is an iPhone app that can be used to configure it, and it has the ability to have up to three units installed. It is one-sided, and is designed to be used only on the rear wheel. One unique feature is a speed display (based on you setting the size of the wheel) so you can show the world how fast you are peddling. Interesting and cheap from Wal-Mart and Amazon.

XuanWheel (aka, HaloWheel)

The HaloWheel product apparently launched as an IndieGogo campaign which ended, unsuccessfully, on July 4, 2015. It is unique because it uses four display arms instead of just two or three, allowing it to display an image while riding at lower speeds. There is also a new S1 model which only has two arms. It is programmed via Bluetooth over an iOS app or Android app. It is currently sold as the XuanWheel (or is it Xuan Wheel?) by Chendian Intelligent Tehnology Co., Ltd. of West Hi-Techn Zone, Chengdu, China. (I wonder if they changed the name because there is a bike wheel company called Halo Wheels.)

Yueqi Colorful Wheel Lights

The Yueqi (“riding with the moon”) series of bicycle “colorful wheel lights” is from Shenzhen Zhongxingbang Electronic Technology Co. Ltd. in Longhua Dalang, Shenshen China. They currently list eight models (YQ8000X), with all but one being POV displays that create images as the wheel rotates. The YQ8009 model appears just just be a string of battery operated LEDs that can be used to decorate a bike. The models vary in size (number of LEDs), colors (single or multi), and programability (some have preset images, some allow uploading custom images, animations or even full video). The programmable ones are programmed via USB cable or memory card, depending on model. They are available from resellers on e-Bay, Amazon.com, and many other online stores. Most are shipped from China, and will take several weeks to arrive in the USA.