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
|Model||Sides||Arms||LEDs per arm||LEDs total||Colors||Programmable||Pictures||Lumens||Min wheel size||Max hub size||Power||Model|
|Balights||2||4||47||376 (!!!!)||16 million||Bluetooth via App||animation||26"||40mm||rechargeable (10-hours)||Balights|
|Hokey Lights||1||1-3||16||16||Single||Text||6||Hokey Lights|
|Monkey Light Pro||2||4||32||256||RGB||Bluetooth (Mac, iPhone, iPad)||video||2500||26"||58mm||Monkey Light Pro|
|Wheel Writer||1||1-3||18?||18?||Red||No||12||20"||3 AAA||Wheel Writer|
|XuanWheel S1||2||2||24||96||RGB||Bluetooth via Android 4.3+/iOS 7+ app||26"||38mm||1300mah (9-20 hours)||XuanWheel S1|
|XuanWheel X1||2||4||24||192||8 colors||Bluetooth via Android 4.3+/iOS 7+ app||26"||40mm||rechargeable (6-15 hours)||XuanWheel X1|
|YQ8003||2||2||32||128||RGB||USB||18||300||26"||1 x 18650 rechargable (15-20 hours)||YQ8003|
|YQ8005||2||2||24||96||RGB||SD card||25 (or 13?)||220||20"||1 x 18650 rechargable (15-20 hours)||YQ8005|
|YQ8006||2||2||24||96||RGB||SD card||100 + 50 frames of animation||rechargeable||YQ8006|
|YQ8007||2||2||36||144||RGB||SD card||100 (still or animated)||26"||1 x 18650 rechargable (15-20 hours)||YQ8007|
|YQ8008||2||3||36||216||RGB||SD card||100 + video||26"||4cm||rechargeable||YQ8008|
Here are more details about the various models listed in the table:
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…)
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?
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?)
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.