Start by deciding where the battery pack and microcontroller will be attached. Mine will fit beautifully right underneath the bike seat, nestled up inside and out of the way.  From there, wrap the lights tightly around the bike. You have a lot of control over density -- you can cover most of the bike with just one strand, or snap together 3-4 strands for NeoPixel Overload. 

Be sure to avoid squishing any brake or gear cables -- go underneath instead of over so as not to interfere with the mechanics of the bike.

Choose a few spots to zip tie the lights in place on the bike so they don't slide around. I found just one zip tie hidden at each end of the frame sections was plenty secure.

Turn the lights on and step back a few feet. Do you like the way the animations look wrapped around the frame? If not, now is the time to update the code until it's exactly how you want it to be. Next we'll seal up the microcontroller and connectors, so be very sure everything's working how you want!

Sealing it Up

Find all the connectors between NeoPixel strands on the bike. Unplug them and slide a piece of clear 1/2" heat shrink on, then plug the connector back in and cover it with the heat shrink. You can use the same hot-glue trick here, or just use the heat shrink alone. This is really to keep dust from getting in the crevices, so you probably don't need the glue (unless you're planning on submersing the bike in water).

Slide a piece of 1" heat shrink over the Gemma. Line both ends with a bead of hot glue -- you don't need a lot, just get it from end to end -- and then use a heat gun to shrink it down while the glue is still wet. This will make a plastic seal around the Gemma that will be completely dust-proof.. but, you'll no longer be able to update the programming once this is done, so be sure you're happy!

Finally, use some hot glue to secure the sealed Gemma to the back of the battery case.  Now you can mount it to the bike -- but remember to mount it using zip ties or a bungee cord, or something you can remove fairly easily so you can access the battery pack when you need to change the batteries. I chose to leave this one connector uncovered with heat shrink, since that will make it much easier to get the battery case out. This case is a bit of a pain to open so I want to be able to take it off the bike entirely.

This guide was first published on Jun 18, 2019. It was last updated on Feb 29, 2024.

This page (Mount and Seal) was last updated on Jul 23, 2019.

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