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It’s winter, it’s dark and the time to go ride is much reduced, but we still want to ride. We can use lights of course and a handy feature of all E-Bike motors is the ability to be able to power them and switch them on from the control interface. We wanted to know how to mount them on a bike, so Light and Motion took us through the basic steps required to install wired lights that run off the e-bike battery on a popular Bosch motor and battery system.
It’s worth nothing that lights come in many shapes, sizes and styles. It is important to install the correct lights that are applicable for your local laws if you intend to ride on the road. The methods here we used are applicable to most light systems on the market, although there might be small details that are different during the mounting procedure. The whole procedure took about two hours without rushing and it is possible by most people who feel they are handy with the tools we have used. Our wiring procedure is for Bosch Motor systems. Some lights come ready with correct plugs, some don’t. Here we show how to do it assuming no motor plugs are present.
The parts needed are of course the lights, mounting kits and the workshop tools to carry out the work. We opted in this case for a Bosch Intuvia computer mount and an under the seat mount. There are many differences on light systems but the general idea is to put the red light on the back and the white light on the front in places that are useful to the riders for trail use and also respect the local traffic laws if you are going to ride on the road.
The lights need to meet a certain specification. Bosch states that their second generation e-bike motor systems can use up to 18 watts of power and run at 6 volts. The lights we installed can run on a system from 6V to 18V, our lights that we mounted will produce 500 lumins of light. Nominal current draw is rated at about 0.5-0.75 amps depending on the voltage used, so we can see that light will not flatten our 500 watt batteries very quickly. Bosch suggests that if you run out of power on your ride and the motor cuts out, the lights should stay on for at least an hour afterwards.
Bosch Motors have a specific mounting plug that needs to be joined to the light system if it does not already come with it. Here it is possible to buy the cables required to join to the lights.
Drop the Motor
The first thing to do is to be able to feed the cables through the bike frame. To do this and plug everything in cleanly, we need to drop the motor of the bike and free up space to feed the cables through. In the case of our demonstration bike this required removing the covers, sprockets and crank arms to get at the cable plugs and places to feed the wiring. Follow our method below.
Install and Wire The Lights
Once we had worked out where we were to place the lights, we passed the cables through the frame in an appropriate way for our bike. We also soldered the connection plugs onto the light cords and sealed the join from the elements with a heat shrink cover. We then passed the cables through the frame, fitted the light mounts and then refitted the motor.
Remounting The Motor
Ready And Check
As you can see for some users this installation is fairly in-depth regarding time and requires some basic workshop skills. We found the overall procedure to be fairly easy and we liked the fact that at the end we had full control over the lights from the handle bar and we didn’t have to worry about having full batteries in our lights. Charge the bike and your lights are also charged. This method works for eMTB and other road e-bikes, the principles are the same.
The only downside we can see is, if you want to take the lights off in the summer when riding off road, a quick release plug might be useful on light systems. However at only 130 grams of added weight, this might not be an issue from that point of view.
What do you find more practical? Fixed integrated bicycle lamps or a removable lighting?
Further Information about Light Installation
Text & Edit: Alex Boyce | eMTB-News.de
Photography: Alex Boyce
This post is also available in: Deutsch