Thursday, July 3, 2014

DIY Roller Skate LED Lights - Quick and Simple for $2

I hadn't been roller skating in quite a few years.  I'd really forgotten how much fun it can be...and good exercise.  So, we decided to start going more often with the daughter.  We even found a classic pair of roller skates for $10 at the local thrift store!  But, they were looking pretty plain jane.  I wanted to dress them up a bit.  I wanted to paint them!  Alas, the daughter didn't want me to.  Pom poms?!!  Nope. Daughter wasn't having that either.  She did let me change out the white lacings for black metallic ones from a pair of boots she grew out of.  And, we agreed I could add lights!  Woo hoo!  LIGHTS!

I've seen some kids with those light up wheels, so I did a google search.  Some shops want as much as $50 for light up wheels! thanks.  Our plain black ones will be fine for now.  :(  Then, I found some invention that mounts under the shoe between the wheels.  They were pretty cool looking and cheaper than the wheels, but they required somewhat complex installation of the LED strip and a battery pack.  Besides, it looks a bit dangerous with the wires and stuff that could fall and get caught in the wheels.  Eventually, I gave up my search keeping the idea in the back of my mind.  Surely there is a more affordable and less dangerous way.

And, there was!  How simple?!  (Okay, it doesn't look like much in the pic, but turn out the lights and you got a party under your skates! WOOT! WOOT!)

Do you recognize it?  We have a friend we see at many evening events who frequently is wearing, and even kindly gives out, the flashy rubber LED rings.  (She must buy those things in bulk or something!)  One time she gave me one that I wore for about 5 minutes before it started driving me crazy with all the bright blinking.  My eyes were drawn to it like a deer in headlights.  I could hardly socialize or walk for that matter.  I had to shut it off.  I'd take it home for the daughter.  Later, it occurred to me that perhaps we could use this rubber ring on her skates.  I found more of them at the party store for $1 each.  Thank you party store!

I'd originally just intended to weave it in the laces or wrap it around the rubber toe stop in front.  But, it was still rather bright and distracting looking down (and at our skill level we do a LOT of looking down).  So, I wanted to mount it under the skate out of site but still visible lighting the ground under the skate.  So, I found that it's possible to stretch it over the truck part (forgive me for not knowing correct terminology)  without getting in the way of the wheels.  There is a piece that sticks out that is not connected to the axel thingy, so with a little squishing and pulling you can get it between them.  And, being rubber, it doesn't slip or easily budge.    I suppose you could put a 2nd ring in the back in the opposite direction, too.  Being easily removable, you can even use these on rentals.  Then, you just give the back of the rings a squeeze to turn them on.  And.....YOU'RE READY TO ROLL!!