Just in: Neonight electroluminescent lights

They're blue and bright and they attach to your bike helmet

by Mat Brett   November 1, 2012  

Neonight 1

These new Neonight lights have just landed in the Road.cc office and we thought we’d give you a quick look before they go off for testing because they’re very different from the norm. They’re blue, electroluminescent and they attach to either side of a bike helmet.

We did spot them at the Core Bike Show earlier in the year, but this is the first time we've actually got the lights in.

Neonight say, “The lamps are basically double-sided doped phosphorous strips across which we pass an alternating current. The reciprocating electrons agitate the phosphor producing a blue-green band of light which is further expanded through a reflection and diffuser system that spreads and expands the area illuminated by the electroluminescence so that the product is 3-dimensional.”

Get that? Cool.

Neonight reckon that blue is the ideal colour to get you noticed at night. Why? Funny you should ask…

“During the day the eye relies entirely on cones. The peak spectral intensity of cones to colour is yellow… However, at night the eye goes through something called a Purkinje shift or dark adaptation. Cones shut down and we rely on rods to see. Rods respond best to blue light (blue/green to be exact).”

The Neonight system comprises two “lighting pods” that attach to your bike helmet via a magnetic bracket and they illuminate automatically once you’ve attached them. There’s also a single armband version.

The continuous runtime is over five hours, according to Neonight, with a green/red base light indicating how much juice you have left. They’re fully rechargeable via a computer USB cable in just over three hours.

Each cycle light unit consists of two light pods, two brackets (with adhesive backing strips for either conventional or solid helmets), a double USB lead and a carry case. The price for that lot is £59.99.

Legally, when riding at night you need a front-facing white light and a rear-facing red light. Clearly, these aren’t either – they’re intended to act as supplementary lighting to help you get noticed.

For more info go to www.extrauk.co.uk and look out for a review on Road.cc soon.

10 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Crikey, even cyclist's lights are doped these days...

sorry! Big Grin

Interesting product, is there a stated weight?

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2948 posts]
1st November 2012 - 14:05

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Twin glowing protruberances on one's dome?

posted by Dr_Lex [129 posts]
1st November 2012 - 14:41

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Very good, Dr_Lex. Ha!

posted by Mat Brett [1821 posts]
1st November 2012 - 14:56

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notfastenough wrote:

Interesting product, is there a stated weight?

they're 45g each according to the scales of truth

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7253 posts]
1st November 2012 - 15:03

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Still illegal, sadly! Admittedly I can't see any copper pulling you up for it, but it's a weakness I'd rather not have...

Clicky:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1989/1796/regulation/11/made

posted by Darkerside [58 posts]
1st November 2012 - 17:04

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Darkerside wrote:
Still illegal, sadly! Admittedly I can't see any copper pulling you up for it, but it's a weakness I'd rather not have...

Clicky:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1989/1796/regulation/11/made

True, but I always thought the same about having normal lights set to flashing, until I passed a pair of PCSOs on their mountain bikes with their rear lights set to flash.

That said, if cycling continues to grow in popularity, I could see some formalisation of this area.

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2948 posts]
1st November 2012 - 17:48

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Darkerside wrote:
Still illegal, sadly! Admittedly I can't see any copper pulling you up for it, but it's a weakness I'd rather not have...

Clicky:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1989/1796/regulation/11/made

It says, "No vehicle shall be fitted with a lamp which is capable of showing any light to the rear, other than a red light, except... etc."

So, for the Neonight lights to be illegal a bike helmet would have to be considered part of the vehicle.

And you're saying it is, correct?

I've no idea. Does anyone know for sure? (No guesses or conjecture, please).

posted by Mat Brett [1821 posts]
1st November 2012 - 18:17

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The whole legal light debate for bikes is fuzzy at best. If you are not causing a nuisance or attempting to emulate an emergency service I would say any right thinking copper would be happy you were well lit.

Personally I go for the American front porch at Christmas approach. The more the merrier.

posted by mattbibbings [102 posts]
1st November 2012 - 18:22

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Right.

Does anyone know for sure? (No guesses or conjecture please).

posted by Mat Brett [1821 posts]
1st November 2012 - 18:29

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Flashing lights of above a certain brightness are fine since 2005. CTC has a pretty good summary, but the legislation itself is also pretty readable and unambiguous

http://www.ctc.org.uk/cyclists-library/regulations/lighting-regulations

As for relying on the rider not being counted as part of the vehicle, and it's not a test case I'd want to be part of! Why risk it? I can't see the benefit of having a weird coloured light shining in an unexpected position. Load up on red lights by all means, but selecting options which will confuse other road users trying to determine what you are strikes me as counterproductive.

My claim to knowing a bit about this area is being involved in setting up an ambulance cycle response unit and policies a few years back, which involved a good chunk of research and debate on the legalities.

posted by Darkerside [58 posts]
1st November 2012 - 18:42

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