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Clattering through potholes at night could be a thing of this past with this LED projector that warns of hazards

Lumigrids is a smart LED system that projects a square grid into your path to help you search out hazards by looking for changes in the grid. When riding along a rough road the small grids will deform and make it easier to spot and avoid potholes, sunken drain covers, cracks and over hazards you don’t want to cycle over.

It’s an interesting design and picked up the Red Dot Design Award for ‘Best of the Best 2012’, an international award for design innovation. Ride at night time and spotting the myriad of hazards with even very bright cycle lights can be challenging. Regular lights cast shadows and don’t always pick out potholes until it’s too late.

The designers behind Lumigrids wanted to improve night riding safety: "It can be difficult for night cyclists to get a good sense of the condition of the terrain ahead, even with a typical bicycle lamp. In many cases, a bicycle lamp will cast shadows on both concave and convex areas of the ground. This can hinder the rider's judgment of the road surface ahead, and increase the potential for danger.”

Lumigrids is a small device that clamps to the handlebar and can emit a variety of grid sizes. The normal setting displays a 140 x 180mm (5.5 x 7.1-inch) grid. The light also acts as a regular light, showing you presence to other road users.

It reminds us of the Blaze, an LED that projects a green symbol of a cyclist onto the Tarmac ahead of you to warn other road users' that you're there. We think Lumigrids has better practical use, if it really can help to pick out potholes and the like. 

Lumigrids was developed by researchers from the Sichuan University in China. We hope it does go into production because we think it has genuine potential. We’d certainly like to try it out to see how it performs.

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

18 comments

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Lifer [20 posts] 3 years ago
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TRON!

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barkingfishes [26 posts] 3 years ago
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Every journey would be like you're in Tron. Love it.

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andybwhite [250 posts] 3 years ago
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Err.. wouldn't you have to be going at like... 1 mph to stand any chance of reacting to the potholes etc?
Not very practical as shown - who gives these awards out  7

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matdicko [7 posts] 3 years ago
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Looks amazing, could have done with it in the early hours of yesterday whilst doing the Dawn Raid sportive, hit a few nasty potholes en route to London.

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joemmo [1164 posts] 3 years ago
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Another case of 'looks great on paper but..' or more precisely, 'looks great in a 3d render. How can this win a design award when it hasn't even been prototyped in the real world? I despair.

The quote " In many cases, a bicycle lamp will cast shadows on both concave and convex areas of the ground. This can hinder the rider's judgment of the road surface ahead, and increase the potential for danger" is a load of tosh - it's the light and shade that shows the relief of the ground

Apart from issues around construction, lenses, power supply etc the major flaw I can see is that using a grid projection to highlight terrain will only be really effective if it is projected vertically downwards and viewed at an angle – for example if the projector was mounted on an arm extending out from the bike, which is obviously impractical.

If the projection is coming from almost the same point as the viewer sees it then it’s really no more beneficial than a handlebar mounted light at showing the relief on the ground . You’d probably get a more effective view just from a light mounted at axle height on the front wheel.

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notfastenough [3715 posts] 3 years ago
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Looks very cool, at least...

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andycoventry [110 posts] 3 years ago
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If you are looking at the road immediately in front, you are not looking far enough down the road and be able to respond in good time.

Unsafe if you ask me.

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shay cycles [346 posts] 3 years ago
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Can't Really Avoid Potholes

 3

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merckxissimo [57 posts] 3 years ago
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shay cycles wrote:

Can't Really Avoid Potholes

 3

Swerve hurriedly in time!

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therealsmallboy [168 posts] 3 years ago
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Theory/ design innovation- good

Practicality- bad

Chance of going into production- zero

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farrell [1950 posts] 3 years ago
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merckxissimo wrote:
shay cycles wrote:

Can't Really Avoid Potholes

 3

Swerve hurriedly in time!

Cant understand not turning?

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benjam [48 posts] 3 years ago
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it needs to adjust according to speed. At 30kph you're getting <0.5s of warning

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Colin Peyresourde [1773 posts] 3 years ago
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Like it. Weren't there those spoke lights that could make you look like the Tron cycles? Combined you could make some very confused 30-40 year olds.

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Ghedebrav [1100 posts] 3 years ago
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Thought I'd pop on here, comment something to do with Tron and leave fellow road.cc-ers thinking 'what a witty fellow!'. Oh well.

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Leviathan [2259 posts] 3 years ago
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I'll just use my eyes in fantastic stereo vision to look out for these mysterious convex pot holes(or rock I think they call them.)

Looks cool but design fail.

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Cauld Lubter [135 posts] 3 years ago
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farrell wrote:
merckxissimo wrote:
shay cycles wrote:

Can't Really Avoid Potholes

 3

Swerve hurriedly in time!

Cant understand not turning?

Being Overly Lighted Leads Obviously Cautious Keepers

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FMOAB [268 posts] 3 years ago
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Looks fun. I find that two lights up front gives much more information about the condition of the road surface, depth of potholes etc. I've never used a helmet mounted light but suspect that this would add even more perspective.

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Zebra [39 posts] 3 years ago
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Obviously none of the judges have ever ridden a bike in the dark.