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.