Like this site? Help us to make it better.


Crowdfunding sought for auto-adjusting bike light (+ video)

Xlerad gets brighter the faster you ride

A US company is looking for crowdfunding for their Xlerad bike light that adjusts its brightness automatically according to your speed. It’s based on the idea that the faster you ride, the more light you need to stay safe.

What’s that you say? “Another Kickstarter campaign, by any chance?” Well, yes it is actually. It’s where are a lot of innovative ideas are getting off the ground these days.

Xlerad (pronounced ik-sel-RAD, apparently) is equipped with sensors and a smart algorithm that allows it to adjust its output. It turns on automatically when it senses movement, and the amount of light it gives out varies from 200 lumens up to 1,000 lumens.

What’s the point of the automatic adjustment? The idea is that you’ll ride with the amount of light you need for safety but without wasting power by having the beam needlessly intense, so you’ll get a longer runtime and lower heat. Of course, many lights already allow you to switch between different beam modes so you can select the one you want at any given time, but the Xlerad does the job for you.

“It is a platform with several smart sensors coupled with a microprocessor which is continuously solving 3D vector calculus to achieve optimal brightness in all conditions,” say the inventors.

“Speed up and the light gets brighter, slow down and it gradually becomes dimmer. Set your bike on a rack, it will automatically turn off after a few minutes.”

The Xlerad runs on a 5,000mAh lithium ion rechargeable external battery pack and the runtime varies from 3.7 hours right up to 45 hours, depending on how fast you ride. If you like, you can also run the Xlerad light on fixed mode at 400 lumens. In that mode you’ll get a runtime of 10 hours.

The lamp unit weighs 107g and attaches to your bars using a multi-holed rubber strap, so it can handle all bar shapes and sizes, and it’s easy to remove and carry with you when you get off your bike. The battery weighs 200g.

How does the Xlerad know how fast you’re riding?

“Xlerad has an accelerometer so it is able to determine at any instant, its 3 dimensional acceleration vector,” say its inventors. “Used in conjunction with an accurate time reference, it uses numerical calculus to integrate it’s acceleration vector to get the 3 dimensional velocity vector. This data is processed in real time to estimate speed and can determine if the rider is turning or going straight. In general you need more light when you are turning or going fast. It also factors in battery level and LED temperature.”

You need to pledge US$189 (plus international shipping charges, if relevant) to get an Xlerad light, including the battery, mount and charger. The first units will ship next March if the scheme reaches its target of $18,300. They were over halfway there with 19 days to go.

For more info go to the Xlerad website or the Kickstarter page.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

Latest Comments