It's the season for lights and there have been some interesting new developments in this field in recent years, and here are three new products to add to that list, two of which are launching on Kickstarter today.
Augur Wolf senses front lights behind you and dims accordingly
This is the Augur Wolf, a front and rear let combo which have has just gone up on Kickstarter, and designed for the collective safety of a group of cyclists riding together, which could be an evening chaingang or an Audax.
The Augur Wolf rear light can detect the presence of a front Augur Wolf behind it, and automatically dims the light so the person cycling behind you isn’t blinded. The rear light contains three Cree LEDs with a 35 Lumen output, but when it detects the presence of a front light behind, dips down to a safe lighting mode with just one LED illuminated, so the person behind you isn’t blinded.
The only downside is that the “intelligent communications system” in the light only talks to other Wolf lights, so you’ll be need to ride with people using the same lights for the theory to work in practice. It's a really nice idea and does solve a problem, one that has risen as rear lights have become ever brighter in recent years.
“As a cyclist, I've seen too many avoidable crashes, bumps and scrapes caused by the dangers (and thrills) of riding in a peloton,” say the inventors. “A clear view ahead becomes a dazzling brightness as another cyclist's light cuts across your vision. Cycling with your teammates, this is just dangerous.”
They’ve also developed a front light with a 135 Lumen output with four available modes from a Low Intensity Beam for twilight riding to a Full Power Beam for seeing through the darkness, and a High Intensity Strobe for letting everyone know you’re coming their way.
Both lights feature machined and anodised 6061 aluminium cases with an IP56 rating, silicone mounting straps and lithium polymer batteries charged via a USB lead.
The lights are currently on Kickstarter with a goal of $60,000 (at the moment they have only raised $375 but there are 38 days to go) so it will be interesting to see how it goes. Take a look at it on Kickstarter here.
WingLights launches on Kickstarter today
Cycl have developed WingLights, small handlebar clip-on indicator lights that the inventors say aim to improve cyclists safety on the roads by making sure you’re seen when changing lanes or direction, by bringing attention to other road users and designed to be used in conjunction with hand signals.
They are only compatible with flat bars, ruling out road bikes but still, ideal for city, urban and mountain bikes. The sleek aluminium cases clip onto the end of the handlebar, and they can easily and quickly be removed when you lock your bike up and lock together with a carabiner so you can clip them onto your keyring or bag.
The lights turn on by a simple tap on the exterior, so if you’re about to turn left off a main road, you first need to tap the light then make a hand signal. We’re not sure how practical that is when you’re cycling at speed through the streets of a busy city or town and making last-minute navigation decisions, but it would be interesting to try them if they succeed in hitting their Kickstarter goal.
WingLights launch on Kickstarter at 6pm this evening, where you’ll be able to pre-order a set for £19.
Sparse Fixed Bicycle anti-theft lights
Okay so they’re not brand new, but now UK distributor Nrg4 are bringing these Sparse lights into the country and since this is the season for lights, it’s worth talking about them. And we think they're pretty cool. What makes them anti-theft is the simple fact that the rear light goes around the seatpost, while the front light replaces a steerer tube spacer. That should be enough to stop the opportunist thief running off with them, and saves you having to worry about removing them when you lock your bike up somewere.
That does mean a trickier installation, but once in place you won’t ever need to worry about removing them when you lock your bike up somewhere. For a daily commuter or urban bike, there’s no reason why you’d ever want to take them off anyway, even in the summer.
Both lights are machined from metal with polycarbonate lenses. The front emits 200 Lumens via a 3 watt Cree LED, with three modes and a 4-8 hour run time. It fits 1” and 1 1/8” steerer tubes. The rear 100 Lumens, three modes and will fit seatpost sizes from 27.2 up to 31.9mm,There’s no way of removing the rear light without removing the seatpost. Both lights are charged by a micro USB lead.
A set of front and rear Sparse lights cost £89.99 or you can purchase them individually for £47.99.
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.