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LED rear light with integrated accelerometer and photosensor to automatically switch on and off + video

Costing £115, the Blink/Steady is without doubt one of the most expensive rear LED lights we’ve ever come across on road.cc. It’s also the only light we know that uses a motion sensor to automatically switch on and off when you start and stop riding.

After launching on Kickstarter in the US a year ago, the light is now available to buy in the UK. The Brooklyn-designed light offers several interesting features, such as the one-piece seatpost clamp - you have to remove the seatpost to slide it into place - and the light fixes to the clamp with two small Torx bolts. This, says the company, makes it more secure and less liable to be stolen. Most common seatpost diameters are supported.

There are no buttons on the sleek aluminium body. Instead, an accelerometer can detect when the bike is moving and automatically switch the light on. Once the light has been woken up by movement, it’ll stay lit even when stationary at the lights, where the company says there is enough movement to keep it activated. When your bike has been stationary for 30 seconds the ligth will automatically switch off.

An additional photosensor means the light can distinguish between day and night to save it switching on when it’s not needed, and conserve battery life.

Powering the two 0.5W LEDS are a pair of regular AAA batteries, which the company claims in their tests lasted over 200 hours. The light offers either a steady or flashing mode, which you choose by flipping the light over in the clamp. Blink/Steady say they’ve developed a beam pattern to be visible from a wide 120 degree range.

The light is fully waterproof and and weighs just 60g with a 25-27mm seatpost clamp. It's available from www.patterrn.com/shop, the price includes VAT and delivery. 

While the £115 price does seem excessive, the Hope District 3 rear light effortlessly trumps it with a £165 price tag.

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.

31 comments

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lookmanohands [119 posts] 2 years ago
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I always struggle to switch my light on and off, Im always leaving it on as well! An absolute bargain at under 120 quid, me thinks I'll get a couple.  24 24 24 24 24

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tomclopez [7 posts] 2 years ago
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Is 30 seconds long enough for traffic lights?

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GrahamSt [167 posts] 2 years ago
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A non-solution for a non-problem. Well done  4

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allez neg [497 posts] 2 years ago
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Ch-ching!

Better to trust the user to switch the light on and off and integrate a small video camera into the light that records to a SD card when the light is activated (if they could get decent picture quality in low light conditions). At least that'd go some way to justifying the cost.

Loving the way you need to unscrew and invert it to switch between flashing and steady. And no side visibility from the looks of it.

I'll stick to my £20 cateye rear lights, ta.

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rix [124 posts] 2 years ago
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* You can't take it off without removing seat post. You need wrench for that.
* You can't put it on your new bike with different seat post diameter.
* Your lights will be on when bike is carried by car or train.
* You can't change battery. You need Torx key for that.
* "only" £115

Whaaaat? That must be the worst deal on the market for rear lights!  31

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dbb [34 posts] 2 years ago
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ooohh Shiny  4

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Guido [43 posts] 2 years ago
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I quite like having a bright rear light on in the day time especially when the sun is low or if you are going through areas with shade/sun/shade/sun etc. I suppose you could put some tape over the photosensor  40

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Charles_Hunter [149 posts] 2 years ago
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Good features but cost is a bit crazy.

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benb [80 posts] 2 years ago
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tomclopez wrote:

Is 30 seconds long enough for traffic lights?

No.

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mrchrispy [454 posts] 2 years ago
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but with my silky smooth pedaling style and manchesters pancake flat roads wont the accelerometer think I'm stationary and switch the light off while I'm riding????

 105

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Stim [11 posts] 2 years ago
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Taking the fucking piss,115 quid for a pissing light  102 ,filthy crroks

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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Personally, I would be a little uneasy about a light that switched itself off, after 30 seconds when stationary, especially since there are times when I'm at junctions for much longer than that. And what if I had a prang on a dark country lane? Would I want my rear light to turn itself off 30 seconds after I had "hit the deck"?

Also, I'm curious about the sensor that determines whether the light should be switched on or not. Given the dirt that's inevitably flicked up onto seatpost mounted lights, is it possible that dirt covering the sensor will "fool" the light into thinking that it is time to turn itself on? And, perhaps more alarmingly, if you've got a flash motor coming up behind you, with high power HID headlights, will the sensor be fooled into switching the light off?

But fair play to the designers for realising that seat posts are not usually perpendicular to the ground (and incorporated an appropriate "bend" in the bracket), a situation that designers of some recent "seatpost" lights have either failed to grasp, or have hoped that cyclists are mug enough not to notice.

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Simmo72 [604 posts] 2 years ago
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I would rather have a light thats stays on until I decide to switch it off. I'm waiting a lot longer than 30 seconds at traffic lights so I would rather be seen and drain a smidge of battery life than have a car steam into the back of me because of some pointless sensor.

Aside from that, I like the design, agree with the seatpost fitting but can't understand the price tag, I won't be buying one.

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Deac [163 posts] 2 years ago
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My Son could make one in DT for a fiver.  4

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David Arthur @d... [693 posts] 2 years ago
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Chris Deacon wrote:

My Son could make one in DT for a fiver.  4

Go on then. When it's ready we can feature it on road.cc

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FluffyKittenofT... [1199 posts] 2 years ago
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Or you could get 115 £1 lights! Which would probably be a bit brighter, in total. Even if fitting them on the bike might present a challenge.

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David Arthur @d... [693 posts] 2 years ago
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I've just been chatting to the company, and they tell me the light won't switch off at traffic lights, they say there's enough small movement to keep the light activated. It's only when the bike has been completely stationary will it then turn off.

We'll hopefully be getting on it to test so we can find out for ourselves, rather than making wild predictions on its performance

On the issue of the price, it may be expensive, but the Hope District we reviewed easily trumps it by a long way http://road.cc/content/review/30623-hope-vision-district-3-rear-light

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unsliced [17 posts] 2 years ago
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I bought one of these as an original backer of the Kickstarter (at a lot less that £115). I haven't got a bad thing to say about it.

The battery life is as long as you'd expect for small LEDs, and it's bright and eye-catching. I haven't really noticed it going out at traffic lights (but then it's mounted under the saddle so hard to notice).

Aside from never being stuck without a light, I like that it's always there and always on - taking the Volvo side lights as a motif - a light even in bright sunlight can sometimes be that little bit extra that's useful. At night I then augment it with a solid rear light.

And it's virtually un-nickable, another big plus.

I'm not sure I'd pay £115 for one, but I'm certainly not selling mine.

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Barry Fry-up [187 posts] 2 years ago
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That hope can be had for not much more than half that, though  39

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jarredscycling [456 posts] 2 years ago
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Yeah I guess anti theft becomes important when the light costs so darn much

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Ian Turnedge [13 posts] 2 years ago
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I hope that they specified 'aircraft grade' aluminium?

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racingcondor [173 posts] 2 years ago
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Price aside my biggest worry is that since you never need to look at it (to turn it off) you could happily ride for days not realising that the battery is dead.

That and the price which is ridiculous.

Bare with me.

And the price.

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bazzargh [152 posts] 2 years ago
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Wait, the "only light we know that uses a motion sensor to automatically switch on and off when you start and stop riding"? I had that front and rear on my commuter 3 years ago!

http://www.cateye.com/uk/products/detail/TL-LD570-R/

And for about 30 quid at the time - I've seen them for under 20 since. Also I reckon the cateye design's better - its a reflector as well as a light, so does the job when the battery runs out.

Not that they're perfect - I lost 1 to an absolutely chucking it down storm, and 2 more to horsing the bike down rough farm roads, shook one off and the other apart.

edited to add: to folk saying you wouldn't know the battery's dead - these ones came on with a combination of motion and darkness. Putting a hand in front and shaking the bike even a little is enough to know.

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Dave42W [49 posts] 2 years ago
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My rear LED light is on all the time, I never touch a switch, never change batteries, never need to charge it up. It is securely bolted on and permanently wired up.

It is of course a Busch & Muller Toplight Line Plus Rear Dynamo Light powered by a Schmidt Dynamo.

The front light comes on with a daylight sensor but I have the rear light on all the time. It never goes out at traffic lights.

In 12 months I have not had to touch it at all.

As lights should be!

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Leviathan [1988 posts] 2 years ago
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I think I will upgrade from this to 5 led vertical rear light with an on/off switch, wait...  4 done.

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a.jumper [846 posts] 2 years ago
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So how does the battery version of the axa riff auto work then? At £20 it's probably not as clever, but has a 4 minute stand light.

Oh and almost every dynamo light does this, like others have written.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1199 posts] 2 years ago
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The price of this thing would make me feel I was riding a light with a bike attached to it!

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Municipal Waste [239 posts] 2 years ago
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Dave42W wrote:

My rear LED light is on all the time, I never touch a switch, never change batteries, never need to charge it up. It is securely bolted on and permanently wired up.

It is of course a Busch & Muller Toplight Line Plus Rear Dynamo Light powered by a Schmidt Dynamo.

The front light comes on with a daylight sensor but I have the rear light on all the time. It never goes out at traffic lights.

In 12 months I have not had to touch it at all.

As lights should be!

What he said plus mine has the brake light function. That said it's not the cheapest option...

Front hub £180
Spokes £30
Head lamp £120
Tail lamp £40
Assorted wires, connectors, zip ties and brackets £30
Labour £80ish if you got a shop to do it

But I still consider mine to be the best purchase I've ever made.

Funnily enough my name is Dave too  26

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macchap [3 posts] 2 years ago
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@ David Arthur

You write, "It’s also the only light we know that uses a motion sensor to automatically switch on and off when you start and stop riding"

but what about CatEye's excellent 'Reflex Auto' which does exactly what's described here i.e. sense movement and light levels, turning itself on accordingly?

I bought one for about 30 quid last year and it's the best light I've ever bought - not as stylishly hipster as this one though but 85 quid cheaper..

Cheers

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niceguysean [113 posts] 2 years ago
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Huh - I have a Cateye light that clips on my bag that has the same basic function - a motion sensor to automatically switch it on and off, plus a delay for the off switch so it stays on at lights. It is easy to take apart to swap the batteries - I use 2 USB batteries so can charge them on any PC, and use this with another light in case on fails.

Cost, well I've had it years, but probably less than £30....

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