What a Bright Idea: Bicycle LED Lights are Not Only Cool but Also Promote Safety

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Working in what appears to be a basement somewhere in San Francisco, two biotech employees and a former NASA engineer have developed a radically new lighting system…for bicycles.

While advances in bicycle technology don’t typically arouse my interest, I’m a sucker for shiny objects and the wheel-mounted Revolights are actually very cool.

Drawing power from a rechargeable lithium ion battery, the system consists of four “light rings,” each sporting a dozen LEDs and a dash of electronics. While stationary, the lights simply flash in sequence and are as every bit as boring as one might expect flashing lights on a bicycle wheel to be. But just get those wheels spinning and watch the magic happen!

While in motion, the lights merge, for all appearances, into solid bars at the front and rear edges of each wheel, illuminating the rider’s path without blinding oncoming traffic and making the cyclist clearly visible from all sides.

Though the “magic” has something to do with magnets and algorithms, knowing that doesn’t lessen the mystery - at least for me.

The system can be mounted onto any bicycle and should be available for purchase by the spring of 2012, when you too can amaze your friends and avoid being hit by a bus while riding your bike at night.

By Michael Denhardt

Story References: Revolights