Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Wireless Bike Brake Light


I've reviewed a lot of bike lights and this new one is a little different. Inventor and tinkerer John Craig has created an easily removable, battery-powered brake light that senses a cyclist's decelerations in order to strongly flash when a bike is coming to a stop.

Calling his new Kickstarter campaign invention the LucidBrake, Craig says the light will help save lives by preventing some of the accidents caused by drivers that say they just don't 'see' cyclists. The LucidBrake has a patent-pending algorithm that is supposed to ignore normal wheel rotations and road bumpiness, yet sense the deceleration that indicates slowing down or stopping. The brake's eight LED lights are placed in an octagon shape so that they resemble a stop sign.

For regular cruising the LED-based LucidBrake shows a weaker flashing light, then flashes intensely when the cyclist is braking or decelerating to a stop. The light stays steady for a few seconds and then returns to weaker flashing. There are no wires or installation, and no plastic parts or covers. LucidBrake weighs in at just 23 grams and the company says it is easily mounted and dismounted from a bike (though a flat surface is needed), or a helmet, or a backpack. The LucidBrake team consulted 3-M to find a 'dual-lock' fastener, a bit like sticky velcro, to make it easy to put the brake light on and off. Craig says a tough sunlight and waterproof coating means you can dunk a Lucidbrake in a lake and it keeps on flashing.

LucidBrake isn't the first wireless brake light, but with the eight LEDs it does seem one of the brightest. At the current Kickstarter, getting one of the first-production lights entails a $50.00 pledge.

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