Theft-resistant Blink/Steady bike light turns on and off automatically
By Ben Coxworth
May 23, 2012
Bicycle lights may not exactly be a problem that needs solving, but the following can admittedly be said about most of them – they’re easily stolen if left on an unattended bike, people who start riding at dusk can forget to turn them on, and those same people can forget to turn them off when they reach their destination. Well, the makers of the Blink/Steady Bike Light have set out to address all of those shortcomings.
The waterproof Blink/Steady is so far only available as a tail light, although a head light is apparently on the way. It’s machined from a solid block of aluminum, and attaches to the bike’s seat post using an arrangement of a set screw and two bolts – a hex wrench-equipped thief could theoretically still nab it, although it would take them some time and effort both to figure the thing out, and remove it.
A built-in photosensor detects when it’s become dark enough for the light to be required, and allows it to come on once riding commences. According to the manufacturers, it isn’t fooled by things such as headlights or streetlights. The light also contains an accelerometer (also known as a motion sensor), which can tell when the bike is in motion.
Between the two sensors, this means that the light will automatically come on only once it’s dark enough, and the bike is moving. Even when stopped at red lights, the small movements of the rider will reportedly be enough to keep the light activated – it will go out after 30 seconds of complete inactivity. While this does mean that the two sensors and the associated processor are continuously powered up, it is claimed that they go into a very low-power sleep mode when the bike is sitting idle.
Light is provided by two .5-watt LEDs, which are visible over a range of 180 degrees. Those lights can be set in a blinking mode, or changed to a steady mode by flipping the light over. Power comes from two AAA batteries, which are said to provide up to 200 hours of continuous run time.
The Brooklyn-based trio of designers and engineers behind the Blink/Steady are currently raising funds for its commercial production, on Kickstarter. A pledge of US$95 will get you one, when and if they become available. It can be seen in use in the video below.
Should you not want to wait for the matching headlight, but still want something that’s theft-resistant and waterproof, you could always check out the Defender bike light.