— Wearable Electronics
Urban style meets cycling function in the Eclaireur LED jacket
Esthete claims the LEDs can be seen from 100 m away
LED jackets built for cycling and running are nothing new. We've covered the Sporty Supaheroe jacket and other examples of this type of wearable technology. Where the new Eclaireur jacket steps it up is in integrating LEDs into a jacket you'll wear in public when you're not on your bike. On purpose.
In a fashion sense, the only street many LED and reflective cycling clothes belong on is the one in front of the elementary school, protecting the crossing guard. If that's not your gig, you'll probably want to stuff such a jacket into your backpack the minute you dismount your bike. Such jackets are just not built to blend in casually.
Designed by French company Esthete, the Eclaireur is a different animal. It's a stylish casual jacket that just happens to have LEDs in the back and chest. The jacket and its many buttons and rivets may or may not appeal to your personal sense of style, but it's hard to deny that it's better looking than the average bright, plasticky windbreaker.
The Eclaireur isn't just a pretty face; it's designed to perform. A waterproof-breathable SympaTex polyester with a nylon lining and waterproof seams protect against the elements. The zip vents under the arms and ventilation holes on the back let the breeze in when things are hot and active. A removable waist gaiter and a set of wrist gaiters seal out that same breeze when it's chilly.
The light system pairs two white Ultrabright LEDs up front with five red Ultrabright LEDs in back. Esthete claims that it makes the rider visible from 328 feet (100 m) away. An integrated controller switches between front-only, back-only and all-on modes. The lithium-polymer battery runs up to 20 hours and requires 3.5 hours to recharge. The LEDs get a little help from a removable reflective yellow armband.
The Eclairuer jacket costs €600 (about US$800) as described. It is also available without the LEDs for €480.
About the Author
Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.
All articles by C.C. Weiss
I'd rather see these with IR lights. Would make it nice to walk around town, without the ever present traffic/security cameras, monitoring your every move!
"It is also available without the LEDs for €480."
460€ for the name and 20€ for the production cost ... adding a bunch of leds for additional 120€ oO
such surreal prices
Nice idea, real life saver, can't get my teenager to put on hi viz ext something like this mite help. Price definitely an issue.
It seems that the lights on the front need to be relocated. More often than not, when riding, your shoulders are not in the squared back position like those of the model, standing upright, with his hands in his pockets.
Agree with RT1583.
Trouble with LEDs is that they are very bright from certain angles, but not from others. So what you are left with, in effect, is a 'Low-Viz Grey' jacket, with an eye-watering price tag.
Another issue, as with LED head torches, is that the light source bobs about a lot, which can be very distracting when driving, eg when you've just overtaken a cyclist wearing one, and you keep seeing random flashes of bluey-white light in your rear-view mirror.
I like this one, looks stylish.
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