Halo LED Belt keeps cyclists bright and visible
By C.C. Weiss
August 17, 2012
The Halo Belt is a new way of boosting your visibility on city streets while giving yourself a unique fashion accessory. The belt makes you difficult to miss on bike or foot. Whether you spend your nights on city thoroughfares or inside dimly lit nightclubs, the Halo Belt could be the perfect accessory.
In a 2011 analysis bicycle commuting, John Pucher of Rutgers University and Ralph Buehler of Virginia Tech found that the number of U.S. bike commuters rose by 64 percent between 1990 and 2009. Some of the country's largest cities experienced two-fold growth during that same period. The study goes on to declare a "bicycling renaissance" in many North American cities but concedes that cars still dominate the road.
While bike paths and programs have contributed greatly to the rise in bicycle commuting, the phenomenon still seems to increase the likelihood of bikes pedaling, crossing, weaving and otherwise intermingling with cars on crowded city streets. This creates the possibility for more accidents, injuries and fatalities, especially in cases where cyclists aren't visible.
The Halo Belt, which hails from San Francisco, one of the cities included in the aforementioned study, leaps a few steps above the bicycle reflector in making you stand out at night. Inside the poly/nylon belt, LEDs send light through a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) fiber optic, creating a bright, glowing wearable light.
The obvious question when staring at a glowing blue belt is: Why not just use a cheap flashing bike light? Halo explains that bike lights can get stolen, leaving you out some cash and without a safety light to get home with. Since you wear the Halo Belt, it stays with you and isn't left dangling outside as thief bait. Unlike the average bike light, the Halo Belt can seamlessly cross over to activities like walking, jogging and doing virtually anything else at night. It can even be worn in different ways, including slung around your torso.
The Halo runs on two CR2025 batteries. A switch located next to the buckle provides three modes - strobe, flash and solid on - and can also be shut off completely. Halo lists battery life at up to 20 consecutive hours of run time on solid, but it is still tinkering with the design and that number appears likely to change.
Halo is currently winding down a Kickstarter campaign, and considering it blew away its US$5,000 goal by raking in more than $40,000, we assume it'll be proceeding to market soon. The listed retail price is $85 and the belt will come in red, blue, yellow and green.