LED by LITE aims to brighten up night-time cycling
By Ben Coxworth
October 26, 2011
The arrival of high-intensity LEDs has certainly made a huge difference to the brightness of bicycle headlights. Some people, however, are now looking at using the bulbs not just as a means of lighting the cyclist's way, but of making their bicycles more visible to motorists. A couple of examples include the Aura and Revolights systems, both of which incorporate LEDs into a bike's wheel rims. Another system, that looks like it might be considerably less involved yet still effective, is called LED by LITE.
Developed by Utah father and son team Rick and Brandon Smith, LED by LITE consists of four strips of silicone-encased LED bulbs. Two of those strips (containing white bulbs) mount on the bicycle's front forks, while the other two (with red bulbs) go on the seat stays. All four strips are waterproof, can be removed and reinstalled by the cyclist in a matter of seconds, and receive their power from a rechargeable 12-volt lithium-ion battery pack.
The LEDs are bright enough to both light the road ahead of the rider, and to make the bicycle stand out to motorists.
What makes the system particularly interesting, however, is its Dashboard. Mounted on the handlebars, this wireless unit features left- and right-turn buttons - press the left-turn button, and the left front and rear light strips will flash on and off, press the right, and ... you get the idea. It also allows users to switch the running lights between continuous and modulated (flashing) modes.
Rick and Brandon are currently in the process of raising funds from prospective customers, to commercially produce LED by LITE. A system with a total of 36 bulbs is planned to retail for US$175, although a pledge of $125 will get you one once they're ready to go. Versions with 24 and 48 bulbs are also available.
The product can be seen in action in the video below.