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Revolights LED bike wheel lights now available

By

November 9, 2012

Revolights use a motion tracking system and series of LEDs to light up

Revolights use a motion tracking system and series of LEDs to light up

Image Gallery (5 images)

Cyclists have never had so many options when it comes to being seen. A number of lighting products like the Torch T1 helmet and Flux backpack have hit the market in recent months. We've even seen glowing bike frames. Revolights – a system that sees the lights pulled off the handlebar and seat post and put onto the wheels – can now be added to the list.

Revolight designers feel that other lighting systems only do half the job. Either they light up the ground in front of the bike without delivering a high level of side and rear visibility, or they light up the rear and flanks without shining any light on the ground ahead. The designers also feel that a headlight designed to illuminate the ground shouldn't sit as far as physically possible from it on the handlebars or the helmet. They created Revolights to address these perceived shortcomings.

The Revolights system uses a pair of rings for the inside and outside of each wheel. Each ring has a series of 12 integrated LEDs and clips onto the wheel. When the Revolights are installed, each wheel has 24 LEDs ready to shine.

Unlike traditional bike lights, Revolights provide an illuminated profile

The reason that the picture looks like only half of the lights on a wheel work is that a combination of magnet and accelerometer tracks movement so that the LEDs trigger on only when they're in the appropriate position. Only eight lights per wheel are on at a time. In this way, the white front LEDs direct light forward and the red rear LEDs create a taillight effect. Since the LEDs are mounted to the sides of the wheels, they're highly visible from all sides of the bike.

Though the lights are constantly flickering on and off, they're designed to appear as a solid arc to the human eye. They create the arc at all speeds, including during a stop.

Revolights are powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries mounted to each hub. The batteries run for four hours.

After several refinements and a Kickstarter fundraising campaign, Revolights are officially ready for the streets. The company launched the lights for order last month. They come in 27-inch and 700cc sizes and retail for US$250 for a front and rear set.

Source: Revolights via Gear Junkie

About the Author
C.C. Weiss 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
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7 Comments

Seems awfully complex and much heavier than what is necessary to do the job.

Pikeman
9th November, 2012 @ 11:28 pm PST

As I've followed this since the Kickstarter campign, I still cant believe how much people use technology to go backward, IMO. The cost, complexity, materials required are by far inferior or simple directed beam LEDs mounted elsewhere on the bike. I can agree there is a coolness factor, but many things become cool that were never really practical, which to me is what a bike light should be. Good for an engineering project, but I like the less is more approach.

sbnature
10th November, 2012 @ 03:26 pm PST

I agree with the others. These are novel, but that's a lot of weight and installation for something that could be much simpler. They're not as bright in front as a simple, inexpensive headlight and way to bright sides. I want drivers to see me not be distracted by ultra-bright wheels. Just add a couple of side lights to a headlight and taillight to increase visibility in a simple + cheap package.

Joe F
12th November, 2012 @ 11:05 am PST

I think you guys are missing the point. These were made with being seen as the first priority. There are plenty of lights on the market that allow you to see well at night. I have a few lightweight and expensive headlights and taillights that I use and can see most everything around me, but I was sideswiped by an SUV recently because the typical lights do not do much for side visibility. Look at the pictures above and let me know if you think a standard blinky light and headlight designed for forward visibility would offer as much side visibility as the Revolights do.

MrRodgers
12th November, 2012 @ 11:09 am PST

250 dollars for a light. buy a second bike.

frogola
12th November, 2012 @ 01:06 pm PST

There's a major problem with this configuration. Side lights should always be amber, front lights (to be seen and to see) white, rear lights red. Anything else is confusing to a driver. Not sure how anyone could overlook those basic nighttime visual cues while designing something like this.

Fritz Menzel
12th November, 2012 @ 01:16 pm PST

We need a cure for cars parked on the side. I get nervous passing them. Robot cars will help get rid of this problem. Robots will see bikes easier as well.

Stewart Mitchell
12th November, 2012 @ 01:23 pm PST
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