Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

bike lights

Orfos' Flare lights are made to be seen

When it comes to bike lights for commuting, there's one thing you have to remember ... they're needed more for being seen than for seeing the road. With that in mind, many head- and tail lights are designed not just to cast beams in front of and behind the bike, but to be seen from all directions. Seattle-based Orfos' Flare lights appear to do a particularly good job in that department, plus they feature a unique mounting system.  Read More

The non-blinding Double O headlight

As bicycle headlights continue to get brighter, a certain problem is starting to occur – they can actually be too bright, blinding oncoming drivers and cyclists. Lessening their output isn't a particularly appealing solution, so British designer Paul Cocksedge came up with an alternative. His Double O lights distribute the individual LEDs out around a ring, instead of concentrating them in a searing cluster. The lights also offer a few other handy features.  Read More

The Backtracker's front module alerts riders via an LED display

Cycling on the highway can definitely be a risky business. If riders are distracted or have the wind in their ears, vehicles rapidly approaching from behind can be almost right on top of them before being noticed. Gadgets such as mirrors and rear-view cameras can help, although riders still have to think to check them. The Backtracker, however, uses a radar signal to automatically alert cyclists whenever a car is closing in on them.  Read More

The Mybell customizable bicycle horn and light

A conventional bicycle bell might be a good way to alert pedestrians to your presence on a quiet suburban walkway, but when pedaling through bustling city streets there's a whole lot of other noise to contend with. Not satisfied with the one-size-fits-all approach to bicycle crash aversion, Brooklyn-based inventor Peter Pottier has developed Mybell, a programmable horn and light designed to give your bike its own unique warning system by loading it with just about any sound file you like.  Read More

The straps of the Commuter X4 act as additional focal points, making it easier for drivers...

When Ed Ward was knocked off his bike and into a busy London junction, he was determined it wouldn't happen again. But, rather than give up cycling, he set out to improve bike safety lights. His latest creation, the Commuter X4, is a wearable, fiber optic rear bike light designed to help drivers spot cyclists, as well as judge their distance, width and speed.  Read More

The Brainy Bike Lights headlight

Which catches your attention quicker, an illuminated pedestrian symbol, or a plain old light? According to research conducted at the University of Oxford, the human brain will always notice known symbols faster than it notices generic lights, particularly in environments where there are already various other lights present. With that in mind, a group from the university has now developed Brainy Bike Lights – bicycle head- and tail lights which feature an LED "cyclist" symbol instead of just a row of bulbs.  Read More

The Revolights Arc knows how fast you're going, and shines accordingly

Revolights is a bicycle lighting system that first came to our attention three years ago, in which the front of the front wheel lights up to serve as a headlight, while the back of the rear wheel illuminates to act as a tail light. While it's a clever setup, at US$229 for a full kit, it's not cheap. That's why its designers have just announced a more affordable alternative called the Revolights Arc, that combines a tail light and wheel-speed-activated brake light.  Read More

The Fly6 HD camera and tail light

The behavior of drivers at junctions monitored by cameras or on stretches of road under the ever watchful gaze of a radar can be very different to those without. Keen cyclists Andrew Hagen and Kingsley Fiegert from Perth in western Australia are on a mission to give fellow riders the same kind of power. They've designed a rear cycle light named the Fly6 that's capable of recording everything that goes on behind, the theory being that if drivers think there's a camera pointed at them, they'll give cyclists more space and show more courtesy.  Read More

The Magnic Light iC tail light, in place on a bike

German inventor Dirk Strothmann certainly caught some peoples' attention last year, when he released his Magnic Light touchless dynamo bike light. Instead of slowing the bicycle down by pressing on its tire, engaging magnets in its wheels, or adding friction in its hub, it's able to generate electricity simply by being close to a spinning metallic rim. Now he's about to launch the Magnic Light iC, which will offer some interesting new features.  Read More

SeeSense lights can reportedly determine the traffic conditions in which their user is cyc...

Although they may not be in common use just yet, there are already bike lights that automatically turn themselves on or off depending on ambient light levels. The SeeSense light, however, takes things a bit further. Not only does it respond to changes in lighting, but its makers claim that it can also determine the traffic situation in which the cyclist is riding, and adjust its output accordingly.  Read More

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