Today's LED bicycle tail lights are brighter than ever, which is great when it comes to being seen by motorists. If you're riding right behind another cyclist using such a device, however, its high-intensity output can be blinding. That's why Australian cycling tech firm Augur created Wolf lights. They communicate with one another, and dim to avoid dazzling their users.
The Wolf light system consists of a head- and tail light. Using an undisclosed wireless communications protocol, the tail light is able to detect the presence of a following rider's Wolf headlight within a range of 3 meters (9.8 ft). Onboard software then calculates the proximity and closing speed of that headlight, and lowers the tail light's output accordingly. This not only keeps the following cyclist from being blinded, but it also helps the tail light to save battery power.
Because the system is only able to identify Wolf headlights, its dimming feature won't be of much help to riders using other brands. The idea appears to be more that entire cycling teams might use them for their evening training rides, or that couples could buy two sets for use on their nocturnal commutes.
The aluminum-bodied lights themselves are each powered by a USB-rechargeable lithium-polymer battery, feature CREE LEDs (two in the headlight, three in the rear), and are water-resistant. They can be run in Strobe or Steady modes, and can be set to high- or low-intensity output within either.
Maximum output is 165 lumens for the headlight, with the tail light kicking out 35. Headlight battery life is rated at seven hours per 1.5-hour charge, when set to high-intensity Strobe.
Augur is currently raising production funds for the Wolf lights, on Kickstarter. A pledge of AUD$140 (about US$120) will get you a set, when and if they're ready to go.
More information is provided in the following pitch video.
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