Bicycles

Two Kickstarters give high-tech bike headlights the retro treatment

Two Kickstarters give high-tec...
The Beacon Headlamp looks like it would be right at home on a classic cafe racer motorcycle
The Beacon Headlamp looks like it would be right at home on a classic cafe racer motorcycle
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The Beacon Headlamp looks like it would be right at home on a classic cafe racer motorcycle
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The Beacon Headlamp looks like it would be right at home on a classic cafe racer motorcycle
The Beacon Headlamp has a maximum output of 400 lumens
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The Beacon Headlamp has a maximum output of 400 lumens
The KiLEY Bullet Light is water-resistant, but not fully waterproof
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The KiLEY Bullet Light is water-resistant, but not fully waterproof
The Beacon Headlamp can be mounted on the bars and then swivelled in front of the stem, or it can be mounted directly onto the front of the stem
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The Beacon Headlamp can be mounted on the bars and then swivelled in front of the stem, or it can be mounted directly onto the front of the stem
The KiLEY Bullet Light mounts behind the front rim brake – assuming the bike has one
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The KiLEY Bullet Light mounts behind the front rim brake – assuming the bike has one
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Bike lights are becoming increasingly sophisticated, but that doesn't mean they have to look that way. Two new headlights hit Kickstarter this week, and both feature the tech of today combined with the look of yesteryear.

First up is the Beacon Headlamp, created by British product designer William Vickery.

Quick-release-mounted on either the center of the handlebars or the face plate of the stem (via an adapter), it features a big round lens – complete with an old-school chip guard – along with a bulbous chrome-plated aluminum body. Instead of an old-timely tungsten bulb, however, it utilizes five LEDs.

The Beacon Headlamp can be mounted on the bars and then swivelled in front of the stem, or it can be mounted directly onto the front of the stem
The Beacon Headlamp can be mounted on the bars and then swivelled in front of the stem, or it can be mounted directly onto the front of the stem

They produce a wide beam of warm-colored 4,000K light, and can be set to five different output modes – these range from a low-intensity flashing mode up to a steady 400-lumen setting. One USB charge of the lithium battery should reportedly be good for 32 hours of runtime in the former mode, moving to eight hours for the latter.

Although no exact waterproofing standard has been listed, the headlamp is claimed to be rainproof. It's also designed to be user-serviceable, for people who like to tinker.

Assuming it reaches production, a pledge of £125 (about US$157) will get you one.

The KiLEY Bullet Light mounts behind the front rim brake – assuming the bike has one
The KiLEY Bullet Light mounts behind the front rim brake – assuming the bike has one

Next up is the KiLEY Bullet Light.

Offered by Japanese company Geek Trade, it has a bullet-shaped body made from a machined block of aluminum, and it's mounted on the same bolt as the bike's front rim brake – bikes with disc brakes will definitely present a challenge.

It can be set to four output modes, the highest of which produces a steady output of 250 lumens. One charge of its battery is reportedly good for 16 hours of runtime at the lowest-output setting, ranging to 3.5 hours for the highest. When that battery needs to be recharged, it and the rest of the electronics unit are unscrewed from the aluminum body, leaving the latter attached to the bike.

The KiLEY Bullet Light is water-resistant, but not fully waterproof
The KiLEY Bullet Light is water-resistant, but not fully waterproof

The headlight tips the scales at 110 g (3.9 oz), and is IPX3 water-resistant – that means it can withstand water sprays at angles of up to 60 degrees.

Should you be interested in getting a KiLEY Bullet Light of your own, a pledge of $76.50 is required. Assuming all goes according to plan, it should retail for $90.

Sources: Kickstarter [1], [2]

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2 comments
2 comments
David V
Oh these are nice. Really nice. Make a real change from the modern tech looking ones. Neat, especially the top one.
Jeremy Kurtti
The KiLEY Bullet looks like a reboot of the old school dynamo lights popular up until the 1980's and poses no challenge to Disc Brake equipped bikes: the mounting hole for rim brakes is also the mount for the front fenders and are found on nearly all forks. Win win!