Thief-thwarting bike light becomes part of the handlebar stem
Although headlights are essential for safe night-time bicycle commuting, the things may get stolen when the bike is left unattended. The Orb Droid addresses this problem, by actually integrating into the handlebar stem.
Invented by British cyclist Andrew Phillips, the aluminum-bodied Droid consists of a rectangular array of white LEDs, which is attached to a curved faceplate. The latter takes the place of a third-party stem's existing faceplate, and is secured by four bolts that can only be installed or removed using a special included tool. This means that thieves can't just whip out their hex wrench to take the plate off.
Users power the Droid on and off – and switch between modes – by pressing a button in the middle of the headlight. Additionally, the tilt angle of the light can be adjusted by up to 30 degrees, relative to the faceplate. The headlight has a maximum output of 120 lumens, and is intended more to be a "be-seen" light than one that illuminates the road ahead.
Battery life ranges from a claimed five hours per charge in maximum-output/steady mode, up to 36 hours in low-output/flashing mode. A 3-meter (9.8-ft) USB cable will be included, so the headlight can be charged in place on the bike.
And while we have seen other stay-on-the-bike lights that utilize theft-resistant mounting bolts, one thing that sets the Droid apart is the fact that because it replaces an existing part of the bike, it doesn't take up space on the handlebars. The previously-crowdfunded Lumineer headlight is also incorporated into the stem's faceplate, although it requires users to replace their entire existing stem with one that's system-specific.
The Orb Droid is itself the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, where a pledge of £23 (about US$30) will get you a headlight – when and if it reaches production. For £45 ($59) you'll also receive a matching tail light, that is mounted on the seatpost utilizing a steel band and one of the anti-theft bolts. Phillips tells us that the retail price of a two-light set should be about £60 ($78).
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