TorchONE bike helmet features removable light panels
Although there are now many light-equipped bike helmets on the market, the Torch T1 was one of the first. Its makers have now returned to Kickstarter, with a model that features LED panels which can be removed as needed.
The new helmet is known as the TorchONE, a name which is perhaps a bit confusingly close to the existing "Torch T1." In any case, whereas the T1 and pretty much all other light-packin' helmets have LEDs that are permanently integrated into the helmet, the TorchONE utilizes water-resistant panels that can simply be popped on and off.
This means that if the user is riding in hot, bright conditions, they can temporarily remove the lights both to reduce the weight of the helmet and to increase the airflow through its built-in vents. Unsurprisingly, the front panel is white and the rear one is red.
There's no word on how many LEDs each one incorporates, or what their combined light output is. What we do know, though, is that by pushing a button on each panel, they can be set to any of four output modes: steady high, steady low, flashing slow and flashing fast.
Additionally, because the panels curve around the helmet, the lights can be seen from the sides, not just from the front or back. One thing they do not do, however, is serve as turn indicators or brake lights – which the lights on some other helmets do. The designers tell us this omission is intended to keep things simple for both cyclists and motorists, the latter of whom may just be confused by helmet lights that do weird things like flashing on one side only.
As is now pretty much standard on rechargeable electronics, a Micro USB cable is used to charge the panels' integrated lithium batteries. The Torch Apparel company is still conducting tests in order to determine battery life in each of the four modes.
And as mentioned, the TorchONE is now on Kickstarter. Assuming all goes according to plan, a pledge of £79 (about US$108) will get you one in your choice of black, gray, yellow or white.
You can see the helmet in use, in the video below.