Bicycles

"Smart" bike light equates brightness with speed

The Radius F1 utilizes an inertial measurement unit (which includes an accelerometer and gyroscope) to determine how fast the bike is going
The Radius F1 utilizes an inertial measurement unit (which includes an accelerometer and gyroscope) to determine how fast the bike is going
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The Radius F1 utilizes an inertial measurement unit (which includes an accelerometer and gyroscope) to determine how fast the bike is going
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The Radius F1 utilizes an inertial measurement unit (which includes an accelerometer and gyroscope) to determine how fast the bike is going
The Radius F1 has a maximum brightness of either 450 or 650 lumens, depending on the model
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The Radius F1 has a maximum brightness of either 450 or 650 lumens, depending on the model

When you're cycling fast at night, it's good to have a bright headlight so you can see what's on the road ahead. Once you slow down, though, you really just need a more energy-efficient low-output light that allows you to be seen by drivers. Binoreal's Radius F1 automatically transitions between the two extremes, based on how fast you're riding.

While there are already some other accelerometer-equipped bike headlights that shine brighter when the bike goes faster, they typically switch abruptly between output modes. By contrast, the F1 adjusts its brightness incrementally, starting at 200 lumens and then smoothly working its way up to either 450 or 650, depending on which of two models is being used.

It additionally alerts motorists by going to a flashing mode when the brakes are applied, and going to a pulsing mode when its gyroscope determines that the bike is turning. If the bike remains inactive for three minutes, the F1 goes into standby mode, and it shuts off completely once the bike hasn't moved for an hour.

One charge of the lithium-ion battery should be good for two hours of use at maximum brightness. Additionally, a handlebar-mounted Bluetooth remote lets users manually select output modes, in the event that they don't want to just go auto.

The Radius F1 has a maximum brightness of either 450 or 650 lumens, depending on the model
The Radius F1 has a maximum brightness of either 450 or 650 lumens, depending on the model

When not in use, the light can be removed from its mount within seconds. It's also water-resistant, so it can stand up to being rained on.

If you're interested in getting one, the Radius F1 is currently the subject of an Indiegogo campaign. A pledge of US$40 will get you the 450-lumen model, while $50 is required for the 650-lumen version – the planned retail prices are $80 and $100, respectively. If all goes according to plans, shipping is estimated to take place next April.

Potential buyers might also want to check out Garmin's Varia system. It includes a headlight that broadens or focuses its beam based on speed, along with a tail light that doubles as a brake light.

Source: Indiegogo

5 comments
Aussie_2017
Wouldn't be better have always a very bright headlight?
aksdad
This is an improvement? This is how old-school incandescent bike lights worked that ran off a bike light generator pressed against the wheel rim instead of batteries. The illumination power went up or down depending on the wheel speed. The light was useless unless you were going pretty fast. This seems like a step backward...
bhtooefr
Dynamo lights do this at very low speed (flashing at low brightness) already. (The modern LED ones run off of a hub dynamo can get bright at fairly low speed, and are regulated to that level, so unlike the ones aksdad is referring to, they're actually useful now.) And, they don't need batteries, either...
Paul Anthony
I need bright light at all speeds. I'm trying to see the road in the dark to avoid road hazards like potholes or rocks.
talon
From the campaign page I found it also have manual mode, that's make sense, so can switch to manual mode at dark street.