It's always a risk, leaving detachable lights on a bike that's parked in a public place. It can also be a hassle to carry them with you, though. A group of North Carolina-based entrepreneurs has developed an alternative, in the form of lights that are attached to a bike-mounted U-lock.
Known as the BrightLoc, the product, which is the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, incorporates a hardened-steel double-deadbolt lock, along with waterproof LED head- and tail light modules.
When the bike is being ridden, the lock's cylinder is attached to a quick-release handlebar mount, while its shackle is attached to a seatpost mount. The headlight in turn gets slid onto a rail mount on the front-facing side of the cylinder, while the tail light slides onto the rear of the shackle.
Both modules then combine to provide 360-degree lighting – since the LEDs wrap around the sides – with the headlight kicking out 400 to 1,000 lumens (depending on the selected setting).
Once it's time to park, the headlight/cylinder are removed from their mount, the tail light/shackle are removed from theirs, and the two are locked together to secure the bike's frame to an immovable object. The two light modules also stay locked to the lock, so passing thieves can't pilfer them. That said, the lock will still work if users choose to take the lights off of it. Should they go that route, the modules can be attached to one another for easier carrying.
Charging of the lights' lithium batteries is managed via a USB cable (when they're removed from the lock), although there's currently no word on how much runtime users will get per charge. The whole setup, including the light modules and lock, weighs a claimed 4 lb (1.8 kg).
If you're interested in getting a BrightLoc, it's currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. A pledge of US$65 is required, with shipping estimated for August if everything works out. The planned retail price is $120.
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