Bicycles

CIO bike lights use smaller magnets for more power

CIO bike lights use smaller ma...
The CIO headlight and its magnet
The CIO headlight and its magnet
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The CIO headlight and its magnet
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The CIO headlight and its magnet
Because they're intended to be in use all the time, the CIO lights have no switches or other controls
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Because they're intended to be in use all the time, the CIO lights have no switches or other controls
The CIO tail light and its magnet
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The CIO tail light and its magnet

For over a decade, Danish manufacturer Reelight has been making bicycle lights that are powered by magnets mounted on the bike's spokes. That means no batteries are necessary, so the lights can be used all the time, day and night. Additionally, the magnets create very little rolling resistance, which certainly isn't the case with those tire-rubbing dynamos. Now, the company has set about making its lights more compact and more powerful, with the CIO.

With Reelight's old setup (which is reportedly installed on approximately a third of all bikes in Denmark), two relatively large magnets are mounted on each wheel. By contrast, CIO uses just one "coin-sized" magnet per wheel, plus the lights themselves are smaller. That said, their power output is six times higher than that of the existing model.

Because they're intended to be in use all the time, the waterproof CIO lights have no switches or other controls – you just start riding, and the revolving magnets engage generators in the lights, causing them to start flashing. Thanks to built-in capacitors, they keep flashing for up to two minutes when the bike is stopped.

The CIO tail light and its magnet
The CIO tail light and its magnet

The lights themselves are mounted on the left-side fork and seat stay using an included product-specific tool, so stealing them should prove to be very difficult. Installation reportedly takes just a few minutes, and involves the tightening-down of nylon-coated stainless steel wires.

Should you be interested in getting a set of the lights, they can be preordered on Indiegogo for US$48 per set – the planned retail price is $66. If all goes according to plans, delivery is expected for November.

The lights can be seen in use, in the video below.

Source: Indiegogo

Reelight CIO

4 comments
oldshorty
I have always believed that a system like this, or one similar to it, could be installed on all four wheels of a passenger car. It could be used to power small electrical devices ar generate additional power for battery storage. Low weight, little or no drag.
netean@gmail.com
Nice idea, good product, just too expensive. When you can pick up a set of (good) USB rechargeable front and rear lights for €10, €88 for a pair of these seems too pricey to me,
jesper
Yes - it's a lovely, easy system and used by many fellow Danes. But as a Dane, bicyclist, biker and car driver - I'd say that this model is right ourt dangerous and according to many fellow traficants here in Denmark - it should not be legal ! Big problem is the placement of the ligth; as a biker and car driver, I see them all the time - the placing of the light (both front and rear) actually has too many blind angles and is placed far too low. That means that the bicyclist expects that everyone will see his lights, but in reality they are often hidden by the bike fra and/or wheels. This creates too many dangerous situations; I myself have had several too close incidents, where I allmost didn't see the bicyclist in time ! Actually, Reelight makes a much more clever model - but oddly it's not the most sold one ?! This model has only the "generator" part mounted on the side of the wheel and has a cord to the light unit. Which means the light unit can be placed high and central on front and rear of bike. This is what I from practical experience consider to be the safe model. All models can be seen on their site - reelight.com - unfortunately it's the models SL100 and SL200 series, that has been sold here in large numbers.
Nik
As a motorcyclist, I have the opinion that one could have a Christmas tree full of lights, complete with a fairy on top, but if the idiot driver isn't looking, it will make no difference, they'll still hit you and claim, ''I didnt see you!'' Ultimately, a persons survival rests with themselves, never trust anyone else with it. This product is an ingenious after sales fitting, but of limited effect, in my judgement. In my youth, bicycles were made with hub dynamos, that also needed no batteries, and were enclosed, so likely to remain clean and functional throughout the life of the machine. The power was significantly greater than this device, and the lamps could be sited in the optimum positions for maximum visibility, and also were powerful enough to light the road ahead, which this device is not capable of. A possible alternative, would be a piece of fridge door magnetic strip around the complete rim, which would give continuous power, probably sufficient to light proper lamps, rather than just a 'flickering candle!'