Urban Transport

Minimalist magnetic LED bike lights turn on automatically when fitted

Minimalist magnetic LED bike l...
Bicycle accessory designer and manufacturer Copenhagen Parts has just announced a new range of magnetic bike lights that automatically turn on and off when fitted and removed from a steel bicycle frame
Bicycle accessory designer and manufacturer Copenhagen Parts has just announced a new range of magnetic bike lights that automatically turn on and off when fitted and removed from a steel bicycle frame
View 6 Images
The Randonneur option features a polished machined aluminum finish
1/6
The Randonneur option features a polished machined aluminum finish
The Randonneur option features a polished machined aluminum finish
2/6
The Randonneur option features a polished machined aluminum finish
Needless to say both aluminum and silicone versions will come in both white and red lights - we imagine they'll be sold in sets of two, including one of each
3/6
Needless to say both aluminum and silicone versions will come in both white and red lights - we imagine they'll be sold in sets of two, including one of each
Thanks to "a lot of time working on selecting the right components," Copenhagen Parts claims its lights can be fitted to different tube diameters
4/6
Thanks to "a lot of time working on selecting the right components," Copenhagen Parts claims its lights can be fitted to different tube diameters
Your handy step-by-step pull-out guide to attaching and removing Magnetic Bike Lights from your bicycle
5/6
Your handy step-by-step pull-out guide to attaching and removing Magnetic Bike Lights from your bicycle
Bicycle accessory designer and manufacturer Copenhagen Parts has just announced a new range of magnetic bike lights that automatically turn on and off when fitted and removed from a steel bicycle frame
6/6
Bicycle accessory designer and manufacturer Copenhagen Parts has just announced a new range of magnetic bike lights that automatically turn on and off when fitted and removed from a steel bicycle frame
View gallery - 6 images

Bicycle accessory designer and manufacturer Copenhagen Parts has just announced a new range of magnetic bike lights. Called "Magnetic Bike Lights," the battery-powered LED lights may not have the novel power source of the Magnic Light we looked at in February, but they do have one nifty trick at their disposal: they automatically turn on and off when fitted and removed from a steel bicycle frame.

The insta-on/off isn't the Magnetic Bike Light's only nifty feature. Thanks to "a lot of time working on selecting the right components," Copenhagen Parts claims its lights can be fitted to different tube diameters. Though it doesn't say how, judging by one of the product shots it appears if a pair of magnets can be pivoted to hug surfaces of differing curvatures.

And Copenhagen Parts has clearly gone all-out for a simple, minimalist design. "The trouble is that there are hardly any good looking bike lights," the company says. We wanted something that looked good, worked well and, most importantly, could be fitted and removed instantly."

The Magnetic Bike Lights will be offered in two versions, the Randonneur and the Lode. The Randonneur features a polished machined aluminum finish while the Lode has an outer layer of silicone that will come in a variety of colors. Unsurprisingly the majority of the product photos (and certainly all of those that show the lights fitted to a bicycle) show the aluminum option - and attached to a racing bicycle it has to be said that they do look the part.

A neat feature of both models is that the lens will distribute light sideways, widening the angle of visibility at night - though as the company points out in the website, there's nothing to stop you buying extras to attach to the sides of the bike. You have to wonder, though, at the potential for confusion caused by motorists associating colored bicycle lights with particular directions of travel should these be plastered willy-nilly all over the frame. Needless to say both versions will come in both white and red lights - we imagine they'll be sold in sets of two, including one of each.

The Magnetic Bike Lights are not yet ready for order, but are due to arrive by Q3 of this year. The two outstanding questions are these: how much do they cost and how long do the batteries last? There's no public word from Copenhagen Parts at this point but if we hear anything more we'll let you know. And to reiterate these will only work with steel-frame bicycles. As Copenhagen Parts' website puts it - "sorry, but that's physics for you."

So we have a few months at our disposal, then, to try to decipher how Copenhagen Parts came up with the product's name.

Update

May 3, 2012: Copenhagen Parts has been in touch with more information. Though it emphasizes that the product is still in development it is aiming for a price of €18 (about US$23.50). Perhaps more exciting is its claim on battery life that, provided you remember to remove them when not in use, "they will easily last an entire season."Product page: Copenhagen Parts via Dezeen

View gallery - 6 images
8 comments
Brett Romero
Nice idea but it's too bad most new bikes are aluminum and other exotic materials.
sascha.kremers
Nice to read about innovative bicycle lights. But here in Germany, battery-powered lights are legally no sufficient lighting, except for certain racing bikes. How is it in other countries? Are you allowed to use battery lights on cross or mountain bikes as only lighting or do you also need hardwired dynamo-lights installed?
smartygirl
are these adjustable? in the pic the headlight is pointing up skywards, where it won't help a cyclist see debris in the roadway, and won't be very visible to drivers either. neat idea, poorly thought out.
BZD
@sascha: Battery lights are perfectly legal here in Denmark and I suspect they will be most places as long as the lights follow the rules about visibility, colour of light and so forth including not being too powerful (you can get really bike lights meant mainly for off road driving).
@smartygirl: I also wonder about the angel of light but I guess the angel of light in the vertical plane is sufficiently large for it to point straight ahead. Lights like this are meant primarily as position lights so others on the city streets see you rather than let you navigate the dark. They will be more about upholding the law rather than being the brightest on the street (real bike lights surpass the laws minimum requirements many times over).
The Hoff
In the USA battery lights are legal. I hate the drag of dynamo-lights, is that a green issue? The magnetic light seems like it might slide down or around the frame but BZD is right, this is a "be seen" light not one to light up the road.
Mr Stiffy
Hmm some good points - small lights with small batteries... Not much good except stylistic clap trap.
Magnetic? Hit a bump and they might go sailing too.
LOW light output, may make you barely visible in amongst the traffic, but they are no good for seeing anything at all.
I have not tested them, but with sticking Neodybnium magnets on things, they DO stick and assuming that these use them, these are OK - IF you live in an area that has great street lighting, no pot holes, cobble stones, and not much traffic; and only make short trips...
As he designs and fits 505nm solar charged lights to his own bike..... using clamped on units with blocks of 2 x and 4 x AA batteries in them.
MrRodgers
I feel that these are more to "be seen" than to "see"
Nothing wrong with that, as most night crashes happen because a driver does not see a biker, not the other way around
sk8dad
leave in pocket, demagnetize all cards in wallet. take turn on cobble, light points sideways. leave on bike to get coffee, lose $23.50. buy replacement, hit speed bump, lose $23.50, ride home in the dark.