Bicycles

Orfos bike lights promise 360 degrees of visibility

Orfos bike lights promise 360 ...
Orfos' Flare lights are made to be seen
Orfos' Flare lights are made to be seen
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Orfos' Flare lights are made to be seen
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Orfos' Flare lights are made to be seen
The headlight puts out a maximum of 500 lumens
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The headlight puts out a maximum of 500 lumens
The lights can reportedly be submerged to 50 feet for an hour
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The lights can reportedly be submerged to 50 feet for an hour
The Flares are each powered by an integrated lithium iron phosphate battery, which should provide up to 24 hours of run time from one 90-minute USB charge
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The Flares are each powered by an integrated lithium iron phosphate battery, which should provide up to 24 hours of run time from one 90-minute USB charge
Each light is magnetically held onto an accompanying mount, which contains a rubber-coated neodymium magnet
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Each light is magnetically held onto an accompanying mount, which contains a rubber-coated neodymium magnet
A pledge of US$119 will get you your choice of a head- or tail light, with $229 required for a set of both
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A pledge of US$119 will get you your choice of a head- or tail light, with $229 required for a set of both

When it comes to bike lights for commuting, there's one thing you have to remember ... they're needed more for being seen than for seeing the road. With that in mind, many head- and tail lights are designed not just to cast beams in front of and behind the bike, but to be seen from all directions. Seattle-based Orfos' Flare lights appear to do a particularly good job in that department, plus they feature a unique mounting system.

The Flare headlight and tail light both incorporate nine high-intensity LEDs surrounded by a reflective material, within a clear cylindrical polycarbonate housing. Optically-clear silicone is injected into that housing, encapsulating the LEDs and other electronics, and taking up all the empty space inside.

As a result, light (and heat) from by the bulbs is dispersed by the silicone and emitted across the entire surface of the housing. It's sort of like the lights that campers and other people make from water-filled clear pop bottles.

Additionally, because all the electronics are covered in silicone, the lights are completely waterproof. According to Orfos founder Pete Clyde, the Flares have withstood being submerged to a depth of 50 feet (15 m) for an hour.

Each light is magnetically held onto an accompanying mount, which contains a rubber-coated neodymium magnet
Each light is magnetically held onto an accompanying mount, which contains a rubber-coated neodymium magnet

Each light is magnetically held onto an accompanying mount, which contains a rubber-coated neodymium magnet. That mount is in turn semi-permanently attached to the bike (or helmet, etc.) using an included set of nylon cable ties. This means that when the bike is left parked, the lights can be pulled off their mounts by the rider, so they don't get stolen.

The Flares are each powered by an integrated lithium iron phosphate battery, which should provide up to 24 hours of run time from one 90-minute USB charge. That depends upon usage, however – both can be set to one of four flashing patterns, and run in High, Medium or Low output modes. On High, the headlight puts out 500 lumens, while the tail light kicks out 300.

Clyde and his team are currently raising production funds, on Kickstarter. A pledge of US$119 will get you your choice of a head- or tail light, with $229 required for a set of both – assuming all goes according to plans. The estimated retail prices are $140 and $270, respectively.

You can see the lights in use, in the following pitch video.

Sources: Orfos, Kickstarter

11 comments
Milton
This is by far the best bike-light i'd ever seen. It always blew me away how much "junk" is out there when it comes to bike-lights. It's like companies think "smaller is better" when it comes to lights, but the truth is a bike-light should be just as "in your face" (if not more) than a motorcycle's lights. Glad these guys figured that one out. Great to see something actually manufactured in the USA.
Vincent Bevort
Seems to bee a good solution. Hope the magnets at strong enough for a bumpy ride because these lights are way to expensive to just lose one unnoticed on a country rode It could be a great hit if they come done with the price a lot to say 100$ a pair. The price for the parts is not that high that it justifies for the current estimated market price. All items already exist in one form or another. The mounting, The led lights, the silicon, and so on. All these things are already used as lights for bikes using ordinary batteries and available for less then 50$. Raising the quality doesn't justify a price that high. With the current price of 270$/pair it only sells to the upper market. Setting it to 100$ a pair will bring it to the much larger middle market and will sell much more. Bringing it down to 50$ will make it sell to everybody
Mel Tisdale
I agree with Vincent, way too expensive. Ignoring the cost, I think it would be nice if they flashed continuously, which would make them even more visible. And seeing as it is becoming almost standard practice on LED bicycle lamps, it would automatically inform all interested parties that the light is attached to a bicycle.
Edwin Austin
Vincent is right on the mark on the magnetic system, there should be a back up lanyard in case they get knocked loose. I've arrived at a destination only to find something missing, I'd hate that that to be my new pricey light.
StWils
Inside of expensive and imperfect magnets he should try a simple inexpensive latching tool modeled along the lines of the aluminum carabiners that are easily found as point-of-sale toys in home centers. These are small, cheap, sturdy and intended for light loads such as keys but more than sturdy enough for this use. I wish them luck but at a much more viable price point.
Stuart Wilshaw
Anything that improves cycling safety is to be welcomed. This is a good idea but needs secure fixings and a more realistic price.
winzurf
My concern with this is the 'all round' glare would impair my night vision - fine for being seen, but maybe not so good for seeing?
Larry English
isn;t it illegal or dangerous to have red lights visible from the front? also i think they are too expensive maybe that is what low volume made in usa costs wle
DaveWesely
I see an easy way to trim costs on this light. Remove the magnets. Remove the quick release mount altogether. Use AA or AAA batteries. I don't understand the obsession with removable lights and accessories on bikes. It's just an easy way to lose your gear or accidentally leave it behind when you need it.
pmshah
@Larry English I think so too. In normal cars the front flashing lights are amber and the rear ones red. This also gives indication of direction the vehicle is traveling. I have some N42 and N52 class magnets that are extremely strong. All you would need is a small gizmo "crazy glued" the circular frame part with a flat surface for attaching the magnets.