Bicycles

Nova bike lights do away with batteries, wheel magnets and tire-rubbing dynamos

Nova bike lights do away with ...
The Reelight Nova headlight, with the no-contact dynamo visible beside the wheel rim
The Reelight Nova headlight, with the no-contact dynamo visible beside the wheel rim
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The Reelight Nova tail light puts out 30 lumens when the bike is travelling at a speed of 30 km/h (19 mph)
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The Reelight Nova tail light puts out 30 lumens when the bike is travelling at a speed of 30 km/h (19 mph)
The Reelight Nova headlight, with the no-contact dynamo visible beside the wheel rim
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The Reelight Nova headlight, with the no-contact dynamo visible beside the wheel rim

For years now, Denmark's Reelight has manufactured battery-free bike lights that are powered by wheel-mounted magnets. What if you don't want to put magnets on your spokes, though? Well, that's where the company's new eddy current-powered Nova lights come in.

First of all, just what are eddy currents? In a nutshell, they're electrical currents that are induced in a conductor, when that conductor is exposed to a changing magnetic field. In the case of the Nova lights, such currents are produced by the interaction between a magnet within a frame-mounted dynamo, and the bike's adjacent fast-spinning wheel rim. The dynamo does not touch the tire or the rim, the latter of which has to be made of a conductive material such as aluminum.

A power cord runs from the dynamo to either a headlight or tail light, causing them to steadily illuminate whenever the bicycle is in motion – the headlight puts out 60 lumens when the bike is travelling at a speed of 30 km/h (19 mph), while the tail light delivers 30 lumens at that same speed. Thanks to an integrated capacitor, the lights go into a flashing mode for two minutes while the cyclist is stopped for traffic.

The Reelight Nova tail light puts out 30 lumens when the bike is travelling at a speed of 30 km/h (19 mph)
The Reelight Nova tail light puts out 30 lumens when the bike is travelling at a speed of 30 km/h (19 mph)

Both the lights and the dynamo are IP67 dust- and water-resistant, and are permanently installed via a reportedly quick and easy process. Buyers can pick and choose the bits they want, with a complete system – consisting of two dynamos, a headlight and tail light – costing a total of €91 (about US$106).

They can be seen in use, in the video below. If you're interested in getting a set, you should also definitely check out the eddy current-powered Magnic Lights, which we previously tried and liked.

Source: Reelight

Reelight NOVA

3 comments
aaron59
60 lumen headlight. That's cute.
Nik
Back in the 50's, (showing my age now!) it was possible to buy bicycles with a hub dynamo. This was fully enclosed, so no problems with water or mud. The coils were stationary, and the magnets rotated with the wheel. A quick search on google shows that there are many such systems now, so if one is intending to ride at night, then surely it would be better to buy a machine ready equipped. 30 lumens of this system, is hardly sufficient to see ones way on a dark night, and Its possible that a fireflies bum would be about equal in luminescence!
TomWatson
NO GOOD! I need 1200 lumens, minimum. I have a NightRider 1200 now and it sufficient, but a little more would not hurt also, for I ride in the dark sometimes, and this projects just far enough to see the deer ( I also have a 600 on my helmet that I can project a minimal beam ahead of that, and still have the ability to scan the peripherals for incoming ). This would be sufficient in a day ride, I assume.