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