If you're driving at night, which are you more likely to notice: a single spot of light, or an entire illuminated human torso? Colorado-based cyclists Alex Mulvaney and Kathy Vega are betting on the second of the two, which is why they invented the ShineOn Dual Beam bike headlight.
The idea behind the device is pretty simple.
For starters, it has a main forward-facing LED, that puts out 500 lumens of white light to illuminate the road ahead, and to alert drivers to the cyclist's presence. Additionally, however, it also has a rear-facing red-green-blue LED that shines up onto the rider's torso, lighting it up too.
According to Mulvaney and Vega, people instinctively notice and react to the sight of the human form – much more so than they do to a simple headlight beam. That factor, combined with the resulting larger illuminated area (especially if the rider is wearing reflective clothing), reportedly allows drivers to spot Dual Beam users up to 10 times sooner than they're able to see regular headlight users.
The light itself is waterproof, can be removed from the handlebars via a quick-release mount, and runs for a claimed 10 hours (depending on the operating mode) on one USB charge of its 2,800-mAh lithium battery. Additionally, should you be wondering, we're told that the rear-facing LED is shielded from shining up into the rider's face, so it doesn't produce any glare that keeps them from seeing the road.
The ShineOn Dual Beam is presently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, where a pledge of US$88 is required to get one. Assuming it reaches production, it should ship next March. The planned retail price is $110.
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