Bicycles

Bike light knows when you're riding, when you're braking, and how dark it is outside

The Velodroom bicycle tail light automatically turns on and off, adjusts its brightness, and doubles as a brake light
The Velodroom bicycle tail light automatically turns on and off, adjusts its brightness, and doubles as a brake light
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The Velodroom incorporates an accelerometer and a light sensor
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The Velodroom incorporates an accelerometer and a light sensor
At its maximum brightness, the light can reportedly be seen from a distance of 300 meters (984 ft) from the back and sides
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At its maximum brightness, the light can reportedly be seen from a distance of 300 meters (984 ft) from the back and sides
Power is provided by an integrated rechargeable lithium-polymer battery, that’s charged via a USB cable
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Power is provided by an integrated rechargeable lithium-polymer battery, that’s charged via a USB cable
One charge of the battery is good for 100 hours of continuous use, or an estimated three months of average use
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One charge of the battery is good for 100 hours of continuous use, or an estimated three months of average use
The water-resistant Velodroom easily snaps on and off of the seat post
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The water-resistant Velodroom easily snaps on and off of the seat post
The Velodroom bicycle tail light automatically turns on and off, adjusts its brightness, and doubles as a brake light
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The Velodroom bicycle tail light automatically turns on and off, adjusts its brightness, and doubles as a brake light

While it’s important for cyclists to run a set of lights when they’re riding after dark, using lights in the daytime also helps make them more visible to drivers. That said, the chances are pretty high that daytime cyclists could forget and leave their lights on when they finish their ride ... plus, they’d go through batteries a lot quicker. Estonian inventor Indrek Rebane has already got those things covered, with his Velodroom “smart” tail light.

The water-resistant Velodroom snaps onto the seat post, and features a built-in accelerometer that allows it to detect when the bike is in motion. This in turn allows the light to automatically illuminate whenever a ride starts, and to subsequently turn itself off once no movement has been detected for at least one minute – that means users never have to think about turning it on or off.

Additionally, it contains a light sensor. Using that sensor, it adjusts the output of its 3-watt Cree LED depending on the ambient light levels. This helps save battery life, reserving the brightest output for the brightest conditions, so it can still be seen in the sunlight. At its maximum brightness, the light can reportedly be seen from a distance of 300 meters (984 ft) from the back and sides.

Another useful function made possible by the accelerometer is the Velodroom’s brake light feature. Whenever it detects sudden deceleration, it temporarily gets brighter to alert drivers that the cyclist is coming to a stop – it’s similar to the technology used in the Vololights system, designed for motorcycles.

The water-resistant Velodroom easily snaps on and off of the seat post
The water-resistant Velodroom easily snaps on and off of the seat post

Power is provided by an integrated rechargeable lithium-polymer battery, that’s charged via a USB cable. One charge is good for 100 hours of continuous use, or an estimated three months of average use.

Rebane and his team are now raising production funds for the Velodroom, on Kickstarter. A pledge of £35 (US$54) will get you one, when and if they’re ready to go. More information on the light is available in the pitch video below.

Interested readers might additionally want to check out the Blink/Steady light, which also uses an accelerometer and light sensor to automatically turn itself on and off. It doesn’t adjust its output level, however, nor does it offer the brake light feature.

Sources: Velodroom, Kickstarter

3 comments
martinkopplow
The cyclist will have to mind removing the light once he leaves his bike, else it will be stolen before the next ride anyway, so where is the use of automatically turning it off? Make it a theft proof system, front and rear, powered from a low drag lightweight generator, and we have a business case.
Maelduin
Make a light that's part of the bike, that'd be theft-proof (at least when we have a) excellent GPS systems for bicycles b) cops that care if they're stolen).
TimothyArnold
It's daytime bright, keeps hands on bars, light weight, cheap and keeps you from being run over in a race or trail ride. Works good for peripheral vision while sight seeing when riding. Blinking & stop lights caution car drivers to watch and slow down for you.