Outdoors

Black is the new orange for sporty high-vis activewear

Black is the new orange for sp...
Vollebak's Black Light jacket, as seen in the daylight
Vollebak's Black Light jacket, as seen in the daylight
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Vollebak's Black Light jacket, as seen when reflecting
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Vollebak's Black Light jacket, as seen when reflecting
Vollebak's Black Light jacket, as seen in the daylight
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Vollebak's Black Light jacket, as seen in the daylight

Wearing bright orange or silver reflective safety gear may indeed help motorists see you at night, but a lot of people still prefer more fashionable colors like black. If you're such a person, then you might be interested in Vollebak's new Black Light sports gear – it's all-black, yet it reflects spots of white light.

The Black Light lineup is a layering system that consists of a T-shirt, base layer, mid layer and jacket. All of the pieces are claimed to be lightweight, soft, stretchy and breathable. Additionally, they're all festooned with a pattern of matt black dots.

Not particularly noticeable in the daylight, each of these dots has over 60,000 microscopic black glass spheres embedded in its surface. At night, these reflect light such as that emitted by car headlights, causing each dot to appear bright white.

Vollebak's Black Light jacket, as seen when reflecting
Vollebak's Black Light jacket, as seen when reflecting

Additionally, the dots aren't just dispersed uniformly across the surface of the garment. Instead, they're located at the wearer's joints – the elbows, wrists, shoulders and hips. According to Vollebak, when drivers see the white spots arranged in such a pattern, their brain will instantly connect the dots and realize that it's looking at a person, plus it will be able to ascertain their speed and trajectory.

The clothing is designed so that at least eight dots will always be visible from any angle, which reportedly should be enough to provide the brain with the information it needs.

Black Light is available now, with prices ranging from US$95 for the T-shirt to $645 for the jacket. And if you're interested in a bike with paint that works sort of the same way, check out the Lumen.

Source: Vollebak

4 comments
Tom Lee Mullins
I think anything that gets people seen at night is a good thing. I have come across people who I barely see since they wore black or dark cloths at night.
Brian M
Nice idea - but doesn't help other drivers to see the rider who if they insist on wearing black must be trying to demonstrate the principles of Darwinian theory on the road!
ljaques
Let's see, a $6.99 orange and yellow mesh vest from Wally World which =will= be seen, or a $95 custom t-shirt, or a $645 custom jacket which =may= be seen at night? Gee, that's a really hard decision to make. Tom, you're right, but being seen =any= time is what's needed. The fluor colors do work for anyone who is actually paying attention to what's in front of them. For the others, nothing works except jail time, usually.
Kpar
My local PD has stripes and "Police" marked on the side of their squad cars with (I believe) a 3M product that appears solid black in the daytime, but shows up as a bright silver at night, when illuminated by my headlights. Seems to work better than this.