Intelligent bicycle light senses approaching traffic

The introduction of LED bulbs has made lightweight, powerful and durable lighting affordable for cyclists, but the evolution of bicycle lights may be about to make another leap forward with a design that senses approaching traffic and illuminates the rider as well as the road.

The Firefly bicycle light uses a passive Infrared sensor to detect vehicles approaching from behind – the closer they get the brighter it shines. Its other clever trick is that it uses a set of white LEDs to illuminate the rider’s back and the road beneath the bike.

The illumination of the ground is intended to provide a perception of depth for approaching traffic.

According to James Morton, the designer of the lamp and student at the University of New South Wales, the Firefly is the only light to completely illuminate the rider’s entire back regardless of their position, making use of the space for increased visibility.

The Firefly light is a shortlisted design in the Australian Design Awards – James Dyson Award 2010

Wind-up bicycle lights

Following the success of the Trevor Bayliss-designed wind-up radio, bicycle lights are now available that are charged by a hand-turned dynamo. They are environmentally friendly because they do away with the need for batteries – one minute of winding gives 18 minutes of flashing light both front and rear. As well as being a complete cycle lighting system, this particular design can be used as a charger for mobile phones. A front and rear set is currently available for £19.95 at the ETA online shop here

Cycle insurance for bicycles

Cycle insurance from the ETA includes new-for-old, third party insurance (in the case of an accident you may need to seek compensation or even deal with a claim by someone else), personal accident cover and if you suffer a mechanical breakdown, they will come out and recover you and your bike. Electric bicycles can also be covered.

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