Project Aura: Bicycle Safety Lighting System from Project AURA on Vimeo.
Posted 5.18.11 in The Kitchen Sink | Bookmark or Share
It’s videos like this that convinced me of the importance of side lighting. I use a Down Low Glow, which has the same basic effect – lights the frame (mine is mounted under the top tube, which happened to be where it fit best on my 14.5 inch MTB frame) and the ground, making the bike highly visible to the sides.
Combined with two PB Superflash blinkies in the rear and a 3W headlight in front, I feel more visible at night than in the daytime, especially on unlit rural roads.
I love the idea of integrating the lights and the power source into the bike!
On one hand this looks like fun, on the other hand this is gimmicky. People who have proper lighting system plus wear some reflective high-vis stuff are plenty visible, even from the side. As drivers/riders tend to go the direction they look, you don’t want to attract too much attention on the road :-)
+1 for gimmicky.
Though I do think that a lot of bike lights could do a better job of providing side lighting. In the meantime, you can always add a light or two, like the Down Low.
Also, the fact that collisions occur at intersections doesn’t necessarily mean that side visibility is the issue – the predominant “left hook” and “right hook” hits are from cars traveling parallel to the cyclist, right up until the moment they aren’t.
Side lighting serves little purpose in making you visible. Cars need to see a bicycle before it enters the intersection – that’s what the headlight is for.And they need to see you as they approach from behind – hence the rear reflector or taillight. Once you are broadside to traffic it is too late. Same for cars changing lanes into you – they can’t see side lighting.
I think that this is a neat idea for bikes that already have dynamos on them. I can’t see installing one for these lights, but if I already had one I’d be sorely tempted.
It’s a pretty neat idea, especially when you consider it was thought up by a couple of undergrads!
if you like that — check out lunasee.com – another approach to adding side visibility for cyclists with no wires/LEDs in the wheels. might be worth checking out…
The idea sounds silly, but seeing the video, I kind of love it! They’re so bright and shiny, and they change colors!
Take a look at the beginning before he turns the wheel lights on, when he just has our typical little bobbing spot of light in front, and the blinking taillight. He’s almost invisible – so much dark mass.
Also, although the lights are not visible from directly behind the rim when you are on a parallel axis, they are visible at even a slight angle, so they would totally aid visibility to the front and rear, especially while turning.
I feel like an idiot, but I want my wheels to light up when they spin now!