New bike lights make cyclists stand out

Story highlights

  • New Revolights prototype makes cyclists more visible from front, rear and sides
  • LED lights mounted on wheels create arc of white and red light
  • Inventors aim to start selling the new light system in early 2012

Riding a bicycle around the city at night can be a perilous pastime with traditional bike lights providing a rather dim reminder of a cyclist's presence on the roads.

But a new prototype light system called Revolights could soon make life in the cycle lane a good deal safer and leave bike enthusiasts beaming.

The wheel-mounted LED lights not only provide greater illumination of the rider's path, say its San Francisco-based creators, but also make a bike far more visible from the front, back and the side.

When stationary, as their promotional video shows, the lights flash in a simple sequence. But as soon as you start peddling they form a solid arc of white and red light.

This dazzling effect is created with the aid of a magnet (attached to the fork) and an algorithm. Together, they measure the wheel speed and tell the lights when and where to flash.

Revolights shed new light on road safety
Revolights shed new light on road safety

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The system is powered by a rechargeable lithium battery housed in the wheel hub.

Revolights' founders -- inventor Kent Frankovich, Adam Pettler and Jim Houk -- are using the online fundraising platform Kickstarter in a bid to turn their eye-catching patent pending prototype into a finished product.

Backers pledging $200 or more will receive the finalized design prior to its public release which is scheduled to take place in spring 2012.