Thursday, September 18, 2008

Safety lighting for cyclists

The Safety Illumination of Rider light ("SIR Light") from Safe Bicycling Innovations mounts to the seat tube or seat post to illuminate the cyclists legs.

Rear illuminated cyclist


According to inventor Dr. James Carillo, the standard bicycle lights "does nothing to identify the rider as a bicyclist."

Carillo created the SIR Light after a near accident with a motorist while commuting to work on a dark morning. His strobe headlight and rear taillight surprisingly, were not enough light to warn a driver backing out of a driveway that he was about to pass by on his bike. It was this experience that awakened Dr. Carillo's need to create a better way for cyclists, not just bikes, to be visible on the road.

The SIR Light puts a glow on and around the rider and bicycle, making them visible to a motorist whether they are approaching from the side, back or front of the rider.

The website says "patent pending" -- I should look up the patent claims. I've been experimenting with this kind of "body illumination" since the mid 80s after a night time collision of my own, and I know of at least one other cyclist who does the same thing. I wish I thought to patent the idea!

14 comments:

Nathan said...

This is an interesting idea. I have also thought of pointing an LED light at myself while riding. Seems we are sometimes still pretty invisiible behind that point of light.

Anonymous said...

I suppose I'm too concrete a thinker. Upon looking at the photo slide show on the site, my first reaction was that the problem at hand could be solved much more simply and cheaply by simply avoiding use of a turbo-trainer on the street at night.

Renato said...

That's a great idea but it look better if the biker is a girl ;-)

wlexxx said...

you can get fluorescent tube lights like this at walmart for about $10

wle.

Yokota Fritz said...

@wle: Back in the 80s I used to strap a battery powered flourescent light (sold for camping) to my top tube for a similar effect.

@renato: I think the model is female.

@anon 5:10: You have a point there.

@nathan: That seems like a good idea.

SiouxGeonz said...

I think my $7 SpokeLits whirling round and round under that headlight and blinky go a long way to identify me as a cyclist, pretty instantly.
There's something to be said, too, for the WTF element of the one up on my helmet. Doesn't identify me as a cyclist - but inspires observers to figure out what I am. (That was the effect one in front of me had on me, and it's what drivers have told me.)

Yokota Fritz said...

Many night cyclists say they want to be identified as a car. When I lived in the snowbelt, I wanted to be misidentified as a snowplow -- lots of flashing strobe lights everywhere. Nobody wants to run into a snowplow.

John Calnan said...

"Does my butt look big in this safety light, honey?"

lg0naim said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eR-IxpY3lHc

Yokota Fritz said...

Good demonstration of bike lighting in your video, @lg0naim

bikesgonewild said...

...anon 4:07am....you said "my first reaction was that the problem at hand could be solved much more simply and cheaply by simply avoiding use of a turbo-trainer on the street at night."...

...euphemistically speaking, it's simply like being on a road to nowhere, while being kept in the dark...

...& consider them more than just safety lighting for your bicycle...look at them as a beacon, a form of illumination, to lead you on your path out of the darkness of anonymity...

m e l i g r o s a said...

these are awesome!!
I also love the ones by Rock the Bike - with all the crazy sound machines

Anonymous said...

I'd like to send you some money to buy this poor woman some training wheels so that she can actually learn to ride a bike. If she could actually ride a bike, then she would not have to be so embarrassed that she only trains in the dark so no one can see her. Poor girl.

dotcyclist said...

In the '70s I had a dynamo-driven neon tube that fit the top tube or seat tube of a bike. Bought it mail order from the maker. Have not seen the light for sale anywhere for years. Lost the light when the bike was stolen. Would buy another if I could find it. Also had a camping lantern with a 6" fresnell lens taped to my handlebars. People thought I was a car with one headlight out.