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Old 04-01-08, 07:50 AM   #1
sheezon
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Bike Light Redesign

I am a student designer and also a biker, and I have chosen to redesign the bike light. I am open to anyones opinions or problems you have encountered with the bike light. This can pertain to the actual lights themselves or any consequences because of a faulty light or not even having one. If anyone has any specific stories I could use this as well. I can use as much information as possible. Thanks.
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Old 04-01-08, 08:10 AM   #2
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Disign for a better cost/performance factor.
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Old 04-01-08, 08:31 AM   #3
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You can find much discussion in the Electronics and Lighting (is that the name) forum a little further up the page.

There have been discussions there related to:

1) Battery life

2) Brightness

3) Hot spot versus scatter

and various other topics.

You will find people lining up on different sides of the fence about which light is best, but you can definitely discover what issues related to lights people are seeking (or have found) solutions for.
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Old 04-01-08, 08:45 AM   #4
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The Number one thing I've learned to look for in a light is as few plastic components as I can find.

Plastics just can't seem to handle the vibration and stress when attached to a bicycle frame for long. Plastic frames would crack in a matter of a year, other plastic components under less stress last longer but eventually fail. My planet bike Alias which is mostly metal is now three years old and still working as well as the day I bought it. It's even been through a couple of accidents.

I also have started looking for glass lenses as the plastic ones seem to get scratched up in a year or so.

My rear lights seem to last long, perhaps there is less vibration at their attachment points.
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Old 04-01-08, 12:00 PM   #5
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I would say that the biggest issue is integration, esp for utility riders. Removable lights always seem to fall to the ground and crack. There have been efforts at integrating them into handlebars and even forks.
The stem end-cap seems ripe for developement. Hope have a stem-mounted lamp unit.
For those using separate batteries or generators, there is current good solution to the trail of wires.

There are plenty of people working on squeezing more lumens out of a watt or more watts out of a LION battery.
For the final design they all follow a very similar pattern of handlebar clamp light unti and waterbottle battery.
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Old 04-01-08, 03:08 PM   #6
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I am a student designer and also a biker, and I have chosen to redesign the bike light. I am open to anyones opinions or problems you have encountered with the bike light.
The mounting always stinks on bike lights. Some are better than others, but there isn't a one that I just absolutely love. Part of my problem is I have multiple bikes so I'm constantly swapping lights between them, and the mounts break with distressing frequency.

I still see lights with poorly designed switches that can be easily turned on when I toss the light into my bag, draining the battery during the day so I have no lighting in the evening.

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Old 04-01-08, 04:48 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by sheezon View Post
I am a student designer and also a biker, and I have chosen to redesign the bike light. I am open to anyones opinions or problems you have encountered with the bike light. This can pertain to the actual lights themselves or any consequences because of a faulty light or not even having one. If anyone has any specific stories I could use this as well. I can use as much information as possible. Thanks.
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Old 04-01-08, 05:51 PM   #8
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I'm impressed that most of the cateye headlights I've used are interchangeable on the mounts that come with the various models.
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Old 04-02-08, 05:35 PM   #9
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The stem end-cap seems ripe for developement. Hope have a stem-mounted lamp unit.
That's pretty cool; it's like the next step beyond Cannondale's stem-mounted Headsite:
http://gb.cannondale.com/a_a/gear/08...00.html#lights
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Old 04-02-08, 05:59 PM   #10
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Design a really bright light with huge runtime and at a low cost with as small size as possible.
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Old 04-03-08, 10:20 PM   #11
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New Brighter LED Invented

I heard today, that a much brighter LED has been invented. It has microscopic holes in the bulb.

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Old 04-04-08, 04:49 AM   #12
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Use Dinotte's as your baseline.

Bicycle are not designed like car lights so they shine in all directions. A bright bicycle light usually prompts oncoming cars to flash their lights at you because you are shining the light in their eyes. I don't know the technical description, but bicycle lights need to be focused/limited in the amount of light that gets projected into the other lane.

That would be the biggest improvement that I would like to see.
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Old 04-04-08, 09:00 AM   #13
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I'd say use Dinotte's tail light as your baseline and Lupine's Betty as the head light baseline.
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Old 04-04-08, 07:04 PM   #14
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Use Dinotte's as your baseline.

Bicycle are not designed like car lights so they shine in all directions. A bright bicycle light usually prompts oncoming cars to flash their lights at you because you are shining the light in their eyes. I don't know the technical description, but bicycle lights need to be focused/limited in the amount of light that gets projected into the other lane.

That would be the biggest improvement that I would like to see.
The term is biased, I agree with you 100% on this issue.
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Old 04-04-08, 07:09 PM   #15
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The term is biased, I agree with you 100% on this issue.
I agree as well. There's only one bike light on the market that I know of that has a cutoff, and it's much too expensive for my taste.
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Old 04-04-08, 08:03 PM   #16
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I know this is not the forte of designers, but can you please focus on function over form. Seriously I don't care about that randomly placed curve or indentation that you love to slap on so as to give the idea that you've actually done some work that an engineer couldn't have done, but its usually unneccesary.

I have a gripe with most design. I know it helps our world, but whether for the 'better' or simply for the 'different' I don't know. "Don't fix whats not broke -- unless your consumer just wants something new and shiny to play with" thats how the motto should go.

-- Allow for a wide viewing angle since the light is meant to be seen by cars coming side on as well
-- An integrated mount that fits the curvature of the bars. eg- so then the bike looks more like a part of the bike, rather than just a component on it.
-- Standard batteries
-- Rigid when attached. Thereby, one can push it from any angle and it won't have too much play. One should not be scared to lean on it. This would exclude most separate attachment mechanism.
-- Think about not have a quick release. Theres a difference between what one might think a biker might need, and what bikers really do need. Most bikers have one bike for a certain light, and would like a screw that holds the light rigidly, and also stops casual thiefs from snatching it.
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Old 04-04-08, 08:12 PM   #17
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Also consider the kinds of forces that'll be acting on the light. If someone leans on it, it makes sense that a light that is closely hugging the bar will not be so susceptible to movement or breakage. Also reconsider have a shiny casing. I know that its easier to draw a reflective plastic, and it looks better on paper, but in real life bicycle components are gonna get scratched big time, and your good intentions will be destroyed. Base the materials on something like a G-Shock. The classic black rubber g-shock holds its colour and form very well with age.
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Old 04-04-08, 09:07 PM   #18
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I don't like having to strap a separate battery pack for the light.

Most bicycle specific lights are a bit behind compared to the flashlight technology. Some flashlights like the Fenix make excellent bike lights. Rubber block mounts are also available for mounting these flashlights either on the bar or helmet. Many commuters use them and are as bright as bike lights costing at least 3 times more..
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Old 05-07-08, 03:19 PM   #19
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How you guys feel about an integrated lighting system?
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Old 05-07-08, 03:46 PM   #20
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I'd like one with a cup holder.
Actually, I'd like one that could be fastened reliably to the head tube. On my flat bar, there isn't much of a problem with lack of flat area, but on my drop bar bikes, they just take up too much room. I know there are other options, but I think I would like one that would attach to the head tube.
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Old 05-07-08, 04:16 PM   #21
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How you guys feel about an integrated lighting system?
I don't think roadies would like that cause it would limit parts choice. I think for commuter bikes, it would be great - look at the Giant Citystorm for example.
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Old 05-07-08, 04:21 PM   #22
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How about one with a small toggle that makes them brighter on command? Kind of like hi-beams.
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Old 05-08-08, 09:49 AM   #23
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Personally, I think a helmet with an integrated light (or pair of lights) would be great! It could be designed so that the light was directable and removable - the helmet would have a direction-adjustable attachment point built into it. I've not seem anything like that on the market. The first concern that springs to mind is that you would have to make sure that the lights were mounted so that they did not compromise the safety of the helmet.
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Old 05-08-08, 10:36 AM   #24
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I don't think you guys are being outlandish enough.
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Old 05-08-08, 02:30 PM   #25
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I don't think you guys are being outlandish enough.
How about a pair of bright lights implanted into the forehead?
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