We’ve been around the block a few times…It’s now been over five years since we made our first ever light, so we like to think that we know a thing or two about LEDs, lenses, sensors and all things intelligent bike lights. We’ve been getting a few questions from customers asking about the main differences between our two most recent lights, ACE and ICON2. There’s a full comparison breakdown here, but for this blog, we thought we would take it back to basics and talk about the hardware and light output in a bit more detail...
We are proud to say that we continue to develop all of our tech in-house (and everything else for that matter), with the hardware being one of the first and most important steps of bringing a new light onto the market. We employ our very own talented hardware engineer Caleb (who is often found soldering at his own mini workstation in our spare office).
Many of our customers just love the fact that our technology starts with just a small team of people working together to make cool cycling products.
Taking you back to your secondary school days for a few moments here... COB, or Chip on Board is a fairly new member of the LED family. Multi LED chips are packed closley together as one lighting module. And when it light up, it appears like more of a lighting panel than multiple individual lights if that makes sense.
As COB LEDs are multi-chip packages, they can increase the lighting area significantly and avoid glare at the same time, which is why they are perfect for our lights. Basically, this means that we can offer a super bright light in a small and neat package. Think of it like teamwork!
See.Sense ACE uses around 62 little COBs that work together to shine powerfully both in daylight and at night-time, to make you visible from over a mile away (125 lumens) and give you 200° of side visibility on your commute. With ACE, our design and tech team worked really hard to get this level of brightness and decent 10-hour runtime into such a tiny and neat package, absolutely ideal for all urban riding.
See.Sense ICON2 uses a combination of both COB and one single CREE LED (for both a focused and dispersed beam), to make you visible up to 3km away, and give you 270° of side visibility.
CREE - The best of the very best, CREE LEDs are like the Apple in the world of LEDs, or we like to think of it that way anyway. CREE's are super high-performing, energy-efficient LEDs which provide a crisp, but low-glare output. If you had an original ICON light, you will have seen that they used two twin CREE's which blasted out up to 250 lumens.
With ICON2, we have packed so much more brightness (and intelligence) into them, with a whopping 300-lumen output in the rear and 400 in the front to keep you seen. With the slightly bigger size, this means we can provide you with the most brightness and runtime possible, making them the light for you if you ride longer distances on your weekends.
Lumen Talk - We've been talking a lot about lumens here, but basically, lumens are a measure of the total amount of visible light to the human eye.
Focused Or Dispersed? We've designed our lights using quality twin CREE LEDs and a fresnel lens to offer unique visibility during the day, even in direct sunlight. The lights give a dispersed output, rather than focused. This is to offer you over 270 degree side visibility to keep you visible, without dazzling other road users.
Solid Or Flashing? We recommend using flashing lights, to help attract attention sooner. When you have lights that flash brightly from both front and rear can help alert drivers sooner than a solid light, reducing risks out on the road.
What do you look for when buying a bike light? You might consider brightness and decent battery life as being important features, or you might want a light that offers good visibility in the dark. But what about being seen during the daytime?
It is a crucial aspect of cycling safety that many people tend to ignore when making their purchase. But when you consider that 80% of cycling accidents happen during the day, it’s become evident that visibility during the day is now just as important as being seen in the dark.
Most accidents have been found to happen during the hours around dawn and dusk. This is partly due to rush-hour traffic, and also because of factors including changing ambient light conditions which can make it more difficult for motorists to spot cyclists.
Bright, visible bike lights using high-quality CREE or Chip-On-Board LEDs can help counter that problem by giving you more of a presence on your bike during the day. See.Sense was one of the first companies in the world to create daylight-visible bike lights. Lights that ensure you can see and be seen both day and night, no matter how bright the sun is. Unlike others, See.Sense lights are both light in weight and long in runtime.
We hope this explains our tech a little bit more and helps differentiate between ACE and ICON2. Improving cycle safety isn’t just important for reducing fatalities, it can also encourage more people to take up cycling. And the more cyclists we have on the roads, the better cycling infrastructure can be developed to improve the overall cycling experience.