April 22, 2022 4 min read
Here at See.Sense, we’re mad about lights, and since our foundation 9 years ago, we’ve learned a thing or two about developing lights that improve the visibility of cyclists out on the roads. To mark the upcoming release of our latest light - ICON3 - we’re taking a deep dive into the technical side of our latest edition to highlight what makes our lights so special.
ICON3 is our brightest ‘to be seen’ light yet, emitting a powerful 575 lumens at the front and 350 lumens at the rear - a 20% increase from ICON2. It can be difficult to get across just how bright this really is without seeing the real thing, and in fact, many of our first time customers are blown away when they see our lights in person. So, how do we do it?
Our ICON range utilises a combination of CoB and CREE LED lights to produce a level of brightness that separates See.Sense from its competitors. Let’s take a look at both CoB and CREE LEDs in closer detail.
CoB (Chip on Board) LEDs are tightly packed, multi-chip packages that enable us to increase the lighting area of ICON3 while simultaneously avoiding glare. It’s the COB LEDs that form the distinctive yellow hexagon in the middle of the ICON3, providing ICON3 with its striking new appearance. Importantly, this new layout and design isn’t merely cosmetic. Our new custom CoB layout creates dispersed visibility, meaning you’ll be more visible than ever with ICON3.
In addition to the CoB LED, ICON3 also contains two powerful CREE LEDs. These high performing, energy efficient LEDs provide a crisp, low glare output that enables ICON3 to be seen from up to 3km away. With ICON3, we’ve added an additional CREE LED for enhanced visibility, meaning you’ll now have 270o of side visibility.
Together, the CoB and CREE LEDs work together to provide both a focused and dispersed beam, keeping you visible from all angles while ensuring that the overall brightness and distance of the light remains strong. As a result, ICON3 attracts attention faster than ever on the road.
So why is this dispersed and focused combination so important? Most lights have a very focused rearward facing beam. Even a cheap light is blinding when you test it by shining that focused beam into your eye in the shop. But what really matters is all round visibility and that's where most lights really fall down. Because of this, with ICON3 one of our biggest steps in improving rider safety was to increase side visibility even further than we had done with ICON2. Through the table below, you can see why this was a priority for us.
While naturally the most common first point of impact in cycle collisions is front-on, a significant proportion of collisions also occur side-on. As seen above, of 16,767 recorded incidents in 2020, 3,326 (19.83%) of these incidents were side-on collisions. With almost one-fifth of UK cycling collisions occurring from this angle, it was clear to us that side-visibility should be a key area of focus to improve rider safety. This is why we’ve added the additional CREE LED into ICON3, providing 270o of side visibility to enhance rider safety and help to reduce these side-on incidents.
ICON3 comes equipped with new and improved technology that will keep you safer than ever out on the roads. However, we’ve also maintained the key technology from previous See.Sense lights that have served cyclists so well over the past 9 years.
We talk about this a lot at See.Sense, but it really can’t be stressed enough! With the majority of cycling collisions occurring in daylight hours, particularly around the ambient lighting of dawn and dusk, it’s extremely important to equip a bike light that is daylight visible. See.Sense lights will contrast and really ‘punch’ through the low, soft lighting that’s often present at dawn and dusk, keeping you safer during these accident prone hours. Indeed, See.Sense were amongst the first companies in the world to produce daylight visible lights, and we’ve continually ensured that all our lights are extremely visible in daylight. By using two CREE LEDs and a fresnel lens, ICON3 provides powerful visibility for your daytime cycles - even in direct sunlight.
ICON3 is packed full of smart features. Like our previous lights, ICON3 reacts to moments of risk such as junctions, roundabouts, or filtering in traffic, sensing your change of speed and flashing brighter and faster in response to make you more visible. With built in light sensors, ICON3 will also react in response to approaching car headlights at night by flashing brighter and faster. These added variations in flash patterns means the light is much more interesting to the brain, allowing for improved visibility to other road users as the flash pattern never becomes repetitive or easily ignored.
We’ve also equipped ICON3 with in-built acceleromaters, allowing it to sense a sudden decrease in speed and change from flashing to constant with flashing until you move off again. If all this wasn’t enough, ICON3 now comes equipped with ‘Get Me Home mode’, automatically dimming to a lower power mode if your battery drops below 20%, giving you at least one more hour of runtime.
We hope this deep dive has provided some interesting insights into the technology behind our lights. Ultimately, by making cycling safer through our lights, and by enabling our community to share anonymised data insights through using our lights, we aim to play a part in creating cities that make cycling safer, smart and more accessible for all.
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