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Everything you need to know about intelligent and connected bike lights

by Gareth Fullerton December 02, 2016

Everything you need to know about intelligent and connected bike lights

What is an intelligent and connected bike light? It is a question that cyclists - and curious non-cyclists - often ask us here at See.Sense. Cycle lights have always been regarded as being useful pieces of kit for staying safe on the road, and now they are taking road safety to new levels. The See.Sense ICON light is the world’s first intelligent and connected bike light. It has been described as the ‘smartest bike light in the history of bike lights’ by BikeRadar, while MailOnline hailed it as ‘Technology of the Future’.

But what makes a bike light intelligent and connected? And how can a light like See.Sense ICON benefit you, the cyclist?
Well, there are a number of features that make the ICON stand out from its conventional rivals, with the light harnessing innovative technology to keep cyclists safer on the road...

What makes my light Intelligent?

REACTS TO ITS ENVIRONMENT: The See.Sense ICON integrates advanced sensor technology to monitor road surfaces, brightness of surrounding light, and bike orientation and speed. It can react to its surrounding environment, making cyclists more visible in riskier situations.

It will detect when you are approaching roundabouts or road junctions, and it will start flashing brighter and faster to make you more visible to traffic. It also responds to when you are filtering into traffic, or when you are approached by car headlights at night. And with 270 degree side visibility, the ICON means you are seen from all angles.

There are times when a cyclist needs to be more visible, such as at busy junctions or when manoeuvring into busy traffic. This is when the cyclist will feel most vulnerable, and that’s why your intelligent bike light will react to the situation and make you more visible to other road users.

DAYLIGHT VISIBLE: Being visible during daylight hours has become just as important as being seen at night, especially when cyclists are travelling through busy urban hubs. Since 2011, all new cars in Europe are required to be fitted with daytime running lights because of the proven benefits.

Research in Denmark also backs up the claim. In the Scandinavian country 4000 cyclists were surveyed - 2000 only used their lights during darkness while the other half used their lights throughout the day. The results? There was a 47 per cent decrease in accidents when lights were used during the day.

Accidents can and do happen during the day, and daytime lights can offer some added visibility to all road users - vehicles and bicycles alike. Low-lying sun and fog can also impair a driver’s vision, so having that daylight presence will boost your own visibility on the bike. See.Sense ICON is designed specifically for daylight visibility, just like car headlights, by using super bright Twin CREE LEDs.

LONG RUN-TIME: Having an intelligent bike light means it only uses power when it is needed, enabling it to flash brighter and quicker when the relevant situation arises. That means it can conserve energy when required. With the See.Sense ICON you get over 15 hours run-time (on flash mode) on a single USB charge. The light will also switch itself off after three minutes of inactivity, and turn back on again when the bike moves. Most cyclists only need to charge the ICON once a week. And with USB charging it means you don’t have to worry about changing batteries.

What are the Connected features of my light?

SMARTPHONE INTEGRATION: You can control your ICON lights using the optional App. The smartphone connection allows you to check your battery level, control your own flash pattern and brightness and you can turn on multiple ICONs at once. You will also receive notifications when your battery needs charged, helping prevent your lights from running out of power halfway through your ride.

THEFT ALERTS: The ICON’s smartphone App also has an early theft alarm in case anyone tries to steal your bike. It will send an alert to your phone if someone moves or tampers with your bicycle while you’re sitting in your favourite cafe. It works within a range of up to 100 metres using a Bluetooth Smart connection to your phone, giving you some peace of mind if you ever leave your bike unattended.

CRASH ALERTS: The ICON’s Crash Alert also offers peace of mind - for the cyclist and their loved ones. You put your emergency contact’s details into the App - it could be your wife, husband or friend, for example - and if you have a crash it will send them a text to alert them of your location with a message saying: “I have had a crash, my location is [longitude/latitude]”.

KEEP SOFTWARE UP TO DATE: Technology moves at a rapid pace, and with a connected ICON you can keep your light up to date with regular Bluetooth firmware updates. This means you can add new features as they are released to ensure you always have the latest version of the ICON and App.

 

Overall

Bike light performance is usually a trade-off between ‘Brightness vs Run-time vs Size’. Many conventional lights are an engineering compromise, having to select two features at the expense of the third. With a light like the See.Sense ICON you get high brightness, long run-time and a compact piece of kit – all because of our smart sensor technology.  And because it can react to its environment, it will make you more visible at the times when you really need it, keeping you safer on your bike. With See.Sense ICON there is no compromise.

Gareth Fullerton
Gareth Fullerton


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