2015 Niterider Sentinel commuter bicycle tail light creates a bike lane with lasers

The new Niterider Sentinel is a 2watt/30 Lumen tail light with all the usual blinky functions you’d want to help people see you from behind. The bonus feature is the laser emitter on the bottom that creates a long, wide virtual bike lane around you, encouraging drivers to give you your space.

Retail is just $49.99. Because of the lasers, it’s regulated by the FDA and DOT, and you won’t want to aim it at your eyes. It’s USB rechargeable with run times up to 36 hours. See how the lane markers blink into existence after the break…

2015 Niterider Sentinel commuter bicycle tail light creates a bike lane with lasers

The lane lines blink, they’re not steady, which makes them even more noticeable. The lines here were sharp and very bright even on a color matched red carpet in a very bright tradeshow hall. We imagine they’ll really pop out at night on the street.

Across the rest of the range, their Lumina gets slight lumen bumps, but they say battery technology isn’t advancing as rapidly as the LED bulb tech, so the rest of the line is virtually unchanged. For mountain bikers, the Pro models get a new extra-low setting that give them a 12 hour run time.

NiteRider.com

15 comments

  1. JasonK on

    Of course a red laser looks bright on a red carpet. The carpet looks red to us because it reflects red light. It wouldn’t look like much on a blue or black carpet.

    I’m not sure why a “project your own bike lane” laser would keep me safer at night. Does Niterider have any objective reason to think it does? Or are consumers just expected to erupt into “ooh, shiny!” euphoria?

    Maybe this is really helpful, but I’d like a little more reason to think so than “because laser beams.”

    Reply
  2. ObligatedToSay on

    Interesting.

    On the note about blinking, I’ve encountered riders who claimed they’re sensitive to the blink – epileptic. I don’t know that they actually were, but we changed our rear blinkers to solid.

    Reply
  3. Dockboy on

    I find blinky lights harder to track in dark situations. I tell customers to use blinking as a low/flat light safety feature, and to leave the light solid when it’s truly night. The steady beam is easier to anticipate and keep track of in your periphery. I don’t know what the laser lines are supposed to accomplish, either.

    Reply
  4. Jeff S on

    JasonK, I ordered one of these because I commute in the dark every evening. The thought is that a driver will assume the left hand line is the edge of what they have to pass and they’ll move over just a little bit (vs. the center of the bike where a typical light sits). I ride 10,000 miles a year and tend to feel a little safer within a bike lane. Drivers generally do respect the stripe of a bike lane (at least somewhat) so why not do the same at night with a “virtual lane”? Seems logical and for the price I’m gonna give it a shot.

    Reply
  5. Brendan on

    California just passed a 3-foot law (motorists must give cyclists 3 feet of space when passing). So if you have this light, and someone passes you and you see a red laser on their fender rather than the ground, you can launch into a fit of righteous indignance.

    Reply
  6. Champs on

    ObligatedToSay: I’m not epileptic, but rear lights haven’t given me trouble, only headlights. Strobes and LEDs make it really easy to be seen, but also to misuse them to annoy, if not blind people around you.

    Reply
  7. ObligatedToSay on

    @Champs: Yeah, me & a couple of fellow commuters commented about people running overpowered front lights. And being unaware/inconsiderate about it – not pointing them down when there’s oncoming traffic. Usually you can look away & be OK, but I have encountered some that render the trick useless.

    Blinkers make sense for letting traffic know you’re around – the movement & change. But they don’t illuminate your path – so you need both. I like a blinker in the helmet because it’s likely to be more visible to vehicles (barring trucks with lift kits).

    Reply
  8. Paul on

    I got one like that for a gift a few years ago. Works well and is pretty cool but shortens the battery life. The only issue I had was it seems that at night most cars would give a few feet of clearance but when the laser lane was on it shined about a foot from the bike. Then cars would see the lane and give me a foot instead of the few feet they would give without the guide. That may be just the way it felt.

    Reply
  9. Psi Squared on

    Blinkers also make it difficult for a driver to judge his distance to you. It’s best to run a blinker along with a solid light.

    Reply
  10. Dave B on

    “Blinkers also make it difficult for a driver to judge his distance to you.”
    That’s correct. People will notice a blinking light more easily but will have a harder time judging how far away it is. The worst offenders are those high power strobe lights on School busses. You always see them but have problems telling where they are at night.

    Reply
  11. Jim on

    Unfortunately the article did not mention that the Sentinel Taillight also has a “steady on” laser mode for folks that prefer not to use “blinking” modes. We tested this light here in San Diego with a group of regular commuters, and the response to the laser lane feature was overwhelmingly positive. The lanes are highly visible in the dark, and add an additional level of safety that I’m sure most commuters will appreciate.

    Reply
  12. PoodleMan on

    I have had the Niterider blinkie since this past June. I like the light! BTW: bright and/or blinking lights can give people a migraine headache. I find police car lights to be really painful for my eyes when the cops have stopped a car. Can’t the lights just go solid when facing the stopped car and solid to the oncoming traffic?

    Reply

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