Want to add a bit more visibility to your bike without having to deal with charging or replacing batteries? That’s exactly what the Filippov brothers are hoping to do with their battery free Arara lights. Adding a be-seen element to your wheels, the Arara light system should be far more visible than reflectors at certain angles, and you’ll never have to charge them or change the battery…
Rather than using traditional batteries or even a dynamo hub, the Arara system relies on the principles of magnetic induction. For the system to work, two neodymium magnet units are mounted to the bike, one on the fork and the other on the chainstay. Because of this fact, the lights should fit most bikes, but on models with widely placed chainstays or fork legs (like fat bikes), there may not be a way to get the magnet close enough to the light for it to work properly.
Then the light itself is attached to the spoke with two to four lights per wheel. As the Light spins past the magnet, the generated electric energy is stored in capacitors inside the light body. Once enough energy has been generated, the Arara lights up. Without any physical contact, the system claims to have almost imperceptible amounts of drag.
Depending on the model, lighting either takes a few seconds with the A5, or it takes a bit longer with the A200. The trade off is that once the A200 is charged, it will stay lit for much longer once you start pedaling. Since the lights are all individual, you could run two A5s and two A200 on one wheel for the best of both worlds.
Offered in six colors, the lights straddle the line between fun and safety (what kid wouldn’t want colorful lights on their wheels?). Each light weighs in at 25g, and they are water and dust resistant. They’ve also been designed in tested in Siberia down to -31°C, though they’re guaranteed to work down to -25°.
Available through a pre-order on indiegogo, it’s important to note that Arara lights probably won’t ship until at least January of 2019. If you’re ok with waiting in order to save 10%, the kits are available starting at $76 for four A5 lights and two magnets.