It’s a bit ironic that the symbol for a good idea is a light bulb over one’s head, as there seems to be a never ending stream of cool new designs and concepts for bike lighting these days. Arsenal Cycling has come up with the latest approach, and this one’s based on neuroscience.
As their flagship product the company has created the 4Sync light system, comprised of one front and three rear lights that operate in sync. But the idea isn’t just about adding more lights, rather the 4Sync setup aims to catch drivers’ attention by presenting a pattern that is easily recognized by our eyes and brains.
If you’re still wondering why you shouldn’t just go and strap three random blinkers to your back, check out Arsenal’s promo video for visual proof of their pattern concept…
The 4Sync light set is comprised of a single front and three rear lights that communicate wirelessly. You can use any of the lights as the control unit, and the other three will automatically match what it’s doing. The whole set can be turned off from a single unit, but you do have to power all the lights up separately unless they’ve been used within the last hour- if so, the control unit will boot them all up.
To sync up the lights, simply turn them all on and double-click the power button on one of the units. That light then pairs up with the other units and matches them to whatever mode you’ve chosen. If you wish to separate one unit from the group (eg. you don’t want your front light to flash), that can be easily done by double-clicking its power button. The de-coupled light can then be used individually like a normal LED.
The 4Sync lights’ unique vertical blinking pattern is based on how radio towers are marked so pilots can see them (watch the video!), which not only plays on the brain’s natural ability to recognize patterns within convoluted scenes, it also makes it easier for drivers to judge the changing distance between themselves and you. Of course you could mount these lights in any arrangement you want, but why sacrifice the advantage of advertising your current distance to motorists?
In ‘pulse’ mode the 4Sync lights project at 40 lumens up front and 20 lumens out back, and have a run time of 16 hours. In ‘group ride’ mode, the rear lights drop down to an output of just one lumen with a soft strobe, and the battery will last up to 24 hours. There is also a constant mode, but in this setting the lights will drain their batteries in an hour. For easy charging a 4-in-1 cable supplies power to the whole set simultaneously, and a full charge takes two hours.
The 4Sync light set will eventually retail for $165 USD, but currently Kickstarter supporters can buy in for $120. Delivery is slated for December, but the campaign still needs some funding by October 14th for this product to see the light of day. Check it out here.