About a year ago I noticed I was writing about a ton of different commuter bike lights, and since then the onslaught of new ideas and concepts for bicycle lighting systems just keeps coming. One of the latest ideas comes from the folks at Brightspark, who have created a pair of grip-integrated units that provide both front lighting and turn signals.
The Brightspark lights aim to keep your hands on the grips and your eyes on the road, so they’ve incorporated vibrating alerts to assure you a button has been pushed, and to remind you to switch off your turn signals. Bikerumor first spotted the Brightspark lights at Interbike last year, but the news today is they’ve just launched their crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo…
Brightspark’s creators wanted to ensure you never have to remove your hands from the bars (as you do when hand-signalling) or look down at the lights to verify what they’re doing. There are two control buttons located on the grip under your thumb and index finger. The front headlights are controlled with the index finger buttons, and the turn signals are switched on and off via the thumb buttons.
When a button is pushed, the grips will vibrate to confirm your requested function. They’ll also vibrate to let you know if you’ve left a turn indicator on for too long, because there’s nothing worse than sending the wrong signals to drivers.
While Brightspark’s video states the front lights offer four settings- 75, 150, 300 steady and 300 lumen strobe, their website and campaign page says you can turn them up to 600 lumens. This is a great example of contradictory specifications I find while covering most Indiegogo or Kickstarter products…I guess you’ll have to contact Brightspark if you want to know for sure. (Author’s note; I may have misunderstood these specs- I thought I had found an error, but it appears Brightspark is simply stating you get 600 lumens from the two headlights combined).
In addition to the flashing orange turn signal lights on the front and backsides of each unit, a red laser on the lower edge projects a chevron on the ground beside you (in whatever direction you’re turning) to increase your visible footprint and remind drivers to leave you some space.
The Brightspark lights are integrated into a pair of lock-on grips which fit standard 22.2mm handlebars. The light units do swivel side to side and up and down, so they will work with swept-back handlebars. However, this design is not suitable for bullhorns or drop bars.
To prevent theft or damage, the lights can be quickly removed when you park your bike. The Brightsparks’ inner grip collar is bolted to your bar, and the grip/light assembly locks into the collar and pops out for safe storage.
Designed in the notoriously cold and rainy UK, Brightspark’s lights are weather resistant and waterproof. The lights’ internal batteries charge via micro USB, and the split cable allows you to charge both lights at once. On the highest setting a full battery should give you about five hours of run time.
Initially Brightspark’s lights will only be available in black, but other colors will follow if the product funding is successful. The lights come with a one year warranty against manufacturing defects. Currently Indiegogo supporters can grab a set of Brightspark lights for $156 USD plus shipping costs, with global delivery available. The first units should be ready for delivery this November.
Check out the Indiegogo campaign page here.