Bike lights have come a long way not only in how bright and compact they are, but also how efficiently they run with new LED technology. Reelight is a company based in Denmark where people ride for more than just fun and exercise, so simplicity and convenience is key. Reelight’s new no-friction Neo light uses no batteries, separate generators, or external magnets to power up. Just needs any rotating aluminum rim.
Beam past the break to see the magic behind the magnets and find out what Eddy has to do with it…..
A common struggle among many light users over the years has been the desire to replace disposable battery powered lights with rechargeable ones, however the ritual of charging your lights every or every other ride can be a nuisance. The old school sidewall grinding wheel generators did the job, though the price you paid was a mess of wires and increased rolling resistance along with premature tire wear for little in return as far as light output goes. The newer hub generator systems are nice and do the trick, but still require additional lights and can be expensive.
We first saw Reelight magnet driven lights back in 2008 so their experience with magnet technology is nothing new. A similar concept we saw this past Summer was the Cydekick frictionless light system that uses magnets on both the sensor and the wheel, however, this works a little different. The Neo light doesn’t use a second set of magnets, but works by receiving magnetic resistance from the rim itself…. from non-ferrous aluminum (and only aluminum according to their FAQ)! This is where Eddy currents come in. What are Eddy currents? In short Eddy currents are generated when the north pole of a magnet passes by any conductive material creating a resistance that charges electrons thus creating energy. (Go watch this then do like me and grab a roll of aluminum and some rare earth magnets and geek out a little). To get the Neo into production, Reelight has started a Kickstarter campaign that has already exceeded its funding goal.
The Neo light system is a simple design that simply mounts to your front fork and rear seatstay. Once you line up the generator’s housing with the rim, you’ll never have to touch it again.
Reelight claims the Neo puts out 118 lumens which is adequate for being seen and probably just good enough to see with, but for actual night riding it might be preferable to have something more substantial depending on your circumstances. Pictured above, the Neo has a back up reserve that lights up a separate low-power LED when stopped so that there is always a light on so that traffic can still see you.
The Neo comes in front and rear versions and each version will retail for $60 each, (though if you hurry, there are still a few purchasing options on their Kickstarter for up to 40% off). Looks overall to be a pretty neat concept that is a huge improvement over the old tire to generator light systems of years’ past while being less complicated and brighter. I am however boggled on how they didn’t call it the “Light Pop”.