“Innovative and very well executed town/contingency light“
Arrive at work and lock up your bike. Get changed and head to your desk. Best re-charge those bike lights before your ride home. Except you forgot the charging cable.
It is a scenario many commuter cyclists are familiar with.
That is why this was the main focus of the fabric commuter bike light. It needed to be charged without using a cable, taking some of the hassle out of commuting.
I explored a range of wireless charging methods, from dynamos, to wireless charging mats to USB. It became apparent after a few design iterations that cleanest and most user friendly was directly to USB charging. To plug the actual light into a USB point on a lap top or desktop was the best solution as it eliminated the need for any other type of accessory.
Once it was decided the light needed to be USB charging without the use of a cable, the next focus for the fabric light was how, and where the unit would mount to the bike.
We wanted it to be versatile, could it be mounted anywhere on the bike? Could it be used as a front or back light depending on where you needed it? For it to do this the light would have to have a red mode and a white mode to comply with current regulations for bike lights.
The challenge was sourcing a factory with small enough electrical internals but a powerful enough battery to make the light worthwhile. We had our design, and we knew what we wanted the light to do. We didn’t want a hugely bulky ugly light. It needed to be small, light weight and attractive. The trouble with some factories is they are set in their ways and can be reluctant to try new technologies.
Once the factory was sourced and the first round of electrical prototyping was underway the design work started on the mount for the light. If it was to be mounted anywhere on the bike, front facing or rear facing the mount and the strap needed to be versatile and easy to use without the need for a tool.
I designed a range of silicon straps to stretch and hook over a variety of size bars so that the mould can be fixed securely anywhere on the bike.
The mount and housing for the light also acts as a waterproof and shock proof cover for the USB housing.