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This one-meter, 30 LED flexible strip is intended to be attached to a bicycle's safety flagpole, but can be attached to any part of the bike frame. The waterproof LED strip comes with a small module. It is meant to be powered by a standard 8.2v rechargeable Li-Ion battery which powers the LEDs for many hours.
Bike tail lights are a proven safety accessory, and so are flags, especially for recumbent bicycles and tricycles.
The problem with flags is, they are nearly worthless after dark. The problem with small bike tail lights is they are usually mounted low, and can be blocked from view both by parts of the bike and obstacles in the area where you ride.
What if there was a bike light that had the height and visibility of a flag, but really stood out at night?
This adds another magnitude of conspicuity to any bicycle and guarantees you will be seen and noticed by motor vehicle drivers. It turns your high, noticeable flagpole into a bright, animated, LED beacon.
There are similar products designed for dune buggies, but they are not practical for bicycle use. They are too big and heavy and require 12v from the vehicle to run. There are simple LED strings that run off batteries that can be used on a bike, but they are monochrome and offer three patterns: On, off, and flashing. Boring!
This product is designed for bicycle use and weighs only a few ounces. The pixel strip can be glued or wire-tied to a common bike flagpole, or run along the frame. The battery pack that powers the LED strip and lasts 4-6 hours, is the same type of battery pack used for many LED bicycle headlights.
The driver module contains a tiny Arduino processor and a handful of discrete components to drive the LEDs.
The module cycles through more than 20 patterns using colors and movement designed to grab attention and identify itself as a vehicle on the road to other drivers approaching. Safety colors of red, amber and white are used to convey the message that you need to be noticed and caution in approaching applied. After discussion with other recumbent riders I have made the color blue optional in these patterns to avoid conflict with vehicle ordinances in some areas. You decide whether you want to include blue.
For use in group rides and off the street, an internal jumper can be moved to switch the unit into a mode with more than 35 patterns and which includes a wide variety of colors and effects. Shimmering and rainbow patterns are mingled along with the standard safety display including blues. You can select which type of operation you wish to have. The latest revision also allows you to choose a safety pattern set including or excluding blue for your local ordinances.
Each pattern runs roughly 30 seconds and then another pattern is selected randomly. To turn the pixel pole on, simply plug in the battery pack. The module and battery pack should be secured by placing them in a cargo bag on the bike, or securing them to the frame, away from moving parts, using nylon wire ties. Strong hook and loop tape would work too.
The net effect of 30 LEDs spread over a 3 foot area is very noticeable. Side visibility is good and since it is wider than the flagpole, it is even visible from the front. It's not a replacement for a "daylight-bright" tail light during the day, but where it really shines (pun intended) is in shadows, and on overcast days. At night, it's spectacular. You won't get lost in a sea of other vehicles lights, or behind most obstacles that might block a single, low light. This really stands out and gets attention, which helps you stay safe.
I want to make this clear: This is not some cheap rope lights that flash in unison. Each LED is individually addressable and can be programmed to perform a variety of patterns. The eye-catching patterns are nearly limitless and I continue to refine them as I go.
Revision 2 model coming soon. Please be patient. There will be some minor improvements, but the same great basic LED lights!
You will need a battery to power the LEDs. It was designed to operate off of a common 7.2V LiIon battery pack that is used for many bicycle lights. You can find links to a number of options for them here. I also am offering a USB adapter cable that lets you use a USB power pack.
Disclaimer 1: This is not a substitute for required lights or reflectors for after-dark riding. Check your local laws for what is required. It is recommended to use this product along with your normal safety lighting.
Disclaimer 2: This is not a substitute for good bicycling practices. Only you can make riding your bicycle safe. Ride safely, and visibly, in the road, with traffic, not against it. Stay out of the door zone, and take the lane when appropriate. For more information on how to ride your bike in the real world, visit CyclingSavvy.org
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Shipping to United States starts at $7.15
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I am a recreational cyclist and ride a couple of recumbents. I'm a retired industrial electrician and electronics technician. I've been tinkering with electronics since I was a teenager. I have been a Ham Radio operator for over 45 years. My first exposure to computer programming was in high school in 1969. I've been mentoring a FIRST Robotics team for 12 years. This is my first Tindie product offering.