The Future of Bike Lighting (Canceled)
The Future of Bike Lighting (Canceled)
Light the road just like a car. When the driver doesn't know you're "just" a bicycle, they have to give you a lot more room.
Light the road just like a car. When the driver doesn't know you're "just" a bicycle, they have to give you a lot more room. Read more
About this project
+ Starting 10/31/2012, This project is reposted. Please place your pledges at
Sorry for the inconvenience, and thank you for your continuing support.
Barry Beams' breakthroughs in LED lighting, comprising new, unique, and novel developments in optics, circuitry, and packaging, deliver revolutionary increases in usable visibility.
Watt for watt, lumen for lumen, you get superior usable visibility, with superb depth perception, without glare in oncoming drivers' eyes.
+ as of 10/15/2012, a major bicycle equipment company signed an agreement that once the lights are made, they will market and distribute my products. This means that:
+ The combined funding of the lower funding goal that the reposted Kickstarter project will have, based on what this first project is getting in pledges already, plus the marketing partner's investment, makes it nearly certain that my lights will be made, so by pledging now, you will get your light.
"In all these brevets, when you're able to see all the road you can feel more confident, and that confidence means, going faster, so you can actually push the pace, instead of just trying to last though the night. If it gets me 2 miles per hour faster over 6 to 8 hours of night riding, that's a huge advantage."
Joe Monahan, ... Furnace Creek 508 racer.
"An awesomely bright, intelligently designed beam shape! The first kickstarter thing I've supported. My Christmas present to myself."
... Tian Harter, long time SF Bay Area cycling activist.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, what do you think of this video?
More than a light should be capable of. After a test ride, the builder of the world's fastest electric motorcycle, said, "that's quite a light."
With other lights, you're losing your lumens because they're only bright in the middle. That blinds your peripheral vision so you can't see to the side.
My patent pending beam lights up the road evenly. As with fine luxury sports car lights, high resolution optics project an even beam that's a few lanes wide by far enough ahead for high speed electric motorcycles ,without glare in oncoming drivers' eyes.
Designed and developed in "Silicon Valley", the San Francisco Bay Area hotbed of computer/ electronics talent. Top experts with full time careers in optics, driver circuits, molding, and mechanical design, all live right nearby.
We follow lean startup methodology, knowing that if we "stay with it longer" (Einstein), "disruptive innovation" like the Barry Beam, can result.
+ 214g, battery included. Wow! The heat conducting plastic weighs half of aluminum and carries heat just as well. The top and bottom covers have thicker and thinner sections that are structurally strong with the least material.
+ The Barry Beam.
> Project light long distances, see highway signs at one mile.
> Controlled beam doesn't blind oncoming drivers up high.
> Evenly spread beam lights up brightly across the road down low.
> Lights your feet and water bottles and ground straight below.
> Looks like a pair of car headlights on the road right in front.
> Diamond polished ultra fine aluminum vapor coated light chamber.
> Same process and materials as New Harley Davidson motorcycles.
> Capped and sealed by hardened, polished custom American lens.
+ 4500 mAH Lithium Ion battery. Twice what most others use.
+ Five Light Levels, for superb depth perception without eyestrain under any conditions. Because its about where the brightness goes, not only how bright can it get. Most riders find themselves using lower settings than they expected.
> 52 hours. If other lights call their low a "walking", let's call this "running".
> 9 hours. Joe pedaled all night from San Jose to Pismo Beach at 16+ MPH.
> 4:45 hours. Joan raced most of 3000 miles cross the USA with this.
> 2:15 hours. Car headlight territory, scares off mountain lions too.
> 1:06 hours. 50MPH bombing downhills and zooming electric motorcycles. > 1400+ lumens spread evenly on the road, not wasting away in treetops.
+ Six flash, blink, and pulse patterns, plus program your own.
+ Rapid battery charging. Only 5 hours with the built in high power battery charger. USB jack also onboard for when you don't have the charger with you.
+ Safety timer and shutoff on battery charger. Shuts off to prevent chance of a battery overheat.
+ Low cost, easy battery changing. Just like a flashlight, slide off the cover, old one out, fully charged battery in. Standard off the shelf Lithium ion rechargeable battery costs under half of other brands' extra batteries.
+ No hot spots to the touch. Commuter lights like the Serfas 500 get as hot as freshly poured coffee, 68C. Mine doesn't.
+ User Programmable. Numerous options that you program simply by pressing different combinations of the power switch. No computer needed! What could be simpler?
Meticulously tested components. Each item itself is it's own project.
+ Heatsinks CNC machined heat conducting plastic.
+ Infrared imaging at full power to confirm LED cooling.
+ LEDs tested to 25% over rated limits.
+ LED binning: Top tier to increase depth perception and brightness.
+ Thermal Tapes tested to insure maximum heat transfer.
+ Stereolithography made test housings.
+ Circuit boards: Not breadboards. Made from the actual Gerber files.
+ Battery: tested numerous samples.
+ Recharger: power jack tested 2500 insertions, equals 10 years of use.
+ Mount unbreakable, turn any angle, mount on the top, bottom, or side.
+ Mount strap: tested high grade rubbers and ribbed textures for max grip.
Harsh Road Testing.
+ 10,000+ miles by bike commuters and night racers.
The outcome of a race or a person's life on a high speed descent during sleep deprived nights has depended on my Barry Beam working flawlessly.
+ Fastest Descender at the 17 mile long, 50 mph night time downhill at the Furnace Creek 508 race through Death Valley.
+ At the Race Across America, one of the best in the world trusted Barry Beam prototypes for 3000 miles, 12 days, 12 hours a night, of nonstop charge, drain, recharge, repeat, in all extremes of weather and road conditions.
The unique combination of usable visibility, rapid charging, and long burn times led her to blog that my light is, "The Future of Bicycle Lighting".
I've studied Silicon Valley business successes and failures for even longer than I've been experimenting with lights. As challenging as designing the product, I've applied the principles of Lean Startups to setting up an infrastructure to get the products made.
I don't have a fancy box or package worked out, and I still have to write the instructions, and I'm still tweaking the final shape of the handlebar mount. Otherwise, the key design goals have been met.
The marketing and distribution agreement signed with a well known bicycle equipment company as of 10/15/2012 allows deals to move forward that I had already worked out with vendors who already supply and manufacture for large electronics companies. This insures that if I can get lights produced, if you order a light, you will get one.
This well known bicycle equipment company is investing marketing and distribution resources to my lights because they believe that my design can be the disruptive innovation to change bicycle lighting.
Are you looking at a winner here? A ground breaking design from an inventor with a business head on his shoulders, too, who is bringing it all together? With your backing, together, we can make it happen.
Risks and challenges
My design requires top talent for each specialty. Anyone on a side project needs to balance putting time into the project with day jobs and personal obligations.
So prospective backers know that I'm doing this right, and sincerely want bicyclists to have the same visibility as other vehicles when the sun isn't shining, I pledge that I'll fulfill all their pledges before taking any financial gain.
Scaling up to make larger quantities is the common challenge Makers face.
I made the prototypes pictured, on the mills, CNC machines, and 3D plastic printers at Tech Shop. I can't imaging how else to have done this.
Cost for tooling, electronic assembly, and layout work is a constant, fixed overhead.
One thousand is the MOQ (minimum order quantity) reputable companies will produce, and electronic component vendors will sell. Smaller amounts cost much more and don't get scheduled as quickly. So I continue nurturing hard earned trust and rapport with potential vendors, to insure both high quality and on time delivery.
One way to insure fulfillment is to find multiple sources.
My first choice for LED boards was a Taiwan company with headquarters in the SF Bay area. Their specs came in with loose tolerance for board thickness, and their price was high. An American company came in lower, but it was a complicated arrangement between several parties. Instead, I got a test batch of LED boards from an Australian company that meets my specs, who has provided me LEDs and boards in the past, and is charging me the same markup as their over the counter products.
A small board maker in Long Island offers a better deal for the main board and components than a Shenzen, China company who makes boards for major computer companies.
When only one vendor is available, I negotiate for the high quantity price for the smaller amount I need to get started.
For test parts like you see in the pictures, small American companies are flexible, can deliver great quality and quick turnaround time on complex parts, and provide awesome customer service.
Asian companies give the lowest price on standard molding, however it can take weeks of emails to discuss a design detail that can be taken care of in a short phone call with an American.
Handlebar mount test parts are machined a few miles from my house. We now have finalized the details, and this one man shop is making the tooling. Though he does all this beside working a fulltime day job that takes his first priority, he continues to give me better turnaround time, and came up with a better design than the drawings an established Asian company proposed.
Test molds and production tooling of heatsinks as shown above are done in Michigan by an auto industry prototype shop, lenses in Massachusetts, by long time family run small businesses.
By following sound business advice from seasoned professionals, along with getting the best available talent, having a rapport with vendors and suppliers to get quotes for costs and lead times, and possessing a work ethic that relentlessly weaves this forward toward success, encouraged constantly by friends who know me well and have been observing my bike light experimenting over many years, and with a list of fans who keep asking when the Kickstarter will be ready so they can help me turn an awesome Maker's project, yet still only a Maker's project for now, into them being able to bike at night with the equivalent of a pair of car headlights on their handlebar too, I feel confident that I will succeed.
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