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The first compact contactless bicycle dynamo. Maximal light with minimal effort. No friction, no batteries, no cables. Light & Cool!
The first compact contactless bicycle dynamo. Maximal light with minimal effort. No friction, no batteries, no cables. Light & Cool!
483 backers pledged $76,340 to help bring this project to life.

Magnic Micro Light

Posted by Dirk Strothmann (Creator)

After some "silent" weeks time has come for an update of the magnic light project. And this here is the most important update since we started our project on Kickstarter:

First let me tell what happened after March 19th when our project was funded
by the help of our Kickstarter backers.

Initially we had the intention to start production as soon as possible. We bought 3000 magnets for the front lights and invited offers for carbon tubes, LEDs and lenses.
We started to build a machine for coil winding (capable of winding one unit in 2-3 minutes) in order to reduce time for manual work. For ~500 sets handwork + injection moulding for the Kernel seemed to be a good option while there was still the problem that it took very long to assemble magnets by hand.

But in the meantime our Kickstarter project became more famous than we ever expected and we got worldwide inquiries from companies (distributors, producers) asking for exclusive rights for more than 50 countries. They were asking for prices and for samples but we could not tell them because the carbon version is not intended for large scale production. 

When I was Taiwan at the Taipeh Cycle some cyclists asked me: "Is it possible to get the rear light with white LEDs?". I was really surprised but the reason was simple:
"The rear light has enough power for us, so we would like to use it as a front light because it is so small".

This gave me the idea to think of a "Magnic Micro Light" because it has another main advantage: It is much more simple to fix 30 gram properly instead of 120!
And I searched for a way to minimize the number of different adapters for our system:
With a 30 g version it must be possible to fix directly at the brake shoes of a rim brake.  There are only a few standard brake shoes on the market with screw bases on both sides- but they are available or we might tune standard aluminium brake shoes (with exchangeable brake blocks). This would make things much easier because it is so simple to mount.
So we built a carbon version of it and you can see the result here (compared to the start version):

The main drawback: The light is much weaker than the light from our initial Kickstarter version.

I didn't want to accept this drawback and searched for a way to keep the system small but to get the power of the big version.
The only possible way: New magnets with a special design and more magnet force. Too expensive we thought- but we had luck and found a high quality producer of extremely strong neodymium magnets who delivered magnets perfectly fitted to our purpose in very short time.

The only way to make the system work without blowing it up was to use a shell,   
made by injection moulding (respectively use CAD designed prototypes for the shell instead of carbon tubes). So I started to desgin a "Magnic Micro Light" by myself - although I'm not a designer.

The only design principle of the micro version was: Make it as small as possible with maximal functionality and maximal efficiency.

From minimal size directly follows minimal weight and you see the first result of my activity here:

It has dimensions of 23 mm (height) x 37 mm (width- including LED unit)
x 27 mm (length + 30 mm adapter length).
In contrast to the the carbon version the LED unit can now be justified vertically,
so you can adjust the angle towards the road by hand easily. You can also adjust the distance from the rim and the angle towards the rim.

Now we got the prototypes (with are made by stereolithography) but when we put everything together we were disappointed by the bad performance of the new system. We searched one week for the mistake and finally found it on Monday. This means the new "micro" version has roughly the light output of the big version while the weight ratio is 30g vs 120 g. And it is no problem to mount the lights on both sides which means double performance.
Here you see photos comparing the two versions (but don't be bothered by the ugly colour of the stereolithography model):

We still have to redesign the adapter which was too instable in the first version but this can be changed quickly. The rearlight will be the same- maybe with a condensator for a steady light function

Now we have July and we would like to know about your opinion. You have backed our project and you should get the best product for your money.
The carbon version has its advantages because it is unique, handmade and has a very elegant surface. The "micro" version is small, lightweight and powerful at the same time. If everything works fine we could offer two micro lights instead of one carbon version.
Everythig works fine here means: The cost for moulding tools (>40.000 €)
does not dominate the price of the system. 

I think we have to ask this question now because someone who gets the carbon version might be disappointed and would like to have the micro versions instead. (Special design for Kickstarter backers might be an engraving in the micro version).

It is clear that we can't produce the "micro" version without orders from distributors
because initial costs are really high. If this won't work (which I do not believe) then you will get the carbon version in time (end of steptember- early birds end of July/beginning of August). The micro version shall be available in september.

If you are a distributor and would like to order the micro version before we have started injection moulding this would be good for both sides...

If you are a producer of brake shoes and would like to produce brake shoes with screw bases on both sides, please let us know ...

If you want to buy Magnic Light for private use please don't send us a mail but be patient and wait until we can sell them to the market;-)

If any of you has an idea how to beautify my functional design of the micro version (without blowing it up significantly)- feel free to send us an image (within the next two weeks). If we like it (and you allow us to use it) we might place it on our homepage and maybe utilize it (and then definitely pay for it).

If I should get lots of mails now- please don't be impatient if replies will take some time or will be posted generally for similar answers.

I hope you got an impression of the actual process and like what we do.
I am looking forward to see us all cycling with Magnic Light!



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    1. Missing avatar

      Christian D. on

      Ich schließe mich der Bitte nach einem Vergleichsvideo der beiden Versionen an. Ein paar Worte zum aktuellen Zeitplan wären ebenfalls willkommen. Danke und viele Grüße!

    2. Alastair Schoen on

      Yes, I would certainly prefer the two 30g lights over the one large 120g light. A near doubling of light output? Illumination of both top sides of the front wheel will make me much more noticeable at night. I seriously thought about ordering two larges originally for this purpose, but the micros cover that pretty well! Of course, as long as it still meets a good expectation of waterproofness, durability, and a good beam to help me see the road ahead.

      Also, I've recently moved abroad and would prefer shipping directly to my new location. Is there a way to add shipping charges post-conclusion of kickstarter open period?

      Thanks Dirk!

    3. Jesse Moynihan on

      Do I have to tell you which light I want? I originally ordered one front light. I really don't care if it's the small or big one. I will take which ever gets to my bike faster.

    4. Vitor Aguiar on

      I'd like to watch a video showing the smaller version working, but I think I like it better than the bigger one. I would be satisfied with either one though. A quick-release adapter would be nice. You're doing a great job, Dirk!

    5. Missing avatar

      Doug Mandell on

      I'd prefer the smaller version so long as it's well tested and relatively strong. Of course the original version is fine as well.

    6. Missing avatar

      Dirk Rüter on

      Hallo Dirk,

      die Innovationen gefallen mir gut.
      Deswegen nehme ich auch gerne die Micro-Version!
      Für mich ist nur wichtig, dass keine Einbußen der Verkehrssicherheit und Stabilität entstehen.
      Da das gelöst ist, unterstütze ich die neue Version.



    7. Missing avatar

      Peter Cooke on

      I can wait for a smaller version, especially as it would simplify mounting using the brake shoe method. If you can get the same light projection and spread this would be ideal.

    8. Missing avatar

      Thomas Fox on

      Go for the smaller version - definitely worth the wait (and the increased tooling costs)!

    9. Missing avatar

      Ed Lynch-Bell on

      Definitely prefer the smaller one.

      Your tooling cost seems somewhat high for the size and complexity of the components, but maybe I am missing something.

    10. Missing avatar

      James Yoo on

      prefer the smaller here

    11. Henrik & Denise Van Ryzin on

      Thank you SO much for the update - it is a great one! I'm all for the smaller version of the light. As I plan on leaving the lights on my bike at all times, the smaller form factor will be much more unobtrusive, and hopefully will not attract thieves. Fantastic work - I think the small design looks great. Form follows function!

    12. Missing avatar

      Everaert Karl on

      Doesn't matter for me, whatever's left is OK.
      If you have a new design you want to tryout you can send me a step-file then i can 3D print it.
      The material is not so strong but the layers <50micron.

    13. Oliver Wahler on

      I would be happy with the smaller version.

    14. Missing avatar

      Jon Webb on

      I did misunderstand. Since I signed up for the double, originally, I guess I would like one set each.

    15. Dirk Strothmann 4-time creator on

      Hi Jon,

      There is no big difference concerning mounting the light between carbon and mini version. Both can be mounted via an adapter but also directly at the brakes (depending on the system). The distance to the rim has to be large enough- same as before and the brake light effect only works if the distance to the rim gets smaller when braking.
      Since we have made some changes inside (also in the carbon version) I think it's better to think before starting production;-). This also means thinking about production process- for example I could sit down winding coils 4 weeks but if I need 6 weeks to arrange the process and then the work is done in 1 day I prefer the second solution.
      >Backers that signed up for 2 original lights, 4 minis?
      If we manage to produce the "minis" this is correct - otherwise you'll get the carbon version.

    16. Jon Wasserman on

      1 more question. Backers that signed up for 2 original lights, 4 minis?

    17. Jon Wasserman on

      1. I agree with the above post. Advance in LED lights is about 1 year, Moores law for lghts, there will always be the next advance, lighter, more powerful, cheaper.
      2. I question the mounting of the light on the brake shoe. Would this not move the distance between the light & the rim during braking? What would the effect on output be in the release vs applied position? Then there is brake shudder. This would shake the light when needed in a hard braking situation and put forces on the light that would over time move it out of position, especially after wear over time of the adjustment joint.
      3 I would say it is time to finalise 1st generation, produce & ship.

    18. Dirk Strothmann 4-time creator on

      Maybe you misunderstood my update. We have a robust carbon version and we have done and do tests to make it a good product. But we know that this version is not suited for some reasons for large scale production now. So we started to do a parallel design and I think it would not be fair to hide it from the backers. So no problem for those who don't like the small version and want the carbon version.

    19. Missing avatar

      Jon Webb on

      The more I think about this, the more worried I get. You are two months away from having to ship these lights, and you're still doing design? What are you thinking? You should be testing by now, I'd think. There are undoubtedly going to be bugs you discover when you have what you think is the final model, which you'll have to address. Little mounting issues, or inconsistencies in the quality of the magnets, or problems with the electronics reliability or durability -- I don't know where the bugs will come from, but they'll be there, and you'll have to fix them and then test the fixes. This is not software, where the turnaround between a fix and its release can be days or a few weeks. You are building a hardware component which should work, and keep working, under fairly harsh conditions (in the rain, in the cold, while being bumped around, etc.), for years.

    20. Missing avatar

      Frank Tsai on

      the priorities for me
      brightness/beam shape > weight/size > carbon fiber
      thanks for the hard work!

    21. Nathan Simpson on

      I look forward to seeing a comparison of the light throw from both versions. I backed this because I wanted a light I could mount on my road bike so I could replace my light that required a battery pack. I need cars to be able to see me but I also wanted the road ahead to be well lit. Got to avoid the potholes that Geelong roads are famous for.

    22. Missing avatar

      Markus on

      I agree with Carlos D. in that the light has to be robust and waterproof.
      A minor thought on visibility at night: If you place a thin panel of acrylic glass with sloped edges on top of the LEDs, a small fraction of light is also visible from the side. I suppose this would not add too much to the overall costs, yet it is definitely an advantage on the road to be visible from aside to pedestrians and car drivers.

    23. Stephen Olsen on

      Smaller is better. Great job!

    24. Missing avatar

      brian r on

      I like the two smaller ones as well but..

      < featureCreep >
      How much power can this system generate? (mW/rpm) Could a small
      USB port be fitted to the back to trickle charge a smartphone or GPS receiver? :)
      < /featureCreep >

    25. Missing avatar

      Damon Taaffe on

      I agree with Jon and Carlos. I would definitely prefer two micros to one carbon, even if the minis are each trivially dimmer than the carbons, because combined they'd still be much brighter, would have a wider field of illumination, and would be only half the weight of the carbon. But shipping in a reasonable timeframe is a must, and quality can't be sacrificed. (For what it's worth, it's clear that quality is high on your list of priorities, so I'm not too worried.)

    26. Missing avatar

      Florian Göldenitz on

      I would prefer the small light. I do not want to illuminate the street in front of me with the magnic light. Therefore I have a Lupine :-) I will use the magnic light on the road bike in the winter month where sometimes the tour gets a litte bit longer and the daylight is not enough to ride home. Furthermore I think in the city the brightness of the small version is sufficient.

    27. Missing avatar

      Carlos D on

      The micro would be great it the light output is the same to the original, that is, the output of 1 "micro" light is the same to the output of 1 large/old carbon fiber one. Getting 2 micros instead of a single larger carbon fiber would be great. IMO Being very robust, reliable AND waterproof are the most important things. How does the micro works with cantilever/vbrakes, a different adapter?
      Great work!

    28. Missing avatar

      Jon Webb on

      I would definitely prefer the smaller, lighter light. But, as I've said before, there is always a temptation in these projects to keep designing new stuff instead of shifting to making and selling the same thing over and over. Please do not fall into that trap. You are a smart guy, and the original light was a big advance in itself. It's not really necessary to make it even better -- but it is really necessary to complete the project and ship reliable, tested, working, lights.

    29. Yiping Lin on

      @Dirk Strothmann:
      It will be better if you can post the comparision video of light brightness between the micro version and the original version. Some people have doubt about the same brightness from the micro version.

    30. Missing avatar

      Noah McMurray on

      I, too, would be more than willing to wait for the smaller version; it looks and sounds very cool!

    31. Missing avatar

      Markus Lamers on

      Die kleinere Version (vor allem, wenn es dann für jede Seite eins gibt) wäre super .. da warten wir doch gern.
      Ich bin schon ganz gespannt und freu mich drauf.

    32. Missing avatar

      Richard C Felton on

      I am good to wait until September for the smaller version - hopefully before the end of the year for sure?! - keep up the good work however development must stop at some point so that you can go to market and satisfy your present backers - been there done this - new designs can be done after you complete this phase

    33. Jana Cole on

      I would prefer the smaller version, especially if i can get two of them? Congratulations on the new design, and thank you for all of your ingenious work!

    34. Missing avatar

      Markus on

      Cool work! I'd definitely prefer the smaller version, if that works out.

      First because of it's size of course, as this is way less obtrusive. Secondly, the non-carbon design just looks nicer and more compact to me (I don't think the carbon stuff is particularly sexy, but your mileage may vary of course).

      Will the small version be available with both red and white LEDs for front and rear?

    35. Missing avatar

      cristauxdefer on

      The smaller the better. I give more importance to efficiency than look. Moreover, smaller is also more discrete; in the city I could be afraid of thieves. Keep on going ;-)

    36. Missing avatar

      Max Kueng on

      I would also prefer the smaller ones. Especially if we get to mount one on each side. I've never liked the look of the carbon fiber anyway and would have probably painted it.

    37. Missing avatar

      David Lewis on

      The smaller light with roughly the same light output sounds like a good idea to me. I will happily accept two of the smaller ones instead of one of the larger carbon ones. If producing the smaller one doesn't work out, I'm happy with the original deal. Best of luck with your efforts, I think this is a great advance in bicycle lighting!

    38. Yiping Lin on

      Smaller one (as long as the brightness is the same, not less). Durable & Waterproof are also very important.
      I'm not so sure about CF, as I'm afraid that the heat dissipation in CF is poor.

    39. Darell Dickey on

      Definitely willing to wait for a smaller one, and aesthetics don't even come into play. Would like it durable, but don't need CF.

    40. Feng Juan on

      I like a smaller, lighter light, which emits the same amount of light, although, as you intimated, the design is a lot less pretty than the original. I *am* very worried about the robustness of an injection molded plastic device as opposed to carbon fiberglass materials previously proposed. Injection molded plastics are often brittle. That said, I'm willing to wait for you to produce a profitable and robust product.

    41. Missing avatar

      Bill Turner on

      Dirk, nice job on the micro version. Light weight and unobtrusive is always good. I will gladly wait until September for this version.