The first compact contactless bicycle dynamo. Maximal light with minimal effort. No friction, no batteries, no cables. Light & Cool! Read more
This project was successfully funded on March 19, 2012.
Magnic Micro Light
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!