Lunar Cyclelights: a new concept that takes the bike light to a new level
A new innovative front and rear set of bike lights called Lunar Cyclelights has been launched that casts a perimeter of light or an 'area of high risk' on the ground around the cyclist.
The Lunar Cyclelights shines an amber/orange footprint on the ground creating an 'area of high risk' for the cyclists' safety and provides a greater visual assistance for motorists.
Jim Thomson, director of Jimmy Beam Downlights Limited (JBDL), invented the Lunar Cyclelights bike light to help cyclists be more visible to motorists and make cyclists safer.
He says: “Cycling has become one of the nation’s favourite pastimes. More children and families enjoy cycling and more people like to cycle to-and-from work as part of a healthy and active lifestyle.
“When the nights draw in cyclists employ front and rear lights, which let approaching motorists know they are there but doesn’t highlight the area needed around them to be passed safely.
“The Lunar Cyclelights are a ground-breaking cycling accessory that makes sure the cyclist is visible. The visual effect is obvious, while the immediate prompt it gives to both driver and cyclist to be mindful of safe distance is subtle, but highly effective.”
The Lunar Cyclelights which projects up to a 1.5 metre ‘keep clear’ area has been advocated by West Midlands Police and Police Scotland. The West Midlands Police website reads: “We are experimenting with running #OpClosePass (see note to editors) into the fading light using the innovative #Call4Safety (Lunar Cycle) downlighters set at 1.5 metres. This will make it quite obvious when a driver has passed too close as they encroach into the displayed halo of light that surrounds the cyclist. On testing, the “halo” of light around the cyclist, seems to reinforce our desired modified driver behaviour as #OpClosePass intended, so we may end up with fewer offences.”
The Lunar Cyclelights are available as a set of forward-facing lights attached to the handlebar and rear-facing lights that can be attached to the seat post or may also be obtained separately as a front or rear unit.
Each Lunar Cyclelight weighs approximately 220 grams and made from a sturdy composite plastic. It is USB rechargeable and takes up to four hours to charge. Once fully charged it uses LEDs (light emitting diode) and works up to six hours on one charge using one of four flashing modes, and three hours using the continuous lighting option.
Note to editors
The Highway Code stipulates that when passing or overtaking a cyclist or a parked vehicle, that drivers must give as much room as if they were overtaking a car. This well-known clearance equates to 1.5 metres. Police Forces up and down the country are now actively enforcing what is called #OpClosePass or Operation Close Pass. If drivers are spotted passing too close to a cyclist (less than 1.5 metres), the driver may be pulled over and/or prosecuted. The first UK driver to be prosecuted received a £1,038 fine and 5 points on their driving licence.
When lighting conditions deteriorate or at night, drivers nearly always get too close to cyclists when overtaking them. This can be as a result of misjudgement but occasionally, it is due to failing eyesight when driving at night.
Without getting too technical there are two types of bicycle light available to purchase. The first are ‘lights to be seen’. These are lights that have been manufactured to an exacting approved standard and have been certificated or ‘type approved’ accordingly for use on the roads of Europe. The light emitted is measured in candelas. Motorists must be able to see these front (white) and rear (red) lights from different angles of projection and to the sides when nearing the subject and do not necessarily have to be bright or dazzling but have a spread of light from various different angles. Automotive lights are an example of this.
The second category of light are ‘lights to see with’. This type of light can be very bright and is not certificated or ‘type approved’ to an exacting standard yet because there is not any regulations or legislation covering their design, light output or use. When being sold they are sometimes referred to as ‘lights for use off-road’ and they are measured in lumens.
Lunar Cycle has now brought out ‘lights to be seen’ for bicycles. These are front (white) and rear (red) lights which are type approved for use on the roads of Europe and include their ‘patent granted’ angular adjustable downlights. The angular adjustments can project the required 1.5 metre lateral clearance outwards on both sides of the bicycle when fitted at various heights from the ground.
The lights have been trialled around the UK for a few years now and were trialled by some of the Police Forces in their #OpClosePass campaign.