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Friday, March 30, 2012

Safer Biking With Glow-in-the-Dark LED Handlebars [Treehuger.com]


Safer Biking With Glow-in-the-Dark LED Handlebars

Kimberley Mok
Transportation / Bikes
March 29, 2012

© Mitchell Silva
Hundreds of law-abiding cyclists die each year on the roads -- sometimes intragically gruesome circumstances. Besides wearing a helmet, having a rear-view mirror and other safe riding tips, there are other ways that cyclists can ensure that they're clearly seen by motorists -- especially in the dark.

© Mitchell Silva
Via Yanko Design, from Boston-based industrial designer Mitchell Silva comes Glo-Bars, an interesting prototype for a cost-effective handlebar system that has integrated LED lighting in them. The LEDs light up the path for the cyclist, while also rendering the rider very visible to everyone else around.

© Mitchell Silva
The Glo-Bar system also includes turn signals (accessed via buttons near the front stem of the handlebars) and braking lights behind, increasing the safety factor for its rider. Silva describes the design process:
For the construction of the prototype, I cut long strips out of the bars and installed plastic tubing on the inside of the bars to help keep them rigid. I then installed approximately 40 high-efficiency LED bulbs in the inner plastic tubing, and installed a momentary actuator button on the back of the bars. The whole system runs off of a watch battery.

© Mitchell Silva 

© Mitchell Silva
It's a nice workaround having to wear lights on yourself to the point you mightlook like a Christmas tree. Though Silva is now in the process of improving this prototype by ensuring that the handlebars' strength isn't compromised by the installation of the lights, it's nevertheless a cool idea that we hope to see used more often on the streets. More over at Mitchell Silva's Coroflot website.

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