BikeRadar readers will already recognise the BLAZE Laserlight, which uses a laser beam to increase its user's visibility to motorists. After taking pre-orders back in December, the company is now gearing up to deliver the product to its first customers. BikeRadar took a sneak peek at the device before it hits the stores after receiving a flying visit from company founder Emily Brooke.
The Laserlight aims to tackle one of the biggest causes of cycling fatalities – vehicles turning across an unseen cyclist. It works by using an integrated laser beam to project an image of a bicycle approximately 5m ahead of the cyclist. The resulting beam creates a large, clear image on the road surface to warn motorists that the cyclist is there and reduce the chance of a rider being caught in a vehicle's blind spot.
The innovative front light was designed by Brooke in her final year as a design student at Brighton University, and was then submitted as a pledge to crowdsource funding website Kickstarter. The product clearly caught the imagination of many, raising £55,000 from more than 780 individual investors.
Set to retail at £125, the Laserlight is a handlebar mounted unit that provides up to 300 lumens of light. The electronics, rechargeable lithium ion battery, light and laser are all housed in a machined aluminium casing, and the whole lot tips the scales at 211g.
The LED-powered front light and laser unit are controlled separately with individual buttons. The former can be set to provide a static 300-lumen beam, and a 100-lumen flashing or static mode is also available. Likewise, the laser beam itself can also be set to either flash or remain constant. Users should experience a battery life of two to 13 hours, depending on the mode used. With the light set in its lower 100 lumen static setting and the laser set to flash, for example, you'll get 6.5 hours of life, according to BLAZE.
When the battery does get low, the light automatically changes to a low-power 'get me home' mode, where a further two hours should be available from the internal cell.
A USB powered charger connects to the light using magnetic contacts, similar to the ones used on Apple's MacBook. No fiddly or fragile connections here. Lights also surround each of the contacts to indicate battery life and charging status.
The handlebar bracket is made from marine-grade steel and as a result should have no issues with being left on a handlebar all year around. It fits handlebar diameters from 24mm to 32mm and can be removed in a matter of seconds using just one hand. A clever safety feature means that the laser cannot be activated while the unit is seperated from its clamp, so pretending to be a mysteron is made considerably more difficult.
We were impressed with the feel and quality of the Laserlight sample and we are intrigued to see if the product proves to be a success. For more information or to pre-order a Laserlight visit the BLAZE website.
Brooke also confirmed that BLAZE are soon to release a rear light, although it won't feature a laser. The company aims to continue to design innovative products for urban cyclists.