After industrial design consultant Benjamin Cohen had his eighth or ninth bike light stolen, he was ready to ride without lights - though that's against the law. Instead he teamed up with engineer and machinist Stuart Heys and electrical engineer Mark Sibenac to create a simple, elegant aluminum back light called the Blink/Steady.
A big success on Kickstarter, the Blink/Steady is now being manufactured in New York, and the trio expects the products to start to ship in just over a month's time. Retail price: $95.
Blink / Steady emits a very bright but distributed light from its two .5W LEDs that is visible, according to the designers, from nearly 180 degrees.
While that seems like a high price for a back bike light, Cohen, Heys, and Sibenac designed this light to be the last one you might need. It secures to your bike seat post, runs about 150 hours on two double A batteries, and doesn't fool around with switches or buttons.
instead a very sensitive accelerometer inside the light 'knows' when you are moving and keeps the Blink/Steady in one of two modes - 'blink' or 'steady'. Modes can be switched by basically rotating the Blink/Steady 180 degrees.
In addition, Cohen said, the accelerometer is so sensitive to motion detection there's virtually no chance it will shut off while a cyclist is out riding.
"You, the rider, are not good enough at holding your bike still enough to shut off the light," Cohen said.
Once you've parked your bike, there's a timer that will automatically shut off the Blink/Steady after 30 seconds of stillness.
Cohen wasn't calling the Blink/Steady theft-proof. For one thing, if your seat post/saddle are the quick-adjust type, the light is easily removed along with your saddle post.
However, Cohen said in theft-heavy cities, most cyclists are using a seat post that cannot be easily removed or requires a specially-shaped tool to remove it.
"Here in New York, theft is a matter of opportunity, for the most part," he said. "If it's hard to take, most thieves will pass it by."
So the Blink/Steady is supposed to be hard enough to take that criminals of opportunity will see and admire the good-looking Blink/Steady, but let it sit continuing to adorn and providing light.
Here's the trio's Kickstarter page: