In 2011, Adam Pettler and Kent Frankovich launched their first Kickstarter project. Their objective was to introduce a novel, crowd-funded lighting solution that increased bicycle visibility and cyclist safety. And in the space of a year they’d designed, developed, and manufactured the now-patented “Limited Edition Kickstarter” Revolights bike lighting system.
Their goals were to develop a wheel mounted (and legal) headlight/taillight that:
- Dramatically increased side visibility
- Seamlessly integrated a functioning brake light
- Clearly identified the cyclist (“I am a bike”)
… and looked pretty damn cool
They’ve since fulfilled obligations to their 1,447 original Backers, including the shipment of some 900 sets of Kickstarter Revolights to thirty-seven different countries, with some amazing recognition along the way:
- “New Bike Lights Make Cyclists Standout” – @CNN
- “1st Place @ the Core77 Design Awards” – @Core77Awards
- “THE #1 Gear We Reviewed in 2012” – @TheGearJunkie
- “#1 Most Innovative Cycling Product of 2012” – @Gizmag
They’ve recently launched Revolights City, their second generation product aimed at making Revolights more accessible, as they fit additional types of 700C rims, and can be shipped internationally.
How it works
The arcs of light are formed by LEDs programmed to detect your speed and blink on as they pass the front or rear of the bicycle.
The patented Revolights bike lighting system consists of two narrow rings of LEDs that mount directly to each wheel using a series of clips and ring spacers. Lithium-ion batteries, bracket-mounted to the front and rear hub, supply power to the LEDs. The batteries are slim and lightweight, and can be charged via USB. A small, fork-mounted magnet and an integrated accelerometer provide speed and orientation data to the rings. This allows the LEDs to illuminate only when oriented at the front or rear of the bicycle.
Revolights ensure maximum safety by providing both lighting and sighting in one fully-integrated, revolutionary design.
Revolights provide cyclists with superior lighting by fully illuminating the path in front of them.
Unlike traditional headlights which focus light to a single location, Revolights throw a uniquely even and wide vertical swath of light in front of the rider, illuminating not only the ground but road signs and elevated obstacles.
Road Obstacle Illumination
The low origin of the light also creates a unique “height shadow” effect, where the height of obstacles in the road can be determined by the length of their shadows.
Unlike traditional bike lights, which project light in only one direction, Revolights cast 360 degrees of illumination, making it much easier for others to sight the rider. This improves safety tremendously, as most nighttime bike-car collisions are due to inadequate side visibility.
About the creators
The Mad Scientist. A frequent proclaimer of spontaneous thought. Adam holds a BS in Molecular and Cellular Biology from UC Berkeley and an MBA from UC Davis. In his previous life, he worked nights and weekends in the biotech industry.
The Mastermind. Our technical powerhouse. Kent holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford. In his previous life, he worked in the field of medical devices.