flock light
Flock Light aims to help other road users recognize cyclists earlier; (photo/Project Flock)

World’s First ‘Bio-Motion’ Bike Light Makes Cyclists Look Like Humans

Want to look more like a human and less like an object while riding your bike at night? Project Flock may have the rear light you’re looking for.

There is no need to enumerate why biking after dark on busy roads is dangerous. As long as cars and bicycles exist, so will the competition between them for room on the road.

Project Flock introduced one unique solution to the inherent hazards of riding a bicycle in traffic: make cyclists look more like, well, cyclists.

That’s what the Flock Light aims to do. By casting light against the rider’s moving legs, the rear bike light produces an effect intended to make other road users recognize cyclists as such sooner.

For Project Flock founder Tim Ottaway, it’s an invention born of necessity.

“I actually got into riding because a friend suggested I ride my bike to work instead of riding the bus, and that’s really where it all changed,” he says in a YouTube clip. “[S]afety is one of the biggest barriers that cyclists face. One of the best short-term solutions is to be more visible or more recognizable.”

To accomplish that, the Flock Light uses an LED array that lights up the cyclist’s legs and throws a “halo” of light on the road around the rider. The effect is like stage lighting: the moving rider stands out in the resulting glow.

Project Flock also designed the light to sense ambient light changes, so it should shine more brightly as conditions get darker. Finally, it doesn’t seek to grab drivers’ attention by blinding them. Opting against the rapidly-blinking-super-high-power-LED model, the Flock Light looks to attract attention with the human body itself.

“A human form is far more recognizable to the human brain than a red flashing bike light because we react to it on a more emotional and cognitive level,” Ottaway asserts.

Whether human bodies or bright red flashing lights make you react more emotionally, the Flock Light is the first of its kind to make us consider the question.

The project takes off with a Kickstarter on August 16. Pricing information and further details remained unavailable as of this writing, though it does appear the Flock Light will be seat-mounted only.

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Sam Anderson
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Sam has roamed the American continent to follow adventures, explore natural wonders, and find good stories. After going to college to be a writer, he got distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with trade work. He's had addresses in the Adirondack Mountains, Las Vegas, and somehow Kansas, but his heart belongs in the Texas hill country.