LightMode began as a Kickstarter project, introducing easy light-up cosmetic cabling for helmets in 2014. Seen in the dark, mounted LightMode kits give wearers that distinctive one-color luminescent Tron look. Besides making for an awesome Halloween costume, extra illumination is never a bad thing when it comes to safety.
Now the company is back on Kickstarter with a major upgrade that brings its helmet kits into the 21st century — think of it as Tron Legacy compared to the 1980’s original. LightMode reiterated to Digital Trends that the S models are a response to customer requests. The company said in an email, “We’ve developed a special bond with our customers, and their feedback is why we have created the new S Kits.”
Called the Proton and the Electron, the new “S” version LightMode kits feature a built-in battery which can be charged via USB. The previous iterations ran on AA batteries.
The control unit is now streamlined, in contrast to the awkward little rectangle of yore. The connectors themselves received the Ant-Man treatment, too — bigger isn’t always better. The control unit is also detachable so it doesn’t need to stay on the helmet during daytime runs (when LightMode is obviously less effective). A low profile mount makes it easy to slide the unit on and off of the helmet.
The Electron kit comes with three meters of luminescent wiring and 50 cm of EL tape, as compared to the Proton kit’s two sets of three meters of wiring. The company recommends the Proton for more intricate designs.
Fair warning, there is some do-it-yourself assembly required. It’s up to the buyer to create the design and attach it to the helmet. The Kits come with everything needed, including design string and PVC mounting stickers for layout, and helmet glue to finalize the placement.
Of course, the DIY factor to LightMode means riders can do pretty much anything they want with it. While it’s pictured mostly on motorcycle helmets, it’s good for any helmet, from biking to Viking. The company’s Instagram account is packed with ideas, including a bike done in LightMode, which required several kits.
LightMode already reached its incredibly modest campaign goal of just over $14,300. Backers who pledge at least $111 (or $149 Canadian) can grab an S kit. Folks who own the original LightMode kit can buy an upgrade kit for about $104 and grab just the new controller, mount, and adapters, but it won’t be water resistant. The company said it is “100 percent focused on bringing the new LightMode S Kit to life.” Hopefully that includes purple, which will unlock as a $50,000 stretch goal.