In a sea of hidden failures and over-promised ideas, Halo Belt makes Kickstarter a worthy source for creative projects again. Over the summer, we caught a glimpse of the LED belt designed to increase land commuters’ visibility when traveling at night. By October’s end, the Kickstarted project shipped the final product to its loyal supporters, with an international launch due in January. Well, is Halo Belt worth the hype?
Look and feel
The Halo Belt comes packaged in a tube container, a clever design that’s sure to please retail showrooms with how portable yet presentable the product can be. Out of the tube, the belt is like your average fabric strap found on most backpacks. On the outer side of the belt is the flexible LED strip lining the majority of the belt length. The belt loops on the wearer with a plastic buckle, all designed to be weatherproof during your commute.
The packaging advises that the belt is “one size fits most,” from a women’s 0 to men’s 38-inch waist. I’m a women’s 0 and found myself forcing parts of the LED through the adjustment loop for Halo Belt to fit loosely on my hip. It’s not a difficult fix, but I can’t imagine jamming the LED strip through the plastic slots is good for prolonged use, especially if you continually readjust the size. Fortunately for Halo Belt, I’m likely in the minority of being too thin for the product.
Once around your waist, the Halo Belt manages to be visually noticeable without feeling noticeable. The strap is lightweight, looks cool while glowing in the dark, and the power button is easily accessible next to the plastic buckle. One tap turns the belt on at a flashing mode, an extra push puts it on strobe, and one more keeps the LED light on solid.
With an intuitive functionality, Halo Belt works like a charm. The light is soft on the eyes but bright enough to make you more visible on the street. Quick access to the button makes it easy for you to switch to flash mode to indicate turns or change of lanes, if you’re an expert at one-handed bike riding. Halo Belt runs on two CR2025 batteries that last up to 20 consecutive hours or 75 non-consecutive. Assuming your nightly commute lasts no more than 45 minutes on average, you can get about three and a half months of power on a full set of batteries. If your commute takes less time, more power to you (and your belt).
Even with prolonged use, the LED light never gets too hot, and you can wear the belt in as many styles as you want: around your shoulder and arm like a messenger bag, high-waisted, loose on the hips. With four color choices, you can also use it to categorize teams during a night game of basketball in the park. We’ve even seen photos on Halo Belt’s Facebook that show wearers utilizing the belt as a Halloween accessory. Take it to your next concert or club night and hit up strobe mode for an attention-grabbing look. What was made as a commuter’s utility belt has clearly become a fashion item of its own caliber, and the possibilities make Halo Belt an exciting and fun accessory.
Halo Belt first appeared on Kickstarter in June, completed its funding in August, and fell into our hands late October. Aspiring entrepreneurs should look at the Halo Belt team as a prime example of how to successfully promise, create, and deliver a product in a timely manner – all while keeping backers in the loop with monthly updates, tweets, and Facebook statuses. Halo Belt project starter Vincent Ng clearly had the sourcing and design logistics figured out. He was able to produce a simple and well-made item without losing his backers’ faith or over-promising any features. In fact, he may have underestimated how versatile a seemingly basic strap of LED light could be. If only Halo Belt included an extra set of batteries… because now that daylight savings is in effect, I might just wear it all the darn time.
Halo Belt is available today for $85 in red, blue, green, and yellow.
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