A flashing red light that clips onto your bike is one thing, but a responsive brake lights (the kind that get brighter when you squeeze the brake lever) are a different thing entirely. They make you more visible to cars, and do a better job of communicating your movements to other people on the road — yet for some reason they’re still fairly hard to come by.
Enter: LucidBrake. It’s not the first active brake light system for cyclists, but unlike most currently available products, this one requires no special wiring to install on your bike. Instead, the LucidBrake uses an array of accelerometers to determine when you’re slowing down, and will automatically light up when you decelerate.
To avoid accidental signals, the device’s sensors are programmed to tune out road conditions like bumps, grades, angles, and normal cycling movement, so LucidBrake will only light up when you intentionally hit the brakes. When you do, it fires up eight high-visibility LEDs that can be seen from a maximum of one-half mile away at night and one-quarter mile during the day.
The beauty of this system is that its completely wireless, so you can mount the light anywhere you want — below your seat, on your helmet, or even on your backpack. And it’s not just for cyclists either. LucidBrake will work in the same way regardless of what it’s attached to, so it can be used on skateboards, motorcycles, trailers, and even stuff that’s sticking out of your truck bed. It’s also waterproof, so slapping one on your boat or jet ski isn’t out of the question either.
LucidBrake only exists in prototype form at this point, but its creators have recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to help jumpstart production. All the early-bird backer rewards have been snatched up, but you can still lock down a brake light of your own for a pledge of 70 bucks. If the campaign meets its $10,000 funding goal before Cinco de Mayo, the LucidBrake team expects to start shipping the product to backers sometime in June.