Safety lighting for cyclists

The Safety Illumination of Rider light (“SIR Light”) from Safe Bicycling Innovations mounts to the seat tube or seat post to illuminate the cyclists legs.

Rear illuminated cyclist

According to inventor Dr. James Carillo, the standard bicycle lights “does nothing to identify the rider as a bicyclist.”

Carillo created the SIR Light after a near accident with a motorist while commuting to work on a dark morning. His strobe headlight and rear taillight surprisingly, were not enough light to warn a driver backing out of a driveway that he was about to pass by on his bike. It was this experience that awakened Dr. Carillo’s need to create a better way for cyclists, not just bikes, to be visible on the road.

The SIR Light puts a glow on and around the rider and bicycle, making them visible to a motorist whether they are approaching from the side, back or front of the rider.

The website says “patent pending” — I should look up the patent claims. I’ve been experimenting with this kind of “body illumination” since the mid 80s after a night time collision of my own, and I know of at least one other cyclist who does the same thing. I wish I thought to patent the idea!

41 Comments

  • Nathan
    September 19, 2008 - 3:07 am | Permalink

    This is an interesting idea. I have also thought of pointing an LED light at myself while riding. Seems we are sometimes still pretty invisiible behind that point of light.

  • Nathan
    September 19, 2008 - 10:07 am | Permalink

    This is an interesting idea. I have also thought of pointing an LED light at myself while riding. Seems we are sometimes still pretty invisiible behind that point of light.

  • Nathan
    September 19, 2008 - 10:07 am | Permalink

    This is an interesting idea. I have also thought of pointing an LED light at myself while riding. Seems we are sometimes still pretty invisiible behind that point of light.

  • Anonymous
    September 19, 2008 - 4:10 am | Permalink

    I suppose I'm too concrete a thinker. Upon looking at the photo slide show on the site, my first reaction was that the problem at hand could be solved much more simply and cheaply by simply avoiding use of a turbo-trainer on the street at night.

  • Anonymous
    September 19, 2008 - 11:10 am | Permalink

    I suppose I'm too concrete a thinker. Upon looking at the photo slide show on the site, my first reaction was that the problem at hand could be solved much more simply and cheaply by simply avoiding use of a turbo-trainer on the street at night.

  • Renato
    September 19, 2008 - 5:30 am | Permalink

    That's a great idea but it look better if the biker is a girl ;-)

  • Renato
    September 19, 2008 - 12:30 pm | Permalink

    That's a great idea but it look better if the biker is a girl ;-)

  • Renato
    September 19, 2008 - 12:30 pm | Permalink

    That's a great idea but it look better if the biker is a girl ;-)

  • wlexxx
    September 19, 2008 - 7:37 am | Permalink

    you can get fluorescent tube lights like this at walmart for about $10

    wle.

  • wlexxx
    September 19, 2008 - 2:37 pm | Permalink

    you can get fluorescent tube lights like this at walmart for about $10wle.

  • wlexxx
    September 19, 2008 - 2:37 pm | Permalink

    you can get fluorescent tube lights like this at walmart for about $10wle.

  • Yokota Fritz
    September 19, 2008 - 9:11 am | Permalink

    @wle: Back in the 80s I used to strap a battery powered flourescent light (sold for camping) to my top tube for a similar effect.

    @renato: I think the model is female.

    @anon 5:10: You have a point there.

    @nathan: That seems like a good idea.

  • Yokota Fritz
    September 19, 2008 - 4:11 pm | Permalink

    @wle: Back in the 80s I used to strap a battery powered flourescent light (sold for camping) to my top tube for a similar effect.@renato: I think the model is female.@anon 5:10: You have a point there.@nathan: That seems like a good idea.

  • Yokota Fritz
    September 19, 2008 - 4:11 pm | Permalink

    @wle: Back in the 80s I used to strap a battery powered flourescent light (sold for camping) to my top tube for a similar effect.@renato: I think the model is female.@anon 5:10: You have a point there.@nathan: That seems like a good idea.

  • SiouxGeonz
    September 19, 2008 - 9:25 am | Permalink

    I think my $7 SpokeLits whirling round and round under that headlight and blinky go a long way to identify me as a cyclist, pretty instantly.
    There's something to be said, too, for the WTF element of the one up on my helmet. Doesn't identify me as a cyclist – but inspires observers to figure out what I am. (That was the effect one in front of me had on me, and it's what drivers have told me.)

  • SiouxGeonz
    September 19, 2008 - 4:25 pm | Permalink

    I think my $7 SpokeLits whirling round and round under that headlight and blinky go a long way to identify me as a cyclist, pretty instantly. There's something to be said, too, for the WTF element of the one up on my helmet. Doesn't identify me as a cyclist – but inspires observers to figure out what I am. (That was the effect one in front of me had on me, and it's what drivers have told me.)

  • SiouxGeonz
    September 19, 2008 - 4:25 pm | Permalink

    I think my $7 SpokeLits whirling round and round under that headlight and blinky go a long way to identify me as a cyclist, pretty instantly. There's something to be said, too, for the WTF element of the one up on my helmet. Doesn't identify me as a cyclist – but inspires observers to figure out what I am. (That was the effect one in front of me had on me, and it's what drivers have told me.)

  • Yokota Fritz
    September 19, 2008 - 9:34 am | Permalink

    Many night cyclists say they want to be identified as a car. When I lived in the snowbelt, I wanted to be misidentified as a snowplow — lots of flashing strobe lights everywhere. Nobody wants to run into a snowplow.

  • Yokota Fritz
    September 19, 2008 - 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Many night cyclists say they want to be identified as a car. When I lived in the snowbelt, I wanted to be misidentified as a snowplow — lots of flashing strobe lights everywhere. Nobody wants to run into a snowplow.

  • Yokota Fritz
    September 19, 2008 - 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Many night cyclists say they want to be identified as a car. When I lived in the snowbelt, I wanted to be misidentified as a snowplow — lots of flashing strobe lights everywhere. Nobody wants to run into a snowplow.

  • John Calnan
    September 19, 2008 - 10:05 am | Permalink

    "Does my butt look big in this safety light, honey?"

  • John Calnan
    September 19, 2008 - 5:05 pm | Permalink

    "Does my butt look big in this safety light, honey?"

  • John Calnan
    September 19, 2008 - 5:05 pm | Permalink

    "Does my butt look big in this safety light, honey?"

  • lg0naim
    September 19, 2008 - 10:18 pm | Permalink

  • lg0naim
    September 20, 2008 - 5:18 am | Permalink

  • lg0naim
    September 20, 2008 - 5:18 am | Permalink

  • Yokota Fritz
    September 20, 2008 - 11:47 am | Permalink

    Good demonstration of bike lighting in your video, @lg0naim

  • Yokota Fritz
    September 20, 2008 - 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Good demonstration of bike lighting in your video, @lg0naim

  • Yokota Fritz
    September 20, 2008 - 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Good demonstration of bike lighting in your video, @lg0naim

  • bikesgonewild
    September 21, 2008 - 5:06 am | Permalink

    …anon 4:07am….you said "my first reaction was that the problem at hand could be solved much more simply and cheaply by simply avoiding use of a turbo-trainer on the street at night."…

    …euphemistically speaking, it's simply like being on a road to nowhere, while being kept in the dark…

    …& consider them more than just safety lighting for your bicycle…look at them as a beacon, a form of illumination, to lead you on your path out of the darkness of anonymity…

  • bikesgonewild
    September 21, 2008 - 12:06 pm | Permalink

    …anon 4:07am….you said "my first reaction was that the problem at hand could be solved much more simply and cheaply by simply avoiding use of a turbo-trainer on the street at night."……euphemistically speaking, it's simply like being on a road to nowhere, while being kept in the dark……& consider them more than just safety lighting for your bicycle…look at them as a beacon, a form of illumination, to lead you on your path out of the darkness of anonymity…

  • bikesgonewild
    September 21, 2008 - 12:06 pm | Permalink

    …anon 4:07am….you said "my first reaction was that the problem at hand could be solved much more simply and cheaply by simply avoiding use of a turbo-trainer on the street at night."……euphemistically speaking, it's simply like being on a road to nowhere, while being kept in the dark……& consider them more than just safety lighting for your bicycle…look at them as a beacon, a form of illumination, to lead you on your path out of the darkness of anonymity…

  • m e l i g r o s a
    September 21, 2008 - 9:00 am | Permalink

    these are awesome!!
    I also love the ones by Rock the Bike – with all the crazy sound machines

  • m e l i g r o s a
    September 21, 2008 - 4:00 pm | Permalink

    these are awesome!! I also love the ones by Rock the Bike – with all the crazy sound machines

  • m e l i g r o s a
    September 21, 2008 - 4:00 pm | Permalink

    these are awesome!! I also love the ones by Rock the Bike – with all the crazy sound machines

  • Anonymous
    September 25, 2008 - 9:07 am | Permalink

    I'd like to send you some money to buy this poor woman some training wheels so that she can actually learn to ride a bike. If she could actually ride a bike, then she would not have to be so embarrassed that she only trains in the dark so no one can see her. Poor girl.

  • Anonymous
    September 25, 2008 - 4:07 pm | Permalink

    I'd like to send you some money to buy this poor woman some training wheels so that she can actually learn to ride a bike. If she could actually ride a bike, then she would not have to be so embarrassed that she only trains in the dark so no one can see her. Poor girl.

  • Anonymous
    September 25, 2008 - 4:07 pm | Permalink

    I'd like to send you some money to buy this poor woman some training wheels so that she can actually learn to ride a bike. If she could actually ride a bike, then she would not have to be so embarrassed that she only trains in the dark so no one can see her. Poor girl.

  • dotcyclist
    September 25, 2008 - 7:38 pm | Permalink

    In the '70s I had a dynamo-driven neon tube that fit the top tube or seat tube of a bike. Bought it mail order from the maker. Have not seen the light for sale anywhere for years. Lost the light when the bike was stolen. Would buy another if I could find it. Also had a camping lantern with a 6" fresnell lens taped to my handlebars. People thought I was a car with one headlight out.

  • dotcyclist
    September 26, 2008 - 2:38 am | Permalink

    In the '70s I had a dynamo-driven neon tube that fit the top tube or seat tube of a bike. Bought it mail order from the maker. Have not seen the light for sale anywhere for years. Lost the light when the bike was stolen. Would buy another if I could find it. Also had a camping lantern with a 6" fresnell lens taped to my handlebars. People thought I was a car with one headlight out.

  • dotcyclist
    September 26, 2008 - 2:38 am | Permalink

    In the '70s I had a dynamo-driven neon tube that fit the top tube or seat tube of a bike. Bought it mail order from the maker. Have not seen the light for sale anywhere for years. Lost the light when the bike was stolen. Would buy another if I could find it. Also had a camping lantern with a 6" fresnell lens taped to my handlebars. People thought I was a car with one headlight out.

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