File this under “Why Didn’t I Think Of This?”
Rotating a conductor next to a magnet induces a current within the wheel. This current, in turn, creates its own magnetic field, which can be used to generate current to drive a light. Because the light is affixed to the brake caliper, when you tap the brakes you get a bonus feature: brighter light for an automatic brake light. Cool, huh?
The Magnic Bike Lights operate off of the eddy current generated by the rotating bicycle wheel. Unlike Reelight lights, there’s no need to add anything to the wheels — the lights get their juice from any metal bicycle rim. It’s a very slick idea.
I probably didn’t think of this because I didn’t believe eddy currents could provide enough power to drive LED lights, but if this video is any indication I guess it works.
You can get the back light for $85 via Kickstarter, where this project is already fully funded. $130 gets you the front light, and $199 gets you one of each. The Magnic Light guys also brought their invention to Taiwan for the Taipei Bike Show, where they say they got a lot of attention and interest from the bike industry.
More info at Magnic Light.