Sustainable bike lights

KU Leuven cel Studentenmobiliteit

The average Leuven student travels mainly by bike (or on foot). It is important - for everyone's safety - that the cyclist is visible. The KU Leuven Student Mobility Unit is also aware of this and asked us to conduct a study on batteryless bicycle lights.

The goal was to design affordable bicycle lights that are easy to install and repair by the student him- or herself. We formulated - through our own experiences as a student - the additional condition that the bike light must be robust enough for the scenes that sometimes take place in bike sheds.

After extensive market research into different types of bicycle lights, two bicycle lights based on magnetic induction were further studied. After testing those lights, we came to the conclusion that the chosen lights are relatively easy to install if the bike meets a number of specific conditions, but the light intensity was rather low. Another difficulty was that the induction-based bicycle lights were patented.

Our advice to the Student Mobility Unit was that the selected bike lights are solid for new bikes. The installation is relatively easy, but for the typical old student bike we encountered several practical problems. In addition, the selected bike lights are also on the expensive side. We suggested looking at USB rechargeable bike lights. In our opinion, those have great potential because, among other things, they can be used for different occasions, for example for jogging, and are easy to take with you. However, these bike lights do have a battery, in contrast to the demand for batteryless bike lights. We believe that the USB rechargeable bike lights are durable due to their rechargeable nature, which makes reuse possible.


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