[sf-perl] FYI/OT - revolights

Quinn Weaver quinn at pgexperts.com
Wed Dec 21 14:48:50 PST 2011

On Dec 21, 2011, at 4:06 PM, Rich Morin wrote:

> At least three of the folks at last night's feed are
> seriously into bicycling.  Here's something cool to
> add to your bike at some point...

Thanks for sharing; that is awesome. I trust this thread isn't too off-topic. If you disagree, you may want to skip this post (or this whole thread). :)

Anyway, cool. I were to build a Tron-style lightcycle (which I just miiight be dorky enough to do someday), that is something I'd want.

The key to safe lighting, I've learned, is to make yourself visible from all angles. For the present, the best tech I know is 1) screaming neon yellow outerwear and 2) electroluminescent wire (EL wire). Unidirectional LED lamps are good for lighting your way, but not so good for alerting cars to your presence[1].

You can buy preassembled kits of EL wire, zipties, and a battery pack at most local bike stores. You just spiral the wire around your frame, ziptying it into place, and mount the pack somewhere. It's really easy. The stuff runs forever on a couple of AAs.

If you want t be slightly more ambitious, you can cut and solder your own EL wire. This is good for sewing EL wire to your clothing. http://www.coolneon.com/ is a good place to get supplies. They're in Oakland, FWIW, and very occasionally they teach classes: http://www.coolneon.com/el-wire-soldering/soldering-party/ (Noisebridge might be a better place to learn; dunno).

Hope this helps someone,

1. Helmet-mounted LED lamps are an exception. They're nice in that you can turn your head to aim them, so just looking at a driver who's about to pull out of a driveway at you, for instance, can give them the heads-up they need to see you. I have a helmet mounted light that recharges via USB.

Quinn Weaver
PostgreSQL Experts, Inc.
1-888-743-9778 (my extension: 510)

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