Friday, August 19, 2011

Laser Lite Lane: A Tail Light with Lasers


I recently got to test the most interesting bicycle tail light I've ever seen, the Laser Lite Lane. The Laser Light Lane is more than a normal LED tail light, it uses a laser to project a virtual bike lane behind the rider. In addition, the Laser Lite Lane uses tilt sensors to blink the LEDs and the appropriate lane stripe to indicate the direction of a turn.

I mounted the Laser Lite Lane on my Dahon, waited until dusk and had my son Eric shoot the following video, which demonstrates the key features of the light:


The following video (supplied by the manufacturer) demonstrates the tilt-activated turn signal feature:


My pal Mark Canizaro and some of his friends made this video showing the Laser Lite Lane in action on the streets of Seattle:


Mark and I both agree that the light really needs a more versatile mounting system. The mount is designed to fit on a seatpost and while it worked fine on my Dahon, on Mark's bike his rear rack blocked part of the laser projection. Also, many riders use a seat bag under their saddle. A mount or a variety of mounts that would let the light be mounted directly to a rack or seat stay as well as a seat post should be a top priority for the people behind the Laser Lite Lane.

The tilt-turn signal feature is something I found myself using most often when I was stopped at an intersection. By tilting my bike in the direction I intend to turn, the signal worked great. When riding however, a cyclist actually tilts the bike in the opposite direction when initiating a turn. You can see this happen in Mark's video. I think this would just confuse a following driver. It would be nice if there was an option to turn off the tilt signal or manually activate the signals to indicate direction.

While the lane does project behind the rider, I'm not sure the current power levels of the lasers are enough to mark the lane in a truly meaningful way in an urban environment. Riding with other riders, conventional LED tail lights such as the Planet Bike Super Flash or the PDW Radbot seem to provide a more effective means of letting drivers know that there is bike on the road ahead.

I think there is great potential in the Laser Lite Lane and I look forward to seeing the product evolve. Anyone interested in buying a Laser Lite Lane can send email to
info@3xlll.com. The current pricing for a single Laser Lite Lane is $149.00 US and a distributor kit consisting of two Laser Lite Lanes and a set of flyers and brochures is $199.00 US.

Keep 'em rolling & stay safe,

Kent "Mountain Turtle" Peterson
Issaquah WA USA




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