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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk

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Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics


Bike Night Light Brite Paul Golata

Do you recall growing up as a kid and playing with Lite-Brites?

I can remember it almost like it was yesterday. It came with that ubiquitous patterned picture to make a clown face and a sail boat. The fun came from completing the build out the pattern and then flipping the off the light switch and seeing everything glow, lighting up the darkness.

Every morning I get up and go out for a run. Most mornings, it’s still completely dark outside. Recently on my runs, I’ve seen bicyclists out riding with various LED assemblies on their bike’s handlebars or upon their helmets.

When it comes to lighting, bicyclists are largely concerned with two key safety features: (1) being seen by other traffic and (2) seeing where they are going.

Revolights is one company that has something cool and different as far as LEDs and cycling. They’re concerned with the issue of being seen by others. Sorta reminds me of the movie, TRON.

Other ways LEDs are being used is in bicycle headlamps. They are replacing both halogen and high-intensity discharge (HID) lights due to their lower mass, greater brightness to increase road visibility, and longer run times between battery changes/charges.

Advantages that LEDs offer include long bulb life, white light, plus are more efficient and versatile.

Prices are still on the downward slope as the technology continues evolve and move forward.

Mountain bikers, off-roaders, and endurance riders are a demanding breed. They push their bicycles, their equipment, and themselves to the extreme. In this application, ruggedness, weight, brightness and battery life are key factors in selecting a lighting solution. Can you imagine riding down a mountain path and suddenly your lights go out or fail? Here the result of failure can be quite epic.

Interested extreme bicycle enthusiasts might wish to check out the following LED mountain bike lights shootout and reviews

https://reviews.mtbr.com/category/lights-shootout

https://reviews.mtbr.com/2014-mtbr-bike-lights-shootout-tunnel-beam-patterns#slider-pro-2-27

 

For those interested in a wider range of discussions on the topic, one might start here:

https://www.singletracks.com/mountain-bike/reviews/pro.php?cat=Lights

 

As a bicyclist, if you have made the transition to LED lighting, please share with us how you have found the change to work. We would love to learn from you.



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Paul Golata joined Mouser Electronics in 2011. As a Senior Technology Specialist, Paul contributes to Mouser’s success through driving strategic leadership, tactical execution, and the overall product-line and marketing directions for advanced technology related products. He provides design engineers with the latest information and trends in electrical engineering by delivering unique and valuable technical content that facilitates and enhances Mouser Electronics as the preferred distributor of choice.

Before joining Mouser Electronics, Paul served in various manufacturing, marketing, and sales related roles for Hughes Aircraft Company, Melles Griot, Piper Jaffray, Balzers Optics, JDSU, and Arrow Electronics. He holds a BSEET from the DeVry Institute of Technology (Chicago, IL); an MBA from Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA); an MDiv w/BL from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Fort Worth, TX); and a PhD from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Fort Worth, TX).


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