There's a big difference between being visible and being seen. We are honored to have bicycle safety advocate and inventor Matt “Carphree” Carty guest blog about how bike riders can not just visible but seen.
Loud meets brightI’ve been a fan of the Loud Bicycle from the first time I saw it on KickStarter. The instant I heard about the concept - a car horn for a bike - I knew it would be highly effective. I knew this because it taps into and effectively “hacks” a deeply programmed and practiced human behavior: on the road, a car horn demands attention.
Long before people learn to drive they are taught the sound of a car horn, and (except perhaps New Yorkers) people learn to look when we hear one. I tried to tap into the same ethos - to hack into core human behavior - when I made my Crazy Giant EYEBALL Bike Lights.
I got the idea for mounting eye shaped lights on my back when it occurred to me I could manipulate the human tendency to see faces in everyday objects, and when I learned about research showing people behave more ethically under the watchful eye of pretty much anything that looks like an eye. What I created are a pair of glowing eyes on the back of my jacket that look right at passing drivers.
My Crazy Giant EYEBALL Bike Lights have about 24 square inches of illumination visible from at least 200 feet away. They fill a gap between fender or seatpost mounted lights and a helmet light. And they hack hard-wired human behaviors to see faces and behave better when watched. Anecdotally I have 3 years experience riding with the eyes and drivers definitely pass at safe speed and distance, and I have never been honked or yelled at while wearing them (all the while riding my bike on narrow congested Boston roads. Boston - home of the Masshole driver).
A bike rider can be well lit with bright blinky lights and still not be seen. This is especially true in residential areas and cities where cycle lights can blend in with background lighting. If you feel you want something more to ensure you’re seen, why not make a pair of Crazy Giant EYEBALL Bike Lights for yourself?
Read this instructable to find out exactly how to build your own awesome bike lights , and please comment if you have any questions.