Bike lights are probably one of the more important accessories for a person that rides their bike on a regular basis. There are lights on the market right now that light up the path in front of you and those that warn drivers behind you. Light Lane is taking a slightly different approach to the idea of lighting on a bike by creating a set of lines on either side of your bike to indicate a ‘personal’ bike lane. I think that this is a great idea for several reasons. Not only does it create a safer environment for the rider by creating a safe boundary around the bike, it also does not rely on an outside source to create the lane for the rider. You don’t have to rely on your city to implement, update or maintain a bike lane. If you have a Light Lane light on your bike, you just created it yourself.
However, there are some things that I do not like about this concept and not all of them are the creators fault. The first thing that I question when I see the picture is the green line. Bike lanes are not all painted the same colors. Most are white, some are green. Some have just striping on the sides of the lane while others are painted solid. This lighting brings another form factor into this equation further confusing the motorist. I’d rather not have the motorist that I’m trying to make aware of my presence questioning the green light beside my bike. I would rather have them instantly be aware that I have created my own bike lane and this fact is immediately recognizable by the design that the light is displaying.
The other potentially confusing aspect of this is when a rider is not riding on the side of the road and the light is displaying a bike lane. This would be fairly confusing to cars passing by a bicyclist in a left turn lane (or similar scenario). Imagine two bicyclists riding side by side with these lights. Granted, the rider closest to the inside of the road could turn their light off, but that would take a bit of thinking and a bit more of being on top of the ball and remembering to do so.
Despite these small issues, I think that this concept is a great idea to push. It is simple, easy to use, creates a safe environment and could potentially create a replacement for the current, more costly infrastructure.
Check out more at Light Lane.