Brompton, the cycle company famous for its market leading fold up bikes, has developed a bike that glows in the dark. Though not slated for immediate production, we could see a version of it on the market in the next 18 months.
The machine will be painted with en electroluminescent paint called Lumilor. This is a paint that lights up when it is given an alternating current. Essentially when you flick a switch on the folding bike it will glow in the colour of your choice, enabling other road users to see you from far ahead.
The colours currently available, according to the lumilorlabs.net website are green, orange, white, blue and aqua. According to Brompton, “The Lumilor is well perceived by the eye at night and it’s single frequency monochromatic light is visible from a great distance. Brompton’s use of Lumilor has enabled them to introduce a night time safety feature that combines aesthetics with function.”
Unlike other paints we have discussed on this site, it has to be applied by a factory so can’t be sprayed on by the user. Brompton will likely get specialists trained to apply the paint and fit the electronics in the factory to make their bikes glow in the dark. If you are interested in getting your machine painted with this, you can contact Lumilor Labs direct to get a quote.
The Brompton Bikes factory is set to move from its current factory in Kew to a new, larger facility in Greenford, with the aim of producing 100,000 bikes a year by 2021. The machines are renowned for quality and comfort, and are a byword for folding bikes.
The idea of a glow in the dark bike while not new, may well catch on as people wish to use their bikes at all times of the day or night in the increasingly congested city streets of the UK.
Obviously the more brightly lit you are at night the safer you will be. You will still have to have proper bike lights, no matter how well lit up your machine is with funky paint! According to the the national cycling charity, the CTC, the law requires that for a front lamp, “One is required, showing a white light, positioned centrally or offside, up to 1500mm from the ground, aligned towards and visible from the front. If capable of emitting a steady light, it must be marked as conforming to BS6102/3 or an equivalent EC standard. If capable of emitting only a flashing light, it must emit at least 4 candela.”
For the rear lamp, “One is required, to show a red light, positioned centrally or offside, between 350mm and 1500mm from the ground, at or near the rear, aligned towards and visible from behind. If capable of emitting a steady light it must be marked as conforming to BS3648, or BS6102/3, or an equivalent EC standard. If capable of emitting only a flashing light, it must emit at least 4 candela.”
Lighting regulations for cycling have been changed several times over the years, after LED lamps were found to be brighter than the old versions. It isn’t inconceivable in the next decade that should glow in the dark paint catch on amongst cyclists the law may permit that instead of headlamps and rear lamps. Until the law does change, obey it.