People who use bicycles as their mode of everyday transportation know the difficulties of cycling at night. It is hard to spot curbs, potholes and other imperfections in the road in the darkness of night. Traditional headlamps cast shadows over both convex and concave obstacles making it hard for the cyclist to judge if it is a dangerous obstruction which could cause him to fall and get hurt. But a team of researchers from the Sichuan University in China may have developed a solution to the problem that most cyclists face at night.
The Lumigrid is an LED light that acts as a headlamp and not only illuminates your path but also lets you judge the nature of obstacles. The squares of the grid bend and change in a way which makes it easy for the rider to process the nature of the obstacle. The projector has three settings which changes the size of the grid depending on riding conditions. Normal mode displays a grid of 5.5 x 7.1 inches, the high speed mode increases the area of the light to 5.5 x 10.2 inches to allow riders to see further ahead and the team mode widens the area to 11.8 x 7.9 inches to allow visibility for more than one cyclist.
The light also alerts cars and pedestrians of the oncoming cyclists just like a traditional headlamp. The device can be powered by battery or the movement of the bicycle’s wheels. A single switch would allow users to turn the lamp on or off and switch between the three modes. Currently, it is not confirmed whether the Lumigrid will ever be produced commercially, but the team that developed it has received the Red Dot Design Award in 2012 which proves that the idea is worthwhile. The Lumigrid would certainly be a must-have item for every cyclist if it goes into production. Fingers Crossed!