Friday, November 16, 2012

Project Spotlight: 'Sparse Bicycle Lights' by Colin Owen + Sparse

Cycling is really one of the easiest but most effective ways to make a difference in the world.  You can ease congestion by getting off the roads and not contributing to traffic jams, it's an environmentally-friendly mode of transportation, and it's healthy to boot.  Anything we can do to make biking a better experience really makes it better for everyone.  Safety is still a pretty big issue as you navigate roads and traffic, which is why good bike lights are more important than ever.  That's why it's great to see Colin Owen and Sparse looking to provide the best bicycle lights they can by addressing all of the needs of the modern biker.

There are few things that the Sparse lights take care of: being durable, being effective, and not getting stolen right off of your bike.  First, they're powered by a Lithium Polymer battery; it'll last you a long time - up to four hours of run time - and when it's time to recharge it's as easy as plugging it with the USB cable.  It's water resistant and made from die-cast aluminum, so you'll know it'll last.  Finally, they're secure.  The two lights being produced are a headlight, dubbed a Spacer light, that's bright and includes a blink mode in addition to a steady light so you can illuminate your path or make sure you're clearly visible to vehicles.  There's also a tail light, which also links and adds an extra level of safety, and it will blink automatically so even when you're stopped, say at a traffic light, you're still good to go.  What makes the Spacer and tail lights so secure is that they slide on to the stem on the front below the handle bars and onto the seat post, respectively.  No one's taking these lights unless they make off with your whole bike, a considerably tougher task provided you lock it up responsibly.  To top it all off, both lights are sleek and well designed so they'll look great on your bike.

If you aren't a cyclist, you can still back the project and snag a sleek Sparse t-shirt.  You can grab the Spacer light or tail light individually or together, in aluminum, black, or Kickstarter-exclusive white.  The highest level (limited to ten, of which they've already sold three) involves meeting the team and them doing chores for you.  Isn't that nice.

You don't have to ride a bike to appreciate what the folks at Sparse are doing.  Better biking equipment like the Sparse lights means a higher degree of safety and fewer headaches for everyone.  Check out Sparse and consider backing them, whether it's to get some lights or for a bigger cause.

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