Radlight on Kickstarter

Look hip in the dark

Kickstarter is littered with innovative bicycle light solutions, and this is the first one for me to review.

Lets see how the makers describe their own product:

Radlicht is a set of aerodynamic tubes that are connected to the spokes of your bike wheel. They're made from a very light and strong material, filled with a special gas illuminated with powerful LEDs installed from both sides of every tube. This makes the tubes ultra-bright but at the same time not blinding to drivers. Radlicht represents the first fully functional side lighting solution; more specifically, the first solution based on a spoke mounted design!

So basically it's a light for your wheels. I fail to see what is innovative about this, the fact that it uses gas to diffuse light is novel but seems overly complicated and does not set it apart from other products. Similar brightness can be achieved by adding more lights/power.

Many lights that go in the wheel already exist, in every color you could want and some can even make patterns or display images. They are being sold anywhere where they sell kids bicycles. Some of these products appear as suggested videos after their own YouTube video. It's supposedly light weight and a set of three AAA batteries lasts 10 hours.

I do like that the creators do not pretend to sell this as safety equipment, because it isn't. Lights in the wheels are illegal in countries like the Netherlands and Germany where there are strict regulations on bicycle lights. In the United States you might get away with this due to a lack if regulation, but still it will probably mostly distract drivers and not improve the safety for other road users.

It could be nice BMX-bikes on late summer evenings when you are doing tricks and want to impress some spectators with some flashy lights, but I see no reason why it should be the Radlight and not some other wheel mounted light.