Symbolic Bike Lights Make Cyclists More Visible to Traffic

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Common sense dictates that the brighter the lights on your bike are, the more visible you'll be to other traffic at night. But according to research from the University of Oxford's Experimental Psychology Lab, a glowing version of the universal symbol for a bike rider could actually a better way to make drivers aware of your presence.

That research has already been put into practice with these Brainy Bike Lights. Available in a $75 set for the front and back of your bicycle, they're designed to improve your visibility to other vehicles on the road since the symbol makes it easier for drivers to identify you're a cyclist. Flashing lights work too, but there's the potential for them to get lost and ignored among a sea of other lights on the road at night.


Because humans are more inclined to clue in to recognizable imagery—like faces, for example—the use of the cyclist symbol increases the chances of a bike rider being spotted out of the corner of a driver's eye.


But what do you think? The Brainy Bike Lights are obviously no where near as bright as conventional warning lights on a bicycle, which would probably make cyclists hesitant to adopt them. However, the science behind why they should be better does seem sound. Are there any cyclists out there willing to make the switch? [Brainy Bike Lights via Gizmag]