Rydon’s Pixio is a solar-powered bike light that lasts for two years out of the box, then juices up with the sun’s rays.

“When we started we had a clear vision of what the product should be: A light that always works,” Rydon co-founder Hugo van de Watering says.

Integrated solar panels charge the high-capacity, high-retention batteries the trio sourced after extensive research.

It’s not the smallest light out there, but boy oh boy is the thought of permanent mounting--never having to take it on and off--super appealing.

A sweet collection of five color choices.

And a good investment for your cycle and your safety.

At Last, A Solar-Charged, Theft-Proof Bike Light

Like a ray of sun on a surely-someone-has-a-solution design challenge, Pixio lights are always secure on your bike, always ready to go.

Bike lights are equal parts essential and infuriating. Toss them in your bag after locking up, and they’re likely to turn on and flash for hours, running down to zero before you reach for them again. Leave them on once you’ve parked, and a sticky-fingered stranger will gladly relieve you of their service. Forget to charge them, and they’re dead when you most need them. Bike design continues to evolve--tremendously, impressively, with a passion for new materials and aerodynamic and invention almost like none other. But apart from a few small recent introductions, bike lighting design is still pretty much in the dark ages.

It makes sense then that Dutch product designer Hugo van de Watering’s aha moment occurred due to a cyclist’s common act of nighttime improvisation. He was hanging out at a friend’s place, all set to head home, when he realized he didn’t have his lights. As one does, he duct-taped makeshift reflectors to his metal steed. They weren’t a good look and weren’t particularly effective, but they were enough to inspire him to action. He teamed up with friends and designers Koen Ruskamp and Jelle Van Stegeren, and together formed the Hague-based Rydon to build a brand new fixture.

“When we started we had a clear vision of what the product should be: A light that always works,” van de Watering tells Co.Design. Figuring out how to turn this platonic ideal into a physical reality, however, was quite a tall order. Pixio represents the culmination of a project five years in the making, developed in the off- and after-hours from the trio’s day jobs. It’s a bright new addition, thanks to a few key features.

Initial concepts ran on kinetic energy (Starke-style). But even the strongest quads couldn’t generate the right kind of sustained pedal power. The solution came in the form of integrated solar panels, which the team refined to work with high-capacity, high-retention batteries sourced after extensive research.

The designers proudly report that each Pixio will last for an impressive two years right out of the box. Simply joyriding (or commuting or doing errands) in the summer months would be enough to charge you through the winter. Ultimately, an hour of sun will translate into three of illumination. So this is the light of a lifetime.

They cost about $60 a pair, but if these are the last lights you ever have to buy, that is a total steal.

Speaking of crime, Rydon’s next breakthrough was to create a custom mounting system that is impervious to theft attempts. The strap-based rigging is deceptively unbeatable. It requires a special tool to install Pixio on your seatpost or handlebars, and that same tool to take it off. Once it’s on, it’s on; or, in the wise words of those old infomercials, just set it and forget it.

As far as aesthetics, the light isn’t exactly incognito, but that’s part of the appeal. The durable rubber sleeves come in five colors and the Pixio manages to pull off a super simple and appealing minimalism. It’s a safety device you’d see at a shop and think “Oooh” as opposed to the usual "Eh." There are a few other solar-powered options out there, but this one’s a looker.

Pixio’s founders have taken to Indiegogo to help bring their vision to the two-wheeled masses—and mount it there forever. Contribute to the campaign here.

(h/t Inhabitat)

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3 Comments

  • John Locke

    Nice. But not sure about the theft-proof part. Seeing as the special tool is not unique to each light, but just unique to this model, if you owned this model your special tool could quickly unlock everyone else's light, right? I think the Rydon team don't claim it's theft proof.

  • penguinstorm

    Yes, but the point is at least you need a tool. My current light is great, but there's no way I can leave it on the bike.

    If someone already HAS the light why would they steal it? If they only have one tool they'd have no resale value: they'd have to sell the tool with their stolen light.

  • The "theft-proof" band looks like a zip tie with two teeth instead of one. So the thief will need two small keys/knives/screw drivers/sticks instead of one to release the band. More likely is that the thief would just cut the band. Its a deterrent but hardly "theft-proof."

    the real problem in my mind is that it doesn't look particularly bright nor does it blink.