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Lumigrid: a Bicycle Light that Warns Riders of Impeding Potholes and Other Road Obstructions


The majority of LED bike lights are designed to alert cars and pedestrians of your presence, not illuminate the path that lay ahead.  For that you’ll need a keen sense of vision, or invest in what are generally an expensive array of LED headlamps and headlights.  Nevertheless, neither of the aforementioned lights are great for seeing potholes and uneven terrain.  Enter Lumigrids.

Lumigrids is an LED projector system that attaches to the handlebars of the bicycle and a displays a grid that is something similar to graph paper used in high school math class.  If a hole in the pavement or asphalt is detected, the Lumigrids will convey this with a set of uneven or broken lines.  If a bump the lines will protrude up, if a hole they’ll dip downwards.

At higher speeds it’s arguable that the system wouldn’t be useful since the bicyclist wouldn’t have enough time to change direction or apply the brakes.  Nevertheless, the team has included three modes: normal mode will display a 140 x 180-mm (5.5 x 7.1-inch) grid, the high-speed mode ups the area to 140 x 260 mm (5.5 x 10.2 inches) and the “team” mode widens the grid to 300 x 200 mm (11.8 x 7.9 inches).

Effectiveness aside, the Lumigrids can also be used as a traditional bike light, as the LEDs are bright enough to be seen from a distance, allowing vehicles and those on the road to see you from far away.

Unfortunately, the Lumigrids is not available for purchase.  It was designed by a team of researchers at the Sichuan University in China.  It  received the Red Dot Design Award for 2012.

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Christen da Costa Avatar

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