STUDIO / DESIGNER
Stephen McGilloway – Lead Designer (Bigsmall), Jonny Weir (Product Designer, SeeSense), Philip McAleese (Founder, See Sense)
Design Challenge and Design Ideas
BIgsmall have worked with SeeSense since they were a start-up company back in 2013. In that year we helped them launch the world’s first intelligent, daylight visible bike lights and have continued to have a strong working relationship since, watching the client grow to 15 employees.
ACE is our fourth generation lighting product together, and combines five years of R&D with the experiences and ideas shared by the cycling community. We continue to use an innovative, no compromise, no nonsense approach that has produced another exceptional lighting product.
This project brought new challenges across the entire process. The key lighting technology for the product was specified as CoB (Chip-On-Board) and not high-powered individual CREE LED’s as in previous generations. This generation needed a reduction in the overall build costs to be more competitive in the retail space and to attract users to generate data required for our Smart Cities projects.
How the brief was fulfilled
The ACE bike light was Kickstarted to life by 3,940 cyclists who wanted to make their rides brighter, safer and more connected when they pledged £183,291 in crowdfunding for the development. We have given them a new light weighing just 35 grams and IP67 rated, which runs for 10 hours on a 2 hour charge. More intelligent and better connected than all of the previous products, and at a more competitive price point.
The CoB LED technology spreads its high lumen output producing a panel of light. This gives two significant advantages over traditional LED lights. Firstly, it appears larger and brighter, improving the riders visibility. With 125 lumens of output, ACE is easily visible, at all times, just like car lights. It’s designed to be visible from more than a mile away. Secondly, with a widely dispersed spread of light it gives 200° of side visibility.
The user can also control and customise ACE’s brightness and flash pattern through the improved SeeSense ACE mobile app.
The product also has improved battery alerts, crash and theft alerting , new bike registration and stats monitoring when paired with a compatible Garmin device thanks to ACE’s ANT+ technology. This allows personalisation of ACE through a Garmin as well as the ability to automatically activate the lights when powering a Garmin on, or when activating a Garmin timer. Connect once and it’s good to go, just like a cadence, speed or heart rate sensor.
At moments of risk (e.g. at junctions or filtering traffic) ACE reacts by automatically flashing brighter and faster. As they cycle, ACE monitors roads for issues or unsafe user routes. Insights can be shared through the app to help local government to repair roads, create better cycling lanes and reduce dangerous cycling areas, thus providing unparalleled feedback to schemes such as UK Smart Cities.
Every cyclist has their own way to position lights. Whether it’s on their bike or on their person, ACE has got it covered. A unique mounting system lets the user click in or out instantly and supplied flexible mounts cover all these positions and more.
This product has already outsold of all it’s combined predecessors with SeeSense signing a global distributor with Raleigh and a new commercial contract with British Cycling.