Project Flock Light spotlights the cyclist

Congratulations to Tim Ottaway, who has just picked up the honours as the 2020 James Dyson Award National Winner for his Flock Light, a light for bicycles.

The Flock Light has as its guiding design principle not to merely be a bright light, but rather as a light that first and foremost brings to the attention of drivers’ eyes the fact that that there’s a human on the bike. Yes, the light does project rearwards, but the design also sees the beam directed so as shine a high-powered bank of red LED lights on the motion of the cyclist’s legs, along with projecting an arc of light down onto the road surface.

Safety, along with the promotion of cycling as a mode of transport, is the vision behind Ottaway’s design.

We believe that the freedom of cycling should be available to all. Let’s move together towards a greater sense of community on public roads and paths.

Behind how and where the light shines is the concept of biomotion, which is, ‘… a pattern of body movement that creates a visual stimulus uniquely identifiable as a biological organism in motion.’ Tim has taken inspiration for this idea from a 2018 PhD dissertation by Drea Kevin Fekety of Clemson University, entitled ‘Using Motion Perception to Improve the Nighttime Conspicuity of Bicyclists at Street Crossings.’ In the PhD’s abstract, Fekety noted that, ‘… research has not yet identified how to utilize these factors to maximize conspicuity’. Tim Ottaway has identified the factors, and used them to design the Flock Light.

The Flock Light clips on to the seat stem, and is easily removed to swap and use on another bike, or to charge the battery.

Price and availability

The Project Flock Light is not yet available for purchase, however Tim hopes to have it up soon on a crowdfunding site. For now, you can express your interest via a pre-order page on the Project Flock website. The initial published price for the light is AUS $119.00.

As for prizewinning, on that there’s more road to travel. Tim’s Project Flock Light now enters into the international section of the James Dyson Awards.

See the Flock Light in action in the video at the top of this page.