Barry Beams Bike Light Meets Funding Via Kickstarter, Replicates Car Headlight

barry beams bike light high powered led

Kickstarter’s been treating bike light developers kindly, with both Revolights and Blink Steady collecting well over double the cash necessary for startup. Barry Beams is yet another bike light project, but with a different premise — to be bright enough in the right places to replicate a car headlight. The LED beam pattern disperses light evenly from the focal point to the peripherals.

Designed to handle the demands of road racers undergoing high speed descents at night, it illuminates all immediate surroundings and objects up to one mile away. We don’t have the official product pics yet, as they’re still in the late prototype stage. We do have a few things though, like weights, settings, and luminosity. Click through the break for more…

barry beams led bike light high powered

Quoted power is 1400 + lumens, powerful enough to significantly brighten a road if dispersed correctly. Total weight is 214g and it features 5 brightness settings and six flash modes. The brightest setting gets you about an hour at 1400 lumens while the lowest setting gets you 52 hours. At the luminosity of a car headlight, it’ll run 2.5 hours. No times are quoted for flash modes.

Lithium ion batteries power the light and the shell pops open for swapping backup batteries on the go. Pricing will be $218 retail and they’ll be available at SomaFab. More at the Kickstarter page and Barry Beams website.


frank - 12/11/12 - 12:30am

“Quoted power is 1400+ lumens”

“The brightest setting gets you about an hour at 1200 lumens”

Which is it?

Nick - 12/11/12 - 4:22am

You should see this guy’s squirrely dodging of realism on the candlepower forums where lighting experts tear him apart for the snake oil this is.

Jim - 12/11/12 - 5:49am

“Quoted power is 1400 + lumens”

Same as the (impressive) L+M Secca 1400 – if claimed lumens figure is accurate.

Mark - 12/11/12 - 6:53am

The short movie on their website only shows the light is blinding others, for doing that you don’t need 1200 Lumens…

Let them first finish the design, before showing off with specs. And get rid of the stupid flash settings.

Colin - 12/11/12 - 7:23am

Frank — apologies for the typo. Fixed!

SeanK - 12/11/12 - 8:28am

Mark – “And get rid of the stupid flash settings”

Obviously not a man who rides in traffic – flashing mode breaks you out from the landscape of light sources on the road and it dramatically decreases your energy consumption

carl - 12/11/12 - 9:43am

Agreed about keeping the flashing mode….. it’s what you need for night time urban survival, BUT, six different levels? Is that just because they can?

Zod - 12/11/12 - 11:03am

Does not touch the ShartLight-2000……..KNOW THIS

B - 12/11/12 - 11:53am

I’m starting to wonder if there’s even anything on Kickstarter other than bike lights 😉

Editz - 12/11/12 - 2:22pm

Assuming the claims are accurate, here’s to hoping this is a wakeup call to the rest of the bike light industry for better optics.

Andre - 12/11/12 - 6:12pm

I agree with Nick–for those of you interested in finding out more about Mr. Barry, there’s a thread on CandlePowerForums under the Transportation Lighting/Bicycle section (down near the bottom) where the man himself joins in on the discussion to go on an offensive against people wanting clarification about issues they see in his design and beam profile, accusing them of “slandering” his patented work. Also contains informative discussion on asymmetrical beam lights.

Nick - 12/12/12 - 2:50pm

Also, it should be noted, the headline on this article includes the phrase “replicates car headlight.” Lets make no mistake about this. *IF* this light approaches 1400 lumens (which is made increasingly doubtful when you read the candlepower forums thread), it is still far far short of modern automotive lighting.

A very basic 55w H1 bulb that forms the basis of countless automotive headlights makes upward 1400 lumens for *1* and of course cars have two (plus additional high beams in many applications). There are also boosted-wattage versions of these lights making over 2000 lumens each as well as many other types of automotive headlight bulbs producing between 1200 and 2400 lumens each. The ever-more-common HID capsules produce in excess of 3200 lumens each in the 35w variety (and there are increasingly more examples of 50w setups out there which crank out around 4500 lumens each).

This also ignores the fact of optics which are VASTLY more developed on a car. Also, larger optics (like you’d have on a car) allow for higher efficiency and beam pattern control.

The color of the light will be horrendous, making it less useful for the human eye than a better color (you know he’s using the bluish-colored LEDs because of his brightness claims, which really narrows down the range of applicable LEDs that could be used)

Combine all this and the barry beams is hopelessly far behind a car in terms of lighting. That shouldn’t be a problem for most cyclists since they don’t travel at car speeds in general, but I do think its absurd to compare this to any automotive headlight made in the past several decades.

Great for a bike light? Maybe, we’ll see if it pans out (you can buy excellent 1200lumen bike headlights right now for $300). Comparable to a car headlight system? Not even the same friggin ballpark.

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