(Credit: Sami Gross)
A new Kickstarter wants to give you tail lights for hazardous and low-light conditions — to be worn on the tail of your horse.
It's something we don't really think about (living in urban areas and not being equestrians), but it makes sense that, just like riding bicycles, driving cars and walking around in the dark, horse riding requires low-visibility safety precautions. Enter Tail Lights, a new product by wrangler, rancher and search-and-rescue rider Sami Gross. It consists of a sort of long tassel that attaches to a horse's tail via specially designed neoprene and Velcro wraps — and the tassel's fronds are strips of LEDs.
The idea began when one of Gross' friends, riding at night and wearing reflectors, was hit by a car, injuring her horse.
"Every day riders have to navigate along busy roads to make it to a trail," Gross said. "More often than not, and depending on the time of year, riders find themselves returning at dusk and back to the barn in the dark. Despite ineffective reflectors, and without adequate lighting, horses are often not seen by motorists until it is too late. Tail Lights will change the way we see horses, and their riders, at any time of the day... or night."
(Credit: Sami Gross)
Gross has spent four years so far developing Tail Lights, trying out different materials. The biggest problem, she said, was making sure that the lights were bright enough while maintaining a long battery life. The resulting product consists of six strips of colour-changing LEDs attached to a unit that contains a CPU and battery pack, with enough power for 15 hours of continuous use.
There are also three brightness settings: low, for group rides; medium, for solo rides, bright enough to be seen 800 metres away; and high, a brilliant yellow strobing pattern for emergency situations. For maximum durability, the battery and light cases will be sonically sealed for waterproofing, and the LED strips encased in silicone rubber.
Tail Lights are currently available as an early bird reward for US$160 (plus US$10 for shipping outside the US) for the single-colour version and a multi-coloured unit for US$250, estimated to ship in March 2014.
Head over to the Tail Lights Kickstarter page to check it out.