A result of a successful Kickstarter campaign, Blinkers bike lights aim to provide a much safer cycling experience thanks to turning indicators, an automatic brake light and a rear laser for added visibility. They are a great set of lights and while they aren’t cheap, could easily add some safety to your rides.
Build quality and setup
The lights themselves feel very well made with a reassuring weight suggesting enough strength to handle a decent knock. Each blinker weighs 180g so while they won’t be heavy enough to make a difference for most people, if you are the kind of cyclist that wants to cut every gram to speed you on your way there may be better options elsewhere.
The lights are IP64 water resistant certified with the micro USB charging ports protected by rubber covers. This level of protection should keep them safe in the rain but avoid submerging them completely in water.
The front light mount is suitable for any handlebar between 22mm and 31.8mm and it sits off-centre to the right of the stem from the saddle and the rear light fits over the saddle rails and should fit almost any kind of saddle. If you have any trouble Blinkers does have some video tutorials on its website for both installing and using the lights.
The remote straps to the handlebar as well and it is a good size with raised edges around the important areas making it easy to use without having to look down.
The lights are turned on by sliding them into the mounts where the magnet will then pull them in. Once on they will helpfully use the indicator light to tell you how much battery is left by how much of the “wing” is lit up. The magnets feel strong and you don’t have any worries about the lights coming loose, but are still easy enough to remove when leaving your bike.
Pressing either side of the remote will start the indicators flashing in the direction you choose, and will automatically cut off after 12 seconds. If you want to have them flashing for longer you hold the side of your choice down for 2 seconds to start them flashing and then cancel them manually by pressing the same direction again after you’ve made your turn.
As well as left and right there are top and bottom buttons used to switch the front and rear lights from either solid to flashing or vice versa. A longer press on the bottom button will also turn on the laser arc, while a long press of the top button will turn on emergency mode which works the same as a car’s hazard lights.
As standard lights they offer a decent 30 lumens light level for both the front and back LED lights, with the option to have a solid light for lighting your path or a flashing light for extra visibility, while also saving battery. The rear light also includes a clever automatic brake light (boosted to 100 lumens) that is triggered by an accelerometer so you don’t need to turn it on yourself.
Down either side of the front and back lights are the amber turning indicators. These flash with a directional pulse to indicate the direction you are intending to turn.
The indicators are definitely visible and while most drivers won’t be looking for a signal like this it’s so in context with other vehicles they are unlikely to miss the meaning. That said, I’m not sure how comfortable I would be with doing away with hand signals completely and relying solely on the Blinkers to let drivers know what my intentions were.
The rear laser does a good job of projecting an arc behind the bike, although it is only strong enough to be seen at night. It is also limited by a safety feature which means the light times out after 12 minutes use for fear of the laser overheating. While you do have the option to just turn it back on immediately, the idea of having to remember to do this every 12 minutes while riding at night feels a bit of a faff. The light on the remote control will stop blinking once it cuts out but without looking down at the remote you won’t notice this.
At around £170 Blinkers are at the expensive end of the bike light range but not wildly so, especially considering the feature set. If you’re just interested in brightness you will definitely be able to find brighter lights cheaper, but if the added safety features are grabbing your interest the premium could easily be a small price to pay for peace of mind. If £170 is too steep for you it may be worth considering just buying the rear light (available for around £90) and coupling it with a cheaper front light.
While they are not the only lights on the market that offer turning signal lights Blinkers are some of the only ones that we have seen that really take the concept and run with it. They are intuitive to use, easy to install and have been solidly built. They’re not the cheapest set of lights you can buy but offer a great feature set and anything that can potentially increase bike safety is a great thing in our books.