Finalist 2023

Blinder 1300 Front Bike Light by Knog

Knog / Hugo Davidson / Mal McKechnie / Anton Van Maanen

Blinder 1300 is a powerful and long-lasting off-road bicycle light. Perfect for cyclists who require the best in performance.

The Blinder 1300 front bike light has been designed for Off-Road riding where there is often no other artificial source of light. In these demanding conditions cyclists requires a powerful but focused light that both lights up the path ahead of them as well as continuing to make them visible to other road users.

Combining robust CNC construction, compact design, perfect beam angles, powerful light output, and multiple mounting options. The new Blinder 1300 is precise, powerful, and long-lasting and is the perfect choice for the road & gravel cyclist who demand the very best in performance from their equipment.

Design Brief:

In the ever-evolving world of bicycle lights the greatest challenge is producing a
Well designed and well-constructed light that combines a powerful light output but that also enjoys the benefits of an extended battery life. Any resulting design must also pay attention to the weight, bulk, functionality and mounting options of any proposed light to satisfy the very specific requirements of the modern cyclist.

Knog set ourselves the design brief to produce a bike light that would be able to produce the huge output required for off road biking but with runtimes that are around 30-40% longer than existing lights in the market.

This project was developed by:

  • Knog
  • Hugo Davidson
  • Mal McKechnie
  • Anton Van Maanen

Design Process

As with any good design solution, at Knog we always start by identifying the specific problem that we felt needed to be addressed. The specific problem facing cyclists that choose to ride off road is that they require a powerful light, with a specifically wide-spread beam pattern and that has long battery runtimes even on full power.

The research at the sart of this project was comprehensive, included benchmarking all leading global bike light offerings. As part of this research stage Knog’s engineers started to explore the developments within the battery market, to better understand how Knog might utilise this new battery tech to extending the run times of our lights.

Following a brainstorm, Knog’s design team started to analyse various solutions that they had been developing. At this stage of the development process the design team made the breakthrough discovery of a new battery technology the 21700 that might offer a solution, as it provide outstanding power density coupled with heat sink efficiency. These were attributes that any light solution would need to have.

The design breakthrough was that it might be possible to performance out of the battery that we required; the design of Blinder 1300 started to take shape. The functionality of the battery helped inform some of the design cues on the new light, as did the need for the light to be able to mount in a very purposeful manner centrally on a bike handles bars.

During this development phase another discovery was made that was critical in the development of the Blinder. Knog design team made the discovery that it would be possible to CNC machine the light’s housing from a single piece of aluminium which not only help with heat regulation, but also made the light very robust whilst still also being lightweight.

Design Excellence

When we were first conceptualising the new Blinder range, the Knog design team sat and discussed all potential ideas for a new front bicycle light. We knew we wanted to design something striking, elegant, and innovative, but most importantly, we wanted to provide something functional, effective, and relevant to specific rider types.

From the outset with the Blinder 1300 it was felt that we would likely need a new approach to the manufacturing process in order to achieve the desired holy-grail of bike light performance which is the increased power output with long-lasting runtimes.

The design break-through moment was the decision to create the Blinder 1300 from a single piece of CNC machined aluminium. This choice of manufacturing process allows the entire light to act as a heat sink that help regulate the high temperature that are created when combining chip on board LED’s with a power dense battery. In addition to the benefits of the heat regulation the other benefits of using a single piece of aluminium for the body of the light is that it is incredibly strong but also incredibly lightweight.

As with all Knog products the user experience was a critical factor in informing the design of the Blinder 1300. Design elements that have been explicitly designed to improve the user experience include the Blinder’s soft touch silicone button makes operating the button and toggling through the modes a breeze, but that’s far from all it does. A LED ring around the button allows the user to quickly understand both the available charge status & battery level of their light.

With Knog already established as a global bike light manufacturer the introduction of our new Blinder range is already adding to the worldwide appreciation of Victoria’s & Australia’s design strong design heritage.

Design Innovation

With the Blinder 1300 we decided to build off the Blinder family's rich history of innovation and performance, borrowing design elements from our Blinder Road light, like the side illumination windows and side body vents.

Notable design features of the Blinder 1300 includes the Blinder’s intelligent soft touch silicone button makes operating the button and toggling through the modes a breeze, but that’s far from all it does. A LED ring around the button allows the user to quickly understand both the available charge status & battery level of their light. Charging is shown once a charge cable is inserted, and the power button glows yellow to indicate the light is in charging mode. Once fully charged the power button will glow green. Checking the battery status is achieved via a quick press of the power button when the light is turned off. A green LED indicates between 100-75% charge remaining, Yellow indicates between 75-25% charge remaining and finally Red indicates that your light is on its final 25% of charge.

Blinder 1300 also features an advanced Lipo rechargeable battery that provides outstanding runtime performance of 1.5 hours on full and up to a staggering 125 hours on Eco flash. Another distinct benefit of this Lipo battery is the fast-charging time with a full charge being achieved in 3.5 hours via a USB-C cable.

A final and notable design feature is Blinder 1300’s light beam itself.
The 1300’s beam pattern is an innovative combination of three wide beam optics in combination with three narrow beam optics, this calculated beam pattern creates high quality illumination for up to 100 meters ahead at the optimum angle of 22, meaning the beam of light is caste exactly where a rider needs it directly onto the road.

Design Impact

Designing effective bicycle lights has a positive impact for the end user, for
Knog and for society as a whole. By its very nature designing well-made and well designed Bike lights encourages positive human behaviour. Our lights encourage consumers to ride their bike more often and more safely. In addition to actively encouraging consumers to use bikes as their preferred method of transport Knog pays particular attention to the build quality of our lights. As a result, Knog’s lights are designed to cope with daily use regardless of how bad the weather.

Another positive impact of Knog’s design is the fact that like all Knog products the Blinder 1300 is rechargeable. We paid particular attention to ensuring our design was USB-C compatible in order to comply with regulation in Europe that will ensure that USB-C will become the standard in Europe, which will in turn help reduce the huge e waste that results from having multiple charging port iterations.

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