This £15 self-powered safety light for runners lasts 400 years

The Million Mile Light uses your kinetic energy to keep it glowing
Self-powered running light lasts 400 years

First thing and last thing runners, rejoice. Positively Human's £15 Million Mile Light, available on Kickstarter until 3 October, is a safety light that never needs charging.

The 36g device is visible from over 200m away and is aimed at nighttime urban runners who might think about giving up the habit in winter. It clips on to your gear, socks or the bundled waistband and is available in packs of two - one for your front and one for your back.

Read this: Holy Grail - who will solve the self powered wearables problem?

The really clever bit is how the four 30 lumens LEDs, which fan the light out to 120 degrees using special lenses, are powered. The Million Mile Light uses a small, kinetic engine which transforms energy from your movement - even at a slow jog - into blinks of the lights for every step you take.

Eco-conscious runners will like the fact that it's using renewable energy and the fact it's kinetic also means your safety light will never run out of battery mid-jog - apart from when you stop moving, of course.

Its creator Tom Lawton, who has been developing the device for three years, jokes in the Kickstarter promo video that he runs 2000 miles a year and one Million Mile Light would last him 400 years.

"I was inspired by a few things. I like to run when the weather is bad or the daylight is fading - so this makes me safer, it's like an amulet except it really works," Lawton told Wareable. "I also like the idea of runners being like light shows - especially when they run in groups. There are 200 million runners worldwide and there's a lot of potential for illuminated night runs."

Lawton is a British designer, inventor and environmentalist who has won awards for design sustainability. He worked on the product with micro renewable energy specialist Ben Jandrell.

"I am fearful of the Internet of Things filling the world," he said, "with a billion devices that end up becoming useless when they run out of power or aren't designed properly in the first place so they just fail. This is planned endurance not planned obsolescence."

Not only is it eco-friendly, the Million Mile Light is practical and personal too - the light will withstand the washing machine if you forget it's attached to your clothes and for every additional 2000 units ordered over the Kickstarter target, the team will offer an extra colour to backers to the initial two colours on offer. There's a poll running to determine backers' favourite colours here.

Beyond running, there's plenty of other uses for kinetic powered tech - Lawton and Jandrell are keen to partner with companies looking to build self-powered gadgets and have a few ideas of their own. "There's loads I can do with kinetic power but I wanted to solve a very clear problem first - so I focussed on running," said Lawton.

"I deliberately designed the device not to do too many things, unlike many smart devices I see coming on the market. Cycling seems obvious but actually there is such little impact with it there is rarely enough jog to make the light work - I have been successful mounting it on the end of a long mud guard though. Other applications include hiker's shoes, walking sticks, ski poles, life jackets, horse hooves, livestock, dance lights and shake toys."

The Million Mile Light is on Kickstarter now - starting at £12 early bird price and a £20 early bird price for a double pack which will rise to £25.

If the campaign passes the original £35,000 target and reaches the admittedly large stretch goal of £150,000, Positively Human will move to using high quality, post consumer recycled plastics to make the product even more sustainable. Wearables that last longer than we do - that's a noble goal indeed.

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.


 Most Recent News