What are Revolights? Revolights consist of 2 thin profile LED rings (white in front, red in back) that mount directly to each wheel rim (just below the brake calipers) using a series of rim specific clips. Power is supplied via a thin wire to the hub where a lightweight and slim, USB rechargable polymer lithium-ion battery is held in a special bracket. A small magnet is secured to the fork to provide speed and orientation information to the rings.
Criticism of this project from a comment on Lifehacker by user IntendingAccelaration:
Enough with the revolights (seriously, this has appeared in my Gizmodo, Jalop, and now Lifehacker feeds.) None of you Gawker editors are commuting bicyclists, so you don’t understand how stupid these things are.
They solve a problem that doesn’t exist. Current lighting solutions are more than adequate and have been refined over almost a century. LED lights have high brightness and wide viewing angles. Generator-hub-powered lights are fantastic; ask anyone who has them on their bicycle. You don’t need to charge them, they don’t get stolen, etc. Generator hub: $50ish. Front light: $50-90. Rear light: $30-40. DONE. Buy a set of reflective-sidewall tires and anyone from a 30 to 90 degree angle can see you blocks away almost on those alone.
Second: they put a huge amount of mass at the worst possible place on the wheel: near the edge. They weigh a significant percentage of your average rim (ie just the metal hoop), and you will feel that every time you start from a stop, or accelerate, because rotational mass on a bicycle MATTERS.
Third: They put the electronics close to where they’ll get splashed, sprayed, and submerged in water. They will get knocked around every time you lock the bike up. And dirty / hit by debris, especially the back wheel. Making electronic devices that survive that is HARD, especially if you need to have a port to charge the device, it’ll be annoying to have to constantly clean the things, and the plastic will get sandblasted and scratched – diffusing the light output.