turn your iphone into a bicycle safety light

What’s a cyclist to do when she finds herself without lights after dark? Turns out there’s an app for that.

The other night, I had to ride home without my detachable bike lights because I’d forgotten to toss them into my purse when I left my apartment in the morning. My black parka, helmet and bike rendered me practically invisible to traffic approaching from behind. It was a scary proposition, but if it happens again (and it will) I’ve got an emergency backup on my iPhone.

Safety Flasher App for iPhoneThe elegant, super-simple Safety Flasher, a free download, turns an iPhone screen into a brightly flashing light. As shown in the screen shot (right), you can program speed, color and mode: flash, pulse and burst.

It’s primarily meant for use with an armband holder by walkers and runners. If your backpack, messenger bag or jacket happens to have an exterior mesh pocket, great. Otherwise, some creative inspiration might be called for in mounting this. Duct tape anyone?

An iPhone screen is no Super Flash and the developer, Appmagination, notes that “this isn’t a real substitute for an actual dedicated light.” However, in the event that you get caught short, you may feel safer knowing that you can pull a beacon out of your pocket.

As a reminder, New York State law requires cyclists to use white front lights and red tail lights when riding at night. Read additional safety tips, here.


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