The DIY community has a reputation for making what we think is cool, as well as making what we need in areas where pre-built gear just isn’t cutting it. Hey – that’s why so many people build their own esk8s in the first place, right? It is only fitting then that when our safety comes into play (especially something as major as being able to see the road), there will be a sturdy solution on its way. That solution for nighttime visibility, in the form of a powerful top-mounted head and taillight system, is here. And it’s called Illume V2.
What We’ve Seen so Far
The Illume V2 system was developed by Sam Wiewel (@Genex on the forums), as an answer to the overwhelming demand and support for prototype lights that he showed back in May.
The next iteration that we saw came in early April, when I received a prototype in hand, this time completely different. The unit used the same system to mount to the board as the V1, however in the V2 the front light system has a completely different design from before.
Built on Your Input
In a survey, voters said that their top priority in this kind of setup was durability, followed by distance of visibility, spread of visibility, and aesthetics. Looking at the unit that I received, it immediately appeared that Mr. Wiewel responded in kind. My job, however, was to put that to the test.
When I started riding with this light, my primary concern was how the 3d-printed part of the unit would respond to vibrations. It’s fairly easy to say that with a product like this if the mount fails due to vibrations then the market needs to look elsewhere. Good news: vibrations were a non-issue. I rode on gravel and California roads with 78A 90mm wheels for a few weeks and there were no issues with anything snapping. In fact, I was very impressed with the ruggedness of the mechanism to take the light in and out of the mount, and found it quite convenient to have the ability to charge off-board.
Ok, it’s durable. But that still doesn’t mean anything unless it works as a light too. You’re in luck, because this light is more than capable of fulfilling both length and spread. The front light is rocking 320 lumens, advertising 150ft of illumination in front of you and visibility up to a mile. I found that to be true. It’s not as powerful as the Lacroix system will be, but it does the job very well.
Despite being the least important category according to DIYers, both the front and back light units got a facelift with V2. Mr. Wiewel also responded to some of my feedback in making sure that the edge of the mount won’t go over the edge of your board (for reference, I mounted on a Redemberboards 44). They are not subtle, but the final result is still striking.
Aiming to compete with Shredlights ($99.99) in this limited market, the Illume V2 set is priced at $45.99 for the mounts, chargers, front and back lights, and other goodies.
What’s the Catch?
As far as I know, there isn’t one. I tested the unit that I received thoroughly and am very excited to see how these lights do with other riders. This is a fine example of how our community innovates for each other and I look forward to more examples of that as we move onward. Happy riding!
That brings the total to 53/60.
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