There’s a giant selection of running gear out there for the dedicated pavement pounder willing to get up at 5am to fit in those extra miles, yet few of the products are designed to last a lifetime.
The Million Mile Light is a lightweight, ultra bright, clip-on safety light for runners that’s powered by the user’s own motion, meaning no batteries or recharging required, and its designed to be resilient.
“We don’t like planned obsolescence but we do like planned endurance,” explains Tom Lawton, the product’s inventor, also know as ‘that man off the telly‘ and ‘him from DEVELOP3D LIVE‘. “We think you should be able to run the world without costing the earth and the Million Mile Light is powered by you, to keep you safe – so you can shine bright and run the night.”
The lack of batteries cuts the weight considerably, meaning it weighs 36 grams. With this you should be visible to motorists, cyclists and other runners up to 200 metres ahead within a 120 degree radius.
Slap another one on your back and you’re a healthy living mobile disco of your own powering. With the design billed as ‘all weather resistant’, should you live in an extreme climate like Manchester, you’ve lost your excuse to stay in bed should it be tipping it down come November.
Living in the countryside, Lawton’s design was inspired by the race against sundown to make it home before the lack of local street lighting left him at risk to motorists.
“I wondered if I could use some of the energy I use running to power lights that would keep me safe. Over the following weeks, as the winter nights drew in, the problem became more apparent and I started to research a solution.”
“Not only did my design need to be bright enough to keep me visible in the dark and in miserable weather, but sensitive to small movements and slow running; the design had to be very wearable, lightweight and non encumbering too, so I wouldn’t be able to feel it when it was being worn on long distances.
“I took my time to get this right and after several months tinkering and as many sharp weeks of hard design effort I have perfected the product, which I called the Million Mile Light.”
From a design point of view it asks some important questions about built in obsolescence in products, and what designers can be doing to make more sustainable products.
With the rise of the Internet of Things, more devices are requiring power, and while replaceable batteries are edging their way to become more sustainable, doing away with them altogether is a much better option.
“It’s so simple,” concludes the designer. “It keeps me shining bright and it uses no batteries, so what’s not to love – I’ve engineered it to never give up.”
The product launches on Kickstarter today, and early birds can get their hands on one for a pledge of just £12 as the team looks to raise their target of £35,000 to get the Million Mile Light into production.