182 – Night Rides Made Brighter with Exposure Lights
Charlie Heffernan, UK Sales & Marketing for Exposure Lights
On episode #182 we are chatting with Charlie Heffernan from Exposure Lights about how their parent company Ultimate Sports Engineering (USE) started, how they transitioned into designing and manufacturing lights, the technology within their light designs and how that helps us all ride safer and faster on the trails at night.
Ultimate Sports Engineering started way back in 1990 and believe it or not, their first product to market was a suspension seatpost, which you can still buy today, although it is an updated version. A number of years later after racing in a number of 24 hour races, they quickly realised that the lights on offer at that time were not up to the purpose, they quickly lost power in cold conditions, they didn’t offer much in the way of visibility at higher speeds and they were too heavy. So naturally the USE crew got designing, powered up their tooling machines and Exposure lights were born.
I first came across the Exposure Light brand while visiting one of my local stores, Mech Monkey in Belfast. The guys had just received a new shipment of lights including a box that was to be used at the Davagh Night Enduro for a ‘try before you buy’ opportunity. The lights looked good, solid to the touch, had no external cabling for a blucky battery and were super bright. If you were unlucky enough to need a light the night of the race, your luck would quickly have changed as you would have been handed one of these bad boys, which I am sure increased your race time immediately!
Join us as we chat about why the lights are designed and manufactured in the Uk, the different designs to suit your needs and how Lumens work (I am still not sure I understand), plus lots more.
Enjoy the show!
- Why Ultimate Sports Engineering was started
- What their first product was
- Why they decided to start producing bike lights
- How their products have evolved over the years
- The different technology that Exposure Lights offer
- How these different modes can help your ride
- How different lens work for different riding conditions
- Why they decided to incorporate the battery in the housing of the light
- How their lights are made
- Why they still design and manufacture in the UK
- Why they are always researching to make their lights better
- Where to find out more and how to find your local dealer
Exposure Lights offers a wide range of lights to suit your every need on the bike, from road ‘Day Bright’ lights to the Six Pack SYNC MK2 off road beast. Some of the lights are so bright they have a dimming feature for oncoming traffic. The technology included in the lights is pretty unbelievable, gone are the days of an On/ Off switch. Some of the technology even remembers your last ride and adjusts the lights brightness to perform best over the terrain and distance of your ride. It is kind of like AI type stuff!
The different modes and tech include Reflex++ which automatically adjusts the brightness, SYNC which allows you to control the light with a remote switch and to make custom programs in the Exposure SYNC App, additionally both helmet and handlebar lights can be simultaneously controlled with a single remote via Bluetooth connectivity (I took that from their website so you could understand it better, my words would of had you scratching your head).
Then there is the Optimised Mode Selector Feature. This works by allowing you to select a number of different programs that offer a range of run times and modes, helping you choose the best option for a particular ride type, like a quick blast around your local or an overnight adventure. The tech is very impressive and way out of my league to explain it properly (you will just have to tune in, as Charlie can explain this in much more detail!).
The lights are still designed, manufactured and tested in the Ultimate Sports Engineering UK head office, which I love. Not only are you supporting UK manufacturing, jobs and everything else that goes with it, you know if you have any warranty issues when you pick up the phone someone will answer it and help you out. Or even if you have a query about what light would best suit your needs the guys and gals are more than happy to talk you through the range and get you the best possible match. You will find it hard to get that kind of customer service from buying a product produced in China.
What I also love about the Ultimate Sports Engineering founders and crew is that at any time they could have decided to move their manufacturing to the likes of China and cash in on larger profit margins, but they didn’t. It was never even a thing, never discussed and never in the plans for the company. Even though manufacturing at home has become more expensive and the reward for manufacturing in China has become larger, Exposure Lights and Ultimate Sports Engineering have followed their vision for the company, stuck to their values and keep things in the UK. Not many companies can say that is this day and age.
Put your feet up for an hour and find out what goes into making a top level light product, how they can help you see better and further on your night rides and make those nights feel a lot brighter!
Thanks for being with us this week and for all your support. Enjoy the episode!
To Connect with Exposure Lights:
Store Locator: exposurelights.com/storelocator
For the Tech Visit: exposurelights.com/technologies
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Thanks so much to Charlie for coming on the show, sharing the Exposure Lights story and educating us on how we can see better riding at night.
And thank you once again for tuning in. You are all great!
Join me next week for another MTB TRIBE Podcast show!