Sometimes you hear about a new product that seems so obvious, you wonder why someone didn’t create it years ago. The Orb bicycle bottle light is one of those ideas, it takes something every cyclist has, a Water Bottle, and combines it with a feature everyone needs – Nighttime Visibility. By integrating 4 downward facing LEDs into the bottle cap the Orb illuminates the entire bottle for a soft orange glow that can be seen from any direction. The illuminated bottle acts as a ‘to be seen’ type bicycle light, ensuring you have better visibility when riding in the dark.
The Orb was developed in the UK to prevent bicycle accidents where drivers don’t see the cyclists by ensuring you are visible from every angle. The bottle itself is a standard 700ml (about 24oz) BPA free plastic bottle with a faceted exterior design. What makes it unique are the 4 LEDs that produce up to 72 lumens of output within the bottle lid. The lid also houses the rechargeable battery (micro USB) and has a claimed run-time of upto 16 hours on the flash setting.
|Likes||+ Innovative bicycle light |
+ Variety of light modes with 360° visibility
|Dislikes||– Lack of battery indicator |
– Bite style spout
|Where to Buy (US)||ORB (thru Amazon).|
The Orb bicycle bottle is an innovative way to stay safe at night. While it may not be the best bicycle bottle on the market, it is one of the most useful bicycle safety lights we’ve come across.
In this case, the unboxing is more of an unbottling. Sold with minimal packaging, the Orb includes:
- 700ml plastic bottle with integrated lights in lid
- Micro USB cable
- Paper sleeve with cleaning instructions and specs
Overall the bottle feels very well built and the geometric faceting on the bottle face makes it easy to grip. The bottle is slightly top heavy due to the battery and LEDs in the lid, but it isn’t noticeable unless the bottle is empty.
FIT AND FINISH
In terms of design, the Orb is a unique looking bottle that looks and feels professional. In our opinion, the bottle looks great, with the geometric faceting on the bottle surface and orange/black accents making it stand out from the crowd. Due to the integrated battery and LEDs, the bottle itself is as tall as a 25oz bottle but only has the capacity of a 24oz bottle. The bottle is designed with a standard bite style valve that requires you to pull it upward to unlock and downward to lock. This style valve is common for water bottles, but not nearly as intuitive to use as self sealing valves (like Camelbak bottles use). However the upside of not using a self-sealing valve is that it’s easier to clean and less prone to mold build up.
The bottle features a single button interface to power the light on and off, as well as changing the different light modes. A long press on the button powers the light on or off. While a short press of the button cycles through the 6 different light modes. It also looks seems like the light has built in memory, and will power on to the last setting that was used. Opposite to the power button itself, is the micro USB port that is used for charging the integrated battery. The cover is a rubber plastic piece that prevents water from getting into the port.
Note, the bottle itself is dish-washer safe but the Orb website cautions against washing the cap in the dishwasher or soaking it. To clean the bottle it is recommended to carefully hand-wash the lid. The bite valve (spout) can be easily removed from the cap to allow for separate cleaning as well.
With upto 72 lumens of output and 6 different modes, the Orb can be lit up in a variety of ways. There are two constant output modes: High and Low setting. In the High mode the Orb has a soft glow that is more than bright enough to be seen from a distance. The Low mode is less visible, but a great way to conserve battery. The more interesting illumination modes are the four available flashing options.
The four flashing modes are: standard flash mode (on/off), lower powered flash mode (on/off), alternating flash mode (low/high) and a double flash mode. All the flash modes work well to illuminate the bottle and attract attention. It’s also great to see the alternating flash mode which transitions between a high/lower power setting. This type of flash is less distracting when riding, but still ensures others will see you. Even with an overpowered headlight and taillight, the Orb has enough light output to be seen and attract attention. The Orb can also act as a small lantern off the bike, if you need extra light to find to open doors at night or a dark garage.
Two things you may be concerned about with the Orb are: “won’t my legs block the light and how does the amount of water in the bottle effect the light?” With the bottle in the front cage, your legs do not block the bottle. However, in the rear cage your legs do block the bottle light during the pedal stroke. But due to circular motion of one’s legs during a pedal stroke, the illumination of the Orb highlights your legs and enhances visibility. Another question maybe “how does water affect the visibility?“. As you can see in the photos, the light output is very similar whether the bottle is empty or full. Visually the illumination is more uniform with a full water bottle.
Overall, we’re very impressed with the Orb. While there are a lot of products that are launched from Kickstarter and other crowdfunding websites that are touted as innovative or unique, a majority of them aren’t useful or can’t be well executed. The Orb is an innovative and useful product. Although you do lose a little water capacity due to the integrated LEDs and rechargeable battery, the extra visibility of the illuminated bottle is more than worth it. We highly recommend it if you ride in the dark as an easy way to improve your visibility
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by ORB. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.