Volvo Cars presents LifePaint. The best way to survive a crash, is not to crash. LifePaint is a unique reflective safety spray. Invisible by daylight, it shines brightly in the glare of car headlights. Making the invisible, visible. Find out more at http://www.volvolifepaint.com #volvolifepaint
I placed black 3m scotch brite tape on my bike’s seat stays and forks, also on the dark parts on the rear of my helmet.
By day it isn’t noticeable on my black bike but at night under lights it really helps being seen.
Joey Schwartz Says:
Members of my bike club (tested it) about a week ago, on a ride from High Park, down to the city centre core. Here’s a report by fellow TBNer Ken Miller:
I did some more testing with Volvo Life Paint and got some interesting results.
The good: The reflective effect works regardless of what angle the light source is with respect to the bike. This is a big advantage over fixed permanent reflectors.
The not-so-good: The reflective effect is highly directional so that it can only be seen in a narrow cone between the light source and the bike. When I hold my bike light next to my eye Borg-style, I see the reflection. But if I move it as little as 3 degrees away from my eye, the effect almost entirely disappears. From these properties, I would surmise the reflective particles are little spheres.
The good: The reflective effect is noticeable and shimmery.
The not-so-good: The effect isn’t nearly as strong as what is displayed in flash photographs. This appears to be an artifact of the camera sensors being saturated. Life Paint’s reflectivity is weaker than permanent reflectors. My guess is that its effective range is about 50 meters before the reflective effect is too dim to notice, and that might be pushing it.
The good: Life Paint is easy to remove. The adhesive completely and instantaneously dissolves in water and it also flakes off completely. The adhesive is strong enough to deal with wind, as I went on a ride a couple of nights ago into a gusting headwind and didn’t seem to lose any of the effectiveness of Life Paint afterwards. In the absence of it getting wet or being rubbed off with significant physical contact, I think Volvo’s claim that it will last for a week is probably accurate.
The not-so-good: It’s useless in the rain, and will need to be completely reapplied afterwards. Areas on the bike subject to physical rubbing will quickly lose their reflectivity.
I think the bottom line is that Life Paint has promise as an adjunct to lights and permanent reflectors due to its 360 degree range and that the entire bike ‘lights up’. Its short range and very high directionality are points of concern, though. Real world testing will need to be done to give the full answer. Keep in mind, however, that quality lights are by far the most important factor in being visible at night. The benefits of adding reflectors are at the margin. Never rely on a reflector-based system to be seen at night! #volvolifepaint