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500. IdeaSpark: Graduated Brake Lights September 7, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Service, Transportation.

This is a Bright IdeaSpark that several folks have come up with (including Lesley, who just told me about it…Thanks!): car brake lights that indicate how hard the brake pedal is being pushed. In other words, the brake lights would be most bright when someone slams on their brakes; less bright when they are being tapped or gently pushed. This IdeaSpark is also the top-rated submission at the idea website WhyNot (see HERE). So why doesn’t it exist yet?



1. Luke D - September 10, 2007

I too thought I was the first to imagine this killer idea. I may have seen this effect on a Cadillac recently, except it was only in the window mounted brake light and it flashed at a different rate instead of glowing brighter.

Instead of brightness or flashing, I want to see a row of 15 small lights arranged horizontally across the trunk (like on the front of Kit from Knight Rider). For light pressure on the brake pedal, the middle 3 lights would illuminate, the middle 9 for medium pressure, and all 15 for a full on slam. They start in the center and move outward toward both ends. This would be easier for me to interpret than brightness or flashing speed, which could be calibrated differently in individual cars.

I’m sure someone’s already thought of that display method too!

2. SparkBugg - September 11, 2007

Luke: yeah, it seems to be a ubiquitous idea, making it more puzzling why it is not in production (liability reasons? for example…more likely to malfunction and cause a wreck?).

Flashing at a different rate seems more eye catching and intuitive. I like your idea too. Brightness increments are too hard to accurately distinguish, and it is influenced by ambient light.

Great comment…thanks.


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