Local engineer helps creates a small, lightweight safety light for cyclists, pedestrians

I recently wrote a “quickie” column – squeezed in before the Thanksgiving break – on the need to take stock in your night-time, outdoor exercise gear, specifically in regards to lights, reflectors, reflective clothing, etc., as the days getting even shorter with the first day of winter on Dec. 21.

Local writer Barbara Hagerty emailed me to let me know about Athlights, invented by her son-in-law Anthony Del Porto, who lives in Charleston. A two-pack costs $16. http://athlights.com/

They are the smallest lights on the market, are compact, lightweight, and fasten with a powerful magnet. My favorite part is that they blink! I watched my daughter–Anthony’s wife–take off on her bike the other night, and seeing the bright, steadily-blinking light made me feel much better about her safety.

Anthony works as an engineer, and in his spare time he is an inventor, an avid ocean sailor, and a blue-grass musician with a band (Southern Flavor). I would love to see a story about him and this remarkable invention…

  So I contacted Anthony about why he developed it and its availability.

      I was talking with a friend of mine from college about two years ago, and he mentioned that he was working on a light for runners with a friend of his.  They had done some market research etc and gotten a few samples from vendors, but not much further than that.

 About a year ago my friend mentioned that his partner had dropped out entirely due to a new job, and I said I was interested in getting involved.  We radically changed the design, got production lined up, got a few samples, and then went with it.  

      I got involved primarily because I thought it was a really good idea.  As a frequent after-work runner, I definitely understood the difference that having a light on you makes.  However, everything else out there is really bulky and you feel it when you’re running.  Small and lightweight is huge for me and I’m not even training for anything.  A marathon runner would definitely prefer to have a few less pounds on their body during training.

Currently they are online only, but we are working on getting them out to retail stores.


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