Revolights: Where Every Day is Bike to Work Day

Last April, we profiled the Kickstarter campaign for Revolights—the company that makes what’s been described as the “best bicycle lighting system in the world,” by Men’s Fitness magazine. They’re on a mission to make cycling safer.

 We thought we’d check in with the folks at Revolights to see how things were going since their successful Kickstarter campaign, find out what makes them a successful company, and where they’re headed in the future. We caught up with CMO Drew Ocon who gave us the FIVE THOT exclusive.

So what’s the story behind Revolights?

The idea of Revolights was born in October of 2010. Kent was finishing his research at Stanford and running back and forth to the lab a lot at night (on my bike). It was on one of those rides, while wearing a helmet-mounted headlamp that an unexpected pothole almost jarred him off his bike. It was at that moment that he thought, “How can I make a better headlight?”

From there, the idea was to put the light to illuminate the forward path closest to the ground on the bike. But in order to do it that, it would have to mount to the wheel. He quickly built a rough prototype.

After showing the idea to Adam, Kent’s childhood friend, at a party the two quickly got to the process of building a business plan, and soon after finishing the first Kickstarter in 2011 ($215K) they co-founded Revolights, Inc.

Why do your customers love Revolights?

We believe our customers love us because we truly believe in what we do. Our goal is to get more people on their bikes, as we honestly feel cycling is a better, more sustainable form of transportation. With Revolights, we’re providing a novel approach to safety lighting and signaling that hasn’t previously been provided on bikes.

What are your biggest opportunities today?

Our biggest opportunity is with people that commute on their bike. For cyclists that treat their bikes like vehicles and ride amongst cars, it’s important that they have the same level of thought go into their safety equipment as cars have. They appreciate the value that, for example, Revolights integrated brake light can provide. For now, most of these folks ride in urban cities here in the US. But I think Europe as a whole is a leader in cycling, and major opportunity for Revolights.

Is there anything else we should know?
We’re very much a Bay Area company. Both Kent and Adam (as well as a number of our employees) grew up here, and attended college here (Stanford and Cal). We love cycling… oh, and we love coffee.


Revolights started with a humble Kickstarter campaign, and now is a successful company with no lack of ambition. Their mission to make biking safer for everyone is executed one customer at a time, one bike at a time. Revolights is simultaneously illuminating the path to a more sustainable future, by encouraging more people to use the bicycle as a primary form of transportation. Be sure to check out Drew Ocon, and good people behind the Revolights, here.

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