Lights that think for themselves.
Ever since it first dipped its toes in the data pool, Garmin has been known for innovative products aimed at helping cyclists train more efficiently. With the introduction of a new line of bike lights, the data-loving company is now also demonstrating its interest in promoting safety as well. As you might expect, this decision was based in part on data, with Garmin citing a recent study claiming that 40% of the cyclists who crash each year in the U.S. are hit from behind as inspiration for creating the Varia Bike Lights Bundle, which uses GPS data to adjust brightness to help keep you seen from all angles in changing conditions.
When used with Garmin's compatible Edge computers including the 1000, 810, 510, Touring Plus, and 25, the headlight is controlled by GPS data, resulting in the beam shining further ahead as you ride faster and closer to you as your speed decreases. For times when you're riding during dusk, the headlight includes a high-beam cutoff to prevent the equivalent of you flashing your high beams at an oncoming motorist or cyclist. We don't typically like riding in the dark, but we do recognize that sometimes it's unavoidable. In those instances, the Varia head light's smart management of beam strength makes the journey safer for all road users.
The tail light can be set to either flashing or solid modes to help keep you seen from behind. That's pretty standard, but the Garmin twist comes when you approach a turn or intersection and start slowing. At that point, the tail light — also relying on GPS data — increases in brightness, acting much like a car's brake lights do. This can be especially helpful in intersections without stop lights where motorists may not being expecting you to slow down and turn, and you may be unable to signal because you're gripping the brakes and navigating through shoulder debris.
For extra reassurance in those situations, Garmin also provides the option of mounting a second tail light next to the original in order to actually signal turns with the remote control or a computer. The included remote control in this bundle mounts to your handlebars and allows you to change settings and intensity or turn the lights off to save power without reaching down or back to the lights themselves.