By Jordan Rice
BU News Service
Three years ago, Manny Kharasch was struck by a car while running at night on a dimly lit patch of street.
According to the National Highway Safety Administration’s 2013 data, 48 percent of cyclist deaths and 70 percent of pedestrian deaths occurred between 4 p.m. and midnight.
This event inspired Kharasch to create his company, Lumalit, to solve the problem of safety for night runners.
“Currently, there are only two major products for runner or biker safety solutions,” Karasch said on the companies website. “One is wearable LED lighting and the other is reflective garments.”
Lumalit combines the two solutions into a single garment. The Lumalit V1 jacket features both 360-degree LED’s and reflectors. The jacket is waterproof, windproof and breathable.
The LED strip slides into a pocket on the jacket’s shoulder to illuminate the runner’s body. There are nine different LED functions, which can be easily changed with the touch of a button through the jacket. The reflectors on the sleeves add extra illumination by reflecting the light of the LEDs. The brightness of the jacket can be seen up to 200 yards away giving a driver ample time to adjust their course.
“This jacket is really made for safety,” said Suzanne Murphy, sales coordinator at Lumalit.
The jacket retails for $189 online but was only $110 at the expo this weekend. It comes in three colors: black, gray and blue.