TitaniumGeek logo See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of logo
Bike Lights Cycling

See.Sense ICON 2 Review – Smarter Bike Lights

How does the See.Sense ICON 2 improve on the great See.Sense ACE? Already intelligent, bright, and safe smart lights. Easy – MORE POWER!!!! Ok there are other changes too, but you’ll have to read on for those!

TitaniumGeek SeeSense ICON 2 53 of 61 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of SeeSense ICON 2 53 of 61

SeeSense ICON 2 Review – Smarter Bike Lights

TLDRA great light for commuters and rides a like, only thing brighter than the ICON 2’s AI smarts is it’s CREE LED TG SCORE: 5/5

Any review of the See.Sense ICON 2 needs to be viewed in the context of the companies previous lights. So grab a drink and let’s get contextual!!

TitaniumGeek SeeSense ICON 2 13 of 61 1 2 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of SeeSense ICON 2 13 of 61 1 2

The original See.Sense ICON was a bit of a KICKSTARTER darling in 2015. In the time since that original light came to market, See.Sense has ploughed revenue into their R&D. 2018 saw the fruits of their engineering with the See.Sense ACE which was a complete redesign of their original ICON – giving rise to a matrix of LEDs with a Chip of Board design, and a significantly slimmed design

TitaniumGeek IMG 3941 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of IMG 3941

As much as I like the See.Sense ACE, there were many people, myself included, who lamented at the loss of the CREE LED from the See.Sense ICON. The ACE is a great light, especially for a race bike due to the diminutive size.

TitaniumGeek IMG 9033 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of IMG 9033

Yes I acknowledge that the ACE has lumen power ( 125 front and 150 rear) the same as the original Icon, even without the CREE bulb. However as I have discussed before with the Garmin smart lights, it’s not merely the lumens which matter, but what you do with them. LEDwatcher.com has a very useful diagram here.

TitaniumGeek lux and foot candle 749x1024 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of lux and foot candle 749x1024

So whilst the ACE has the same lumen count as the ICON+, the lux count is going to be lower, as it is a more diffuse light. Hence the desire for CREE LED’s to be incorporated into the design of the ICON 2 – giving the literally the best of both worlds, with CREE and a lumen increase to 400 front and 300 – afterall no one likes compromises!!!

TitaniumGeek SeeSense ICON 2 19 of 61 HDR 1 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of SeeSense ICON 2 19 of 61 HDR 1

The See.Sense Icon 2 is cumulatively SIX YEARS of R&D by the Northern Ireland team, the smart features built into the light should ensure the SeeSense stands out in the very crowded bike LED market, which is now being populated by not only by other smart enabled lights, but LED toting smart helmets such as the Lumos Matrix

Broadly See.Sense came about from a desire to improve the safety of riders, whether commuting, road cycling or otherwise. Husband and wife team Philip and Irene McAleese opted to take a gamble to leave the ephemeral corporate world to develop a cycling safety light based of Philip experiences of using 1K Watt MBT lights in Singapore during the day! (Although safety is the prime driver for See.Sense let’s just gloss over their lack of helmets here eh? 😜 )

TitaniumGeek TeamPic 1 mtbvyenda7m161sr18n9oqdqlfda77vcbkpcz54rxs 1920x600 1024x320 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of TeamPic 1 mtbvyenda7m161sr18n9oqdqlfda77vcbkpcz54rxs 1920x600 1024x320

Their unique approach to development was a feature list not dictated by personal desires, but on data derived from analysing the driving habits of car drivers and studying the variables identified in a series real-world car/bike accidents. Ways to mitigate these variables seen in road crashes became the product brief for See.Sense lights, the result has been the current See.Sense Icon 2

TitaniumGeek FE7DF03F 81CB 4842 A872 81D35A7DA5F1 1024x1024 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of FE7DF03F 81CB 4842 A872 81D35A7DA5F1 1024x1024

As with their previous projects, the See.Sense production is focused in Northern Ireland. The main Chip of Board (COB) is produced in the Nitronica about 20 miles from See.Sense head-office, meaning that See.Sense can be very adaptable to changes needed during the early production. By transitioning to a plug and play approach to the COB, construction time has been reduced by 40%

TitaniumGeek SeeSense ICON2 Light 1 of 2 1024x768 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of SeeSense ICON2 Light 1 of 2 1024x768

Whilst production times are great for the company, the refinements to manufacturing have resulted in benefits to the end users as well. During the early See.Sense ACE production run, there was a 1-2% failure rate. On the first See.Sense Icon 2 batch, comprising of 1100 units, there were zero faulty units, which they expect to convert into end user reliability as well

TitaniumGeek SeeSense ICON2 Light 2 of 2 2 1024x768 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of SeeSense ICON2 Light 2 of 2 2 1024x768

See.Sense ICON 2 – Design

TitaniumGeek SeeSense ICON 2 5 of 61 1 1 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of SeeSense ICON 2 5 of 61 1 1

See.Sense has continued to use the same packaging approach, with as much recycled material as possible. Although it would be interesting to see if an alternative to the individual plastic wraps was possible for the accessories

TitaniumGeek IMG 3583 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of IMG 3583

I do like that rather than double up with a manual and a “getting started” – that second part is printed on the box insert.

TitaniumGeek SeeSense ICON 2 6 of 61 1 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of SeeSense ICON 2 6 of 61 1

Along with the manual, from and rear See.Sense Icon 2’s there are also two plastic bags which contain the light mounting gubbins, and short micro USB cables. No USB C here. I’m a big fan of the short USB cables which some companies have opted for now. I find they are great for carrying in my “cables bag”

There is one accessory collection for each light. Inside we can find:

  • Micro USB cable
  • Belt/backpack clip
  • Aero mount
  • Rubber grommet
  • Universal mount, which can be mounted on bars or seat pods, and remounted at 90deg
TitaniumGeek IMG 3584 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of IMG 3584

According to See.Sense has stepped away from the trusted CREE LED with the See.Sense ACE due to wanting to have a single uniform piece on the front of that light.

TitaniumGeek IMG 3586 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of IMG 3586

The issue is that the CREE lens requires a different thickness within the plastic, which means that a small amount of shrinkage can occur, meaning a failed cover. As a result the ACE had to be produced without the super bright LED.

On both light the matrix LED arrangement allows several benefits, firstly a wider grouping of the LED’s giving a block of light on the rider rather than a single point. But allows for more varied patterns across their faces, even more so with the inclusion of the CREE. The patterns are designed to simulate driver awareness, as humans are less able to “tune out” an irregular pattern compared to a regular flash. Think how you don’t hear the fridge hum, but find it difficult to ignore someone taping at a keyboard

TitaniumGeek untitled 1 of 2 1 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of untitled 1 of 2 1

The indent of the CREE lens is not merely as a result of a manufacturing necessity, but is also allows See.Sense to have a ring of light bounced from around the CREE bulb as well

TitaniumGeek SeeSense ICON 2 58 of 61 1 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of SeeSense ICON 2 58 of 61 1

The other benefit of the matrix and CREE combo is you get excellent visibility from the side.

TitaniumGeek SeeSense ICON 2 33 of 61 1 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of SeeSense ICON 2 33 of 61 1

The Garmin Varia Radar tries this with a single LED on each side, whilst this does “tick the box” as you can see from the above picture the ICON 2 has a much clearer side profile – specifically 200 deg of side visibility

TitaniumGeek IMG 3970 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of IMG 3970

One of the biggest irritations from users of the ACE has been the material of the rubber button. Whilst 20 different variations to get a level of deformity, texture and feedback were trialed by the company, not everyone has been happy with the current button. Unfortunately that doesn’t appear to have changed here

TitaniumGeek IMG 9214 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of IMG 9214

Flipping the unit over there is the See.Sense ICON 2 branding embossed in the plastic along with a rubber flap covering the micro USB port – no USB-C. You’ll have also noticed on the back sticker the Bluetooth and ANT+ logo, along with ANT+ signal code for use when pairing to your cycling head unit

TitaniumGeek SeeSense ICON 2 8 of 61 1 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of SeeSense ICON 2 8 of 61 1

On each side of the See.Sense ICON 2 are four indents into which the arms for the mounting clip. I do like this system, whether I’m using the 3D printed GoPro mount, or the included stem/seat mount I can always find a position I’m happy with. Part of that is due to the slight forwards and rearwards leaning indents at the top and bottom if the unit, meaning you can normally get a nice vertical positioning

TitaniumGeek SeeSense ICON 2 26 of 61 1 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of SeeSense ICON 2 26 of 61 1

As for the mount, it is comprised of two pieces, a rubber piece which sits against your bike and the clip which holds the See.Sense ICON 2

TitaniumGeek IMG 3591 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of IMG 3591

There are four groves on the inside of the clip into which a rubber band slots, allowing you to orientate the clip, so you can still chose to mount horizontally or vertically

TitaniumGeek IMG 3595 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of IMG 3595

But you are going to be much betting with the mount in a vertical orientation, with the light gripped on the “sides” rather than across the “top”

TitaniumGeek SeeSense ICON 2 29 of 61 1 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of SeeSense ICON 2 29 of 61 1

There is one flaw with the button being off set, which has been exacerbated with the elongation of the See.Sense ICON 2 is that is really doesn’t handle being positioned horizontally. I’d say, that this is now very much a vertically mounted light

TitaniumGeek IMG 9050 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of IMG 9050

See.Sense Icon 2 – Specification 

  • Device weight:
    • 50g grams
  • Battery: 
    • 16hr Runtime on “reactive flash”
    • Charging can also be done on the fly,
  • Communication: 
    • Bluetooth, ANT+
  • Water resistance: 
    • IPX 67 – 30m for 60mins
  • Visibility:
    • 200 deg
  • Light:
    • 300 Lumen Rear,
    • 400 Lumen Front
  • Other bits:
    • Theft and Crash Alert
    • Brake Light Function
    • Day light flash mode

See.Sense ICON 2 – Manual

There is not currently a downloadable PDF of the See.Sense ICON 2 manual, but a link to the FAQ page is here

SeeSense ICON 2 – ANT+ / Bluetooth Smart Light

When you park up your bike the See.Sense ICON 2 goes to sleep after three mins with no movement detected, and will power up again when you collect your bike – this is more about saving your battery life if you forget to switch the light off. 

Lightly pressing on the power button will give you a series of green LED’s at the top telling you how much battery is left

TitaniumGeek IMG 9227 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of IMG 9227

I’m a big fan of the auto off and battery check, as it means I an just rock up at work (by bike is around the office back, and very safe), leave the bike, and know the lights will switch off shortly. My bike is only about 3 meters from the window, so I can also check the battery with the See.Sense app – or more appropriately be alerted if I need to juice things

TitaniumGeek IMG 9226 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of IMG 9226

The See.Sense ICON 2 has the integrated smart light ANT+ protocol… which I continue to hate – when it works at all – I’ve had a lot of difficulty connecting my Garmin Edge 830.

Even when it is working I just find the alerts on my Garmin / Wahoo head units annoying. This is not about how See.Sense has implemented the tech, but how the smart light protocol works. The ANT+ connection should allow the See.Sense ICON 2 to auto power-up when you switch on your Garmin, and similarly power the light down when you switch off your Garmin, but if you can’t connect, it doesn’t work. Or the bike is in the garage chirping through the evening nearly ready to recharge, than can be irritating

SeeSense ICON 2 – Artificial Intelligence

If you wanted, you could entirely leave thing be, and just leave the See.Sense ICON 2 to it’s automatic AI functionality. But what is actually going on even with the passive AI?

Most car accidents are not actually malicious, the “Sorry mate I didn’t see you” is literally true. This is due to how the human eye works; you are only really “seeing” when your eyes are not moving and looking directly at something. Try it now – look from your screen, quickly turning your head so that you can see the far side of the room. You only really register in the “stop” positions, initially looking at the screen, and then when your eyes finally rest on the far side of the room. Everything in between isn’t really registered in normal situations.

TitaniumGeek Screenshot 2018 09 29 at 17.45.44 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of Screenshot 2018 09 29 at 17.45.44

So here is another facet of how humans work, we de-emphasise regularity and are drawn to an alert over irregularity, as mentioned before, typing vs fridge hum. Hence when a bike light, will register with a driver more strongly if the flash pattern is irregular. But there is a big difference between irregular, and smart irregular

Using the existing data held within the See.Sense ICON 2 about road patterns, the lights onboard microprocessor can analyse 16million inputs a minute from sensors regard vibration, ambient light and/or car headlights. From this the ICON 2 can calculate your likely position on the road and change the flash patterned accordingly.

Let’s give you a use case about the AI within the lights. The See.Sense ICON 2 can determine it is likely that you have entered a roundabout and will determine what is going to be the optimal flash pattern for the attention of a driver in front or behind the cyclist!! I don’t if the AI makes the See.Sense ICON brilliant, or just flat out astonishing

Plus it makes the fact the original ICON could detect you slowing down and trigger a brake light warning drivers as practically old hat!

In order to use the Theft and Crash alerts, you need to sign up to sharing “Cycling Insights”. This is where the smart sauce comes into the See.Sense ICON 2, as the unit transmits recorded data about road conditions back to See.Sense. Info such as where you ride, what your behaviour was like, wear pattern on the road. All very clever stuff

I can’t believe I’m going to say this – but read the terms and conditions here. They are written in plain English, explaining what data is being recorded, but crucially what it will be used for – going into the smart cities project

TitaniumGeek IMG 3991 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of IMG 3991

SeeSense ICON 2 – Bike Alarm

By registering with the app, you get increased functionality of the See.Sense ICON 2

TitaniumGeek IMG 3988 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of IMG 3988

The anti-theft mode was first seen in the See.Sense ICON . When activated via the app, any movement of the bike will trigger an alert on your phone – when you and your smart phone have moved more than 3 meters away from the device

(I may have been trying to initially test and activate the theft function standing to the bike with my phone in my pocket doh!)

TitaniumGeek IMG 3998 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of IMG 3998

The range of the alert is approximately 100m depending on what is surrounding you. I would, for example, want to trust the Theft Alert alone to leave my bike and go into the supermarket. However, I’m certainly happy to have the feature like an alarm that someone is interfering with my bike, when paused at a cafe/cake stop!

TitaniumGeek IMG 4001 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of IMG 4001

Thankfully you can also position a safe zone around your home, where if the lights get moved they don’t trigger an alarm. You are also able to set up additional privacy zones, such as at work in the office for example (or perhaps not depending on how much you trust you, colleagues!)

See.Sense Data Security

There are some who worry that a data breach would allow people to find where your bike is kept. Now that is the same risk as with any device feeding your data to the cloud, but here See.Sense is specifically receiving your journey data and using it in their Smart Cities project. So do users have a reason for extra caution? I put this to Philp McAleese – CEO of See.Sense

In relation to data privacy, we have a different take than other applications. Other apps are capturing journeys, so need to capture start and end points for completeness. Hence privacy zones tend to just hide this from view. Hence often the data is still collected and included in the data the have.
In contrast, See.Sense is interested in insights on your journey and where most impact can be made to improve cycling. We don’t measure journeys, so not collecting start and end points makes no difference. Hence we do not collect any data within a privacy zone. 

Yes, that’s something we’ve given a lot of thought to. The ways we mitigate this happening in a way that would identify individuals is:- the user defines the privacy zone sizes, adding an element of randomness and unpredictability- our zones are not circles (circles are bad https://www.wandera.com/mobile-security/app-and-data-leaks/stravas-privacy-zone/) – we aggregate over a minimum number of cyclists. Adding those together and we essentially remove homes and show well-used roads only. 
We do want to see the demand from and to particular areas. We do this using grouping in a similar way to how the census is performed with several hundred homes being grouped together into a region with one centre point. Think of it a bit like a postcode. So a journey from AB12 to AB13 doesn’t give away privacy as it doesn’t provide any clue as to the precise address, but it’s more than enough to plan routes based on demand.

Hopefully that covers that the location of your “home” safe zone isn’t going to tell anyone where your precious steed is housed

See.Sense ICON 2 Crash Alert

Given that the accelerometer is able to determine the road surface you are riding on, I don’t think is really taxes the system to look out for sudden changes in velocity suggesting you may have had a mishap. The app will then trigger an alert on your phone to a nominated contact in the See.Sense app.

TitaniumGeek IMG 3996 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of IMG 3996

See.Sense ICON 2 – Conclusion

TitaniumGeek untitled 2 of 2 1 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of untitled 2 of 2 1

If you looked at the See.Sense ACE, but had been put off feeling it wasn’t bright enough for you, then you should really strongly consider the ICON 2 as we move into Autumn this year.

It sounds as though the See.Sense ICON 2 should be replacing the ACE, but I can see a simple reason that they have not done that. People have different bikes for different activities and the same goes for both sets of lights here in my opinion.

My See.Sense ACE is happily fitted on my race / road bike where I want to balance between visibility and weight, where as the larger See.Sense ICON 2 sits happily front and rear on my Hummingbird commuter

The ANT+ system is, in my humble opinion junk. But that is more my reflection on the system, and not the See.Sense ICON 2.

Another small niggle relates to the See.Sense GoPro mount. This is excellent, and in my opinion should be included in the box, with the price increased correspondingly. It just tidies up the rear so well

TitaniumGeek IMG 9050 See.Sense ICON 2 Review   Smarter Bike Lights Bike Lights Cycling  See.Sense bike light   Image of IMG 9050

So there we go! The ICON 2 takes everything which was good about the See.Sense ACE and refines it. 5/5 TG Stars, and the Recommended badge too!

0
0
James Gill

Author of TitaniumGeek, which started after smashing off my RIGHT elbow. <br /> <br /> After learning a lot about olecranon fractures, I was introduced to the world Zwift, and slowly transitioned into writing about sports gadgets and the like<br /> <br /> Trying to keep up cycling, swimming and running whilst being a busy General Practice Doctor