About

“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride”

All of us here at MonkeyLectric love riding our bikes.  We developed the Monkey Light to make riding at night just as fun as the day, and to share our good cheer with those around us.  The first thing you notice when you ride around town with a Monkey Light is how many smiles you get.  Just remember to smile back!

Art & Style

The Monkey Light isn’t just a fun, practical bike light. It’s also a cutting edge digital art platform featuring generative and parameterizing techniques.  Each Monkey Light product includes a curated set of graphics featuring contributions from several artists.  Our style brings back the 8-bit arcade and early “demoscene” computer graphics.  What does all that mean?  It means that Monkey Light graphics are unique, fun and creative and you won’t get bored of them!

Innovation

The moment you pick up a Monkey Light you know you are holding something special.  Our solid rubber construction is completely unique because we developed it specially to meet the demands of year-round use on city streets.  It resists cracking, scratching, clouding, water and dirt better than any type of hard shell plastic.  It’s also thinner and lighter and will last years longer.  We developed our solid rubber construction ourselves, and operate our own manufacturing line here in California.

Our Monkey Light Pro is the world’s most advanced bicycle wheel display.  It is the first and only full color, full wheel, double-sided display capable of showing images and video on a bicycle wheel.

Made in California USA

How do we do it?  Many companies just assume everything will be cheaper if they make it in China.  We asked ourselves – is that really true?  We developed our own program of Manufacturing Coupled Design.  Our designers rapidly iterate based on direct integration with manufacturing.  This happens in a way which is just not possible with a distant manufacturer and it allows us to remain cost competitive and have a higher quality USA-made product.

Environment

Our products are designed to last as long as possible so you won’t have to replace them.  We only manufacture environmentally safe products (lead free and RoHS compliant).  We design our products to have equal or better performance using common rechargeable batteries.  We try to reduce materials and energy use in our manufacturing, products and packaging wherever possible.  We also hope our products will inspire more people to ride bikes!

Community

We believe a business should reflect the values of its owners and employees, and be an active member of the community.  Several of our staff are volunteer organizers of the largest Oakland and San Francisco events focusing on positive, community-wide cycling. Members of our staff are also actively involved with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and regularly advocate both for improvements to cycling infrastructure, and integration of bicycles with our public transit systems. We contribute many non-commercial projects and How-To’s to the open source community for others to build and use on their own. Our innovative mobile sound system designs have inspired many other builders and helped enable off-grid parties around the world.

Exhibits

Our exhibits take our technology to its ultimate impractical manifestation. Our n00tron 3D and Draw On The Wheel interactive exhibits feature unlimited modalities that engage participants of all ages, fostering free-form creativity and sparking inquisitiveness. We welcome a permanent home for either exhibit.

Staff

Dan Goldwater
Dan was a scientist at the MIT Media Lab when he built his first art bike. Dan co-founded Do-It-Yourself community site Instructables.com and technology development firm Squid Labs. Dan’s work has been featured in Nature and in the Smithsonian. Dan’s helmet is inspired by the Australian Magpie, a bird that is known to viciously attack the heads of cyclists – the best known prevention is to cover your helmet in cable ties.

Laurent Rains
Laurent has worked in a number of startups and online businesses around the world focusing on sales, marketing and business development. He has not owned a car for the past four years and commutes to work by bicycle everyday. Recently he learned that his roll-aboard suitcase can be easily hitched to his bike rack and towed.

Phillip Yip
Phil is an Engineer, AIDS LifeCyclist, and sometimes photographer whose whose work has been featured in the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and the Huffington Post. He’s been a car-free bike commuter since 2007.

Catherine Orland
Catherine is an active volunteer/member of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, where she leads an annual commuter convoy with many first-time cyclists on Bike To Work Day. She lives in the Mission district and enjoys cycling all over the Bay Area; especially on Mt. Tam. “It’s easier to bike in heels than walk in heels”.

Aaron Burke
Aaron is our general purpose production wizard who can often be caught dancing while waterproofing the lights (unless he’s listening to metal, in which case he can be seen pretending to be holding two glowing orbs in his hands from time to time). He specializes in looking hella important in a lab coat and beanie combo. He’s into live music and stand-up comedy. You can follow the stupid things he says at work on the Twitter account that Phil keeps updated @fatgingerhipstr.

Kathryn Combs

The Basics

MonkeyLectric was founded in 2008.  We are headquartered just outside San Francisco, California in our fabulous facility:

Credits

Artists

Dan Goldwater: M133, M210, M232
Xander Hudson: M133, M232
Noah Vawter: M133, M232
David Knight: M210, M232
Zsuzsanna Mozsary: M232

Thanks

Peter Luka – fabrication
Mitch Heinrich – instructions
David Laibstain – legal
Rick Mescher – legal
Daphna Buchsbaum – usability, marketing
Roger Carr & Jana Olson – facility
Taryn Lahey – video
Ben Brunetti – video
Jessica Meek – logo, packaging
Meghan Ballog – assembly, modeling
Star Simpson – engineering, video
Matt Carney – mechanical engineering
Alec Plauche – mechanical engineering
Gian Bongiorno – fabrication
Nils McCarthy – embedded systems
Sara Cambridge – package design
Jade Ajani Ujcic-Ashcroft – video production
Open Ended Group – animation
Limor Fried – inspiration
Tim Anderson – inspiration
Kevin “frostbyte” McCormick – in memory
Pamela Palma – photography
Matt Borgatti – web and logo design
Pete Brandt – riding
Brian Chapman – riding
Leslie Chicoine – usability & user interface
Joe Grand – security
Leif Steinhour – environmental
Karen Lewis – logo design
Patrick Buckley – proto assembly and test, gear
Nick Papadakis – video
Chris Lay – show team
Ryan Miller – riding