Lucas' King of the Road light - first made in 1878 - now lit with LEDs

The first King of the Road bicycle lamp was produced in 1878, lit by oil. The latest is lit by LEDs.
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Lucas is a famous automotive brand name but, like many automotive companies, has its roots in the bicycle business. Company founder Joseph Lucas started selling oil lamps for penny farthings in 1878. The Lucas name has been licensed from US automotive giant TRW to Elta Lighting of Birmingham since 2004 and the company produces automotive lighting products. But with Lucas having such a strong heritage in cycling, Elta decided to relaunch the Lucas name for a new line of cycling products, and also resurrected its famous marque, King of the Road.

The King of the Road lamp was the leading lighting brand of the day, fitted to many penny farthings. Harry Lucas, son of the founder and the industrialist who rapidly expanded the company, was a keen cyclist. By 1888 Lucas was employing 50 people; 700 by 1897 in the peak of the bicycle boom.

Elta Lighting has produced three ranges of Lucas bicycle lights: King of the Road, TrailBlazer and DuraLight. King of the Road is the premium range with the KOTR500 having a CNC alloy body and CREE 565 lumens LED, recharged by USB.

Elta is selling direct to consumers online and plans to distribute Lucas lights to independent bike shops and automotive accessory shops.

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