While digging through the Livid Lobster product review cabinet with Mark Zamora, we discovered the LiteUPZ safety lights. These seemed like a great fit for me to test, considering I am a runner who runs very early in the morning — and I have a toddler who is distracted by shiny objects.
Per the product insert:
LiteUPZ® brand lights are the first personal safety light to react to motion without the need to be turned on. In fact, the unit has no on-off switch. What makes this possible are the custom patented electronics and sensor so unique, the United States Government has issued three patents, which cover the design.
Technically, they do have an activation switch, but once activated you can rely on the motion sensor to control the battery life. There is no way to change the battery, so once the unit dies you must recycle it at a facility that accepts old electronics.
Each LiteUPZ has a horizontal window with five red LEDs. Each lights up in succession as a test pattern when first turned on. The screen will then go dark while awaiting motion as a trigger. The motion sensor detects movement with the LiteUPZ itself, not with objects nearby. Once jostled, lights quickly flash in a specific pattern for several seconds before once again going dark. This conservation ability is built-in and helps to preserve battery life.
When you order these lights, you can request a custom flash pattern. You can also add your own unique design, which might make LiteUPZ a fun give-away in grab-bags, raffles, etc. Our samples featured different playful designs such as flowers, checkers, skulls, and more.
Our LiteUPZ were bare and not ready for attachment to any surface (clothing or otherwise). Therefore, I couldn’t try running with them. So this meant my toddler got free reign with them!
My son Zachary is two-years-old, with a typical toddler’s unique take on the world. For several days, he enjoyed collecting what he called “light squares” and watching the LEDs dance back-and-forth. He also liked the different designs printed on each.
The LiteUPZ website touts its primary use as a safety device. In their literature, they cite examples such as kids, cyclists, backpackers, construction workers, pet collars, joggers, campers, and more. Beyond safety, I could see alternative applications such as:
- Toys: as noted above, my son was entertained by the flash and pattern. I’m tempted to build a homemade Cylon for Zachary.
- Costumes: speaking of Cylons, I might have an idea for a future Halloween look!
- Artwork: I am a visual artist, so I could see how sculptors, assemblage artists, etc. might incorporate the technology into their works. Imagine if Robert Rauschenberg, my favorite modern artist, had access to such technology…
- Advertisements: this seems like a killer application — catch the attention of nearly consumers with a simple LED flash out of the corner of their eye.
Overall, the LiteUPZ were fun to play with, but without being incorporated into a more-finished product (ex: clip-on running light), the use of our samples were limited. They’re a really fun item for young kids to play with. LiteUPZ safety lights are available from the DaLite Company.
If you had some of these LiteUPZ, how might you use them?