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SNAP-IT & BLINK-IT


Snap-It and Blink-It, retail $10 (http://www.nifty-gadgets.com)
Manufactured by Illumineering
Last updated: 10-12-09


LED Light


Snap-It and Blink-It are interesting little lights designed to be used as markers or beacons, primarily in the performing arts industry.
They conveniently fit over an ordinary 9v battery, and exploit one usually overlooked resource in the theatre biz - the drawers full of half-used 9v batteries out of the cordless microphones!

They come in red, yellow, and green.
Snap-Its burn steadily, while Blink-Its wink on and off at approximately 1.5Hz.

SIZE (That's it, on top of a 9v battery)



To use this product, just snap it to a 9v battery. The connector only fits one way. (see Test Notes!)
To turn it off, lift one end off its terminal and swing the unit off to the side.

They are primarily meant for marking certain territory on a stage, such as edges, equipment, holes, and other hazards that an actor might bump into or step off while performing on stage.

They can also be used by dance groups and other performers to mark the various lines and points on a dance stage, and to mark general hazards like boom mics, speakers, light standards & trees, stairs & railings, doorways, dropoffs, or just about any other object or place that might give performers trouble while being blinded by stage lights.

The unit with attached battery would be laid down flat with the LED pointing toward the back of the stage; this way the audience tends to not notice them and the people who need to see them will see them. They can also be taped to boom microphones and other equipment; the extra weight is negligible.



The Snap-It and Blink-It modules fit directly over a 9v battery, exactly like the little snap on that transistor radio you had as a kid. It turns on automatically when you snap it on, and turns off when you unsnap it.

Battery life is projected to be approximately 120 hours.
Tests of the Blink-It version showed a new battery lasted approximately 4 days continuously (96 hours).

Dimming became evident on the final day of the test; this was anticipated. So the time of *useful* brightness is closer to 65-70 hous continuous, a bit more when used intermittently.



Snap-It and Blink-It modules are deceptively simple and reasonably durable, and should easily survive being dropped from "ordinary" heights (<5 feet) onto a hard floor or being stepped on. They just kind of bounce around a bit. There are very few parts to become broken.

When the product is in use, it is normally placed on its side, with the battery itself giving much of the protection against stray feet.

They will work from batteries retired from cordless microphones and other small electronics used in the performing arts, and most theatres have an abundance of these batteries. Because the current drain is so low, even when a battery is just about flat, the Snap It and Blink It will continue to function, and simply dim out very slowly - you are never just left in the dark but given many hours to think about finding a new battery.

Because the beacons use a rectangular 9v battery, they won't roll away even if Stomp is playing your venue.


Snap-It and Blink-It beacons ready for a night out on the town.


Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the LED in the red LED version of the Snap-It.
USB2000 spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.


They are designed to be viewed directly by actors on a stage; they are *not* designed to be the kind of eye-killing bright like the LEDs in flashlights. You want the performer to see the light, not be blinded by it. So do not be put off by the "low" brightness figure in the rating at the bottom of this page. In this case, it's actually a good thing.



TEST NOTES:

Despite some apparent testing by the manufacturer, one Blink-It beacon was destroyed after being connected backward for a brief period. It will need to be replaced before I can test it as a blinking beacon. It still burns steadily, just slightly dimmer than the Snap-It designed to operate that way.

Although product is generally durable, reasonable care should be taken when unsnapping units from a dead battery, as it is possible to delaminate (seperate) the two halves of the unit if one is careless. Should this occur, the unit should easily snap back together and be none the worse for wear.

Unconnected units should also be protected from being crushed by heavier theatrical equipment & fixtures and from being stepped on.

Any updates related to this review will be posted as they happen.


UPDATE 09-22-01: One out of two samples of Blink-It failed after accidentally connecting it backward to the battery (see above).
No failures occurred with Snap-Its (the steady-burning version) tested in this manner.

Connected & operating units were run over with the rear drive wheels of a motorized wheelchair (est. 400 lbs) and were not damaged. The battery itself protects them. This makes them especially good for dance troupes and other very active stage shows where they might be accidentally stepped on every now and again.


PROS:
Small & compact, easy to store (you can put many of them in a sandwich baggie)
Easy and intuitive to use.
Runs on batteries too dead to run anything else.
Durable enough to be stepped on (when connected to its battery).


CONS:
They aren't bright if that's what you're looking for, but they aren't meant to be bright.
Case halves can seperate if you're careless about unhooking them from battery.
Reasonable care should be taken to observe polarity of the Blink-It version.


          MANUFACTURER: Illumineering
          PRODUCT TYPE: Theatre stage / hazard markers
          LAMP TYPE: LED, 5mm. Red, yellow, and green.
          No. OF LAMPS: 1
          BEAM TYPE: Diffuse, 360
          SWITCH TYPE: No switch present. See article text
          BEZEL: None
          BATTERY: 1 rectangular 9 volt
          CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Varies, avg. <10 milliamps
          WATER RESISTANT: Splash resistant if cleaned quickly
          SUBMERSIBLE: NO WAY HOZAY!!!
          ACCESSORIES: None
          WARRANTY: TBA

          PRODUCT RATING:

          Star RatingStar Rating `

          Snap-It and Blink-It * WWW.NIFTY-GADGETS.COM










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