Although effective at preventing us from stubbing our toes and walking into walls when en route to the kitchen for a
3 am fridge raid, the humble night light can also be incredibly irksome — it takes up valuable outlet
real estate when it’s not needed to guide us down darkened hallways. Often too bulky for its own good, the night light has no qualms with bogarting the outlet you might need/want for your hairdryer, cell phone charger, electric toothbrush, etc. Sure, you could always plug and unplug the darn thing multiple times a day but that would be, well, inconvenient.
Having scored Kickstarter gold this past spring during a massively successful crowdfunding campaign
, Utah-based electrician and entrepreneur Jeremy Smith has proven that while we do indeed love and value night lights, we’re also more than willing to liberate them from our outlets to free up space for other gadgets and gizmos.
Now available for pre-order with a summertime delivery date, the SnapRays Guidelight is the first creation from Smith’s Snap Power
startup. Essentially a traditional outlet replacement cover with a trio of integrated LEDs on the bottom, the SnapRays Guidelight is simple yet ingenious, energy-efficient (5 cents annually to power), and, most importantly, extremely easy to install — no batteries, wiring, or intimidating tools are required.
To install, simply kill the power to the outlet of your choice, remove the existing outlet cover, and replace it with the “plug-and-play” Guidelight cover. Easy peasy. Flip the power back on and the photosensor-equipped unit will automatically kick into illumination mode once things go dark. Whether or not the Guidelight is aglow or not, you can feel free to plug-in whatever you please into the previously night light-occuped outlet.
So how’s it work? The Snap Power website explains:
As the user installs the Guidelight, the patented 'Power Extractors' on the back side of the Guidelight slide into the electrical box and around the outlet receptacle making contact with the screw terminals located on the sides of the outlet. This proprietary technology is what enables the device to extract power from the receptacle without having to hardwire, plug into or occupy an outlet.
Simple enough. There is, however, one caveat. Although available in several colors and styles compatible with both duplex- and décor-style outlets, the SnapRays Guidelight will not work with Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets, a type of outlet commonly found in bathrooms (you know, the ones with little red and black buttons in the middle). Although night lights are as common in bathrooms as plungers and back issues of People magazine, the SnapRay Guidelight isn't compatible with GFCI outlets as they don’t have the required screw terminals required to operate the unit.
Marketed as a safer (it can’t be pulled on and yanked out by the curious hands of tykes) and more damage-resistant alternative to traditional plug-in night lights, this brilliant illuminated cover plate is UL listed. The LEDs have a healthy lifespan of 25 years.
Special pre-order prices
are still in effect over at the Snap Power website with a starter pack (a single SnapRays Guidelight) costing $15. The Guidelight can also be purchased in multiples of three ($42), five ($65), and 10 ($120).
Any thoughts? Do you frequently curse your night lights for taking up too much primo outlet space?
Related stories on MNN:
Posted 3 weeks, 4 days ago:
Posted 4 weeks, 1 day ago:
Posted 2 months ago:
Posted 2 months, 2 weeks ago:
This illuminated outlet cover frees up precious plug-in space
The outlet-hogging reign of night lights may soon be over thanks to the ingenious SnapRays Guidelight from Snap Power.