I had been eyeing a pack of magnetic LED beacons for a while.
What’s the point ? To report in case of emergency, a road accident or even my dog when I walk him at night!
More seriously, it’s very useful for your EDV (Every Day Vehicle – Car emergency module).
After some research on the internet the prices vary from USD150 to … USD250 (lol).
Well, by digging around a bit, I found it for USD100 on
Amazon. What is an LED Beacon?
You have probably all seen, in American films, the officers of the Highway Patrol laying tubes that burn on the ground to divert traffic: this is the system of hazard warning lights… oh so faithful friends of our soccer friends in the grandstands!
Well there, it’s the same use, but with a resistant roller lined with LEDs that flash according to the desired mode.
It emits no heat and is equipped with a magnet allowing it to be attached to any metal object.
Contents of the pack / suitcase:
The six pebbles are stored in thermo-moulded slots and serve as a charging base (LEDs indicate whether the charge is complete or not.). On the battery side, we find the magnet and the two reloading terminals and on the front side, we find the two screws which close the roller and the button allowing the modes to be started. Diameter 10 cm and height 3.5 cm.
A USB cable / round mains charger plug, the female socket is directly integrated into the base for recharging and a small space is provided to close the case without pinching the wire while connected to the mains. Madam will thank you for saving space with your “brothel” thus closed.
A mains / USB socket
A cigarette lighter / USB socket
How do the pebbles work?
By pressing the small button, you can have up to 9 different modes of use: rotation, double flashing, single flashing, alternating light, SOS morse code, permanent light (1x high and 1x low light power), 2 flashes LEDs, 4 LED flashes.
Depending on the mode, the manufacturer indicates up to 70 hours of use.
The beacons are waterproof and floating. They are also resistant to the passage of a wheel over them. My test: what is it worth in use?
The first thing I tested was the magnet: it works quite well, even on rounded surfaces: the beacon holds up well.
If it is fixed on a flat surface, it holds up to 90 km/h without problem and does not slip (tested on the roof).
The pebble is indeed waterproof and floats without difficulty.
In the field, I was able to use the six on a road accident, and it is effective and very useful.
The most effective mode for me is alternating light.
From a distance, the lane change is marked and very clearly visible. They can also be placed inside the cone of Lübeck if you don’t want to expose them too much, however visibility is reduced.
Small related advantage that is not insignificant: motorists are not very familiar with this system and slow down at the sight of LEDs… it will avoid you having to cut shorts.
I added to each of the LEDs a strand of paracord, connected to a carabiner for practicality.
Being out of the suitcase most of the time, this allows you to have them all attached and avoid losing one in the passenger compartment or in the trunk.
Moreover, when you go out to mark the ground, having the 6 in hand is not really ideal.
Finally, it also allows easy hanging on a mirror, a branch, etc.
In conclusion ?
Compared to the old flares, this does not produce heat, because there is no combustion (which is good in some cases and less good in others, such as lighting a fire, etc).
No worries with humidity, water, etc. : therefore ideal for rainy outings.
Long autonomy: 70 hours of use at most.
A negative point all the same: the system requires the carriage of the suitcase to recharge them.