5 Images

High beams when you need a light

Emergency signal lights can guide rescuers your way.

Perhaps best suited for nighttime joggers and cyclists, it’s visible in the dark for up to a mile when viewed straight on (otherwise a quarter-mile tops). Expect 250 hours flashing or 100 hours steady per battery set (runs on two CR2032 lithium batteries, included). Claimed to be waterproof to 300 feet. In five colors. $12. (800) 582-3861,

Text by Scott Doggett
Photos by Eric Boyd / LAT ()
With 300,000 candle power, waterproof to 15 feet, 50 to 70 strong bursts per minute for up to 16 hours and weaker bursts for up to 60 more hours, plus a 180-degree light arc and unnatural xenon illumination, this is a terrific attention-getter. Runs on one D-cell battery (not included). $19. (800) 343-5827,

Note: Prices listed are easily found online but are not necessarily those suggested by the manufacturers. ()
Puts out up to 12 hours of steady light and 30 hours of flashing light per battery set (three alkaline or lithium batteries, included). Limited range (1,500 feet) limits restricts its use to short-range needs, such as walking, backpacking and vehicle breakdowns at night. $12. In five colors. (800) 582-3861,
INOVA 24/7
This can be seen up to 2 miles away and features eight lighting options and several color beams to suit multiple needs. Will strobe for up to 100 hours on a single CR123A lithium battery (included). In three colors. $37 to $50 (higher price includes neck lanyard, headband and wall mounts). (401) 294-2030,
The least environmentally friendly of the items tested (one-time use only!), it proved unreliable (one in eight failed to work). The chemically produced light is neither terribly bright nor long lasting (only a few hours). Recommended use: Burning Man and other wild outdoors events. In eight colors. $12 for eight. (204) 284-9550,