Updated August 2019: MonkeyLectric Monkey lights are one of the most fun ways to stay safe on your bike when cycling in the dark. MonkeyLectric Lights attach easily to the spokes of your wheel, making your bike highly visible from the side. Each set of MonkeyLectric Lights has 32 tiny, full-color LED lights – and they’re programmable!
At Christmas time you can program your MonkeyLectric Lights to make green and red stars as you bike along! One set of monkey lights will ensure that you are seen from miles away – and better yet, seen from the side.
Each set of MonkeyLectric Lights consists of 32 LED lights, mounted on a flat, kind-of-boot-shaped piece of plastic. Turns out the boot-shaped piece of plastic fits perfectly onto the spokes of a bike wheel.
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MonkeyLectric Lights are Easy to Install
Not only that, but MonkeyLectric Lights are quite easy to install. With the first generation of Monkey Lights, you basically just tied the boot into the spokes with three plastic ties (included – unless you mess it up by putting it on backwards the first time, and have to cut one of the ties off, and then have to cycle, cursing and swearing, to the nearest hardware store to pick up another one – and who would be dumb enough to do that?). Then you just put in three AA batteries, and you were good to go. Install time then totaled less than 10 minutes (time does not include cycling to the hardware store to get a new tie).
However, the MonkeyLectric Lights design has now been improved. Instead of sitting in a rubber pouch on the boot, the batteries now live in a hard plastic case that presumably offers more resistance to rain. This little case (just big enough to hold three AA batteries) has to be attached to the hub of your wheel. You can see it in the photo above. This makes the install time longer – probably closer to 20 minutes than 5. But it’s still pretty easy, and can be done by non-mechanics without using any kind of special tools (just fingers, patience, and a tie-cutter).
Here is a really good video that shows you how to install the lights. It’s a lot better than the web site instructions:
Once you have your MonkeyLectric Lights mounted, you control them with four buttons, for Power, Speed, Colour and Pattern. There’s a color guide to help you program away to your heart’s content.
Then all you do is push the tiny Power button, and off you go. As soon as you pick up speed, the rapidly whirling 32 lights generate very bright, highly visible, light patterns. The batteries last a really long time, too. I can use them about two hours a day, five days a week, for up to a month before I have to re-charge the batteries.
Monkey Lights are Waterproof, Rugged, and Long Lasting
Monkey Lights are very waterproof – I have cycled through several monsoon-like downpours, and the lights were just fine. I have also used them in snow without problems. This is a very rugged product. I have a set of the first edition original Monkey Lights on my current commuter bike. Despite intense use, they are still going strong after about ten years.
Monkey Lights have 32 LED Lights
Yep, 32 LED lights on each set. So what is the point of having 32 LED lights on your wheel, you may ask? Well, first off, it’s fun. This may sound weird, but when I’m setting off for work on a pitch dark morning in the rain, it cheers me up to have these bright lights whirling in my front wheel. I don’t know why, but the lights make the dark and cold less depressing.
Second, just my single set of MonkeyLectric Lights makes me extremely visible. Especially from the side. This is VERY useful in situations where motorists are approaching from the side. With my MonkeyLectric lights, motorists see me a LOT more quickly than previously, and screech to a halt much sooner – which makes for much less terror for me. I seriously believe that at some point, these lights will actually save me from being hit, and perhaps even save my life.
Third, it’s kind of fun to have other cyclists (and a lot of little kids) get a real kick out of my cheerful lights! The lights seem to cheer other people up, not just me.
Monkeylectric Pro Lights
You can also buy custom Monkeylectric Pro lights, but these are a lot more expensive. These would be appropriate if you are promoting a business with your bike, because you can program them into amazing patterns, such as the one above.
The price of regular Monkey Lights has come down, and you can now get a set for under $60 … and as I told Mrs. Average Joe Cyclist, it’s not a frivolous purchase, it’s a safety feature!
If you want a CHEAPER option, there are Monkey Lights that only have 10 lights instead of 32, and go for under $40 (below):
Bottom line on the MonkeyLectric Monkey Lights
I highly recommend these lights to anyone who rides in the dark, and wants to have fun and be safe while they’re doing it. Mrs. Average Joe Cyclist and I have a set on both of our bikes. A while ago wWhen I set up a bike for my daughter to ride to school, I put a set on each wheel, because I REALLY want her to be safe.
These innovative, fun, inexpensive, potentially live-saving, energy-thrifty lights rate an Average Joe Cyclist Gold Star!
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