Review: Mini Monkey Light

For the last two months, I’ve been dazzling Nashville with my Mini Monkey Light M210 from Monkey Electric. And I really mean that—while it’s no Christmas light set, this is the sort of lighting option that draws oohs and ahs from pedestrians and is difficult for motorists to miss. Very important attributes when it starts getting dark at 4:30!

The Monkey Light is easy to install, with a battery case  (3 AA) that rests on top of the wheel’s hub and a small circuit board that fits between the spokes like a baseball card.

 

The on/off button, and the button that allow you to select which pattern you want the light to display, are on the circuit board, as you can see below—they’re labled “Power” and “Theme.”

You may also notice that there’s a “tire” and “hub” indicator, and mine is facing the wrong way.  This did not seem to affect its performance, although I’m sure it alters some of the patterns, so I changed it around after these photos were taken. I attached the Monkey Light to my rear wheel only; I felt like both would have been overkill and I was worried that the battery pack would affect the bike’s performance. That does not seem to have happened,  although my definition of “performance” is doubtless less stringent than most.

Sadly, I can’t seem to get a picture of the light at night to save my life, though I’ve made a few efforts. Whitney finally helped me out and got the best snaps yet. I believe the pattern I have selected is the red “fireball” shown here. I may look like a ghost, but you can definitely tell the lights are BRIGHT.

Luckily, they have a video that better displays what the Monkey Light can do (and has me thinking that maybe I should install it on both wheels after all?).

You can find out more about Monkey Electric and the Monkey Light on their site, or their Kickstarter page. The Monkey Light Mini will be available in February for $49.99, but you can pre-order now. While the price is a tad steep (especially if you want to use the light on both wheels) this light definitely delivers when it comes to visibility (and in two months of use, I haven’t drained the batteries).

  • Lauren

    holy crap that thing is awesome!

  • Lauren

    holy crap that thing is awesome!

  • Inspiredcyclist.wordpress.com

    WOWZA! What an amazing idea/product! It would certainly keep you visible to motorists! TFS!

  • Inspiredcyclist.wordpress.com

    WOWZA! What an amazing idea/product! It would certainly keep you visible to motorists! TFS!

  • Robert Linthicum

    Very nice. I am waiting for the second generation of the “Down Low Glow” lights to be released. I had the two-tube green version on my Xtracycle, and it was like gliding along on a pad of alien-green air.

    These might be a reasonable alternative to the Monkey Light System: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0030D7X4U/ref=ox_ya_os_product

    • variable

      I just got these from the Kickstarter deal. Very sweet indeed.
      One thing I noticed is that you installed the light circuit on you bike
      upside down. Note the silkscreened tire and hub on the switch side.
      Best wishes!!

  • http://www.robertlinthicum.com/ Robert Linthicum

    Very nice. I am waiting for the second generation of the “Down Low Glow” lights to be released. I had the two-tube green version on my Xtracycle, and it was like gliding along on a pad of alien-green air.

    These might be a reasonable alternative to the Monkey Light System: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0030D7X4U/ref=ox_ya_os_product

  • http://weefrills.com/ Sarah W.

    Cool! I’d love to see it in person.

  • Illiniwu

    that’s awesome! it’s weird that your tires’ reflective strip didn’t reflect in the first photo. if i were to get this, i think i’d do the front wheel so that it peeks out from in front of the crosswalk.

  • Les Connally

    Love the time lapse night pics! Monkey Lights are fun. But do you remember the RevoLights on Kickstarter earlier this year? v-e-r-y elegant they were (and expensive!) Kickstarter page and video here here. and no- no relation – no interest.. I just think the goofy Revo kid made a beautiful things.

    • http://letsgorideabike.com LGRAB

      I don’t remember those! I’ll have to look them up.

  • Megan

    I’d love to have lights like these but I work about stuff like this getting stolen off my bike since it doesn’t appear to be fastened.

  • Marion

    If they can find a way to thief-proof these things, they will sell like hotcakes over here in the Netherlands, but otherwise… We leave our bikes outside and a neat gadget like this will be nicked in no time, alas!

    • http://letsgorideabike.com LGRAB

      There is a metal anti-theft zip tie you can use for extra security. But it would take a while to snip off all the zip ties that secure this sucker — and you really have to use scissors, can’t get a knife or anything under them if they’re tight enough.

  • Marion

    If they can find a way to thief-proof these things, they will sell like hotcakes over here in the Netherlands, but otherwise… We leave our bikes outside and a neat gadget like this will be nicked in no time, alas!

    • http://letsgorideabike.com LGRAB

      There is a metal anti-theft zip tie you can use for extra security. But it would take a while to snip off all the zip ties that secure this sucker — and you really have to use scissors, can’t get a knife or anything under them if they’re tight enough.

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  • variable

    I just got these from the Kickstarter deal. Very sweet indeed.
    One thing I noticed is that you installed the light circuit on you bike
    upside down. Note the silkscreened tire and hub on the switch side.
    Best wishes!!

  • jodycb

    I got a pair of these for Christmas. They look a lot more weather resistant than the first generation ones. I had a lot of luck getting pictures by trying to take random snapshots while I’m riding, making sure the flash is off and the camera is not trying to adjust to the low light situation. http://goo.gl/blwGj This photo is from the first generation version. 

    • http://letsgorideabike.com LGRAB

      Oh, awesome photo! Thanks for sharing. I need to give it another shot.

    • http://letsgorideabike.com LGRAB

      Oh, awesome photo! Thanks for sharing. I need to give it another shot.

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