If you're like most support techs, you know that a Mini Maglite doesn't taste good. You know what I mean. You're under a desk with the flashlight in one hand and investigating a cabling problem with the other hand. You find the problem and then realize that you're going to need two hands to perform the task. But you need the flashlight to see. So, you end up sticking the end of the flashlight between your teeth.
In most cases, you can get the job done in this awkward position, unless you need to talk to someone during the procedure, but there has to be a better way.
Having been in that predicament many times myself, I was instantly drawn to the flashlight counter at my local home improvement store on a recent Saturday afternoon by a display of unique flashlight accessories from a company called Nite Ize. There, I found a multitude of inexpensive flashlight accessories designed to make it easy for you to use your flashlight and both your hands at the same time.
I immediately bought several of the Nite Ize flashlight accessories and have found them to be amazingly invaluable in all kinds of situations. I thought I would spread the word to all my support tech colleagues and let them know that they too can shine the light easily with Nite Ize.
Using your head
Even though it doesn’t leave a good taste in your mouth, one of the nice things about holding a flashlight with your teeth is that you can shift the light from one area to another simply by moving your head. So why not take advantage of this convenience with the Nite Ize Headband?
As you can see in Figure A, you just insert your flashlight into the holder loop on the Headband, fit the strap on your head and you’re ready to go spelunking under the desk or anywhere that you need a flashlight and two hands.
|The headband allows you to shine your flashlight wherever you need it, just by moving your head.|
I’ve found that the Velcro on the ends of the strap make it very easy to adjust the Headband for a comfortable fit and the holder loop is designed to hold both AA and AAA mini flashlights. I’ve also discovered that no matter whether you’re lying on the floor under a desk or standing up and peering behind a server rack, you can easily shine the light exactly where you need it and get the job done quickly.
A friend indeed
As you probably know from first-hand experience, while working inside a computer, there are times when you just need to focus your flashlight on one area and leave it there. For those times, I really appreciate the versatility of the Nite Ize Flashlite Friend, as shown in Figure B.
|The Flashlite Friend is a very versatile flashlight stand.|
This flashlight accessory consists of a hose-like tube into which you insert your flashlight and four plastic coated flexible wire legs that can easily be bent at any angle to allow you to focus the light exactly where you want it. In addition to being a flashlight stand, the FlashLite Friend’s legs can easily be shaped so that they attach to your belt allowing this accessory to double as a flashlight holster.
For those times when you need to read a serial number or other text printed in a tiny space on the motherboard or other device inside a computer, you’re sure to find the Nite Ize Fiber Optic Adapter to be a very handy accessory. As you can see in Figure C, the Fiber Optic Adapter’s cap slips over the top of the flashlight and the fiber optic wand, which comes in 4.5, 7, and 20-inch lengths, allows you to point the light precisely where you need it. You can also change the intensity of the fiber optically enhanced light by focusing the flashlight.
|The Fiber Optic Adapter makes it easy to see into tiny spaces.|
I’ve highlighted the three flashlight accessories that I’ve found the most useful in my tech support endeavors, however, Nite Ize makes many others that you might find useful. Check out the catalog on the Nite Ize Web site.
Unfortunately, you can’t actually purchase the flashlight accessories on the Nite Ize site. However, you can find links to online retailers that sell the flashlight accessories.
Just to give you an idea of the price ranges, here’s what I paid, before sales tax, for my three Nite Ize flashlight accessories:
|Fiber Optic Adapter||$6.99|
As I mentioned, I found the Nite Ize flashlight accessories at my local home improvement store. If you’d like to try to find a retailer in your area that carries Nite Ize products, check out the Contact page for more information.
Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.