For the last week or so, I’ve had a house guest. She sleeps on the floor, sticks her tongue out at me, and has a habit of asking for belly rubs. She also happens to be a dog. She’s used to having her walks in the late evening, as is the case with many of her other furry brethren, but you can see how this can represent a possibly unsafe proposition with cars driving along dark roads.

Looking to address these very common circumstances are the lineup of light-up products from Nite Collar and Nite Leash. They’re meant to be a simple and effective way of keeping both you and your pet safe when you head out on the streets.

Leashes and Collars for Night Walkers

Available in a number of different color combinations, Nite Leash and Nite Collar both make use of LED and fiber optic technology. There is effectively just a single LED needed for each unit, because the light travels down the fiber optic channel that runs along the inside of the collar or leash. What you get is incredibly low power consumption, but plenty of light so that cars (and people) can see you when you’re walking at night.

The Nite Collar is adjustable and comes in different sizes to fit the necks of different sized pets. It’s made with high tenacity nylon, as is the Nite Leash, and it clasps together with a fairly standard plastic buckle. The leash ring is stainless steel. As far as quality goes, it’s easily on par with its non-illuminated competition.

The Nite Leash is effectively the same idea, except it’s a leash. The lit portion is closer to the loop where you hold the leash, rather than closer to the part that attaches to your dog’s collar. For optimal safety, you can use a Nite Leash in tandem with a Nite Collar. This way, both you and Fido are easily visible to the cars on the road.

Simple One-Button Operation

The LED and the fiber optic channel are connected to a black box. The channel slots into the leash (or collar) and the black box is stowed away in a side-slit style pocket. This is important, because you’ll need to access it in order to change the two CR2032 batteries (the Mini Pet Series uses CR2016). I’m told the batteries last about 50 hours of total illumination, but your mileage will vary of course.

The operation here couldn’t be simpler. There is just one button to do everything. Press it once and the LED turns on with its relatively rapid flashing pattern. Press it again and you get a slower flashing pattern. Press it once more and you get a solid light. And finally, press it one more time and it turns back off. This button is easily pressed even when the black box is tucked away in its slit pocket.

I would have liked if it were easier to access the batteries, though. Just a simple slider, like how you see on TV remotes and similar products, would have been totally sufficient. Instead, you need to break out a mini-screwdriver to get at them.

Let’s Go for a Walk

First and foremost, the build quality of the Nite Leash and Nite Collar is very good. They used high quality buckles and loops, so you generally don’t have to worry about anything falling apart under duress. Of course, I was walking around with a tiny Japanese Chin, but I imagine you would be just as confident walking a well-behaved Rottweiler or German Shepherd.

The Nite Leash is fairly standard in that it is of a set length and the part that you hold is a loop of the nylon fabric. While there is a little bit of stiffness near the top from the fiber optic channel, it’s still flexible enough to work under just about all circumstances. The bottom half is like a normal leash. That said, I found the length to be a little on the short side, but that’s a matter of personal preference.

Even though it is just a single LED in there, the Nite Leash is able to produce a considerable amount of light. I personally found the green light to be the brightest and my furry companion didn’t seem to get distracted by the light, whether it was on the leash or around her neck. The red-on-black leash from the Original Series was the dimmest, but was still easily visible from some distance away.

A Safe Dog Is a Good Dog

You won’t really need this if you only walk your dog when it’s sunny outside, but having that solid or blinking light when you’re walking at night (or even just on gloomier days) can make a world of difference in terms of safety and visibility. This is especially true if your dog is the type that likes to wander or meander on walks, since he or she may suddenly dart into harm’s way. The light helps to keep him or her safer.

This kind of product follows the same kind of philosophy that we have with blinking lights on bicycles or the importance of children having lights or wearing reflective clothing when they go trick-or-treating next week. To be seen is to be safe, and being safe is a good thing.

MEGATechie Light Up My Life or MEGATechie Bad Dog, Very Bad Dog

For my part, I prefer the retractable-type leashes, because they give me greater flexibility. As I mentioned above, the Nite Leash felt like it was on the shorter side of things, so I would like to see them offer it in longer lengths or, better still, as a retractable-type leash somehow. At the same time, I can very much see how a dog owner could use the Nite Collar in tandem with whatever leash they prefer.

Considering that we already have technology to let your dog tweet, these light-up LED products from Nite Leash and Nite Collar are a much smaller way to leverage technology in your pet-owning favor. With the Nite Collar in the $20 range and the Nite Leash in the $25 range, this really isn’t that much more than a standard issue collar or leash.

The 2.0 series of both the leashes and the collars should be released quite soon. I’ve been told that there are some considerable improvements, so stay tuned for a post here on MEGATechNews that highlights these new dog-friendly products when they become available. For now, I’d say that I recommend the Nite Collar for sure and I’d also recommend the Nite Leash if you’re okay with a shorter fixed length.

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