by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
Last month a man wrote:
I am somewhat hard of hearing. I can never hear my cell phone when it rings, even when it is in my pocket. Do you have a remote little light that would blink when my phone rings?
I had written in part:
Sorry, I’m not aware of a portable blinking light device for cell phones.
Fortunately, one of our subscribers knew the answer. There are indeed such devices—not remote lights, but lights that fit on the phone itself.
I thought it would be nice to share information about a portable light that flashes for cell phones. These are available at many mall kiosks that sell cell phone gadgets. It is a light of any design that fits in place of the antenna on the cell phone. Mine was red/white and blue. In the mountains one night, my husband thought a police car was stopping us and pulled over. Twice it happened with no policeman in sight! (I forgot to tell him I bought this “alerting device” for my cell phone and in the dark car it really lit up!)
It did help when I just wanted to see the light without the loud ring/vibration on a table, or did not have pants pockets. It was easy to see inside my purse too….a really bright strobe light the size of your cell phone antenna.
I did a bit of research and found that there are in fact two kinds of lighted accessories you can get for your cell phone.
As Lynn explained above, there are light-up antennas for some cell phones. Also, there are lighted batteries for other cell phones. These lighted batteries come with a transparent battery cover so you can see the light flashing through it.
Unfortunately, these accessories seem to be fast going out of style and are harder to come by. I checked with two mall cell-phone accessory kiosks and both said they used to carry them but not any more.
You can still find them on-line, but they only work for a limited number of phones (probably older ones). If you are interested, do a Google search for “light up antenna for cell phone” for the antenna kind, and “light up battery for cell phone” for the battery kind. Then check the search results for your phone model and service. It seems the antenna light-up accessories don’t work with CDMA networks for example.
If you strike out there, all is not lost. As Wendy informed me, some phones have flashing strobe lights built in. She explained, When “the LG8100 rings a little strobe light flashes, so even if I don’t hear it, I can see it flashing! It’s great for me!”
So if you want a phone that flashes to alert you, there are at least three possibilities that may work for you if they don’t all go the way of the Dodo bird.