Public places are equipped with emergency backup lights so that in the event of a power outage people can find their way to safety. So why shouldn't your home have that too? The ReadyBright system from Mr. Beams lets you easily install emergency backup lights all around home—which is probably a minefield of toys if you've got kids—that automatically power up when the power disappears.

The battery-powered lights—which come in versions for mounting on the ceiling or low to the ground—each run for about 40 hours thanks to low-energy LED bulbs. But the cornerstone of the system is a rechargeable flashlight/remote designed to stay plugged into an outlet all the time. It detects when the electricity goes out and automatically sends out a wireless signal telling all the backup lights in a 70-foot radius to turn on.

It of course can also be used as a flashlight so you can find your way around parts of your home where the backup lights aren't installed. And at any time it can also be used to manually activate the lights if needed, even if the power's not out.


A starter set, which includes two lights and a remote, sells for $60. But a 'whole house' kit with six lights and the remote is probably a better bargain at $100. If only so you can illuminate a direct path to the most important room in your house—the bathroom. [Mr. Beams]