Playing a bum note or starting off in the wrong key because you can't see where your hands are in a dimly lit club or quiet corner hideaway can be more than a little embarrassing, it could lose you money. Rather than lighting up a fretboard with LEDs to indicate fret positions on the neck (or just show off), Japan's Luminlay developed some glow-in-the-dark inlays that could be installed out front for everyone to see, or just up top to aid the player. Now the company has spread the idea to volume and tone knobs, making the numbers visible even when the lights are turned down real low.
Even subtle adjustments to a guitar's volume or tone knob can make a world of difference to the sound thundering through a powerful amp or PA system. Changing the mood or tweaking the tone to suit the opening song before the spotlight hits you can be something of a challenge, though. Using a torch onstage is certainly one way to go, but probably doesn't give off the right vibe. Installing LEDs near to control knobs is also good, but do you really want to devalue your 6-string treasure with DIY mods?
In strong light, Luminlay's MA19 series metal guitar knobs look like many other machined controls, but as the lights go down they start to give off an eerie blue or green glow. The 19 mm (0.75 in) diameter, 18.5 mm high knobs come in black, nickel, or gold and are designed to fit 6 mm pot shafts. They're available now starting from JPY1,900 (about US$18) each.