Pin Lights stake your tent and light up your campsite
By C.C. Weiss
March 16, 2012
Pin Lights are an innovative camping concept from a group of designers. The lights are essentially large pins that take the place of tent stakes. Not only do they keep your tent stable in the wind, but they light up your campsite ... so that wee-hour pee doesn't have to be a life-risking affair.
The Pin Light was imagined by a team of designers - Kim Jung Su, Kim Dong Hwan, Yoon Ji Soo and Yoon Jae Sun. The concept is simple but quite practical.
Similar to yard lighting, Pin Lights are designed to be stuck into the ground. They presumably have a sharper, sturdier stem than the average yard light, because their job is not only to light up a small area but also to stake the tent out. The advantage is that instead of tripping on a stake or guy line in the dark, both will be clearly visible thanks to the self-illuminating stakes. They serve the same function as the TentLED, but appear better implemented because they identify both the guy line and stake.
The top of the lamp is diagonal, so that you can hammer it into the ground without smashing the light itself (though I'm sure it'd be easy to slip). The stakes use solar panels and LED lights to keep things green, and each lamp features an on/off switch and a groove in back to hold the guy line steady. The stakes are fashioned after leaves to "encourage campers to feel united with nature" - save for the whole artificial light blowing up your campsite all night thing.
As someone who's tripped on his tent lines and stakes pretty much every time he's camped, I have to say that this could be a very useful design. Camping can be dark, cramped (like when the only flat ground is between two gangly bushes) and disorienting. Having the general area around your tent illuminated would definitely help to make getting to and from the tent in the dark easier and safer.
The design could stand to be tweaked a little, though. As much as the Pin Lights could help you see the guy lines, they're so large and bulky, that you're likely to trip on them. From the picture, it also looks like they're excessively bright, meaning you're going to keep yourself and your campground neighbors up all night.
The large size also makes Pin Lights pretty impractical for actually staking a tent out. Perhaps if all the camping you do is on soft grass like in the picture, but if you have to start dealing with hard, rocky terrain, good luck pounding something that thick into the ground.
A tiny LED or two on a regular, lightweight aluminum stake would be more functional. The system could then work as effectively as any stake, and offer enough light for its purpose without lighting you up like a police officer at a midnight traffic stop. Because there are so many of them, a remote control system might be better for turning them on and off.
Source: Red Dot