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Sci-Tech

This Lightning cable comes with a crazy-useful feature

Once you see the super-smart addition to the standard Lightning cable built into the Luminid, you'll wonder why they don't all have it.

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Finally! A Lightning cable manufacturer has seen the light. Sewell Direct

Maybe this has happened to you ...

The other night, about 15 minutes after my wife and I had switched off the lights and were dozing off to sleep, I remembered that I hadn't plugged my iPad in. Not wanting to turn the light back on and disturb my sleeping spouse, I grabbed the tablet and its cable and fussed around scraping the end of the cable along the edge of the iPad until I got it to slide in. It wasn't pretty.

So when the folks at Sewell Direct asked me if I wanted to give their recently released Luminid cable a try, I pretty much lit up at the chance.

The Luminid has a simple -- and "what took so long" -- innovation built into it. The Lightning connector end has a light that turns on when you grab it. Of course, there have been other illuminated lightning cables before, but they stay lit constantly along their entire lengths when they're plugged in -- rope-light style -- so that you don't ever really get to enjoy a dark room.

The Luminid cable works through capacitive touch, which means that it senses the presence of your finger on either side of it, and then only the tip lights up. Let go and it turns off. I found the light to be more than adequate to guide me to the iPad's port without all that scraping (and muttered expletives). It's also a pretty soft glow that's not at all harsh. In a subsequent bedroom experiment, my light-sensitive wife didn't so much as stir when I used it.

In order for the cable to light up, the USB end must be plugged in, but that turns out to be a good thing when you're looking to charge your appliances overnight.

Unfortunately, the cable is only three feet long, so it's not really possible to plug it in and use your device while lying in bed; it's strictly for charging. I've solved the issue by plugging in a wall adapter with two USB ports next to my bed. In it I have plugged a nice long fabric-covered 10-foot Lightning cable for when I remember to plug in my iPad before climbing into bed, and the Luminid for when I forget. I guess you can say Lightning has struck twice in my bedroom (sorry).

The Lumind costs $16.95 (about £11, AU$23) plus $3.23 shipping in the US. International shipping is available for additional fees.