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Festive iPhone cases light up when you get calls, alerts

These unique cases require no extra power, instead leveraging a little-known iOS feature to give your iPhone some visual flair.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
Your iPhone won't flash constantly, but it will light up in this cool way every time you get a phone call or an alert. Gizmodo

Does your iPhone case merely protect your iPhone? Bo-ring!

Why not spruce things up a bit with a case that combines protection with festive, blinky coolness? That's the idea behind this line of VanD flashing iPhone cases.

Available in a variety of styles for iPhone 5/5S and iPhone 5C, the LED Cover Flashing Clear Case offers a seemingly transparent protective shell for your handset.

But by leveraging a little-known iOS setting -- LED flash for alerts -- the case will light up to display a nifty embedded pattern every you time you receive a call, text message, e-mail, or anything else that would normally trigger an alert.

When that happens, the LED flash is redistributed throughout the entire casing, meaning you can see the effect not only from the back (as shown in the above image), but also on the sides. It's pretty cool, especially considering that it requires no additional battery power (other than what the LED already draws).

This might be a fine gift item for the iPhone 5 owner who has everything, or for yourself if you like silent but noticeable alerts that also look pretty. The cases sell for $19.99 apiece.