We were able to find these little lights in a local auto parts store. The ones we found are called "Tireflys" and they were only about $10 for a pair so we decided to get some and see what kind of entertainment we could make from them. We hope you all can see how much fun we had with this little experiment and get out there and have some fun of your own. Perhaps There is something you and your team have been thinking about doing and we encourage you to get out and try it!
After we returned to the shop, we dismantled the lights to see how they work. An internal mechanical g-switch inside is activated by the centripetal force of the spinning tire and it activates a timing circuit that flashes the LEDs for 20 seconds after the switch is closed. Sadly, the timing isn't proportional to wheel speed or anything, but what do you want for $10?
We think that a long exposure with a tripod would help, We will bring a tripod for the camera next time and we have a remote shutter release called a "bulb" on order, so we will be able to get better pictures soon.
We discovered that tapping on the rocket to get it flashing would provide enough light to get the photo framed. Then it's just a matter of holding steady until ready to launch and open the shutter and launch then close the shutter. This is similar to the methods used for astro photography and weather photography.
Until next week!