LIGHTS OUT
These are handheld games made by Tiger Electronics. The goal of the game is to press buttons in the proper order to extinguish all of the lights.

HISTORY
THINK-A-DOT
Think-A-Dot was a plastic toy manufactured by E.S.R., Inc. during the 1960s. The game involved a mechanism into which marbles would be dropped, flipping colored disks and deflecting the balls left or right. One puzzle available in the game was to flip all of the disks to the same color in the minimum number of moves.

Think-A-Dot Box Front   Think-A-Dot Box Back

Mathematical Theory of Think-a-Dot, Benjamin L. Schwartz
Mathematics Magazine, Vol. 40, No. 4 (September 1967)

Think-a-Dot Revisited, John A. Beidler
Mathematics Magazine, Vol. 46, No. 3 (May 1973)

Think-a-Dot: A Useful Generalization, Michael Gemignani
Mathematics Magazine, Vol. 52, No. 2 (March 1979)

FLIP
In the May 1974 issue of Popular Electronics, Joseph Weisbecker (of RCA COSMAC 1802 microprocessor fame) described an electronic game called Flip that used TTL flip-flops to simulate the Think-A-Dot.

LIGHTS OUT
The standard 5x5 game, patented in 1995 (US Patent Number 5,417,425). The grid of 25 buttons, each of which can light up independently of the others, displays a pattern at the start of the game. The goal is to extinguish all of the lights by pressing the fewest number of buttons.

Pressing a button reverses the state of the button as well as the four buttons immediately above, below, to the left and to the right of the pressed button.

There are three modes of play.

DELUXE LIGHTS OUT
This is a lights out game played on a 6x6 grid. The user may select how the game responds to a button press - either the standard pattern of above, below, left, right (a + pattern) or a diagonal (a x pattern) pattern of upper left, upper right, lower left and lower right.

LIGHTS OUT 2000
Revamped for the turn of the Millenium, this model is similar to the standard 5x5 game. It's covered by US Patents 5,417,425 and 5,573,245.

It also offers multicolored lights and sound effects.

LIGHTS OUT CUBE

LITE 3

MINI LIGHTS OUT

SET OF THREE

RERFERENCES
Turning Lights Out with Linear Algebra, Marlow Anderson and Todd Feil
Mathematics Magazine, Vol. 71, No. 4 (October 1998)

The Easiest Lights Out Games, Bruce Torrence
The College Mathematics Journal, Vol. 42, No. 5 (November 2011)

Random Lights Out processes on graphs, Jacob Hughes
Advances in Applied Mathematics, 51 (2013)


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Last updated March 23, 2017