Need indicator light in the mailbox to see if anything is inside

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I need a recommendation for an indicator light (maybe mailorder?) for my mailbox.
Here's the situation. * It's a custom mailbox, basically a door cemented in a pillar of concrete * It just has a square metal door with a brass inside latch (all metal) * It's higher than my eyes in the car window by about a foot * So I have to reach inside to see if anything is in there * It doesn't even have one of those little red (manual) flags * There isn't 120v lighting but landscape lighting is only a foot away
I wonder if technology can help me?
It would be nice if there was a way to mount an external LED such that an internal light sensor activates it to indicate mail in the mailbox.
Any pointers?
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in message

Put on one of those little red (manual) flags. Leave it up, when it's down, there's MAIL.
Sorry, could'nt resist.
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an indicator would be a great help to mail thieves,too.
--
Jim Yanik
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Mail thieves would never think to follow the mail truck at a distance, or something tacky like that.
--
Christopher A. Young
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the bottom where it belongs?
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Lefty wrote:

piss off your delivery driver. The good ones stop at all raised flags, and if there is no mail waiting, and they have nothing to deliver, that is wasted time for them.
-- aem sends...
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in

You would still have to open the door but have you considered a stick on mirror on the top of the inside?
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On Fri, 12 Feb 2010 09:51:08 -0600, Red Green wrote:

That's a GREAT idea ... worth a try.
I had not thought of that.
This is the kind of idea I was hoping to find by asking the question.
I haven't read all the responses yet so we'll see what else comes up. I can imagine whatever we come up with here will be generally useful to anyone who can't see "into" the mailbox from their car.
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Judy Zappacosta wrote:

First, the postal service may stop delivering mail if your box doesn't have a red flag. The flag directs the person-person (used to be mailman) to pick up outgoing mail.
Second, there are distance from the ground requirements. The old requirement was 41-45" from the ground. The new requirement (~Jan 2005) is that the height be approved by the local postmaster. If you're in the 42" range you should be okay.
Having gotten this far, check the mailboxes at your local box store. There's an easy way to add a small flag to the box such that the flag goes up when the door is opened and you can discover the trick by looking at the display models.
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have a red flag. The flag directs the person-person (used to be mailman) to pick up outgoing mail.
re: "...the postal service may stop delivering mail if your box doesn't have a red flag. The flag directs the person-person (used to be mailman) to pick up outgoing mail. "
I'm not arguing as much as I'm questioning the logic here.
Why would the person-person stop *delivering* mail just because he didn't know if the customer had any mail to be picked-up? On days when there is nothing to be picked up (s)he's still obligated to deliver what's in the bag.
It's the customer who may lose out if they have something to be picked up and don't have a flag. If the person-person doesn't have anything to deliver on that, they'll just drive on by and not pick up what's in the box. However, if they have something to deliver, they have to stop, flag or not.
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

If the box doesn't have a flag, the box doesn't conform to government regulations. If the box is non-conforming, the postal service may decline to service it.
In reality, it's just one more reason the postal service may get on your case. ("It's too high off the ground, it doesn't have a flag, it is not lockable, it's painted the wrong color, and made of unapproved material, and we don't like the dog much either!")
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re: "If the box doesn't have a flag, the box doesn't conform to government regulations."
Having never read the regs, I certainly won't doubt what you're saying.
Of course, I live in an area where *nobody* has flags. Our mail boxes are at the houses and there is basically no conformance of any kind.
My neighbor's is a mail slot next to the garage door, mail drops into a box. Mine is a black metal box hanging on the wall next to my front door. The neighbor on the other side has a wooden box on her porch that says "Male" on it. (really!)
The entire neighborhood is a mixture of just about every type of receptacle you can think of, *except* for boxes on posts with flags.
If I have something for Dave (the carrier) to pick up, I stand it "vertically" in the mail box so he knows it's there.
I also shovel a path across my front yard so he can get through the snow from my neighbor's house and I tip him nicely when he wipes off my seat at the local AAA baseball stadium. Nice guy. Been my mailman for 25 years, seen my family go through good times and bad, and always has time for conversation or a quick joke.
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On Fri, 12 Feb 2010 19:45:18 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03 wrote:

I used to live in a place like that. Nobody had flags. Some had mail slots in the garage door. Others had a black plastic mailbox next to the front door on the outside wall.
None had flags.
What we used to do was use one of those black office clips to clip outgoing mail on the OUTSIDE of the mailbox so that the postperson knew there was mail.
In reality it didn't work well becausae if they didn't have any mail, they never even looked to see if we had mail waiting for them so we gave up eventually and put outgoing mail only in the blue boxes on the street.
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On Sat, 13 Feb 2010 05:05:24 +0000 (UTC), Judy Zappacosta

I've lived in a place like that. Around here, it's the older neighborhoods. Where I am now, we have rural-type mailboxes at the street. Also, sometimes the carrier DOESN'T stop when the flag is up.

--
Mark Lloyd
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On Fri, 12 Feb 2010 19:45:18 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03 wrote:

When I google for a similar mailbox as mine, I find plenty of the type I have that do NOT have any flag.
This one, for example, looks kind of like mine (but I don't have a lock on mine):
http://www.mailboxnet.com/column_mailboxes/pillar_600.jpg
It's all metal so anything that indicates mail inside can't be purely on an electrical circuit.
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On Sat, 13 Feb 2010 05:26:24 +0000 (UTC), Judy Zappacosta

How about a touch switch that comes on when someone touches the box. Reset it when you've opened the box.
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Mark Lloyd
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On Sat, 13 Feb 2010 18:51:23 -0600, Mark Lloyd

How about an electrocution device if anyone but me or the mail carrier touches the box? lol
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[snip

Add a camera pointed at the mailbox so this device provides entertainment too.
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On Fri, 12 Feb 2010 12:19:06 -0600, HeyBub wrote:

They deliver my mail fine.
I never put outgoing mail in the mailbox to be taken.
So, I can live without the red flag (although it would be nice to have one).
I went to Lowes today to look again for just the red flag but they don't sell it standalone.
But the more important thing is to figure out how I can tell if mail is inside the mailbox.
I was thinking something like the little red light that is on the garage door. If that beam is broken, there's an indicator that turns on outside.
Seems like a general enough request that others would have resolved it by now. Or, does everyone always look in their mailbox every day even when there's no mail inside?
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Get a Rubbermaid mailbox. I has a yellow flag on a lever that pops up on the side when the door is opened. Easily spotted from in the house 100 feet away. After dark I can shine a bright light o see if it is up.
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