Archive for January, 2011

Interlux 3W GU10 LED Warm White

Rating 4.75/5 ★★★★¾ 

Tired of hot energy-sucking halogen bulbs? Don’t want to be stuck with fluorescents everywhere as the alternative after incandescents are completely unavailable? Found the quality of light from the last LED based replacements not good enough? These are for you!

They provide very nice high-quality light, yet are lower-priced than many others on the market. It’s possible to get some even cheaper, but at that level you’re more apt to encounter manufacturing flaws that drastically shorten the life of the light.

All of our kitchen lighting came from recessed halogens, and we didn’t like it. The light was harsher than from these. The bulbs burned out frequently. We were very aware of how wasteful they were. These are a big improvement!

Pros

  • Consumes much less electricity than the halogen bulb it replaces (up to 90% less).
  • Plug-in replacement for a standard GU10 35W halogen bulb in your existing fixtures.
  • Up to 50,000 hour life (15 years if used for 8 hours a day).
  • One-year warranty, and the vendor provides very good customer service.
  • Beam angle similar to halogen bulbs (a big plus, since many LED replacements have a narrower beam angle).

Cons

  • Cannot be dimmed with a conventional dimmer switch. May be dimmable with a specialty switch.
  • Costs more than a halogen bulb (although it lasts so much longer and uses so much less electricity, you should come out far ahead in the long run).

You can get these bulb replacements. Just click here to get them from an Amazon vendor.

Customer DJ Spark says:

The nice thing about these bulbs is that they start up straight away & they do not give a cold & depressing look to my home as many other low energy bulbs do. I have installed many lighting circuits in my time & they are probably the closest match to a standard 35W GU10 Halogen bulb that I have found yet [….] The company are extemely helpful & they offer competitive prices. The customer service is wonderful and I plan to do business with them again very soon :-)

Russell in Bedfordshire says:

I’ve bought these bulbs before and so I’ve put another 12 of these in my kitchen and wow! what a difference. Really superb. Only 36W and so bright and no more having to replace them every 6 months.

And T.T. says:

These lights are brilliant. Halogens look dingy and yellow next to these beauties. I only ordered two to try them out, but now I’m ordering more to replace all my halogens. Soon I’ll only be burning 30 W instead of 500 and enjoying the clean bright light these lights produce.

Dick D. adds:

Replaced tungstan GU10 with these and have to say they are equal in every way, no blue tones as you would normally get with leds.

Get some for yourself by clicking here to buy through Amazon.

Philips LED Panel Book Reading Light – Review

Philips LED Panel Book Reading Light

Rating 4/5 ★★★★☆ 

A very wise cousin sent us a lower-priced version of this, and it is a relationship-saver. We both read but often don’t go to sleep at the same time, so we needed a second one. If you read about the budget model and want something higher-end, this is it.

You can use this to read in bed without disturbing the person right next to you who is trying to sleep. The light is gentle, evenly spread across the page, instead of having hot spots and shadows.

Pros

  • Can save your marriage if one of you likes to read right before going to sleep and the other doesn’t.
  • Much easier on the eyes than any other book light I’ve ever had.
  • Runs on batteries so you can take it anywhere, but you don’t change the built-in batteries. You recharge by plugging into a USB port (6 hours the first time, 3 hours thereafter).
  • Adjustable (three lighting levels).
  • Comes with a one-year guarantee.

Cons

  • The acrylic can crack if mistreated. (It comes with a protective cover.)
  • The acrylic smudges easily, and some people aren’t satisfied wiping it clean with the protective sleeve.
  • If you won’t have a USB port handy to recharge it, you’ll prefer a model with replaceable batteries.

This can save your sanity, and Amazon has dramatically reduced the price on it. Just click here to get it from Amazon. It is eligible for free Super Saver shipping on the usual terms.

J. Botham says:

I love this reading light. Easy to use once you get used to reading through the screen (I hang it on one side and read both sides of the open page without moving it – saves hassle). Easy to recharge and comes in a nice case with a mini USB cable to charge with – you will need to charge from a USB port or, as I do, use a separate USB plug adapter near the bed which you’ll need to buy if you don’t already have one for a phone or similar.

B. Ashley uses it during air travel:

I am an active traveler. I find it hard to sleep on flights […] I read.

The trouble is long flights in the dark is that “normal” people, go to sleep. And I’ve always felt a bit rude turning on the standard reading-light that is above my seat. The fact that a single reading light on the plane generally bathes around 6 seats in a nice nuclear glow, doesn’t help. So, when this arrived, I took it with me instead.

It’s a handy little thing, lightweight, has a carrying case and a cover for the plastic. Switching on reveals it’s low-glow status, and 2 subsequent presses cycles to the other 2 brightnesses. [….] Obviously, the brighter the setting, the less battery life, although even at the maximum setting, 3.5 hours is more than you’d get out of a laptop.

Some people don’t like the USB-recharge feature. Since I always have techie toys with me, it’s fine for me. I haven’t tried the lowest intensity setting, but I understand it might go as long as 9 hours on one charge at that setting.

Although I don’t need anything like this to compensate for eye problems, Anthony Barton says it is good for that too:

As i suffer from Gloucoma+cataracts,and being a avid reader,i,have been looking for a device for aiding me to read. this device is the best as as the eyes become tired you can increase the brightness at a push of a button.would recommend to any person with eye problems (don’t buy cheaper versions not up to same standard)

To get this from Amazon with eligibility for Super Saver shipping, click here.

Budget LED Panel Book Reading Light – Review

LED Panel Book Reading Light

Rating 3/5 ★★★☆☆ 

A very wise cousin sent one of these, and it is a relationship-saver.

You can use this to read in bed without disturbing the person right next to you who is trying to sleep. The light is gentle, evenly spread across the page, instead of having hot spots and shadows.

Pros

  • Can save your marriage if one of you likes to read right before going to sleep and the other doesn’t.
  • Much easier on the eyes than any other book light I’ve ever had.
  • Runs on batteries so you can take it anywhere.
  • Inexpensive.

Cons

  • The acrylic can crack if mistreated.
  • Changing the batteries can be a little finicky.
  • It is supplied without batteries, so you’ll need to get some AAAs.

This can save your sanity. Just click here to get it from an Amazon vendor.

As one user says:

[….] in use it is very good. It is big enough to cover a large size paperback book and lies across the page. The LEDs are spread along the length of it and illuminate the page evenly so that reading is easy in a dark room. The on-off is via a rotating knob on the side which allows you to adjust the brightness to suit.

I had to downgrade the rating because batteries really ought to be easier to change, and I wish this gadget was a little more sturdy. Personally I can’t complain much about something this nice to use that has held up to more than four years of nightly use, but some people might want higher-end device. See the Philips book light if this one isn’t good enough for you, but be prepared to pay a lot more.

If you want this type of book light at a budget price, click here to get it from an Amazon vendor.

Lifemax 250.1 High Vision Standing Lamp

Rating 4.5/5 ★★★★½ 

Floor lamps are great for people who love to read (like me) or do handwork (such as knitting or embroidery, like my partner). The LED floor lamp I like best so far in the UK is the one that spoiled me in the lab, which we can’t buy. The best of what we can buy use compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs.

You can position a floor lamp to provide good light on the page or item from exactly the right angle. Since I am righthanded, I like to get reading or working light over my left shoulder.

For task lighting when in comfy seating, it has been a tough choice between a lamp from The Craftlight Company and this Lifemax model at about the same price. Both are good standing lamps for task lighting, but the Lifemax wins out as sturdier and a little nicer-looking.

Pros

  • Bright cool white 27 watt daylight CFL, about as bright as a 150 watt incandescent.
  • Replacement bulbs are available, which is not true for some LED lamps.
  • When properly assembled, it is more robust than the runner-up, especially if you like to adjust the angle of the light.
  • If you are of at least average height, the switch is nicely located.
  • Although technically not an anti-SAD lamp, its 6500 degree Kelvin temperature is close to daylight and can help you fend off SAD.
  • Its 4000 Hz transformer combats the flicker effect that ordinary 50 Hz fluorescents cause. (This lamp won’t make my migraines worse.)

Cons

  • Assembly is finicky and non-intuitive, a repeated source of complaints. Grease the threads a little and follow the instructions carefully and patiently, and it will fit together sturdily.
  • If you are shorter than average, the switch may not be easy to reach from your chair.
  • Somewhat futuristic look, not an elegant fashion statement, although not ugly either.

If you favor cool white for your floor lamp to get high contrast, this is one of the best I see available right now. From my Lighting Discussion, you have a idea what light from a so-called daylight lamp looks like. Cool white tends to be best for people who need bright light and high contrast.

As a CFL lamp, this should give you better energy efficiency and longer bulb life (8000 hours per bulb) than an incandescent or halogen lamp, not to mention more satisfying task illumination.

If this seems as good to you as it looks to me, you can click here to get it from Amazon.

Customer Mrs C.E. offers an example of what this lamp can do for people who are having some difficulty seeing and need high contrast:

I bought this lamp for my 90 year old father who has macular degeneration and avoids having to read anything for very long. He has now increased the length of time he reads because the light given off by this lamp is just so good!

To the point, M.E. says:

Best light I have come across for reading in a long time, well worth the money, wouldn’t like to be without it. Highly recommended.

User A.C.J. says:

This lamp is brilliant and so much better than the last one of its kind that I had.

The design is great and easy to use. The switch is in a handy position. The stem is completely flexible so that you can move the light-head around well. The base is compact so doesn’t need a lot of space. [….]

The Lifemax light also makes me feel good when I’m reading in its lovely daylight glow.

I couldn’t ask for more. I thoroughly recommend it – it is great value for money.

If you want one of your own, click here to get it with free Super Saver shipping from Amazon.

PURElite 3-in-1 Magnifying LED Lamp

I live about three miles from a marvelous quilting supply shop that has a knack for bringing in leading-edge devices before anybody else knows about them. At the start of December, we stopped by to pick up a fabric marking pen and saw this light. For most types of lamps, the best I find are in the States and the UK version comes in second. This is the best lamp of its type that I’ve found anywhere!

You can assemble it as a floor lamp to sit beside you, as a table lamp, or as a clip-on desk lamp. It will run on mains power or batteries.

The magnifying lens is 15 cm (larger than many other magnifying lamps). It provides 2x magnification, and it is on a flexible swan neck to give you plenty of positioning control. It has 21 LED light sources–more than most competing lamps. The more LEDs you have in a lamp, the less chance there is of minor oddities and shadows in the lighting you get.

It’s great for doing fine handwork like needlepoint or embroidery, and it’s also wonderful for people whose eyes need a lot more help than they used to for reading or doing crossword puzzles.

There are no user reviews for this light at Amazon UK yet, but the lady who runs the quilters’ shop never settles for less than the best. You can’t get a stronger recommendation than simply seeing it in her shop–it really is a delight.

If you want one of your own, click here to get it with free Super Saver shipping from Amazon.