USA/Canada Lighting Reviews Archives

Solar/Windup Emergency Light-Radio-Phone Charger

Rating 4/5 ★★★★☆ 

Although I live in England now, I have kin just a few miles from where three tornadoes touched down recently. People got hurt (one woman died) and a lot of the town was destroyed. I’ve also been through some crises in the UK (repeated floods) and elsewhere (including hurricanes and blizzards).

You never expect the power to go out for as long as it does. You don’t think about how to reach people with the telephone system down. If you stockpile batteries in advance, you forget about them and when the emergency hits they’ve run down too much.

That’s what this gadget is for. It isn’t just for getting some radio news about the situation and having some light. I’ve noticed that the cellular phone network starts working pretty quickly after most disasters, but the battery in the phone runs down while the towers are out of service. That’s why I prefer this particular unit so I can charge my pocket phone.

I’m not going to quote other people about this–I personally hate to face a disaster without it. Click here to get it from QuakeKare Inc emergency preparedness specialists.

Pros

  • Compact
  • Produces enough light, for long enough, to deal with emergencies
  • Don’t need to keep it charged, either put it in the sun for a while or wind it for a while before using it
  • It’s multifunction so your emergency kit is more compact
  • Since the light is LED, one charge goes a long way at night and you don’t have to worry about bulbs burning out

Cons

  • Not terribly bright (but it sure beats pitch dark)
  • Has a bluish tint
  • Has ni-cad batteries, so you should let the battery run all the way down before recharging

In an emergency, there’s no substitute for being prepared. QuakeKare offers this at a good price, and some variations if your priorities are not the same as mine. For example, if you’re in tornado country, you might prefer the version with a Weather Band radio.

Philips goLITE BLU Light Therapy Device

Philips goLITE BLU Light Therapy

Rating 4.25/5 ★★★★¼ 

As I posted the other day, I have at last found a SAD therapy lamp that I can order in the UK to combat the long grey winter. But it isn’t an easy one to travel with and I do have to go to client sites from time to time. Much as I hate to keep getting solutions from the States, once again I found the USA has the answer to my problem.

At first glance I thought this light panel produced the wrong spectrum for SAD therapy. It’s very blue. But I looked at what users say about it and they won me over.

Registered nurse “Michele” (initially skeptical) says:

I read all these reviews and did a lot of online research on a variety of units. I decided on this one because of the 1) long life of LED bulbs 2) AC or Battery capability 3) Size of unit (it’s smaller than you might think compared to other units – can fit in your purse or laptop bag NO problem 4) price. [….]

I often felt extremely fatigued and drowsy driving into work – that has resolved. My sleep pattern is becoming more consistent and the winter blahs don’t seem as severe as in the past.

I would have NEVER believed it worked until trying it.

Philips goLITE BLU Light Therapy

Did I mention that it’s delightfully compact? Take a look at the photo to see what I mean. It’s more durable than I expected, runs longer on one battery charge than I expected, and takes rechargeable batteries. For most trips I can leave the charger at home! This wasn’t feasible before LEDs came along. It’s a great example of how LEDs make things possible that weren’t possible before.

Pros

  • Combats SAD (weirdly, considering how blue it is)
  • Compact and durable for easy travel
  • Can run on replaceable batteries (for a few sessions per charge)
  • Does extra duty as an alarm clock

Cons

  • Don’t lose the charger! It’s very difficult to get a replacement (and if you’re abroad like me, it may be impossible)
  • Although lemons appear to be rare, if you get a faulty unit, Philips’ customer service is poor

Like it already? Amazon is carrying it at a steeply discounted price.

Problems seem to be very uncommon, which says the design and the quality control in manufacturing are very good. This light is so popular and gets so many five star ratings, I have to say the Philips design team has done a fine job. I haven’t given it five stars simply because I think it’s silly to insist on a charger that is hard to replace–I’d prefer to be able to get a generic charger easily so I can keep one at home and one in my travel bag.

A lot of users carry on at length about how happy they are. “Nicolea” is more brief:

Awesome- been using it since it arrived in late Dec and feel a lot better- don’t want to cry on overcast days. My sleep pattern has also improved, I had no problem getting up early when I went back to work. [….] Re use- don’t stare at the light, it is supposed to hit the side of your eyes. I just have beside me as I eat breakfast and occasionally glance at it.

Philips goLITE BLU Light Therapy

If you’re looking for SAD therapy that you can slip into a handbag or small carry-on bag, click here to get it at Amazon.

Z-Bar High Power LED Desk Lamp - Cool White

Rating 4.5/5 ★★★★½ 

A floor lamp won’t do when you’re working at a desk and need good task lighting.

This lamp is good for people who want:

  • An energy-efficient desk lamp, yet with good quality light for the work area
  • Task lighting during work time and muted lighting when playing computer games
  • Direct task lighting for some tasks and indirect lighting bounced off the ceiling or wall for other tasks

Pros

  • Uses LEDs for energy efficiency and long life
  • Cool white comparable to daylight
  • Has four intensity settings from full-on to dim
  • Amazingly flexible so you can direct light where you want it

Cons

  • Unlike some incandescent or fluorescent lamps, its light is not strong enough or diffuse enough to brighten a room
  • The cool white colour may be more harsh than some people like

The few negative reviews you might find elsewhere generally complain that the light is not bright enough to light a room. That’s true. But as a desk lamp, it excels. Take a look at what it can do…

To get one for yourself, click here to get it with free Super Saver shipping from Amazon.

If you favor cool white for your desk lamp and want LED light, this is one of the best I see available right now. From my Lighting Discussion, you know what a 4500 degree color temperature means (closer to 6000 degree daylight than to 2800 degree incandescent), so you have a idea what its shade of white light looks like. It is about three times as popular as its warm-white cousin.

User J.K. did considerable research before buying, and finished his lengthy enthusiastic review like this:

I am extremely satisfied with my Koncept Z-Bar High Power LED Lamp. The price was not too high, especially considering the current price range for other LED desk lamps, and the quality is truly stunning. I have no problems at all with it, no complaints, and haven’t seen any flickering or other sub-par behavior. Would definitely buy again. The only other problem I found was that these lamps are extremely popular right now and hard to find available online. I think Koncept themselves are out of stock on these for at least another month. So if you can find a retailer who still has these in stock, buy one quickly, because chances are, in another hour they’ll be sold out too. =:)

Another user review by C.D. adds:

I’d like to add that the lowest setting makes for a really subtle glow on the desk (think red pilot/army night vision brightness) which is really fun for late night gaming or surfing. You can also aim it straight up (rotating the last segment on the end like it was a screwdriver) at the ceiling (works best on white) to disperse the light across the room. I’m lighting a 14’x14′ space like this for ambient lighting (watching movies, not stepping on the cat, avoiding glare on monitors). It’s slick for sure, I’m getting another one.

The lamp is very adjustable (as you saw in the video), has a four-step dimmer switch, and is energy efficient. Its 6 LEDs put out 120 foot-candles of light from just 9 watts of power. It is rated to run 40,000 hours before output drops to 70% of the original level.

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

Remember that unless you switch off power from the wall socket, it will continue to sip power when it is off. To add an easy-to-use switch for turning it completely off, click here.

Z-Bar High Power LED Desk Lamp - Warm White

Rating 4.25/5 ★★★★¼ 

A floor lamp won’t do when you’re working at a desk and need good task lighting.

This lamp is good for people who want:

  • An energy-efficient desk lamp, yet with good quality light for the work area
  • Task lighting during work time and muted lighting when playing computer games
  • Direct task lighting for some tasks and indirect lighting bounced off the ceiling or wall for other tasks

Pros

  • Uses LEDs for energy efficiency and long life
  • A soft warm white more like incandescent than cool white LEDs or daylight white
  • Has four intensity settings from full-on to dim
  • Amazingly flexible so you can direct light where you want it

Cons

  • Unlike some incandescent or fluorescent lamps, its light is not strong enough or diffuse enough to brighten a room
  • The warm white colour will not suit people who need sharp contrast

The few negative reviews you might find elsewhere generally complain that the light is not bright enough to light a room. That’s true. But as a desk lamp, it excels. Take a look at what it can do…

To get one for yourself, click here to get it with free Super Saver shipping from Amazon.

If you favor warm white for your desk lamp and want LED light, this is one of the best I see available right now. The light from this lamp will look softer to you, less harsh, than the light from its cool white cousin, but it is less like daylight.

This user review by J.W.W. sums it up nicely:

It appears to be well-made and provides adequate light at the top two settings, but be aware that LED lights like this one light the work space just below but provide relatively little diffused light to the surrounding area. Each of the three arms is about 14 inches, so you need a work space of about 2 feet square to use it comfortably. The “warm” light seems about the same color to me as the halogen I used before, though not quite as bright. The arrangement of six lights along a 14-inch arm means that I can position it so that my hand doesn’t cast a shadow on what I’m writing, a boon to left-handers. I particularly like the fact that it uses very little power. And, most important, it really looks cool on my desk.

The lamp is very adjustable, has a four-step dimmer switch, and energy efficient. Its 6 LEDs put out 120 foot-candles of light from just 9 watts of power. It is rated to run 40,000 hours before its output drops to 70% of the original level.

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

Remember that unless you switch off power from the wall socket, it will continue to sip power when it is off. To add an easy-to-use switch for turning it completely off, click here.

Lumian Design LED Desk Lamp with Night Light

Rating 4.5/5 ★★★★½ 

A floor lamp won’t do when you’re working at a desk and need good task lighting… but not everyone can afford something like the Z-Bar desk lamps. Here is a more budget-minded option.

This lamp is good for people who want:

  • An energy-efficient desk lamp, yet with good quality light for the work area
  • Task lighting during work time
  • A night light after bedtime

Pros

  • Uses LEDs for energy efficiency and long life
  • Cool white comparable to daylight
  • A large number of small LEDs to prevent interference artefacts
  • Built-in night light
  • Elegant, modern, thoughtful design at a bargain price

Cons

  • Unlike some incandescent or fluorescent lamps, its light is not diffuse enough to brighten an entire room
  • The cool white colour can appear harsh

If you favor cool white for your desk lamp and want LED light, you should love this. From my Lighting Discussion, you know its 6500 degree colour temperature is crisp, slightly bluer than daylight, so you have a idea what its shade of white light looks like. It does not emit ultraviolet. But it’s bright, emitting (240 lumens). Combining cool whiteness with intensity, it is especially suitable for people who need bright light and strong contrast to help them read.

The lamp is rated for 36,000 hours of useful life and includes a built-in night light. It is elegantly designed, and its use of a larger number of smaller LEDs provides more even illumination than lamps with a smaller number of brighter LEDs.

Amazon offers it at a price noticeably lower than I’ve seen at some other places, and with free Super Saver shipping.

To give you some idea what people think of it, one user’s review says:

This is an elegant LED lamp with a beautifully curved neck that resembles a swan. I like that instead of using several high powered large LEDs like the Z-bar, they opted for clusters of smaller low powered LEDs that offers the same overall brightness. This allows the lamp to deliver a uniform light without bright spots, and run cooler thus less energy being wasted to heat, a true green product at heart!

They have also added several minute nuances such as the dimmer night light, ruff surface on the base to avoid unwanted light reflection into the eye, and Apple-esque finish on the lamp head which in my opinion, projects the product to a new level of completeness not often seen in an emerging product.

If you are going to own any green product, this would definitely be the one to own.

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

Remember that unless you switch off power from the wall socket, it will continue to sip power when it is off. To add an easy-to-use switch for turning it completely off, click here.

I-Tower High Power LED Floor Lamp - Warm White

Rating 4/5 ★★★★☆ 

Floor lamps are great for people who love to read (like me) or do handwork (such as knitting or embroidery, like my partner).

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.

The few negative reviews you might find elsewhere generally complain that the light is not bright enough to light a room. That’s true. But as a standing lamp for task lighting, it’s very nice. Take a look at what it can do…

 

If you favor warm white for your floor lamp and want LED light, this is one of the best I see available right now. The light from this lamp will look softer to you, less harsh, than the light from its cool white cousin, but it is less like daylight.

Its 6 LEDs consume just 9 watts of power and are rated for 40,000 hours.

As you saw in the video, this lamp is very adjustable and dimmable to give you just the amount of light you need, exactly where you need it.

User G.R. says:

It took a couple of weeks to get used to the spectrum of light, and it certainly didn’t come close to lighting up the room as a halogen lamp would. However, I really love it, the dimmer function, the functionality of the light bar is quite nice with a 360 degree spin capability.

The Koncept LED floor model is quite spare in its design. It was simple to put together. It came packaged in an engineered box insert that would be handy for a return. I won’t be returning mine and would love to buy more LED technology lighting products as they improve and come down in price.

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

Remember that unless you switch off power from the wall socket, it will continue to sip power when it is off. To add an easy-to-use switch for turning it completely off, click here.

I-Tower High Power LED Floor Lamp - Cool White

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).

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.

The few negative reviews you might find elsewhere generally complain that the light is not bright enough to light a room. That’s true. But as a standing lamp for task lighting, it’s very nice. Take a look at what it can do…


If you favor cool white for your desk lamp and want LED light, this is one of the best I see available right now. From my Lighting Discussion, you know what a 4500 degree color temperature means (closer to 6000 degree daylight than to 2800 degree incandescent), so you have a idea what its shade of white light looks like. Cool white tends to be best for people who need bright light and high contrast.

Its 6 LEDs consume just 9 watts of power.

As you saw in the video, this lamp is very adjustable and dimmable, so you can put just the amount of light you want exactly where you want it.

User J.L. says:

I love this lamp. It’s a great reading light beside the sofa and my wife spins the light to face the ceiling to create tv watching illumination. The light head plugs into the rest of the lamp like a headphone jack, so you can spin it around without worrying about twisting wires.

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

Remember that unless you switch off power from the wall socket, it will continue to sip power when it is off. To add an easy-to-use switch for turning it completely off, click here.

Fulcrum 12 LED Magnifier Floor Lamp – Review

Fulcrum 12 LED Magnifier Floor Lamp

Rating 4.5/5 ★★★★½ 


This rating does not capture the enthusiasm of a number of reviews by users. It has many fans who sound like they would like to rate it 6 out of 5!

For some types of handwork such as embroidery, it’s great to have not only good strong light, but also magnification (which becomes more important for people like me who need reading glasses). This floor lamp provides both while leaving you unencumbered to go about your task.

This lamp is good for people who want:

  • An energy-efficient floor lamp that provides good quality light task light while they are seated on a comfy chair or sofa
  • Magnification for seeing their task better
  • Direct lighting that does not interfere with other activities in the room

Pros

  • Uses LEDs for energy efficiency and long life
  • A cool white that gives good contrast and crisp task illumination
  • Lamp is on a flex arm, not hinged, so you can direct light where you want it
  • It can run on either batteries or plug-in power

Cons

  • Unlike some incandescent or fluorescent lamps, its light is not strong enough or diffuse enough to bright a room (although if you want task lighting, this can be a positive instead of a negative)
  • The cool colour will not suit people who want warmer softer lighting

If the love of your life wants to watch the telly while you sew and you aren’t keen about wearing reading glasses while you work, this lamp is the best solution I’ve found in the States. Its 12 LEDs are arranged in four groups of three near the corners of the magnifier, so shadowing is minimal. Amazon offers it with free Super Saver shipping.

This lamp has several rave reviews from people such as Betty H. S., who says:

My 86 year old mom has tried multiple hand held magnifiers over the years, some lighted, some not, in her efforts to keep reading after a diagnosis of dry macular degeneration. We decided to try this lamp due to the combination of LED lights, gooseneck positioning, and the strength of the magnifier.

In the month since the light was delivered my mom’s life has expanded. She loves this light. With her hands free, she can work her large-print crosswords puzzles and is even reading magazines again. We are thrilled with the light and are so grateful that her quality of life is better because of it.

I regard it as a compromise. Its price is lower than that of most competing lamps, but the LED “light bulbs” cannot be replaced. The lamp is rated for 10,000 hours, so I recommend it only if you need a magnifier lamp but don’t want to spring for something higher grade for a year or more. Go for a higher grade version now if you are able to afford it. But if you cannot afford a higher grade, it’s impossible to ignore the number of people who regard this lamp as a lifesaver–it has given back their favourite activities to them.

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

Normally, the USA has more available than the UK, but in this instance the UK has a 21-LED alternative that you might prefer if I can find a source for it there. Stay tuned–when I find a USA version, I will let you know!

Remember that unless you switch off power from the wall socket, it will continue to sip power when it is off. To add an easy-to-use switch for turning it completely off, click here.

Fulcrum 6 LED Porch Light with Motion Sensor

Rating 4.25/5 ★★★★¼ 

Although I would not say Fulcrum is pushing the state of the art, they are producing some nice, practical LED based lighting. As I’ve said, we can’t all sit in the dark while waiting for perfection.

This is a clever and inexpensive battery powered solution to dark nooks and crannies outside your house. The light sensor keeps it from turning on during the day. After dark, it turns on whenever it sees movement within its range and stays on until 30 seconds after movement stops.

As “Mustang Girl” says:

I live on a horse farm in the country and when it gets dark it gets dark. I have bought solar powered lights in the past and that was a waste of money. These lights worked so great I bought more of them! Money well spent.

Its light is rather blue, which is what knocked it down a little in my rating. It isn’t very bright. It isn’t sophisticated. The only adjustment it allows you to make is rotation to point it in the direction you want it to monitor and illuminate. It’s simple, not too big, easy to mount, and only sips from the batteries. It’s ideal for, say, that long dark alley I have to navigate with the rubbish bin to set it out for pickup.

You’ll find most people who buy it feel as I do–it’s just right for the job. Like Glenn O.R. Jr:

I purchased two different battery powered motion sensor LED lights – just to determine which one I wanted several of — The Fulcrum Porch Light is the winner I have two and plan to buy two more. They are placed along a path to the shed and on the shed – should have bought them before now. Don’t hesitate, if you don’t want to trip around inside or out buy several Fulcrum sensor lights.

If you have some dark corners outside where you need a little light from time to time, click here to get it at Amazon–it is eligible for free Super Saver shipping on orders over $25.


Although I focus on next generation lighting here (generally LED), I would be remiss in not pointing out some of the best in non-LED lighting.

Personally, I’m one of those people who can get monstrous migraines from light that flickers. (I explain that in the Lighting Discussion.) But if you’re okay with light that flickers at a rate only your subconscious can notice and you are not ready for LEDs, this is one of the most highly favoured fluorescent floor lamps with a built-in magnifier.

To say it has a 4 1/2 star user rating at Amazon is an understatement. People rave about it. Bulbs will not last as long or run as cheaply as with LED lamps, but you can’t argue with so many ecstatic reviews.

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