Remote Controlled Colour Changing LED Bulb

Auraglow Remote Controlled Colour Changing LED Light Bulb
Auraglow Remote Controlled Colour Changing LED Light Bulb

Rating 4/5 ★★★★☆ 

The inventor I know still doesn’t have his technology available to the public, so we are all making do with what’s available. At first glance you might not get excited about this bulb, but it gives us some options we didn’t have before.

The bulb achieves colour variations by mixing red-green-blue. After reading the lighting discussion on this website, you understand why that won’t be enough to make certain kinds of colours look right in your room. Your eyes can see the bulb vary across the rainbow, but yellowish items in the room will look grey or black. That’s why I mostly recommend this for mood lighting.

In this season of the year when Britain’s days are so short and the daylight is so grim, it adds a nice touch to the evenings.

Pros

  • Because it uses LEDs, its rated life is 40,000 hours and it’s efficient.
  • You can change the colour of the light coming from it anytime you want.
  • You can control the colour remotely.
  • It’s ideal for mood lighting.

Cons

  • It is nowhere near as bright as the inventor’s LED lighting.
  • Its colour control is not as sophisticated or as easy to use.
  • It is not strong enough to read by unless you’re very close.
  • The remote control needs line of sight to the bulb.

There are bayonet and Einstein screw versions of this bulb. The screw-in version is available here: Auraglow Screw-In Remote Controlled Colour Changing LED Light Bulb.

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.

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Draper 45943 3 LED Waterproof Wind-up Torch

Rating 4.5/5 ★★★★½ 

For years I’ve carried a small battery powered torch in the car in case something goes wrong at night. Torches with LEDs stretch a battery for a long time, but not forever. I forget to change the batteries and the torch is useless when I need it.

At least, that’s how it has been up to now. Not any more!

This is small enough to keep in the car. It runs long enough on a one-minute wind-up session (about 40 minutes) to get me through the crisis of the evening. It’s waterproof, which is essential in Britain.

“Jonathan C” says:

Since I purchased one back in November last year (and a second in January) it has illuminated my journey home from work through a couple of heavy snow blizzards and 5-metre visibility fog – on muddy paths through woodland in pitch black darkness, no street lights anywhere near. I normally wind it for about 15-20 seconds before each use and it’s never faded on me yet, even when used continuously for up to an hour. The beam isn’t focused enough for close-up work, but then there are other torches designed for that use.

Want one for your car, or for that drawer in your kitchen where you keep a torch in case the power goes out? Click here to get it at Amazon.

Pros

  • Compact
  • Produces enough light, for long enough, to deal with nighttime emergencies
  • Don’t need to keep it charged, just wind it for a minute before using it
  • Works in the rain (and I understand it’s even submersible)
  • Has three operating modes: dim, bright or flashing (handy for getting traffic to go around a broken-down car)

Cons

  • Not terribly bright so get a different model if you need more light
  • Has a bluish tint

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

If you’re concerned that winding it might be hard for you to do, “J Morris” says:

Used by a handicapped child whilst on a weeks school holiday.Was easy for him to use and met all his needs, also made him poplar with the others as no-one else had bought spare batteries for their torches. Brilliant

That said, it will only take a reasonable amount of abuse. Drop it a lot or mash the switch like you’re The Terminator and you can break it. If you’re hard on your torches, look at the alternatives Amazon suggests–but you’ll have to pay more to get something better. I think this is good value for money.

It’s eligible for inclusion in free Super Saver shipping. Click here to see it at Amazon UK.

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.

Good Diffusion is Essential

People often complain about the bright spots in lighting units based on LEDs. Improving the efficiency and output of LEDs is great, but those lights will not do much good unless they can be made more comfortable to the eye.

That’s where diffusion materials come in. The glass or plastic covering over the light is not just meant to keep out dust. It should spread out the light coming from the light source so that illumination is smoothly spread out and looks even. Doing this well is more difficult than it sounds. Current diffusion materials tend to either not do that well enough, or do it by wasting a lot of the light by either sending it in a useless direction or converting it into heat.

Bayer MaterialScience LLC is not the only company making advances in this area. I’m just pointing to them because of a recent article about what they are doing, which you can see by clicking here.

For the most part I try to keep the discussion here at a level that people can understand without a degree in science. I would be grateful if you will comment to let me know whether I should give more pointers like this, or always translate for you as I did in the Lighting Discussion.

Nature Bright PER3 LED SAD Therapy Lamp with Wakeup

Rating 3/5 ★★★☆☆ 

At long last! I’ve been looking for a SAD therapy lamp that I can use in the UK without needing to bring it back from the States. I prefer it to use LEDs. From our lighting discussion, you understand why–flicker bothers me and I don’t want extraneous UV radiation in my eyes! This lamp is exactly what I wanted!

I have a terrible time getting up in the morning during English winters when the sun doesn’t rise until as late as 08:30. (At one point I was going to move to Inverness in Scotland where winter nights are even longer.) I was resigned to needing to get up and switch on whatever SAD therapy light I bought, but this one doesn’t make me do that. It can be programmed to start itself and gradually ramp up to full light, simulating a dawn effect as my wake-up alarm.

Pros

  • Many SAD therapy lamps use fluorescent or halogen bulbs. I am not keen about UV leakage from those directly into my eyes. LEDs, as in this lamp, are safer.
  • Doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston chose this lamp as “best of breed” for SAD light therapy.
  • The wakeup (and twilight dimming) features are a delightful bonus, and easy to program.

Cons

  • A disturbing proportion of these lamps appear to have a manufacturing defect that causes one or at worst two strips of the LEDs to go dark after a very limited time. That makes it important to buy where you can get a good warranty. (It’s the reason I rate it 3 stars, a little below the average rating online.)
  • As with most SAD therapy lamps, you have to stay close to the lamp for a while to get the full therapeutic effect. My brother reads the newspaper with his in the morning, which is about the right exposure. I haven’t set a firm routine yet.

Whenever I find a comparable unit with better manufacturing consistency, I will replace this review. For now, this is as good as it gets!

If you have the same difficulty in the winter as mine, or worse like my brother, click here to get this lamp with free Super Saver shipping from Amazon. Amazon is beating everybody else on price (by quite a bit). They have a reputation for holding their vendors’ feet to the fire if something goes wrong–in the event that you get a faulty unit, you’ll have Amazon on your side.

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.

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