Wednesday, August 01, 2007

LED light bargain

Today I went into one of the locally proliferated bargain shops looking for an S-Video cable. No luck on a cable of the right length however I did find something that I just had to try, e-waste considered.

For $8 I picked up a LED light that I have been thinking of earlier this year as an imaginary product that should exist and I would be interested if it was a bargain, and today was the day. It is powered by 4x AA battery, has 24 elements when set to high, or 4 elements when set to low. The packaging design is utterly careless when you read what the writing says, so much so that it is somewhat comical.

When held in hand in a dark room it reminds my of the then futuristicly compact lights that Picard had on some of his away missions in Startrek TNG. I am yet to test the battery life on this sucker, but when all elements are lit you can feel heat to the touch so there is a definite power drain, no technological miracles there. It works well in a white room I can tell you that already. On the box it says that it is a camping light; it would be a useful camping light if it had lights on one side, rechargeable batteries inside and a solar charger on the other side, but for $8 it was not meant to be.




[Revision 20070802: After operating for 1.5 hours on fully charged 2500mAh NiMH batteries the dimming definitely started. This is a disappointing result. Also, one element died outright. The device definitely produces heat, and so much that you can warm your hands with it on a cold day. The idea that LED lights are efficient because they do not waste energy on heat appears refuted. I know that high power 5W LEDs need a heatsink to operate properly, so heat is an efficiency problem with LEDs as it is with old incandescent bulbs to some extent at least. This device does not last the quoted 30 hours or anywhere near that. Maybe the 30 hour battery life claim applies to the low setting where only 4 LEDs are lit, but to use only 4 out of 24 is a waste of 20 LEDs and makes no sense. Based on my experience with this gadget I am not inspired to shift my approach to room illumination and I am glad that I did not shell out for a more pricey LED lamp like the $49 Ikea Dioder to learn the same thing. For now, a bare compact florescent in the middle of the ceiling offers the best value.]

R.I.P.
LED light bargain20070801 to 20070802

[Revision 20080301: Regret discarding my LED light form months ago. Sure it sucked up battery life but that's just an issue for usage and power source. And sure it was more clunky than it need be but at that price and performance the difference in design opinion should be a small factor. What a fool I was, and will I repeat the purchase albeit with accumulated error?]

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