Recently I have seen a lot of chatter about a product known as the Phillips lifelight home and after getting my hands on one I thought I'll do a product review.
I first saw this when a you tuber Sean James Cameron done a product review. This prompted me to do a little digging around to research and I concluded that this solar-powered lighting system was just what I was looking for in order to give me some decent lighting in sheds where I had no electricity (down the allotment). I ended up buying a set from amazon.
Now I had a little problem with the delivery but the seller was very good and sorted it out straight away and I ended up on top.
What's in the kit.
In the kit we have a 4w solar panel of which is placed outdoors in order to catch sunlight and create electricity. We next have the batter pack of where everything is plugged into. This battery pack is about the size of wireless router and isn't very weighty. This also has two push switches for the light and a USB charging port.
We also have two pendant lights that have a hook on top to hang these up. The hook is adjustable to change the height.
Installation is very easy. the solar panel is mounted on the roof of the shed with the cable running inside to the power pack which I have mounted on the worktop for the time being but will mount near the door for access. The lights are the suspended to the ceiling by hooking over some wire I have on the ceiling. However a simple hoof mounted on the ceiling will certainly do. The wires are then run from the lights to the power pack and simply plugged in.
With these installed the power pack is charged during the day with sun shining on it. 3 led lights on the power pack indicate that the pack is charging and I noticed that the sunlight doesn't need to be that strong, even charging while indoors.
The manufactures state that each light give a maximum 120 lumans of light. Which is a pretty respectable amount of light. As each light can be turned on independently and has three different levels of light power it allows plenty of adjustment to light power over battery run time. Activating the lights is achieved with two little buttons on the power pack ( 1 for each light). pressing three times for maximum power.
To test I went to my shed after dark and took this photo to show how dark it was.
Next I turned 1 light on lowest setting and took this photo.
Al ready there was a marked difference and enough light to easily see what i was doing in the shed. however i wondered what it would be like on full power, so I turned it all on full and took this next photo.
Again I was pretty impressed. That is plenty of light to work in the shed quiet happily.
How long will the battery last?
This question has been difficult to test as I haven't had it dark enough for long enough to test properly, however in the winter I shall revisit and report back. That being said during testing the battery has lasted my needs quite happily. The manufacture claims it will last 40 hours with 1 light on lowest setting and 5 hours with both lights on brightest setting. Please bear in mind that is on a full charge, however for my needs this is plenty.
I have two points that I would change in the design of these lights.
The first is the button that turns on the lights. These are very small and a bit tricky to find especially in the dark I would prefer an actual sliding switch that glows in the dark to make life easy.
The second point is on the power pack there are 3 led lights that illuminating when charging but also illuminate when lights are in use to show the battery charge level. To me this is a waste of energy and would prefer a system where you push a button to see the charge level as and when needed.
Overall I am very happy with this kit. It provides decent lighting in a shed and requires no skills or expensive electrician to come and wire up lights. It's also great for sheds that have no mains electricity such as down an allotment. I also really like the usb charging point which will be great for charging phones as well as cameras and other devices. I will be buying a second set.
Where to buy.
When i first started writing this review there was a seller on amazon selling some. However I believe these have been so popular that they have no sold out and don't have any for sale. They have the smaller version of which I have added the link.
This light was the one originally sent to me that was incorrect.
I have seen reported that home bargains and groupon have been selling the lifelight home and I have also seen them on eBay so if you really want the lifelight home (and I do recommend it) then look around and see what you can find.