TaoTronics is a company many of you haven't heard of, but like many companies, they're leveraging Amazon's entry into the Australian market to sell their products to Aussies. The company also makes headphones, Bluetooth speakers and transmitters. Given we're hard working, technology minded individuals that spend far too long in front of computers, this product caught my eye.
Your mobile phone and even Windows 10 support a 'night mode' that modifies the light output from your display(s) to minimise the impact on your eyes. Often when staring at screens, your blink rates reduce, your eyes dry out and your eyes end up sore. Longer term it may do damage to your eyes, so the days of sitting in front of glowing monitors in the dark, should be behind all of us. Ambient lighting not only looks great, it can really help reduce eye strain.
Black on black
TaoTronics TT-DL13 LED Table Lamp features an incredibly adjustable stand which allows you to position the light exactly as needed for working at your desk, playing a Switch on the couch, or reading a book before bed. The lamp is constructed of a premium alloy casing with anodized aluminum better heat dissipation and a longer life. The design is modern and will work well in most rooms of your home.
The stand rotates 90 degress at the base, this allows the base to point striaght while having the power cable run down the back of the table, but allow the lamp to rotate to point the light in the right direction. In terms of the dual-hinge, then opening allows you to control how much ambient light is emitted. This can slant back up to 150 degrees and the top section rotates another 135 degrees. If this isn't enough, the lamp LED surface itself can also rotate 45 degrees in either direction.
The sheer number of configurations this lamp can be positioned in is simply astonishing and that's a result of very careful design that understand users have complex environments. It may be that you want to bend the light around other objects on your table, or to setup the right angle to bounce light in just the right way, but ultimately, you're in control here.
5 different colour modes range from the Cool white to a Warm glow. While I loved the crispness of the white light, I found as the night rolled on, my eyes loved the warmer tones.
Our review unit came in white, but the same lamp is also available in black, so depending on your decor you can choose what suits. Either go for the white on white desk to blend in, or the black lamp on white desk to contrast the two surfaces. Given other devices like keyboards, mice, microphone and monitor stands are also typically black, I think the black would be my pick of the two.
What's on offer?
To use the lamp, you start by pressing and holding on the power touch control. There's also another touch control with 5 color modes or temperature to choose from. The main feature is the brightness slider with 11 levels to choose from. Slide your finger to the left and the brightness goes down, reacting immediately, or slide it to the right to raise the volume of light. Tap at either end of the touch controls to instantly shift to min or max brightness.
As we discussed in design, the adjustable stand and head are massive features of this lamp, enabling an amazing range of applications, with almost ever angle possible. 90 degrees left and right or 135 degrees up and down so you can shine a light on anything.
Plug in your tablet, smartphone, headphones or controller into the built-in USB port at the rear of the stand.
The energy efficient LEDs ensure you can run the lamp and use less energy, important with Australia's rising electricity costs. This benefit will increase should you find yourself turning off multiple lights in favour of this single lighting source.
Included in the box is the lamp itself, a power adapter, user guide, cleaning cloth.
USB charging port: 5V/1A
Room for improvement
One pain point I had after using the lamp day after day is that after working in the office each night, I found a comfortable brightness setting and colour selection. Unfortunately there's no memory on-board, so there's no memory of your setting once you turn on the lamp. Each and every time you turn on the lamp, you need to reconfigure it to your setting. When you turn the lamp back on, the lamp starts again at 50% brightness.
This may seem like a small thing, but in an era where you've probably got the lamp connected to a smart power plug connected to IFTTT and set to turn on when the sun goes down or after 9PM when you set in for a good setting of PC gaming. Its for this reason and just outright simplicity that the lamp should remember your favourite brightness setting.
PRICE & AVAILABILITY
How much and when can you get one ?
The TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp with dimmable touch and designed for eye-protection is available now from Amazon and costs A$46.51. At that price, there's plenty of lamps available, but the flexibility in the arm really allows for use in many different circumstances. The LED is rated for 50,000 hours, so there's a chance this investment will be the last one you make for a desk lamp in many, many years to come.
After using this lamp while I work at night, for the past couple of weeks, I use it every single night. Of course I have downlights in the office, but having the room lit up like daylight isn't always ideal, so the lamp makes plenty of sense.
I really do wish it remembered the lighting setting, but did enjoy the flexibility in the design to angle the lamp exactly how I wanted it. In terms of function, the USB port on the back provides a nice, convenient port for charging phones, headphones and other gadgets, but that large base seems like the perfect place to have a wireless charger built-in. The USB-port itself is just 5V/1A, which means you won't be fast charging off it.
Thankfully TaoTronics offer a variety of lamps and some models address these exact issues.