Auraglow colour-changing LED

I’ve been intrigued by colour-changing LED bulbs for years, and have kept an eye on the market while they gradually improved.  Auraglow were kind enough to send me their 10w colour changing bulb free of charge for me to review.  For some reason it took them three tries to get one sent to me, no one knows what happened to the first two that were sent out, but it finally arrived and I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks.

auraglow1

As the photo shows, they are really rather pretty!  You get sixteen colours plus warm white, and the warm white is a separate LED, rather than a mix of the red, green and blue LEDs.  The white is 10W and my guess would be that the other colours are substantially less, although they’re still pretty impressive.  They’re pleasant colours, well-balanced in hue, and the combination colours are brighter than the pure red, blue or green ones.

The idea behind using this bulb was that I could use the warm white in the daytime and the yellow through red shades in the evening. I had a spot for it lined up in the bookcase opposite my bed.  The trouble is, these bulbs are huge.  They only come in BC or E27 fitting, and like most table lamps today, the lamp I had was an E14.  I have an E14 to BC convertor in there already which works fine with the white LED bulb I usually keep in there, but the Auraglow bulb was a bit too big to fit in with that as well.  You could cram it in, but all the light ended up at the top of the lamp, and since it’s in a bookcase, it was getting cut off by the shelf above it.  In addition, the white was both weaker and more yellowy than the LED bulb I had in there already, so it wasn’t really an improvement.  (I have no idea where I got that bulb that’s in there already, I don’t think it’s more than 7W but it’s the best I’ve ever found.)

So I dug out a lamp that wasn’t really being used and put it on my bedroom desk, by the curtains.  Then I had to move it along the desk, away from the curtains.  It turns out that the bulb isn’t just huge, it’s really heavy.  I’d already tried it in a desk lamp in my partner’s flat, and it was so heavy it had pulled the lamp over.  This table lamp is medium height and slim, and it kept on falling over whenever someone drew the curtains and brushed against it.  The lamp is now tucked away where the curtain can’t brush it and hopefully it’s safe.  The great thing about this bulb being remote controlled is that I don’t have to go anywhere near the lamp to turn it on, I just keep the remote in my bedside chest, so I could put it in the most inaccessible spot I could think of, provided the remote can get line of sight to the bulb.

Now we’d found a home for it, how did it fare?  Pretty well.  As I said, the warm white is on the yellowy side, more so under a standard cream lampshade.  Warm white is a really hard colour to get right with LEDs, and I have found that the same LED bulb or string of fairy lights will look good in some places, against some paint colours, and awful in others.  Every time I’ve tried an LED bulb in my living room (painted off-white) it looks weirdly greenish, for instance, but in my bedroom (painted cream) they’re generally fine.  This one is a perfectly pleasant colour, although not one I’d want to use for colour work, and it looked odd when I tried it for my bedside lamp.  Even kept on my desk, you notice that it’s a very different colour from the other LED bulb and the halogen bulb in the room, but only if you glance between them to compare.  It’s not the strongest LED bulb I’ve seen, which is surprising for 10W, but I do like a lot of light for reading by.  If it’s more of a general lamp, it’s fine.  I wouldn’t use it for lighting an entire room, though.  You’d need quite a few of them, and they’ve expensive.  If the white were brighter and the colour were better, it’d be tempting.  Let’s see how the technology improves in that department.

Now for the really fun part, the colour-changing aspect.  You can set it to move between the colours in a few ways, which some people will enjoy for parties.  We admired how pretty that was briefly, then hunted for a good colour to put it on in the evening.  You can have a yellow, two shades of orange, or a red.  The yellow is a bit on the greenish side.  The two oranges are both very pleasant amber colours, and the red is a good one, on the more orangey side for a red LED.  The yellow and oranges are made from a mixture of green and red light, and opinion is split on whether or not green light affects your melatonin production and circadian rhythms.  I’ve decided to stick to the red light, which lights up a surprising amount of the room.  I don’t know whether or not green light affects me, but I stick to lights which look the same whether or not I am looking at them through my orange-tinted blue-blocking glasses, and the orange hues on this bulb looked different through the orange specs, suggesting that there’s something I’d want to block in there.  If you’re not using orange specs, and you don’t mind changing the light a few times, you could try gradually moving from white through yellow and orange to red over the course of the evening.  It’d probably feel very relaxing.

Would I buy this myself?  At the moment, no.  I’m not using it to its full potential, I’m only using the white and the red, and it’s cheaper to buy a second lamp and put a coloured bulb in that one.  If it were cheaper and heavier it’d be a different matter, but I’m guessing there are manufacturing reasons why that’s an issue.  But it’s very pretty, a fun gadget to have, and I do love being able to use it with a remote control. This is the first red bulb I’ve tried, if you don’t count the red fairy lights, and I was very impressed with the colour.  Watch out for another post soon about the various colours of light bulbs I’ve amassed by now.

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