Review: Mpowerd Luci Light ( Luci is different! )

A

ama230

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Hello all, again.

First off, I wanted to say that I do not work for this company or affiliated in any way. Just doing an honest review on the products that are actually Mpowering lives for the greater good..


I am going to do a review of another review of a product that requires no battery changes and does its job very well. The product is made by Mpowerd and its name is the “ Luci “ light. The whole mission is to allow anybody that has a low income, such as myself, to have the ability to extend their production into the night without using traditional methods. This might seem like a simple task but when you have first world amenities, it’s out of sight and out of mind.


There are problems with batteries as they are thrown away and toxic chemicals are in the stream they drink from. Then there is the kerosene lamp which is very bad in tight spaces for toxic fumes. This product is what allows all those past troubles to be eradicated with solid state technology of today.


For a while now these types of lights were expensive due to the technology being relatively new but that’s not the case that Mpowerd is trying to make.


Let’s start with the good stuff and get the companies specs and compare them to the real world as much of us do on here. Remember that this review is not biased and am going to the best of my knowledge to fact check.

Manufactures Specs:



Weight -
4.0 Ounces


Size -
Open Panel Dimension - 3.35"x3.35”


  • 5" Diameter
  • 1" Height Collapsed
  • 5" Height Open

Power



  • Open Circuit Voltage (Voc) - 4.3V
  • Optimum Operating Voltage (Vmp) - 3.1V
  • Short Circuit Current (Isc) 3.5A
  • Optimum Operating Current (Imp) 200mA - 1200 lumens
  • Rated Watts - 0.6W
  • Voltage - DC
  • Amps - 200mA
  • Output Voltage of the Battery - 3.7V
  • Working Voltage of LED Need ≥2.6V
  • 1200 lm (lumens)

General Specs:



  • Charge time of 6 hours yields a minimum of 6-12 hours of light
  • Luci charges under direct sunlight and even under incandescent light
  • Maintains a single charge for three months
  • Ten white Light Emitting Diodes (LED’s) with 4000 mcd light source
  • Two brightness levels to conserve battery life
  • Flashing light setting for emergency situations
  • Provides fifteen square feet of light
  • The rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack can be charged while collapsed or expanded
  • Minimum lifespan of one year

Here is a link to the product information sheet from the website too:https://www.mpowerd.com/sites/all/themes/mpower/images/Luci-info-sheet.pdf


Real world Testing Specs: I live in Arizona so the light conditions are about the same in Africa 800W/m^2 – 1000W/m^2 of irradiance(intensity per a given area). Also, the unit is sealed so doing measurements without damaging the product is pretty hard. Then these are believed to be prototypes and the final product is on their website.

· Charging time – 6-8 Hours
· PV Type – Monocrystalline (This is what makes or breaks a solar product and they chose wisely!)
· Running time – 16 Hours
· Modes: Low – High – Flashing - Off
· Brightness – Low ( 30 Lumens ) High (40 Lumens) Flashing ( 40 Lumens )
· Lighting area – 15 sq. ft of reading light ( Able to read a book under )
· LED Spectrum – 7000k + (very blue and not diffused )
· Circuitry - PWM on low and Direct Drive on High
· CRI – 50 ( Maybe and this is overestimating )
· LED Type – Seoul SMD’s. ( Blue light , I thought this was a white light?)
· Waterproof – YES
· Floats – YES
· Inflatable – YES
· Collapsible – YES
· Push Button – Tactical on/off, so it has an IC




Then here is some more gadget pron, the PICS!!!

The first pic is them both side by side withe the newest version on the left with more LED's and a top mounted switch for convenience.

2012-11-03094838.jpg



The second pic is of the two inflated and the newest version is still on the right.
2012-11-03095203.jpg



Third Pic is of the two in the correct orientation to hang and use at night. Newest revision is on the left and old on the right.
2012-11-03095225.jpg


Fourth Shot is of the two in close up with the valves that they changed and updated the new one with a more standard blow up valve.
2012-11-03095304.jpg


Fifth picture is a close up of the first prototype sample sent to me that has fewer LEDs but they are the same ones used on the 2nd sample (newer) sent to me.
2012-09-22155745.jpg


Sixth Shot is of the original prototype sent to me in size reference to a leatherman wave.
2012-09-22155400.jpg



Seventh Shot is of the two side by side in charging mode. Make sure the device is not inflated all the way when exposed to 90F heat as it will pop and get a hole.
Left is the original and right is the newest version sent to me.
2012-11-03165809.jpg


Then for the shots of this in action against a light that has the same mission, specs and price for $15.00 USD. It is the D. Light Design S10 and its brightness levels are low(30 Lumens) high( 50 Lumens) of nice diffused less bluish light

The first picture of the night shots are in my bathroom. The brightness of the two is hard to notice with the camera so ill keep it simple with the original sample on the left on low and the second sample on the right on high. It looks bright but I had my camera flash on and it pretty much lit up my whole bathroom. 30 Lumens is hard for my phone camera to pick up.
2012-11-03184730.jpg


The second picture of the night shots with the same as above but with the d.light s10 in the middle on high.
2012-11-03184832.jpg


Third of the night shots is of the newest revision sent to me. This is to show you that it has more LED's than the first sample and the anti reflective coating inside works great for reflection and not great for diffusion.
2012-11-03185601.jpg



There are two prototypes of the light and are not in production. They have ironed out some problems and will be interesting to see to what's different. Again these are not the FINAL Production Models as these were prototypes for review and field testing. So keep posted!!!

1)
All LEDS would not show as the PV/LED Board move around and two LEDs are hidden behind the reflective coating inside the unit.

2)
Then where the plastic is pressed and melted together, the integrity is there and would lose a seal. Had to re-melt the plastic and press back together to maintain a air tight seal.

3)
LED Temperature is harsh on the eyes as blue is not what the color of the sun is. Get an LED in the 4500k- 5500K and with a CRI of 70+ and this would be a killer light with little added cost.

4)
The way the light is not diffused is with a bunch of artifacts but they are soft. The light is shined upward and then reflected downwards. They used crystal clear plastic and should have used a semi-transparent type. This would probably kill two birds with one stone and make the color temp of the LED’s less harsh.

The LED color temperature needs to be alot warmer( under 5500K and a CRI of at least 70) and diffused are the two main problems I can see withe the non-production samples.


This again is a non- biased review with a few suggestions to help the product ensure it has a descent shot at making it against the competition. Hope you enjoyed the review and hopefully in the near future I can get a review of the actual production model.

Thank you for reading my review!
Eric Ramirez
ama230
 
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L

Lite-Bright

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You learn about new things every day !

I'm always looking to find the latest in camping gear and this is a great addition.
Last year I was looking for a light to use in the tents to replace my Walmart (Ozark Trail 24 LED Tent Light). While the little 'UFO' is alright, it isn't very bright. For something that that takes 4 AA and has 24 LED, I would expect more. I guess it's great if you need the light on and dont want to wake others, but if your trying to look for things, it just isn't bright enough. Might as well be a night-light.
So I found myself looking for something better. I then found NOKERO lights. Pretty much the same concept of the Luci Light. At the time they wanted $25/ea (now $15/ea) and while the price was good for what it was, after watching some video reviews, it would have taken a few of them for what purpose I needed them for. I think the opaque diffuser was the cause of the low light. Another issue was packing. I'm not a fan of 'bulky' items. I like to pack things as flat as possible and not have bulky items in fear of breaking them or simple, sticking out.

Coming across this thread made my camping dreams come true. I HAVE to get some of these for all the tents.
Not only are they bright, collapsible, solar charged, but at a great price. I like the way I can pack them. No worries of leaking batteries. The sun charges it. What more can you want. Oh, and those lumens ! Not bad. Far more than what I have now and certainly more than the NOKERO 'bulbs' (13 lumens (High), 5 lumens (Low))

Can you answer a few questions please.
I'm not quite sure what 'Minimum lifespan of one year' is supposed to mean.
Would it be possible to take a photo using One (1) Luci alone. I see you used 2 as well as a lantern. I'd like to see what this thing can do on it's own.
Do these fully inflate or partial inflate (vents) I ask because I question any heat building up inside.


Thanks for the review though. If not for this I would have ever known about the Luci Light :thumbsup:
 
A

ama230

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Thanks for taking the time to read my review as It had already served its purpose of informing and educating.

To answer your questions in order:

Q) I'm not quite sure what 'Minimum lifespan of one year' is supposed to mean.
A) I am guessing that this is another way of phrasing 1 year guarantee. As most of the lights that are in the similar market are very cheap and do not even last a year.

Q) Would it be possible to take a photo using One (1) Luci alone. I see you used 2 as well as a lantern. I'd like to see what this thing can do on it's own.
A) Here is two pictures of the light alone.

The first picture is of the Luci light on low:

2012-11-03185023.jpg


The here is the second pic of the Luci light with it on high:

2012-11-03185053.jpg


As you can see that both modes do a good job of lighting my bathroom.

Q) Do these fully inflate or partial inflate (vents) I ask because I question any heat building up inside.
A) You can inflate them all the way when not exposed to the sun but let a little air out to anticipate some abuse as when its full you take the chance of popping it easier. Its just a safety precaution to make it last as its a different design.
 
L

Lite-Bright

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Thanks for the info. I really appreciate it.
I'm a little put off by the lifespan but for $15 ... for it's use I would put it through, that could be a few years worth of light.

I really do like what I see in those photos though. That thing is pretty bright. I imagine it would fill up my tent with plenty of light.
 
LEDAdd1ct

LEDAdd1ct

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Maybe I missed this, but I am really confused:

Optimum Operating Current (Imp) 200mA - 1200 lumens

How in the world does 200mA drive current net you 1,200 lumens?
 
Changchung

Changchung

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Where the night is too short...
Those leds look like some 3528 or 1210 in the best of the case 5050, is imposible that 10 of this leds give 1200 lumen


Sent from my phone with camera with flash and internet on it... :D
 
A

ama230

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Those leds look like some 3528 or 1210 in the best of the case 5050, is imposible that 10 of this leds give 1200 lumen

Remember: Most estimates are from calculations on paper, so take with a grain of salt.

The real number would be in the range of 30-50 lumens. Lanterns have to light a broad area so numbers may vary. Its hard to get a real number but you can compare to whats already here ex: D.light, Wakawaka, Nokero etc... Some companies do their homework....
 
S

SemiMan

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Those leds look like some 3528 or 1210 in the best of the case 5050, is imposible that 10 of this leds give 1200 lumen

Remember: Most estimates are from calculations on paper, so take with a grain of salt.

The real number would be in the range of 30-50 lumens. Lanterns have to light a broad area so numbers may vary. Its hard to get a real number but you can compare to whats already here ex: D.light, Wakawaka, Nokero etc... Some companies do their homework....

A lot of the specs are questionable?

3.5A short circuit current for a panel that small at 3.1V .... not possible.

The low optimum operation point of the panel would also suggest not great charging efficiency into what appears to be a lithium polymer battery? ... though expect they choose the open circuit voltage to somewhat match the max charge voltage of the battery so no need for a real charging circuit?

It says 3 months holding a charge in one spot and 2 months in another on the spec sheet.

Looking at the specs, you get the impression a marketer came up with an idea and had a company in China throw something together and the person doing the marketing did not quite understand the specs when he/she translated it into a data sheet.

It looks like a knockoff in some respects of the SolarPUFF http://www.faarm.org/projects/solar-puff-inflatable-solar-lamp and Luminaid (also inflatable).

I think there is yet another version of the Luci. There was a review on Gizmodo and the LED layout did not seem the same as the ones in this review.


AMA230, optically does this unit make sense? It looks like a lot of the light may be "wasted" upwards and not get to the target area. This is okay for a more powerful light, but in a low powered light may be lossy?
 
oregon

oregon

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A few photos of the Luci light I just received, from an online purchase $17 delivered, for your amusement, from seeing it in its package, reading instructions and turning on light in dim mode, full mode and flashing mode using the tiny red button:
umg5.jpg
ga6c.jpg
e5lp.jpg
z7su.jpg

wpr4.jpg


9cza.jpg

kqva.jpg
 
oregon

oregon

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Final seven photos, continued from above:
uptd.jpg
a8xq.jpg

cwoh.jpg
5znb.jpg



4rd6.jpg
2ne5.jpg
1p5m.jpg
 
N

Nacht

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It has been a few years. Would those who have been using them mind giving an updated review? Any new competitors worth mentioning? Like the LuminAID with the lithium battery?
 
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BloodLust

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I have the Luci light similar to what oregon posted in post #11.

Not much to add to what's been posted already but here's my personal take on it.

- I wish that there was a lower mode than the 30 lumen low of the Luci. Maybe 3 brightness levels : 3 lumens, 20 lumens, 40 lumens. 3 lumens could make it a nightlight.
Haven't had the need for the flashing mode but others may have.

- As said in the original review, it has a clear plastic "dome/cylinder" and the creases in the material (since it's collapsible) cause a lot of artifacts in the beam. Add this to a slightly too cool tint and catching a glimpse of the LEDs hurt my eyes.
I sprayed the plastic with a dull lacquer/frosting spray. It warms up the tint a bit and diffuses the light. Plus I don't get to stare at bare LEDs.

- The top and bottom have an opaque covering. I just wish they made the bottom clear, or rather translucent and moved the hanger band/strip to the top. This would make it a nicer area light and not just like a typical lantern where the light spills out the sides only. Having a clearer bottom means that the light can be hung up high a d the light spread out better.

- Whati really like is that it's very packable, light, and uses renewable energy.
Could be great for an emergency kit but I don't know how keeping it in your kit and forgetting about it will do to the internal batteries. I leave mine out on the window sill once in a while with the panels facing outward just to keep the light topped up.
 
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OldOak

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I have the frosted Luci lantern. It lost its ability to hold a charge very quickly. I used it a few times a week for a couple of months. At that point it only gave 15 minutes of light after a full day of charging. I stopped using it and won't buy another one. When it did work I liked it quite a lot.

Any possibility of user error that impairs charging?
 
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Sarratt

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My wife got one for xmas and I've been trying to get it charged for 5 days ...but no full bright sunny days yet.

However .... I don't even get a flicker of light when clicked on.

I think its defective. ---- Will report back when sunshine returns .... approx March or April :sigh:
 
oregon

oregon

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It has been a few years. Would those who have been using them mind giving an updated review? Any new competitors worth mentioning? Like the LuminAID with the lithium battery?

Working as it did when new. No complaints. Love it. Couldn't be more tickled. Always want to buy another but I feel that way about everything I like, use and can vouch for.
 
P

petrochemicals

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I don't mean to be a bother but are the bathroom photos with a camera flash, as it certainly looks like that in the photos that the bright light from behind the door is a source of illumination.
 
thermal guy

thermal guy

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I just bought one. It's labelled as the outdoor model 50 lumens and got to tell you I love it! We used it for several nights in our hotel room as a night light and on low we had no problem walking around at night in our room.we used it for 6-8 hours each night and was still running in the morning.got another one and put it right in my get home bag I keep in the van. VERY well worth the price. "15 bucks"
 
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