January 2019 Ian Chiu
Desktop illumination is often an overlooked ergonomic aspect in a home office environment. This is especially the case in a multi-monitor setup that may leave little room for a task lamp. Enter BenQ ScreenBar. Its bar-like design clamps to the top of a monitor and projects light downward to a wide area for true task lighting. Its hinge affords up to 20 degrees of rotation that ensures the ScreenBar is angled so there’s zero screen glare.
The BenQ ScreenBar has an aluminium alloy body and comes with 4 touch-sensitive buttons: power, auto dimmer, hue adjustment and manual dimmer. It can also save your last used settings such as color temperature (2700 to 6500k) and brightness (up to 800 Lux at 45cm). Keep in mind the USB-powered task light by design is more geared towards desktop monitors as well as all-in-ones. Razor-thin laptops with their almost non-existent screen bezels likely won’t work with this model. Also, be prepared for the sticker shock. The ScreenBar starts at $99. The version with a more user-friendly desktop dial even retails for a whopping $150.
Repurposing old vintage bottles has never been this fun with the cork-shaped USB light from Suck UK. You can finally make good use of your empty (or even half full) bottles by turning them into lighting pieces to liven up the atmosphere in any room.
The bottlelight recharges via USB thru its integrated connector and has a runtime of 3 hours on a full recharge. This means no more messy wire, not to mention you can place your new lighting pieces where power outlets are unavailable. And with a simple twist, you can choose from seven different colors to illuminate your bottles to your preferences. You get even better results if you try it with patterned bottles.
The picture speaks for itself. If you’re a fan of LINE instant messenger and the app’s glorified emoji collection, these two USB night lamps based on the two alluring signature characters scream “buy me” for obvious reasons.
There are 6 brightness levels, easily adjustable by tapping it. And its built-in USB rechargeable battery even lasts up to 17 hours on the lowest setting. As with all LINE’s tied-in products, pricing has always been a sore spot. Each of these costs $60 whose price is hard to swallow even for the most hardcore fans.
It’s been never easier to throw a party with ION Audio USB Party Ball. The sphere flashes in vivid red, green and blue lights to form a wide array of different colors on the ceilings and walls, creating a non-stop light show in your living room or bedroom.
While the Party Ball gets its power from a USB port on a PC, you can also plug it to the back of a TV or to a power bank. The package doesn’t come with a base but there’s also a gooseneck arm for flexible positioning of the Party Ball. Perhaps the best feature is the built-in microphone that synchronizes the lights to the tunes playing in the room.
Fairystring is a strand of micro LED lights powered by none other than USB. It’s mainly targeted at gals who dig mood lighting in their rooms. Of course, applications are only limited by imagination. It can also used as decorations in a vehicle, coffee shop or even a tree house to improve ambiance.
Shipping in four different lengths (2, 4, 8, 16m), Fairstring has spaced the custom LEDs evenly over its waterproof wire with 3 bulbs per foot. You can also toggle Fairstring between two lighting modes – twinkling and steady glow – to adjust to different environment.
Here’s another USB mood light when you want to add some joy and wonder to any room. The Paladone’s Polychrome Light is made from 16 transparent plastic fins to form a what appears to be an oversized lightbulb. Together with its design, the phasing LEDs from its chrome base can throw intersecting color shadows onto the walls as well as on a desktop surface.
To begin the light show, simply press down the top to start the phasing display. You can hit it the second time to stop at any particular color. A third time will switch the unit off. The 22cm tall USB mood light is pretty aesthetically pleasing, and would make a great housewarming gift without breaking the bank.
The Lumio USB book lamp is truly one of a kind. When closed, it could easily pass for an elegant hardcover book. When flipped open to 180 degrees, the Lumio instantly transformers into an illuminating light fixture that can even be mounted onto any magnetic surface. The Lumio – when fully expanded to 360 degrees – even turns into what looks like a classy Chinese lantern, allowing you to suspend the light with the included leather hand strap.
Inside the Lumio is a USB rechargeable Li-ion battery that provides 8 hours of non-stop illumination with a brightness rated at 500 lumen and light temperature of 2700K (warm white). It’s recommended that the Lumio’s water-resistant Tyvek pages to be wiped clean with a damp cloth. Lumio definitely gets credit for its nifty folding design that makes it uniquely stylish as it is practical to carry around. Though, we aren’t exactly impressed by its pricing.
These Marvel character-inspired USB-powered lamps from Infothink are genuinely impressive. Each one is comprised of a trio of light guide plates that create a nice 3D illusion when stacked together. You also get three different lighting options: all out, slow glowing and special mode.
All of them are quite well thought out. The Iron Man, Black Panther, Thor and Captain America version are modeled after their trademark armored helmet, Mjolnir hammer and vibranium shield respectively. Similarly, the Hulk version takes the form of beast’s fist and Doctor Strange’s circular disk reminds us of his signature magical shield. Their size – 8″ high by 6″ wide for the Iron Man – hits a sweet spot but that depends on how much desktop estate you have at disposal.
Combining LED lighting with USB for power is not exactly a new idea. Yet Satechi has created something entirely unique with its Touch USB LED Lamp as it has the possibility of creating something unique every time it is used.
The lamp actually only consists of a small lamp shade; 1.2 watts worth of soft white LEDs; a tethered USB 2.0 cable; a small touch-sensitive power switch; and a plastic tube to hold it all together. If you think this sounds like the beginnings of a ‘do it yourself’ kit rather than a fully finished product, you would be entirely correct and therein lies the ingeniousness of this model.
Instead of including a bottle or similarly translucent lamp holder, for what is for all intents and purposes a LED light and lampshade, consumers can literally change the entire look and even light output on a whim. Best of all, everything from a coke bottle to wine bottle will work with the Satechi USB lamp.
If you stumble upon any fascinating USB lights you would like to tell us, let us know in the comment section below.