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5-min read

Dyson Lightcycle Review: Your Table Probably Doesn’t Deserve This Sophisticated Piece of Lighting

Using the data such as time, date and GPS coordinates, it can calculate the exact brightness and colour temperature of the natural light around you.

Vishal Mathur | @vishalmathur85

Updated:June 25, 2019, 3:13 PM IST
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Dyson Lightcycle Review: Your Table Probably Doesn’t Deserve This Sophisticated Piece of Lighting
Using the data such as time, date and GPS coordinates, it can calculate the exact brightness and colour temperature of the natural light around you.
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You never thought that the lighting inside your home could also do well with a dollop of science, did you? Chances are, you are one of the billion (I’ll admit, I join you in that massive boat) who simply chose between the cool white or the warm white bulbs for homes, buy them, and forever hold our peace with the choice. Utilitarian at best, and you wouldn’t want to spend too much time on it, would you? However, trust British technology company Dyson to tell you that the lighting around you involves some science, and needs to be reconsidered. This is where the Dyson Lightcycle comes into the picture. This isn’t some futuristic piece of tech, but instead adds a generous dose of tech quotient to how the lighting and your body do the tango, in perfect harmony. Now, it is an entirely different matter as to whether you have a home beautiful enough for the Lightcycle’s personality and a table worthy enough to place this on.

When you buy the Lightcycle, you can perhaps take this up as a DIY project instead of getting an engineer from Dyson to set this up. It is incredible fun too, even if you aren’t exactly mechanically inclined, since there is a clear setup guide that comes with it. You have a base, a vertical attachment on which the weighted pulley system works (this is for adjusting the height of the light) and a horizontal arm that had the light at one end—this can be moved forward or back depending on where you want the light to fall, and can also be swiveled 360 degrees, thanks to the design of the base. It wouldn’t take too long to notice that there is a USB-C port too, to plug in and quickly charge you phone. Now that is priceless. Who except Dyson could really have thought of such a fine detail? In the end, once the Dyson Lightcycle is all set up, it looks functional yet pretty too. The weighted pulley system, the visible springs and the overall mechanism that you can see (it is not hidden away) gives a rather interesting dimension to the personality. Particularly a Dyson product, which doesn’t really give away its high-tech and precise secret sauce.

Dyson Lightcycle-3

Now this is where the smartness aspect of the light comes into the picture. There are 6 LEDs bunched together, to light up the room around you. But hang on, what’s so unique here? Connected to these LEDs is a vacuum sealed copper tube (which you can also see) that is designed to move away the heat generated by these LEDs. Dyson calls this the Heat Pipe Cooling technology. There is a drop of water (yes, Dyson says it is precisely one drop) of water in the tube, which evaporates to dissipate heat along the pipe as it condenses and then cools down the entire assembly of the Lightcycle. At this point, it returns to the LEDs, by the way of capillary action. This is a physics experiment live on your desktop, only much hotter and cooler at the same time.

Then there is the artificially intelligent software side of things. Using the data such as time, date and the GPS coordinates from the Dyson Link app (free for Android and iOS), it can calculate the exact brightness and colour temperature of the natural light around you in the synchronized mode—this sharing of data happens every 60 seconds. And this is true for anywhere in the world you may decide to travel with the Dyson Lightcycle. Dyson says they have data from over a million atmospheric measurements, and we are not going to argue. To work all this software brilliance, there is a 32-bit microprocessor inside the Dyson Lightcycle as well as an optical sensor that can tune the light’s brightness and colour temperature according to the changes around you. The latter is quite relevant for the auto mode, which detects your ambience and changes the light accordingly. The colour temperature range is between 2,700-6,500 kelvin. All this geekery aside, you can choose to manually control the brightness and colour temperature too—you simply need to slide your fingertip on the two touch sensitive bars at the top. That is not all though. In the app, there are further predefined modes that can be selected depending on what you intend to do—Study, Boost and Relax are some such options.

Dyson Lightcycle-2

We perhaps miss Wi-Fi for the Synchronized mode, because it connects with your phone’s app via Bluetooth—with Wi-Fi, it could have pulled the settings from the cloud, and anyone could have taken advantage of the light synchronization while you were away.

You can also set your year of birth, which Dyson says helps the Lightcycle in adjusting the amount of light needed in certain modes to match the most comfortable setting for the eyes—the older you get, the more light you need, is the conventional wisdom. But this may not exactly be true for everyone. For instance, my father actually uses a light less bright than what I may use for reading, and he finds that incredibly comfortable—so you’ll probably find the illumination sweet spot at some point.

The one big grouse that we have from the Dyson Lightcycle is that it seems a tad too bright, even at its manually tuned lowest brightness setting of 100 lux (this is a specific option in the app). This is a fear that comes from having a toddler at home, who will always be below the eye level of the Lightcycle—and that means she can look straight up at the LEDs in action. We would either prefer an even lower lowest illumination mode, or maybe optional accessories that we can perhaps screw on to the front of the LED reflectors to temper the harshness that comes from looking in the direction of LEDs. At the moment, we have crude DIY steps in place to act as a screen between the toddler’s inquisitive eyes and the Dyson Lightcycle.

While it will always be hard to justify a price tag of Rs 39,900 for what people will essentially consider a table lamp for the office desk or prime placement at home, I would like to point out the sheer technical prowess that has gone into making the Dyson Lightcycle. The heptagonal reflector ensures that the fall of the light is completely even. The weighted pulley system means you can adjust the exact height as you want it, from which the light should fall. It knows exactly what lights up your ambience and adjusts accordingly. Over time, you will reap the benefits of straining your eyes lesser during different times and usage scenarios every day. Since Dyson says the LEDs have a 60-year lifecycle, you will have a lifetime to reap those unquantified health benefits.

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