Our Comprehensive Review of the LUX LED Task Lamp - Both USB and AC Versions

Most of the time we don't consider a lamp to be the height of design, utility or elegance. Yet that seems to be changing with a spate of new makers and the of course dizzying selection you can get at places like Houzz. LUX - the maker of the iconic lamps in many high-end hotels - has decided to start selling their products direct to consumers and they warrant a very close look. Here's why:

  • Excellent craftsmanship and attention to detail
  • Smooth, elegant design that draws attention without being obtrusive
  • Pretty much the most pleasant light temperature from an LED we've seen to date

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Published on 10/16/2018 at at 06:00AM

Overview

The LUX lamp was a departure for me from bedside lamps that are mostly used as decorating accessories. They often have a shade that coordinates with your bedspread or curtains, yet never seem to give the right amount of light in the right place for reading. After seeking out this type of lamp my whole adult life it occurred to me one day "what if that type of lamp belongs in model homes and real estate brochures and not in a house where people really try to live?" What if the function of the lamp and its utility should make the time I have to spend near it less fraught with irritation - or eye strain?

For my husband and I it’s a no brainer. The LUX lamp has a sleek modern design - all metal with clean lines and no embellishment. It looks like something from an ultra modern hotel or maybe a spaceship (the kind of thing he likes). Personally, I’ve fought this aesthetic from creeping from the office out to the rest of our living spaces, because it feels a little too sanitary for me. So when my husband brought home these lamps, I was a little skeptical about whether I wanted to live with them.

He told me: “Honey, these lamps are so good, before they started selling them, people were stealing them from their hotel rooms.” That was strange enough to get me curious, so I told him I’d give them a try.

Background

A little background: I get migraines from poor lighting due to too many years of spent in front of computers day and night taking their toll. Luckily, fluorescent light bulbs have mostly disappeared and LED bulbs are losing that weird unearthly blue cast they used to have. I confess, I love incandescent light; that warm constant yellow-cast light, but it’s just too expensive to run them.

Unboxing & First Impressions

When I turned on the LUX lamp for the first time, I noticed the color: while having that LED crispness, it had a warm cast and my eyes were relieved that I could not detect any of that subtle flashing that I’d grown to dread from LEDs. I tried shaking my phone screen around under it, looking for that effect where you start to see frames instead of smooth motion. Nope, the light is steady and even - I’m pretty impressed by that.

The LUX USB and AC Lamp boxes as shipped
Both the USB and AC lights came in some quite nice boxes and were well packed.
The LUX USB Task Lamp inside the manufacterer packaging and box
The actual lamp is placed in probably my favorite packaging ever - note the embossed cardboard LUX.
The bottom of the LUX USB Task Lamp
The bottom of the LUX USB has a pretty sticky surface that helps it adhere to whereever you place it, with glossy surfaces being the best. It's quite stable!

An important note is that these are task lights [editors note: there’s a selection of LUX non-task lamps]. Everyone who keeps a lamp by their bedside would probably tell you it’s there so you can look at your phone or read a book in bed, but most of those lamps are not suited to the task. Some of them even kind of sabotage that task.

You have a lamp with a filament bulb, for example, creating glare hotspots on your screen. You might have a bright lamp that creates a bunch of dark shadows, forcing your eye to fight contrasting areas just so you can get enough light to see the words or pictures you are trying to illuminate. Maybe you have a deal like we did where you lose a lot of light illuminating the whole room or you are leaning to the edge of the bed to be more in the lamp’s range. These are all the perils of using accent lighting as task lighting.

A Solution We Didn't Know We Needed

So here’s where the LUX lamp turned out to be the solution I didn’t know I needed. It has a light emitting surface a couple inches wide and several inches long. This means you don’t have filament hotspots that blind you, because the light is emitted evenly from the whole surface. The angle that the light comes from is pretty compatible with that angle your book or tablet is held at when you’re laying down in bed, so it isn’t reflecting right back into your eye. The illuminating surface strip also creates a more gradual light falloff so you don’t get a lot of extra contrast on or around what you’re looking at. So the light quality is pretty great. I wish I had a lamp like this in college!

I enjoy the ability to charge my devices even while I’m using them. The LUX lamp works well as a stand to hold the phone if I want to use it as an alarm clock. It also helps reduce my fear that if I tip over a glass of water, it won’t electrocute the phone. I do wonder if the USB ports will eventually date the lamp, since we’re going to USB C in the next couple of years and I like to buy new lamps...like never. My husband got himself the LUX LED AC Lamp that has a couple of extra power outlets, so that might be better if you’re wondering about making a long term purchase.

Daily Use

I realized after moving the lamp around on my nightstand that it wasn’t cumbersome, and would actually be easy to move around the house to use on projects where the overhead lighting wasn’t cutting it. I would never have considered doing that with a nightstand lamp before. As with many people, the last few years have seen me transition away from spending much time at the desk and the computer, with mobile screens coming becoming more and more of the way I work. So I need a desk lamp less now and better task light at the kitchen table. The LUX lamp is great, and if you can run the cord to your table safely, it is not prone to tipping over due to the grippy surface underneath the base and gives a good boost of light, as well as a charger.

The LUX USB and AC Lamp boxes as shipped
The switches for the lamps are touch-sensetive and quite easy to use. They work just like a incandescant 3-level-light.
The back and AC Adapter Plug of the LUX USB Task Lamp
The actual light source is quite large, resulting in an emitter that doesn't create as much glare as you might expect, making reading and other tasks much easier.
The LUX USB Task Lamp inside the manufacterer packaging and box
The full-brightness setting (the first touch to turn it on) is extremely bright with a lot of throw, making it quite easy to use in poorly-lit rooms.
The bottom of the LUX USB Task Lamp
The lowest lighting level is quite pleasant for use when you don't need much light and interesting is well-focused on the area below it.

There are 3 light levels available and it is really effortless to turn the lamp on and switch between them. You just tap the on surface with your finger/toe/nose/appendage, and it turns on and switches between brightness levels. The lamp is silent and makes no noticeable heat, so it’s a good work companion. The sleek design makes it easy to clean so even if it gets somebody’s spaghetti on it, it would not be an issue.

A Wonderful Product

All in all, the LUX lamp is a great bedside lamp and I have gotten used to it’s look. It was one of those things I didn’t know I needed, but I’d have a really hard time going back to a decorative lamp after getting used to the convenience and quality of light from the LUX lamp.

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