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Philips LivingColors LED Lamp Review

Casa Beta: Philips LivingColors LED Lamp

Whenever I fly Virgin America, I can't wait to board and step into the hazy glow of the plane's purple lights — the lighting equivalent of an Ambien — close my eyes, and dream my way to my destination. Well now, thanks to Philips LivingColors LED Lamp ($199), which the brand sent me to review, I can enjoy ambient, colored lighting without the hassle of airport security.


The small floor or table lamp has a bulbous shape much like my groovy, modern globe lamp, and is available with a transparent, white, or black exterior. I received the clear base, which almost looks like a speaker.

The lamp plugs into a standard outlet, and comes with a cute little remote control with a color dial. As you run your finger around the intuitive touch dial, you make your choice of any literally color on the color spectrum. Beyond that, four little buttons allow you to create deeper or softer saturation, and brighter or darker light intensity. These controls combined allow you to take your pick of 16 million different color choices — as many colors as a 24-bit RGB computer monitor can simulate.

So those are the specs, want to hear what I really think of it?

Aesthetics: The LivingColors Lamp is definitely a modern furnishing, and I like that; it's pretty cool looking. But if you're more of a traditionalist, it's small enough that you can easily hide it behind a table or chair and direct the bulbs wherever you want to cast the light.

Function: This lamp is groundbreaking. Never before have consumers had access to so many lighting color options, literally at their fingertips. If you're too traditional to embrace red hues in your room, the saturation and intensity buttons allow you to make the color subtle enough that it's not so noticeable, but will still change the mood of the space. I find myself gravitating toward different hues depending on what mood I'm in; sometimes I've got the blues, the greens, the eggplants, etc.

My main qualm with the lamp is that it's pretty small (and its four LED bulbs are tiny), so it really only casts that ambient glow in one corner of a room. I've been using it at night when I'm reading, and in the corner by my bed it serves its purpose. But I just wish it would give the whole room a glow of my color-of-the-moment.

The other thing is that if there's any other lighting in the room, natural or not, the color hues will be drowned out. So it's mostly just useful at night or in a room with no natural light.

Price: I probably wouldn't spend $200 on this lamp. But I have really loved playing with it; I use it every night. So if the price went down, or I found it on sale, I'd definitely buy one. It'd also make a fun gift for that person who has everything . . . everything but 16 million colors. And, it'd be a fun gift to receive, too!

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