A task light is more than just a luxury these days. With an arm that swivels easily into position, a bright, white light for reading, and an app that lets you configure all of the settings, the Dyson Lightcycle is more of a required accessory for the living room.
The lamp comes in two versions; this review will focus on the 55-inch (140cm) floor-standing model called, appropriately enough, the Dyson Lightcycle Floor. It costs $899.99 / £649.99 (around AU$1300) and comes in either silver/white or black. The smaller table-top stand costs $599.99 / £449.99 (around AU$870) and measures about 30 inches / 70 centimeters tall. Australian pricing and availability is still to be confirmed.
As with most Dyson products, you are paying for primo quality. There are many task lamps available including the IKEA Riggad, which has a built-in wireless phone charger and costs only $69.99 (around £50 / AU$100) but is not app-enabled.
The somewhat similar OttLite task lamps also provide benefits to health and wellness as the Dyson, reducing eye-strain because of how bright the light can shine, at a much lower cost.
The Dyson Lightcycle Floor arrived in a large box and was easy to unpack and setup; it took about 10 minutes total to slide the arm onto the base. It weighs 15.81 pounds or about 7 kilograms. Installing and syncing the Dyson Link app (available for iOS and Android) also took only five minutes, mostly because we had already used it for a Dyson robotic vacuum.
Standing in our living room, the Lightcycle looks both modern and classic at the same time, with a bit of a Stanley Kubrick vibe in that it seems space-age and artsy, but also functional. It could have been designed in the 1960s easily enough, minus the app connectivity.
Our sample lamp was all black, which meant it melded into the decor in our living room quite nicely, standing in the corner like a metallic giraffe. You move the main arm into position, lowering it to read a book or raising it and pushing it out of the way for room light. It’s strangely fascinating because those who walked into the room noticed the Lightcycle immediately, and yet the design is understated and meant to blend into the background. It is a task lamp, after all.
At tasks, it excels. We were surprised by how much we liked being able to sit and pull the arm close to a book, which suddenly illuminated the pages like nothing we have ever tested. The LED bulbs are embedded into the arm and barely noticeable. The lamp shines at 1120 lumens.
It just won’t tip – and we tried. The base is solid and wide, but the main reason the Lightcycle stays put is that it is quite heavy for a floor lamp. We couldn’t imagine moving it around a room too often; for that, you might consider the smaller table-top version.
What’s surprising about the Lightcycle task lamp is that it is packed with so many smart features. There’s one large power button on top, and near the LED bulbs, situated underneath the extension arm, you will find three more buttons. They are all quite interesting.
The Ambient Light Sensor button closest to the base will adjust the color temperature and brightness to match the room, ideal when you have competing light sources. The middle button is a movement sensor – it works from a few meters away, so it acts as though it’s welcoming you to the sofa. We loved walking up to the lamp and feeling suddenly illuminated.
The third button is easily the most interesting. The lamp actually tracks the color temperature and light intensity of the sun in the place where you live. As the sun goes down, the lamp dims. This is a wellness-related feature because it mimics what your brain expects that time of day.
There’s also a color temperature slider on top of the task lamp’s head. All of these settings and adjustments are available from the app as well, including automated settings to quickly change the light intensity and temp – say, for quiet study or for low-light relaxation.
You can schedule the Lightcycle to slowly engulf the room in light to wake you up. Another very curious feature – in modes for studying and relaxing, the brightness and temp can be matched your age, based on the idea that., the older you are, the more light you need. In our case, the light was noticeably brighter at night once we enabled this feature.
There’s even a USB-C port for charging an Android phone. (Sorry, iPhone users –there is no Apple Lightning port.) It’s easy to find on the main base stand.
Perhaps you are wondering if all of these features are necessary or if they worked as advertised. The answer is a resounding “yes” and is reflected in the overall verdict for the lamp. This is a wondrous product that provides a host of features. For us, it meant we wanted to read more, study our notes, write in a journal, and even stay up later talking.
This is one of those rare products where it is hard to find a weakness. You might say it is too heavy to move about the room, but the stand's heaviness keeps it stable. The extension arm is easy to move from one position to another, quickly and efficiently.
In the app, all of the settings are clear and worked exactly as stated – the sun-tracking features worked, the ambient light sensor, the motion sensor. Time and time again, the motion sensor would know we were walking into the room and illuminated our seating area. The touch-sensitive slider for controlling color temp and intensity always worked. One startling fact about the lamp – the LED bulbs are rated to last 60 years without needing a replacement.
Our only slight issue has to do with the extension arm. At times, we wondered if a child grabbing ahold of it might be able to do serious damage. It is not delicate, but it is a tempting pull-up bar even though it would not hold even a toddler. At the lowest position, it feels as though it could break off. And that is exactly true, by design – it simply disconnects from the base.
All that said, the most troubling feature is the price. There are countless task lamps that also shine bright and clear for several hundred dollars less. They lack the feature set, but the book you are reading or the homework you are doing will likely look the same.
It’s difficult to make a verdict on the Dyson Lightcycle Floor task lamp based on value for money, only because of the high price. Instead, it is better to evaluate it for the features and functions it offers. Using that criterion, the lamp is outstanding in every way – one of the best smart home devices you can buy.
No, the Lightcycle does not let you talk to Amazon Alexa, nor does it connect to your other smart home gadgets in any way – but we prefer it that way, with minimalist, task-focused features.
The setup and installation is easy and straightforward. To use the app, you only need to sync by Bluetooth initially, then add your Wi-Fi network.
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It’s heavy enough to stay put. The automated features for tracking sunlight, sensing motion, and auto-adjusting for the room (and your age) are all outstanding and valuable. Our only slight worry is that the extension arm might snap off, but it is designed to do that to prevent damage, so it’s not a fair criticism.
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