LumiCharge II Review: Desk Lamp + Universal Smartphone Charger
Jan 07, 2020
If you’re one of the many people who has a desk lamp on your desk or night stand, the LumiCharge II would like to replace it. This crowdfunded (now in production) desk lamp tries to do pretty much everything, combining a multi-hue and multi-brightness LED lamp with a nightlight, universal smartphone charge stand, Q1 wireless charging, a USB charge port, and an LED display showing info such as time, date and temperature.
That’s a lot of functionality in a singe device. Does the LumiCharge II pull it off?
LED Light + Night Light
The primary purpose of the LumiCharge II is to illuminate a work or reading space, and it does that quite well. This desk lamp uses a modern bar design, with a multi-jointed arm that can rotate 360-degrees, and a wide-angle light head with embedded LEDs (the LED panel is just under 9-inches in length). The head itself can pivot about 30-degrees in either direction. Touch controls on the base turn the light on and off, and you can cycle through three different light temperatures (so you can adjust between a cool or warm white light), and 10 different brightness settings. The last lighting setting used is retained when the light is powered off.
As a desk lamp, the LumiCharge II offers wide coverage, plenty of flexibility to get the light exactly where you want it, and a range of light customization options. In other words, exactly want you want in a product like this.
Embedded near the base of the desk lamp is an LED night light, about 1-inch in diameter. When the room is dark, the night light comes on when motion is detected (there is a switch to turn it off if not required). It worked as advertised — with accurate motion sensing, darkness detection and a useful degree of illumination.
Charge Any Smartphone
Most modern LED desk lamps have a USB port in the front or back so you can plug in a smartphone to keep it charged. The LumiCharge II has that, with the USB-A port located at the back of the base. But this desk lamp goes far beyond the basics.
The top surface of the base is a Qi-enabled 10W fast wireless charger. With my iPhone it worked perfectly and this is a really nice option to have.
The designers are pretty pumped about a docking station hidden beneath a plastic lid at the front edge of the base. Lift the lid (which becomes a support) and a rotating "charging wheel" is revealed, with three different charge connectors: USB-C, Micro USB and Lighting. They are positioned upright with the ability to tilt and the idea is you dial up the appropriate connector and dock your smartphone so you can see its display as it charges. The concept is cool enough. In reality, I found docking could be a little fussy, the lid is flimsy and the smartphones I tried (one using Lightning and one using USB-C) would not sit quite straight despite reseating — having the display always slightly off kilter became annoying.
The universal dock works, but it seemed a little fragile to me and I was happy to stick with the wireless charging.
The LumiCharge II has an LED display mounted on the front. It shows the date, day of the week, time, and room temperature. All useful info to have available at a glance. It can also be programmed to set an alarm. A replaceable watch-type battery keeps the settings intact when the lamp power is off.
Should You Buy the LumiCharge II?
As an LED desk lamp, the LumiCharge II does a pretty good job. It’s flexible, with plenty of settings to choose from. It’s also currently about double the going rate for LED desk lamps that offer similar lighting capabilities (and the $159 price once the crowdfunding perks run out is triple that).
Whether the LumiCharge II is worth the premium depends on how much value you put on its additional features: the Qi wireless charging, universal charge dock, night light and LED display. If you don’t need those, it’s not worth paying extra for, but if you do then the space-saving prospect of having everything in a single device makes the LumiCharge II worth considering.
Disclosure: LumiCharge provided a desk lamp for evaluation but had no input into this review.