Back in June, Lumiotec announced a couple of new OLED lamps: the Vanity desk lamp and the world's cheapest OLED lamp, the $450 Hanger. Both use a single square OLED panel (we reviewed a previous generation panel back in September 2010). They were kind enough to send both lamps for a review, and after a few weeks of dealings with the Israeli customs, the lamps finally arrived and here's my review.
Both lamps use Lumiotec's Version-2 square OLED panels (14.5 x 14.5 mm active area) which feature a color temperature of 4,900K and a maximum luminance of 2,700 cd/m2. The panels are not very efficient at 10.5 lm/W (they use all-fluorscent OLEDs). The Hanger consumes 12 W while the Vanity consumes 13 W (the extra Watt is because of the electric touch sensor, more on this below). Here's our hands-on review of Lumiotec's Version-1 panels.
What's in the Box
From the first time you look at the box, you understand that this is a very high quality product. It's beautifully packed and oozes from quality. Lumiotec says they want people to enjoy their first OLED product from the moment they open the box.
Each box contain the lamp with its power cord and an A/C adapter (with a US and EU plug). There's a small 'user manual' and that's it. It would have been nice to include some information about OLEDs - explaining the technology, etc.
The Vanity is a small desk lamp that has a single OLED panel that you can rotate on a horizontal axis. The panel is rather large and very thin. The lamp is made from a metal material, painted in white and feels great to touch.
When I first connected it I didn't know how to turn it on, but then I looked in the manual and got it - it's got a 'hidden' touch dimmer switch. It lights up when you touch that area of the base with 4 orange stripe indicators. You can slide your finger to dim it. It works very nice and it's really cool. It's not a smooth-dimmer like in normal lamps (or in the Hanger) - but it's very cool. My three years old daughter played with the dimmer for a long time before announcing it's the most beautiful lamp in the world, together with the BlackBody V-Lux, that is.
I really like the Vanity - the only thing I'm a bit bothered with is the way the OLED panel looks when turned off: you see the 'gold' conductive wires and the lamp is a bit brown in color. Sometimes I think it's cool and sometimes I think it does not look too good. But it sure is special, in any case.
The Hanger uses the same OLED panel as the Vanity, but the design here is really special - it's got a hook on the top, and you're supposed to hang it. Lumiotec markets it as a 'portable' lamp. The power cord extends from the bottom and includes a dimmer switch (a physical one, how uninspiring). Lumiotec are making the Hanger in eight colors, and I got the red one. It's also made from quality metal and it feels great to the hand, it's thin and light.
The Hanger looks really good. Even my wife said it looks cool, and she's seen her share of OLED lighting panels. So far so good, but the question remains: what exactly are you going to do with that lamp? I mean, it's great to see a creative new design idea, but it's not very practical - unless of course you need a hanging light. I did manage to find a good place to it near my computer monitor finally, but this lamp isn't for everyone - it's not just a 'normal lamp replacement.
If Lumiotec's design is too clean and subtle for your, you may want to consider Blackbody's V-LUX desk lamp - which uses two large rectangle OLEDs and is much larger, more "rough" and industrial-like. Here's our hands on review of the V-LUX, which costs €572 (about $775).
Lumiotec have started selling those lamps last month. They are currently being offered directly from Lumiotec in Japan, but soon they will be offered via distributors and stores worldwide (mainly in Europe).
The Hanger costs ¥35,000 (or about $450) and it's the cheapest OLED lamp available. The Vanity goes for ¥55,000 (or about $700). Lumiotec target is to sell 3,000 Hanger lamps and 1,000 Vanity lamps in the first year. I hope they'll manage to reach their target, and they deserve to - they've done a great work with the OLED panel, the lamp design and even the quality packaging.