Let there be light – Latest LED lighting technology

Improvements in LED (short for light emitting diode) technology means it is rapidly becoming the coolest light source for a whole range of electronic gadgets.

It is cheap, efficient and low in energy use.

The products we looked at on the show this morning were:

BellsandWhistles.co.nz MonkeyLectric Spoke Lights


MonkeyLectric spoke lights are fast becoming a must-have bike accessory for urban cycle enthusiasts throughout the world. Designed and launched in USA in 2007, MonkeyLectric lights have added a new dimension to urban cycling through cutting edge digital art and style, whilst improving overall riding visibility and safety at the same time.

The Monkey light includes 20 themes with hundreds of colour combinations. The 10 LED light board hooks to 2 of your spokes using 3 point zip ties and attaches to a hub-mounted 3AA battery pack.

Price: Currently on sale for $66.30 per unit
Available from: Online bike store bellsandwhistles.co.nz
Website.

Philips LED myVision Bulbs


This is a new innovation – a range of LED bulbs designed to fit into standard bayonet or screw fit light sockets.

The new myVision LED bulbs consume 6W or 9.5W of power and emit light output similar to standard 40W or 60W incandescent bulbs, respectively. Designed to resemble a traditional frosted light bulb all Philips LEDs are mercury-free and produce high quality natural shades of white light.

Philips LED light bulbs use up to 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last 15-25 times longer.  With lighting making up around 12% of the average New Zealand home’s electricity bill, converting to energy efficient lighting is one simple and effective way to reduce overall energy consumption.

Price: $19.99
Availability: At Bunnings and Lighting Direct stores.
Website

LED Lenser X14 Torch

What is about blokes and torches? This is one of my must have guy-toys (and if that’s not a hint for Father’s Day I don’t know what is).The new LED Lenser X14 is seriously bright. We’re talking 450 lumens of brightness with an astounding 350 metre range. This brightness is achieved through the unique torch head that has two light sources, producing a pair of beams that converge into a super-concentrated light cone.

The torch features technical advancements such as the Advanced Focus System which means you can easily switch between a broad floodlight and sharply focused long distance beam.  It also features Smart Light Technology, which means you can customize the torch to your needs by choosing between two energy modes and three light programmes with up to eight light functions.

Price: $299.00
Distributor: Tight Lines, (06) 843 6388 or e-mail service@tightlines.co.nz
Available from: All good hunting and fishing shops
Website.

If you’d like more information on LED technology read on:

Home lighting: Whereas it was once used mainly in torches and recessed wall lighting, today we will also show an LED with traditional light mounting meaning LED’s can be used in place of traditional incandescent bulbs and energy saving lightbulbs.
Incandescent bulbs are cheap to buy but eat energy.

Torches: Powerful white-light-emitting diodes (LED)s increasingly replace incandescent bulbs in practical flashlights. LEDs can be significantly more efficient than incandescent lamps. An LED flashlight will have a longer battery life than a comparable incandescent flashlight. LEDs are also less fragile than glass lamps.

Key Advantages:
•    Five Times More Energy Efficient: LEDs emit more light per watt than incandescent light bulbs.They can generate the same light as a traditional 40w or 60w bulb with only 8-12 watts of power.
•    Last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs: A traditional bulb lasts 1,000 hours, a CFL 15,000 and an LED 25,000 (all times approximate),
•    Cost Efficient because they last for 10-20 years: Normal bulbs only cost $2.00 but the blow within a year, a CFL costs $8 and lasts 5 years, an LED can last 20 years.
•    On/Off time: LEDs light up instantly unlike energy saving lightbulbs which can take 15-30 seconds to reach top brightness.
•    No Mercury: Some people are put off energy saving CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) lamps because they contain small amounts of Mercury.
•    Shock resistance: LEDs, being solid-state components, are difficult to damage with external shock, unlike fluorescent and incandescent bulbs, which are fragile.
•    Focus: The solid package of the LED can be designed to focus its light. Incandescent and fluorescent sources often require an external reflector to collect light and direct it in a usable manner.

Wearable Tech to inspire your workouts

Winter is still with us but around the country our roads and parks are beginning to fill with people getting fit for Spring.

That’s right, the season of boot camps and early morning bike rides is back upon us.

There’s nothing a gadget guy needs more than a bit of technology to test out on that run/bike/walk so this week I tried out the latest wearable technology that promises to keep your fitness on the right track.

The Looxcie 2 Wearable Personal Video Camera

The Loocxcie promises to let you record your life, hands free. The original version was the first wearable video cam and it allowed you to participate in the moment, while capturing it. With the Looxcie 2 you can also use your smartphone as a viewfinder, create a clip and post to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. This unit records up to 5 hours of video, though it’s easy to transfer footage to other storable media. For fitness freaks its a great way of capturing your running, cycling and other activity – why not capture that magnificent putt and post it to Facebook for bragging rights. It’s worn like a Bluetooth headset, so the more vigorous your activity (ahem) you might want to consider extra steps to secure it to your ear. Using the updated Looxcie Moments Smartphone companion app, users can choose between either 320p or 480p video quality.

Recommended Retail Price: $275.00 plus $5.00 post and packaging

Product Website: www.looxciecam.co.nz

Rating: 3 out of 5

Geigerrig RIG 500 Hydrating Backpack

This is a pretty cool, pressure powered hydrating backpack. If you’ve ever used a standard hydrating backpack one you’ll know that you have to bite down on the mouthpiece and suck the water out like a mad thing. This system, developed by an ex-marine, has a pump pressure system so you can spray the fluid instead of sucking it. Spray into your mouth, spray into your dogs mouth, spray to wash a graze… The makers claim that users consume up to 30% more fluids while wearing a Geigerrig, therefore hydrating better. The bladders come with a lifetime warranty for leakage and are virtually bomb proof.

Recommended Retail Price: $199.00 incl gst.

Website: http://www.tightlines.co.nz/

Rating 4 out of 5

LED Lenser Headlamp

Running through parks before or after work, can be quite risky. The paths are quite dark so you really can put yourself at risk of an injury. I recommend you light the way with the LED Lenser Headlamp. This model, the H14, is one of the brightest headlamps you can buy with a super bright 210 lumens output. Features include the patented LED Lenser Advanced Focus System with one-handed speed focusing, as well as the NEW microswitch which allows you to customize the light output to your needs. The H14 is not just a headlamp. Thanks to an intelligent fastening system, the lamp head can be detached from the headband and attached to clothing as a hands free torch or mounted on bike bars using the supplied universal bracket.

Price: $199.00 including gst.

Website: http://www.tightlines.co.nz/

Rating: 3.5 out of 5